When I first started to write this I was thinking about telling a sad story of the loss of our family dog, Sam. Then, I thought, no, I would write a happy story about the time when our cat, Shadow got lost for three weeks and how we came to find her.
But, the day I started to write I was faced with another kind of loss that has left me frustrated, angry about the loss of corporate integrity.
There was a time when companies stood behind their merchandise and made every effort to repair or replace their goods to keep their customer base coming back for the latest the company had to offer.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, A foodie without a refrigerator | The Delicious Divas, we have been enduring an ongoing struggle to get the manufacturer of our refrigerator to do just that; repair or replace our refrigerator.
Our journey towards that end started in January and here we are in April. At this juncture, we have had six repair calls, several parts replaced, one twice, and each time it failed. The last failure was catastrophic causing the compressor to blow and spill oil inside causing a terrible odor that permeated everything inside.
We sat anxiously waiting for the repairman to come to replace yet two new parts, hoping against hope that they would not work and he would finally deem the refrigerator unrepairable.
When he came that day, Chris walked in with a smile on his face and said, “Good news, I have been told to give you a ticket with a replacement number and I am to take away the parts”.
As he prepared to leave he said, “If I were you, if they haven’t called by Friday give them a call”.
Well, we did not hear so, Randy called and I thought he was going to explode. I sat quietly as he talked to the customer service agent and watched as he became more and more upset.
At one point I heard him say with a great deal of frustration in his voice, “So, what you’re telling me is that you are not going to do anything about the refrigerator?”
“No,” the customer agent replied.
“Then why,” Randy asked, “did you give us a ticket number for a replacement?”
“We did that as a courtesy”, she replied.
With a great deal of control Randy said, “So you are telling me that the ticket means nothing”.
Her response, “I bet you think we are stringing you along until the warranty runs out”.
“Yes,” Randy responded, “between you and the repair company, I believe that you have definitely been stringing us along”.
She said, “It’s no good because you are out of warranty. They are very strict when the warranty is up. That’s it. It does not matter if they are working on repairs or not”.
Randy said angrily, “We are out of warranty because you dragged this problem out and have not fixed the problem”.
After Randy hung up he walked over to where I was sitting and, looking frustrated and drained said, “I think I am living in a nightmare”.
I felt so bad but there was nothing I could do or say that would help.
We sat for a while in silence and then the phone rang again. The customer service representative called back and said she felt bad about the situation and would see if they could do something; perhaps refund at a pro-rated amount of the cost of the refrigerator.
After Randy hung up we just looked at each other and thought collectively: We’ll see.
What ever happened to honor and integrity? What ever happened to a handshake between two people meaning something? What ever happened to two entities entering into a contract with both parties promising to honor whatever was agreed to? We bought their product; they promised to fix or replace it. To date they have done neither.
You would think the company would be concerned about their reputation. But, I guess keeping your word, honoring commitments, living up to expectations by some companies are just words on paper and no longer mean anything.
Whatever the outcome of this twelve week nightmare, we have determined that even if we finally get the company to honor their commitment to replace our refrigerator, we will never again buy their brand.
So, now, the company’s loss is a very good customer.
Writing 101: Day four—Loss