KitchenAid Complaint - Customer Service As Bad As The Product
Resolution Update on 07/03/2009:
Resolution Update on 07/03/2009:
Within about a week after I posted two letters documenting serious problems with my KitchenAid Architect Series suite of appliances, I was contacted by the Customer Service Department at Whirlpool, which apparently owns KitchenAid. They offered to fix my appliances (I had a dishwasher problem after I wrote the two letters), reimburse me for about half of my out-of-pocket expenses, and replace the microwave door and stovetop free of charge. They were prompt, efficient, and helpful throughout the process.
Comment67 on 7/3/09
The following is a record of correspondence with KitchenAid. If you don't have time to read it, just skim through.
Dear [KitchenAid VP]
I am writing to you after unsuccessfully dealing with various levels of your organization. I read with interest your comments on customer service in an article in “Inside 1to1.” I hope your general success is better than what I have experienced.
In early August I ordered a full set (Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Microwave, Range) of KitchenAid stainless steel appliances from a dealer in Phoenix, Arizona. Because the range was a new model, we understood the delivery of the range would be delayed for a few weeks. In September the range was still being postponed, so we took delivery of the other appliances.
• In early October, a range was delivered which was damaged to the extent that the door would not even open. Needless to say I did not accept the product.
• On November 2, another range was delivered, this time with no visible damage. Very quickly we realized there was a heating problem when the oven temp is raised after the initial preheat. It would take 30+ minutes to go from 350 to 500. I contacted KA Customer Service and scheduled service with “Appliance Doctor” on November 22. Diagnosis “Bad Heat Sensor,” and the part had to be ordered.
• While preparing Thanksgiving dinner, we discovered that periodically one burner would just not work.
• Heat sensor arrives mid December but does not fix the problem. New diagnosis, “Bad Control Panel." Control panel and heat element switch is “rush ordered.”
• Control panel arrives December 20; the new service tech is not aware of the problem history. The wrong part was ordered for the burner switch. The technician did not want to install the control panel because he did not have the switch to replace at the same time and he wanted to talk to the KA service technicians. And he was also trying to get out of town for Christmas.
• Switch arrives January 8. The service technician installs both the switch and control panel, turns the burner on to establish that it would heat and leaves without checking the oven performance. He told me to call if it did not fix the problem.
• I contacted the sales person at [Dealer] who gave me the number for his customer service person at KA. I contacted [KA representative], who scheduled A&E Factory Service to come out January 13.
• A&E spent 1 ½ hours only to say “I don’t know what is wrong – I need to call KA technical service.” He left stating he or his boss would get back to me the next day.
• During the week of January 17, I left two messages for [KA representative], but never got a return call.
• With the help of a friend, I was put in touch with [higher-up KA representative], who assured me she would resolve the problem. On January 20 she said she had a call in to the engineer and would get back to me. On January 24 & 25 I left messages for [higher-up KA representative] but did not hear back.
• On January 25 I called and ask to speak to someone in the executive offices to see if [higher-up KA representative] was in the office. The person I spoke to (unfortunately I did not get her name) said [higher-up KA representative] was on a conference call but either she or [higher-up KA representative] would get back to me that day. It is now 5 PM EST and still no call.
• This letter was put on hold on January 26 because [higher-up KA representative] did get back to me and put me in touch with [KA Engineer] in the engineering section. His team was able to reproduce the heat recovery problem I have been having.
• The control panel “fix” was turned over to [KA Engineer #2] who I believe is the project manager for the “fix” project.
• On February 24 [KA Engineer] notified me via e-mail that the new control panel should be ready to ship as early as “next week.” At the same time replacement cooktop controls would be shipped, and a local repair person would do the work.
• On March 7 and again on March 14 I sent e-mail to [KA Engineer] with a copy to [higher-up KA representative] and [KA Engineer #2] to check on the status. As of today I have not had a response.
• On about March 16 I had a call from [higher-up KA representative] to see if I had been given any information on the parts. I said I had not but was about to send a follow-up e-mail. She said she would check on it and get back to me.
• On about March 18 I called [higher-up KA representative] and left a message requesting a return call. As of 3 PM March 21 I have not had a call.
Needless to say my frustration level is very high. I would appreciate any help you can give me which this situation. I can be reached 7 AM – 4 PM at [phone number].
July 26, 2005
Dear [KitchenAid VP]
I have not been in touch with you for several months so, just in case you forgot who I am, I have attached a copy of the letter I wrote to [you] concerning the problems I had with my KitchenAid range.
The reason I am writing is that I recently received correspondence inviting me to purchase warranty extensions for the suite of KA appliances I bought at the same time as the range. Since I hardly got a “Thank You” for all the trouble I went through with the range, I thought it would be very kind of you to grant me a three-year warranty extension on all the products.
August 19, 2005
Dear [KitchenAid VP]
I am writing to you once again to ask for your assistance but also to make you aware of a complete lack of follow through of your customer service organization.
As I explained in my first letter, I had a very frustrating experience getting resolution on basic design flaws in my KitchenAid range. It was only after a letter to you that the problem was resolved. When I received offers for extended warranty coverage on my appliances, I wrote with a simple request to extend all the warranties for the three-year offer at no cost to me. I received a call stating that [higher-up KA representative] was no longer with the organization but [KA representative] would handle the issue. [KA representative] stated that there was no way they could possibly extend the warranty on all the appliances but they would be willing cover any repairs to the range to be reviewed on a year-to-year basis. I agreed to the offer but explained how disappointed I was with the handling of the problems from day one. I stated that it seemed as if I fell through the cracks at every turn. [KA representative] apologized for the previous problems and stated she would send me a letter stating what we had agreed on so I would have documentation to refer to. It has now been almost three weeks since the call from [KA representative] and I have not received the letter as promised.
I am once again mystified by the lack of commitment to customer service of your organization.
September 20, 2007
Dear [KitchenAid VP]
I am once again writing to you to keep you abreast of the ongoing saga of my KitchenAid appliances. So I don’t have to recap here, I have attached my previous correspondence with your organization.
• In July 2007 the refrigerator compressor went out, which was covered under warranty. However, I was charged $129 for Freon.
• In December 2006, the refrigerator startup capacitor for the compressor went out which cost $229.
• In January 2007 we discovered a half-inch chip in the plastic handle for the microwave. I decided I could replace this myself and purchased the handle from a local parts dealer for $46. After some study I realized I could not figure out how to remove the chipped handle. When the repairman was here in July, I ask him to replace it. After considerable study and calls to KA tech support, he/they could not figure out how to remove the handle. I later got a call from the owner of the repair company stating the only way to fix it is to replace the entire door at a cost of $300. At this point an additional crack has developed in the plastic handle and I’m sure it will eventually break. It is just my wife and I using this appliance, so it is not caused from abuse.
• Sometime prior to December 2006, the range sounded like a helicopter taking off when in convection oven mode. Since it was still under the repair agreement your office extended, I contacted the person who took over for [KA representative] and they arranged for service. It turned out to be a loose nut holding the convection fan blade.
After the most recent refrigerator repair I received an offer for an extended warranty at a cost of $138. Because of the demonstrated unreliability of KitchenAid products, I paid for the plan.
I am so fed up with these appliances that I would replace them with another brand if they were not so expensive. If I do not hear from you with an offer to fix the microwave door and restitution for my repair expenses, I will be forced to go to my local newspaper and television consumer complaint office as well as posting my experience on any Internet site I find under “KitchenAid Problems,” of which there are many.