Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rose-tinted Rant

Times have certainly changed.

Does anyone else remember the "good old days" when, if you had a problem with something you purchased, you could call the store where you bought it and they would either send a repairman, or ask you to bring it back to them to be either fixed or replaced?

The good old days when, if you made a purchase of a major appliance, it would sometimes outlast YOU? The days when customer service actually meant something, rather than was just given lip-service by someone four thousand miles away, stuck in a little cubicle or at a long row of desks with a telephone console, a computer and a headset?

The days when, if you went down to the local general store, or appliance store, or hardware store, you actually KNEW the person behind the counter, and he had a reputation to uphold. He CARED about whether or not you were happy with the product he sold you, whether it was a washing machine, a car, or even a head of lettuce! It wasn't just about the money. Sure, he was trying to make a living, just like everyone else, but if he got a reputation for selling crap, or not following through on his promises of service, he would lose business. It MATTERED to his bottom line if he lost customers.

The Bag Lady is obviously not a happy person this day. She has been waiting since the end of January for a repairman to come and fix the latch on her front-loading washing machine. This is the third time she has cleaned her house and made sure everything was hunky-dory for the repairman (this company insists that the walk be clear of snow and all animals in the house be locked up..... if the Bag Lady doesn't get her washing machine fixed soon, the dog isn't the only one who is going to have to be locked away to keep from attacking..... oops, guess that shouldn't be broadcast, should it?), only to receive a phone call telling her that he isn't coming. This time, all but one of the parts that he ordered are here (last time, none of them had come) The Bag Lady doesn't even know what this repairman looks like, because he hasn't darkened her door. The company she purchased the machine from prides themselves on having the repair done within a week. Well, it's been over a month and the Bag Lady is still unable to use her freakin' washing machine!! She is beginning to believe that she has made a mistake purchasing this particular machine. Of course, almost all of the major appliances are made by essentially the same company nowadays, so it would probably be the same story regardless of the brand of machine.

The Bag Lady realizes that she is probably looking at the "good old days" through rose-tinted glasses, but fer cryin' out loud, talking to someone who lives on the other side of the country (or the world) about her problem just doesn't give the same sense of satisfaction as being able to look the owner in the eye and tell him/her you are unhappy with the service they have provided. The Bag Lady suspects that the person she spoke to this morning doesn't even live in the same country as the Bag Lady! (To be honest, the woman had such a thick Southern US accent, the Bag Lady started craving crawfish and mint juleps!)

The upshot of all this ranting is that the Bag Lady is resigned to waiting at least another week before she can use her washing machine. Sigh.

And if mint juleps actually tasted as good as they sound, she'd be sipping one right now.


Leah J. Utas said...

Complain to the company. Send your blog post to it. Tell them next time you won't hesitate to use the co. name in your public complaint. As you are telling the truth you are fine with doing this.

And I agree with everything you said.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, cousin. The Southern accent I spoke to was an employee of the manufacturer. I also spoke to a representative of the repair company ('cause y'know, the manufacturer farms out all the repair work.....) And I probably should have used the name in the blog post - lots of companies have something set up to alert them to anything posted about their company name, don't they? (This particular company doesn't post an email address on their website.)

messymimi said...

This is the reason I like to shop at the local grocer instead of the "MallMart" sometimes. The prices are a bit higher, but I know the people who work there by name, and they care.

It's fine to post the name of the company. This shouldn't happen, and when it does, they should apologize publicly and give you some type of compensation. In this case, if you have had to pay to do laundry at the laundromat, they should reimburse you.

If you really want some crawfish, come on down to visit. We can have a crawfish boil, and if there are any left, I'll send you home with an etouffee for the freezer.

Leah J. Utas said...

Edit your post to add the co. name. Seriously. Let 'em have it.
Or tell me and I'll write to them for you. I enjoy stuff like that.

Redbush said...

I feel your anguish, Bag Lady! I have a vaccum cleaner that needed new parts. I carefully packaged the parts up with duck tape, stiff cardboard, and registered the box when I sent it off. The reason for sending them was that they claim to have a lifetime guarantee, and if anything happened, I was just to send the old ones back to be rebuilt. They sent all parts back except the main one. When I called the company told me, I spoke to someone who had the same southern accent you speak about, and who also lives thousands of miles away. They were adamant, in their southern drawl, that the main part wasn't there. I didn't take a photo of what I was sending, but decided that that wouldn't have done any good anyway because they wouldn't have believed that either! So, I totally agree with you when you say it probably wouldn't have been the dog that they would have to lock up!

Conny said...

Dang! 'sounds like you could get a new washer delivered to your door faster than getting your "new" washer repaired. Leah is right: if you mentioned the co. name in the blog, you may get a response from them. At least all your followers would know which company to avoid.

Good luck on the washer door repair. No one really enjoys trips to the laundromat for weeks on end. Cheers ~

the Bag Lady said...

Well, girls, since you insist, the washer is an Inglis (a company that I have an inordinate affection for, to be honest, because a relative worked there for years, and it always had a good reputation). Inglis and Whirlpool and several other brand names are all manufactured by the same company now.
(So, does putting the name in the comment section mean they will find it?)

Messymimi - I would LOVE to come down there for a crawfish boil - when are they in season? :) (And wouldn't you be surprised to have a couple Alberta hicks show up on your doorstep one day!?)

dfLeah - I just may have to allow you to do that... especially since I know how good you would be at it!

Redbush - I'm sorry to hear of your troubles with the vacuum cleaner! It is so frustrating when things like that happen!

Conny - I think you are right! I should have insisted right from the start that they send me a new washer! (Ha, they would have thought I was a lunatic, wouldn't they? Of course, that may happen yet.... my tolerance level is high, but it is reaching the limit!)
Think they would reimburse me for having to haul my laundry into town to a laundromat? Dang. Should have kept receipts.... :)

Anonymous said...

A whole month with a broken washing machine?!? You've been more than patient. I would write a new blog with the name(s) put in bold print. I would use twitter (if I twittered, which I don't) and facebook (I think I gave it up for Lent, but perhaps you didn't?) to spread the word of poor customer service. There is no excuse in today's rapid market for not having the part there quickly! This is one of those times when social media can go to work for you. Ask your readers who use twitter to tweet about this -- it will send the curious and hopefully the company itself to your blog post.

And now I think I need a mint julep!

Gail said...

There should be a place where you can complain. I would wait until I got the washer fixed though, because then they may never come.

solarity said...

When I moved back here, my local propane company sold appliances (electric appliances as well as gas.) They sent someone out to change the doors on the refrigerator to open on the other side TWO YEARS after I bought it--for free.

A few years ago they quit selling appliances. When I asked why the manager said they didn't want to sell them if they couldn't service them. (I already knew their mainstay repairman had retired.) The good old days aren't as long ago as all that.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Sagan said...

There was a time when the good old days actually HAPPENED? ;) Stupid repairs and companies being lame.

I don't know about a mint julep, but how about a glass of wine? I'll save some of the bottle for you. Hehe.

carla said...

that kind of experience completely triggered my MizRant last week as well.

the Bag Lady said...

kcinnova - I don't twitter, either. Perhaps someone who reads this who DOES twitter, will mention it.

Gail - good point! If I get too cranky about it before it's fixed, it may never get fixed! (Although I am starting to wonder if the repairman actually exists.....)

Mary Anne in Kentucky - the good ol' days really weren't all that long ago, were they?

Sagan - thanks for the offer of wine (to go with my whining!) To be honest, I tried a mint julep once and didn't like it. So the wine sounds like a great idea!

Carla - I am a patient person, truly I am, but this is really pushing me to the limit!

Missicat said...

That is irritating!! Definitely complain until someone notices.
Last week I had a Peach Cobblertini - It had Vanilla Stoli, Peach schnapps, cream and a dusting of cinnamin. Much yummier then a mint julep!

the Bag Lady said...

Missicat - that Peach Cobblertini sounds delicious! Must try one..... :)

Levi said...

What ever happened to the good ole days when you used to wash yer clothes down by the river by banging them and pounding them on rocks? or even the gooder older days when we could hire someone to pound our clothes on the rocks or the even goooooddeeerr gooodie old days when we used to wear nothing?

Geosomin said... friend's dad is a sales rep for a major appliance company and he has tolld me to aggressively complain about your problem...until someone acknowledges it. His rant (and I agree with him) is that the focus now is profit and they would rather replace an item than fix it. Keeping parts on hand costs money, and I know first hand how frustrating that can be-it took 6 months for the side panels to come for our stove, and that was with both me and *him* hassling people. My brother waited 6 weeks for th epart for his new washer machine to be fixed...they did a lot of laundry at my place.
We as consumers need to demand better service and quality. It used to be you could put your money behind the ethical consumer helping companies...but more and more it is getting harder to do that. Now even the stores don't have a lot of ability to be good salesman and reps, as the company is the one screwing around the customers...I would post their name. Definitely. They have people looking for those things...they need to know.
I hope they come soon...

the Bag Lady said...

POD - Hopefully, I won't have to resort to washing my things down at the river - the river is still frozen! :) And wearing nothing is not an option - it has been a mild winter, but it IS still winter!!

Geo - I do long for the 'old days' occasionally. Of course, things probably weren't really as good then as we like to think they were!

Anonymous said...

Write to the managing director.

Buy a new washing machine?

Have you not got Indian call centres over there yet? That's Indian Asian. It's very refreshing to complain to someone who shares very little of your life style and who speaks English with such a strong accent that neither of us understands the other. I know they try hard, but they just DON'T KNOW. And they may not know that they don't know.

the Bag Lady said...

Bookwitch - this IS a new washing machine! It's less than a year old. The door latch broke. For some reason, this company does not yet use the Indian/Asian call centres, but I have dealt with companies who do. Sigh.
I am giving them one more chance before I start whining higher up the food chain.

Gena said...

I feel your pain, and sadly, I don't remember the good old days. They ended before I ever made my first serious purchase. I second what many have said about making official complaints. It might not change their service in general, but they might get out to take care of you sooner!

Also, it's crawfish boiling season down here! And mint juleps really are delicious.

the Bag Lady said...

Gena - I really would love to try crawfish.... one of these years, I might make it down there!

Amy Mullis said...

Baggie, I don't eat crawfish, but I can sure do damage to some crab legs. Does that count? Seriously, you've been done wrong and they need to go out of their way to fix the problem. I get realy serious when my labor saving devices are on the blink. (Or the potty. The potty is very important to me.)

the Bag Lady said...

Amy, I have a similar affection for my potty (I'm so glad to have it indoors!)! And my labour-saving devices.

Patty said...

First of all I love your title "Rose-tinted Rant", it's adorable. I hope Bag Lady's washing machine will start to work! Here's hoping!

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Patty..... Im still working on resolving the issue. Sigh.

Cheryl Kohan said...

I hear's like you're talking to a brick wall. I'm with Leah...give me the name of the company and I'll let 'em have it, too.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Cheryl! I am hoping it's going to be resolved soon.... but you and Leah can be my back-ups!