Q-Review: Do not buy from Warner's Stellian, pt. 2

WarnersStellianLogo.jpg This is the second part of a review of Warner’s Stellian. Part one can be read here.

I am continuing to do everything in my power as a writer and fellow consumer to influence you not to buy anything from Warners Stellian. Ever.

I’m dedicating two Q-Review posts to this effort because if I wrote it as one review, it would require too much of the average Internet reader’s attention span. Too many of you wouldn’t read it in its entirety. And I’d be doing you, my audience, a disservice if I didn’t do everything in my power to make this article as easy as possible to read and learn from.

But even if you only read these few opening paragraphs, I want you to go away with this simple message: Do not buy any major appliances from Warners Stellian.

Customer satisfaction not a priority

In late September of this year, we noticed that the fridge wasn’t cooling as well as it should. Milk spoiling in just a few days was the biggest indicator. Also, we’d noticed a gradual creep of frost that seemed to be moving from one side of the freezer to the other, accompanied by unfrozen water pooling just inside the freezer door.

A call was placed on 9/12, a Friday, where we reported that our food was spoiling and they weren’t able to get a repair guy out to our house until the following Thursday. This shows a lack of concern on the part of Warners Stellian for it’s customers. Going nearly a week without a properly functioning refrigerator is too long.

I can’t say much about the technician, because I don’t know refrigerators. But I was concerned because the diagnosis was completed very quickly and with only a few tests. Having been a tech support guy in a previous life, I know that a diagnosis made in 5 minutes is more often than not the wrong one. He was in and out of my house in the space of 10 or 15 minutes.

He ordered a couple of parts: a new gasket for the freezer door and a new controller board for the fridge, and I was told that if a part was going to take more than three days to arrive, I’d get a phone call. I didn’t get that phone call. I had to call them.

And we wait…for over a month

Over the course of the next month, I made four calls to the customer service line, asking for a status update, about once a week. I got a number of different responses from the customer service reps.

The first call was placed about 4 days after the service tech had come and gone. It was very nice and civil, and I was told by a respectful and sympathetic that the part hadn’t come in yet, and there was no ETA, so I’d just have to wait it out. But I was assured that once refrigerator parts come in, they’re made a priority, often getting a service call scheduled same- or next-day. (I didn’t ask why that priority wasn’t also demonstrated when the customer first calls in.) Frustrated by not having received a call about this, but disarmed by the pleasant conversation, I hung up.

The second call was made a week later, and I was was told by an unconcerned sounding rep that there was still no ETA for the part. But that I would receive a call when an ETA was given. I was given no new information.

The third call was made a week later. The same rep I had talked to a week earlier, and without my request, my call was forwarded to what I was told was the Parts Department, but was actually the voicemail of the rep who initially opened the service ticket three weeks earlier. I left a voicemail expressing my concern that I was now in the midst of a third week without a refrigerator and that this was quickly becoming a major inconvenience. Small children needing unspoiled milk to drink and living out of a cooler was not really a good solution. A note of irritation may have made it into my voice at that point. I got no significant response.

The fourth call and how it delayed the repair even more

The fourth and final call was made later that week. And this time, I wasn’t just calling to check up on the parts. This time I was calling to report yet another issue with the refrigerator. That morning, Erin had discovered water on the floor behind the fridge. Upon pulling it away from the wall, we discovered that the water hose was slowly leaking.

I placed the call to customer service, letting them know that I had another issue to report, and much to my amazement, that I would have to wait for this new part to arrive before a tech would be dispatched to install the other two parts. Apparently, the company who sold Warners Stellian the extended warranty that had then been sold to me would not pay for more than one visit from a tech.

Because my refrigerator broke again while I was still waiting for other parts, I’d have to wait longer still before getting a repair. Didn’t matter that the first issue was reported a month earlier. And so, because WS didn’t have any control over what the warranty company did, my concerns and protests were easily deflected by the snotty and increasingly dismissive rep.

What’s worse, I decided that I wasn’t going to call customer service again because I was genuinely concerned that this service rep would exercise some influence to delay my repair order further out of spite. This is not an exaggeration. I was truly convinced that any further calls to their service line would have a negative impact on my situation. So I decided to call the sales guy who originally sold us the unit. I left my name and number and pleaded with him to help use get somewhere with the service department. After this message went completely unreturned, I had no choice but to just let it go. I bought a few bags of ice from Target and prepared to live indefinitely without a refrigerator. It just wasn’t worth the stress anymore. I had more important things to focus on.

The parts arrive…but the story doesn’t end

My last contact with WS was on 10/17, a Friday, eight days after the previous call. I was told the parts were due to arrive the next Monday, and that we’d get a call Monday night letting us know when the service tech would be coming out on Tuesday. And we got that Monday night call, at about 7:30pm, and we were due to get a visit between 10:30 and 1:30 the next day.

This late notice wasn’t a problem because I’m now a stay-at-home dad and was going to be home anyway.

The tech arrives, installs the parts quickly, tested them, and was on his way. Quick and efficient. No complaints.

The fridge works correctly again, and we were all very very happy…until the next morning when we saw a huge amount of frost in the freezer and some droplets of unfrozen water just inside the freezer door.

And this past Monday, I placed another call into the service department.

Verdict: Don’t buy anything from Warners Stellian

Thus concludes my review and recounting of my experience with Warners Stellian. Odds are, you’ll never go through this, but if you ever have any problem with an appliance that you have purchased through them, be prepared to be seriously inconvenienced. Be prepared to go without the use of that appliance for days, weeks, or even a month or more. And be prepared not to be assisted in any helpful way by their customer service or sales staff after they have your money in hand.

Links

Warners’ Stellian