Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Service Accountability

My washer broke AGAIN. 

I bought a brand new washer in June of '07. I paid premium price for the little devil because it was the only model that would fit in the space allotted for it in my house. The washer has been the biggest homeowner headache I've had in the past 2 years, hands down.

When it was delivered fresh out of the box, it didn't work. After waiting another week, I received a replacement. That one worked fine for several months and then it broke, just one week after the warranty expired. I purchased the extended warranty and dealt with the inconvenience for 2+ weeks until it was repaired. Now, another 8 months later, it has crapped out AGAIN. I'm a single person. I don't have Octomom's laundry load. 

Thankfully, the extended warranty is still effective and the process of getting a technician into my home was promptly executed without hassle . The technician apprised me of the situation and gave me an estimated time frame for the parts to come in of one week. He informed me that he would order the parts on that day and would call to schedule the repair when they arrived. That's a typical service call, nothing crazy. 

2 weeks go by and there was no word. I made a call to the repair company to get the status. I was told that they have been waiting for an additional authorization from the manufacturer and that the parts have NOT EVEN BEEN ORDERED. No one had let me know that there was a hold up. Upon further questioning, they had sent a couple of emails to the manufacturer but hadn't received a response so they were "just waiting to hear back". It took me .01 second to go from curious-information-seeking to give-me-the-manager-ready-to-call-the-BBB-rage. 


At the very least, why hasn't anyone called me to give me a head's up??

I have worked in customer service a time or two in my working days. It's not fun. The mistakes of the whole company fall on the shoulders of the customer service rep. When an upset customer wants answers, the CS rep is trained to be nice and just repeat company policy or apologies like a mantra as if saying the same thing a million times is going to calm the customer down. Absurd. The company policy chant that I kept getting was one of the lamest I've ever heard. Are you ready?? Here it is: "We are not allowed to make outgoing calls to manufacturers". Are you serious?? That's your final answer?? 

As you can imagine, I launched into a high spirited monologue demanding answers. I spoke with 2 CS reps, 1 supervisor, 1 parts guy and ended up facilitating a 3-way call between the parts guy and the manufacturer so that the two entities could communicate and get the authorization because they couldn't seem to do it on their own. I wanted to ensure that the parts were ordered that day. I'm so irritated that I've had to go to the laundromat for 2+ weeks already. This culmination of my frustration happened yesterday. 

First thing this morning, I called back to make sure that the authorization had been received and that the parts had in fact been ordered. I was assured that it had been done but that it would be another 7-10 business days before the parts would come in. My blood pressure began to boil yet again. That means, I will be going to the laundromat for ANOTHER 2 weeks. I took a deep breath and accepted it since I had already bitched a blue streak. 

This afternoon, there has been a turn of events. 

I received a call. The parts have arrived (magically, in just one day) and the technician is scheduled to repair my washer tomorrow. 


The moral of the story: If I wouldn't have called for a status update, my work order would have sat indefinitely without follow up. With accountability, things get done.

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