New #Whirlpool Appliance Dies in Less than 24 Hours; #WhirlpoolCorp & #WhirlpoolCare Hears About It & Wonder What to Do!
In case you don’t know what I am talking about, I wrote a post entitled It’s Not Mercury Retrograde When an Appliance Breaks Down– Particularly the NEW Appliance! . It was about a new (as in right out of the box) Whirlpool Gold® ENERGY STAR® qualified 25 cu. ft. 4-Door French Door Refrigerator that died in less than 24 hours upon plug-in. The quibble I had with Whirlpool is that the owner’s manual was not on display with the refrigerator on the sales floor nor did the sales associate at the store where it was purchased KNOW that the company policy was that the refrigerator should NOT BE USED at all for food storage within the first 24 hours. One only finds out about this when the refrigerator is delivered and your old one is GONE — and the food is sitting out waiting to go into the new refrigerator.
I not only wrote about this situation on my blog, I took it to Twitter FIRST and let @WhirlpoolCorp and @WhirlpoolCare know about it so they could reach out to me while I was dealing with $300 of lost food, a dead refrigerator that had to be replaced twice (the second refrigerator arrived with a dent which I would not accept) and the third one 5 days later finally did the trick– that trick being GETTING COLD and STAYING COLD. (One would think that was the obvious thing a refrigerator would do). When I contacted Whirlpool directly I was told that
1) I had to wait 24 hours though the refrigerator was getting warmer INSIDE the machine than my home interior.
2) I could not put food in it and I was losing post Thanksgiving food FAST– and not only did it cost me the food that was in there; products to be reviewed as well, but I had to replace all that food (another $300 to replace things like mayo and stuff that dies fast) as well as find something to eat besides mac & cheese, cereal and soup. (Translation– bring food in and I don’t mean expensive stuff either though at those times I was certainly looking at my liquor stash with fondness– but one can’t open up something when there is no ice and there is no way to keep the mixes cold.)
I did speak to Whirlpool Care on the phone and was told that
1) I had to wait the 24 hours –done!
2) they would not reimburse me for any food loss — and that’s in the owner’s manual– the booklet that I didn’t get until they plugged in the defective appliance and
3) they could send out a REPAIR PERSON who they could not guarantee to arrive for at least 2 days or that the person would be able to truly repair the refrigerator.
I had the new refrigerator scheduled to arrive the next day. Was I a happy camper? No– not in the least and yet I was polite and I did eventually politely tell them I would be blogging about it and asked if they were recording the conversation. The CS person had no idea. (REALLY!?)
So I took to twitter.com and raised a firestorm about this situation and the post went live after I started that firestorm. Here’s an UPDATE on the situation
1) Chris from @Whirlpoolcare finally contacted me via twitter asking for my contact information about 1 week after I started posting my complaints. (Social Media Mistake #1 .. do not wait till all hell breaks loose)
2) Chris did speak to me and essentially told me everything I have related in this post thus far. (LOVELY customer service policy– don’t tell the customer the terms under which they are purchasing said appliance until AFTER it’s on their credit card and the product is in their home!)
3) They would do nothing for me except say they were sorry. My response to that was to tweet even more.
4) The post came out with two updates in it: which was about @WhirlpoolCare asking for my contact 411.
Here’s what’s happened since and it’s not pretty and it shows you how LITTLE that Whirlpool cares about their customers except for the dent on their credit card. I also had some time to do some research and I would still tell you now that if you are looking at Whirlpool anything- -DO NOT BUY IT!! (I can feel my fire starting to burn right about now)
5) I spoke to Chris on phone call #2 and Whirlpool was willing to offer me a one year extension on the service warranty directly through Whirlpool for the second year of ownership of the refrigerator. Do you realize that the lifespan of most refrigerators runs about 15+ years; the average being around 20 and I know someone who has a refrigerator that won’t die! It’s 31 years old and still humming and the owner would like it to die so she could buy a new one. However after hearing my story, she won’t be buying a Whirlpool. The likelihood of an appliance like a refrigerator having problems in the second year of ownership is slim to zero.
So what is the value of that warranty that Whirlpool offered me? I asked Chris to go ask the VP of Operations, Customer Service or even the company president and no one could come up with a dollar value. My guess is that it was worthless and a virtual pat on the head to get me to shut up. I passed on it and I said I would be writing about it. Since the machine #3 works just fine now, I don’t see that the warranty has much value. I have had other refrigerators longer. I know my mom had one for more than 20 years. I told them to go back to the drawing board but I was going to keep tweeting.
And tweet I did and thanks to @TSRLA for his revving the motor because the thinks that California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office should be notified along with the FTC and a few other fed/state offices about this situation with Whirlpool. I wasn’t asking them to compensate me for the replacement of the food and the loss of the food and the cost of going out.. I just wanted some fair compensation because they were not forthright in the terms of ownership which should be CLEARLY MARKED on every floor model of every Whirlpool refrigerator.
I got phone call #3 from Chris @WhirlpoolCare because I was not going to stop my twitter campaign and I am setting this post up NOW because I have a deadline for a ridiculous– almost insulting offer– that they have made me–and they haven’t contacted me since. I have till January 11 or 13 to get back to them because they are offering me $100 for my inconvenience.
Excuse me– does anything out there think that losing $300 of food is merely an inconvenience? Do you think that bringing in food for a few days is an inconvenience since NOTHING can be stored in said refrigerator because the dented one was not acceptable to me (and Whirlpool agreed with me on not accepting that one). So I sat with a stainless steel dead refrigerator that killed some bagged salad mix in about 2 hours; ripened my very green bananas in 4 hours and was almost warm enough to keep my hot tea pleasantly warm — but I really didn’t try that last thing. When the interior of my home despite heater is cooler than the inside of the refrigerator — and Whirlpool can’t/wouldn’t light a fire under customer service to get someone out to my house FAST (by pushing me to the front of the line), I think that inconvenience was a bit of an understatement. I did tell them that. I also did tell Chris at Whirlpool about my initial research and that I would keep posting anc that there would be another blog post. I just had to have some time to see if they understood the power of social media. Clearly they do not understand the power and influence this has on their brand.
I did ask Chris if he had read my blog because as of phone call #2, he had not read anything. (SIGH). By #3 he had read the blog post and had no comment to make.
I did ask Chris to get creative about this and take an idea back to the powers that be. Rather than spend the time and effort and labor cost of cutting me a check for $100 which doesn’t begin go salve what a hassle this was (and they called it sort like pain and suffering), I suggested that they look at their line-up of brands and products that they had and “gift” me with something.
I made it abundantly clear I wasn’t asking for a dishwasher or any major appliance. I wasn’t asking for a microwave or a Keurig or a slow cooker or even a toaster oven. But they have lots of brands of small appliances from standing mixers, juicers to cookware and bakeware that they have sitting in their warehouses. Since I am sure that something in stock has less cost than the actual $100 they were offering me, why not offer me something in the way of a product gift to say they were sorry for the way they had treated me and also to please acknowledge they needed to change their policy on either wait time or else put it on EVERY SINGLE FLOOR MODEL OF EVERY WHIRLPOOL REFRIGERATOR in every store across the country. .
At the time, Chris would make no comment and has made no comment since. He’s waiting to see if I will take the $100.
NB (means nota bene– or take note)
Here’s the interesting part of the research I did in between this phone call #2 and the phone call #3 that I had with Chris and even more research since then. I started checking out how long other brands require their customers to wait before assuming the machine is ok to put food into. It’s not 24 HOURS!!! I checked with four other brands including 2 of them under the Whirlpool Corp umbrella and their wait time is 4 hours– not 24 hours.
Here’s what I would like to have happen.
1) Take me up on my offer of gifting me some small kitchen appliance that mentioned above and send it with a letter of apology signed by a Vice President, President or CEO of Whirlpool for the problems I have had with Whirlpool and that they would try to do a better job with customer service.
2) They could hire me to create the social media strategy for what really is a PR nightmare for them because I could fix it fast. Quite frankly, any PR or digital marketing firm would tell them they need to do something FAST — or faster than they are now– so that I will stop talking OR that I might say something NICE about Whirlpool. I did mention all this to Chris too and it’s in that first post as well.
3) If neither 1 or 2 happens, I will create such PR crisis for them on twitter, facebook (how about Whirlpool Care Doesn’t Care About Customers Facebook page?) and every other social media outlet possible. I have some friends on twitter who would love to help me out. Plus I am contemplating contacting California Attorney General Office to file a complaint; contact my local whomever in the various legislatures (state and fed) as well as Consumer Reports and see if they can have any impact on this.
There’s a LOT I can do and my friends too. Maybe one of my friends knows someone at Whirlpool and would maybe try to talk some sense into them. Couldn’t hurt to ask right?
While I was thinking about the day I was going to run this, I am going to move some things around on my blog and make this hit EARLIER so that I can get this more attention sooner so that Chris @WhirlpoolCare and @WhirlpoolCorp don’t think that I have forgotten anything.
Whirlpool, I am not stupid. I am not asking for the moon. I would like a phone call from someone with decision-making power and I think asking you for something that’s truly valued at about $100 cost to Whirlpool’s firm that’s already sitting in a warehouse taking up space and has no value sitting there until and unless a store buys it. Why not give it to someone who has been treated unkindly by Whirlpool and call it a day? You don’t want this to keep going do you?
I certainly will file a complaint. I wonder if the FTC would be the right organization? I know the Ms. Harris, Ca. Attorney General might find that Whirlpool’s policies -which are NOT the industry norm- aren’t the right way to treat consumers here in California.
You know how to play nice. You know how to treat upset consumers and you also know now that I will not stop this until I either make a hashtag out of #WhirlpoolCareDoesnotCare and #WhirlpoolCorpDoesNotCare.
The best part is that I am writing this on New Years Day 1/1/2013. I was going to run this on 1/7/2013. Nope. I am going to move something around on my blog to fire up the twitter machine. I will be contacting agencies. #WhirlpoolCorp does not care about its customers, just their money. #WhirlpoolCare doesn’t care at all.
Also don’t be surprised if I do a video blog out of this either. That would mean I would be on youtube.com. Do you really want that kind of negative video publicity?
As Keith Keller mentioned to me, strive for #BoldGoals. I am right now.
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