Appliances Customer Service, Twitter & Me
My New Stove
A few months ago, I purchased a stove that was well reviewed, equipped with the features I wanted, and within budget. Delivery was prompt and smooth. I found a great handyman to hook it up and voila! I had a nice, new stainless steel appliance.
Unwrapping the Oven
Time to unwrap the oven, which had been bundled up safely against the rigors of transport. After quite a struggle, I pried those wrappings off.
However, the racks were taped in place. And removing that tape was a royal pain. I pulled, I pushed, I scraped (gently; didn’t want to damage the metal before it ever even held a pan of brownies). After an on-and-off struggle in my limited spare time, slowly the adhesive yielded.
Though one spic-and-span rack emerged, a tiny tape fragment still clung to the other. I used just the clean one, but any cook knows what that means – not enough baking surface. Still, I knew that little scrap of sticky plastic would react to heat by melting and burning. Not good.
I continued to nudge at that tape for weeks. (Yes, it’s true; my greatest weakness really is working too hard.) More pulling and scraping. Plus soaking and applying Goo Gone.
Finally, inspiration: “I’ll contact the brand’s appliances customer service for help.”
Who else prefers chat as their “Contact Us” method? To me, it has everything: friendliness, immediacy, and the chance to discreetly multitask while awaiting a response.
The stove manufacturer (who shall remain nameless) has no dedicated chat, but does list a Twitter account. If Twitter’s good enough for celebrities and politicians, it’s good enough for me. I messaged:
How do I get the tape off the oven rack of my new stove, please?
Polite, yet cuts to the chase.
An hour later, I followed up:
There's just a little bit left -- but it's amazingly stubborn. I'd love to be able to use my oven.
Now I’d taken the bull by the horns and reached out to appliances customer service, I was eager for a reply. When none came by the end of the day, I got a little frustrated. That’s when my quirky sense of humor pops up. Beware.
I signed off:
Well, it was nice chatting with you ... even though you're awfully quiet. Maybe it will take you a while to open up. But after spending so much time trying to communicate, I feel like we've really become friends. That's why I'm sending you a picture of my dog.
Sure wish I could use that ol' oven rack, though. If you have any pals in Customer Service who're a little chattier, can you ask them to be in touch with me? Thanks and good night.
Next morning, an answer!!!!
Hello, Laura. Thanks for reaching out. We do not have specific suggestions for your concern. However, some of our customers have expressed success in using the internet to acquire helpful tips. For further assistance, feel free to call us at __________. Cheers!
Internet tips! I write internet tips! If I hadn’t drawn a blank with internet tips, I wouldn’t have bothered messaging.
Don't Give Up
After that reply, I considered just giving up. But I really wanted a functional oven.
So I called appliances customer service. The woman who answered deserved a prize – for Employee Who Most Obviously Hates Their Job. No “hello,” “sorry,” or “have a nice day” would ever pass her lips!
We acted out a whole melodrama of:
“You must clean the rack.”
“I can’t clean the rack.”
Finally I broke character and did the unthinkable. I requested a replacement rack. Brilliant!
Her snarling reply (no other word for it): “We’ll do it as a goodwill gesture, but you understand, that one will have tape on it too.”
Well, the replacement just arrived in the mail -- no tape, works fine. Thanks, Customer Service … I guess.
And the moral of this story is: When dealing with appliances customer service, be polite, be persistent, and think out of the box to get the help you need.
Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.
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