I had hoped, I mean really REALLY hoped, that I’d be writing this week’s personal journal entry with out it being tainted by the dyspepsia that is my ONGOING experience with Warners’ Stellian. That’s right. It’s still ongoing. Keep reading to find out how, after 46 days of having my refrigerator in their possession, they failed to give back a 100% functional appliance.
The apparently non-existant interdepartmental communication
Recent changes in my household’s telecommunications strategy (the discontinuation of the Qwest landlines) required me to update a few companies with whom we had outstanding business. Unfortunately, one of these businesses was Warners’ Stellian.
I placed the call early on in the week of January 5th. I informed the rep that I needed to change my contact information, and proceeded to give over my cellphone number as the primary means of contact. I also directed her to delete the previous primary number, as it had been disconnected.
I was then asked by the rep whether or not I had an outstanding issue, and I said, “Yes, I do have an outstanding issue.” This exchange led me to believe, foolishly as it turns out, that this updated version of my contact information would be made available to those working on my outstanding issue. But I’m reasonable. Let’s go through what would be a reasonable expectation of how Warners’ Stellian’s shop would function in relation to their customer records:
A reasonable expectation
My refrigerator had been in their shop for 40+ days, waiting for parts, being repaired, and being tested. Odds are that the unit had the service ticket attached to it (judging by the gummy remains of the plastic tape that were still stuck to the door of the fridge…classy) for quick and easy reference. This ticket would have, amongst other bits of information, my phone number. The now-out of date phone number.
When the fridge was confirmed to be repaired and functioning properly, the dispatcher would be given the ticket that was attached to the unit. Normally, the dispatcher would then call the number, schedule delivery, and that’d be that. But in this case, the dispatcher dialed a number that was disconnected. What would be reasonable is that the dispatcher would then check the customer record for another number to call.
why what happened indicates a terrible, TERRIBLE organization
Apparently this development, the disconnected phone number, was so confounding that the dispatcher simply couldn’t continue at this point. She had no choice but to set the case aside, regroup, and wait for inspiration to strike. Thankfully for us, the lightning bolt of inspiration struck after only a few days.
I know that it took a few days because the person who finally called me TOLD me. She said flat out that the fridge had been ready for a few days, but they didn’t have a current phone number for me. Now, I appreciate the honesty and all, but…seriously? It took you a few days to just take a* look* at my file and see that 1) there was a new primary contact number and that 2) There was a secondary contact number, my wife’s work number, that hadn’t changed????
I’m not sure where the breakdown is. A lazy employee? A bad software system? A lack of access to customer records by the dispatcher? All of the above? I don’t know. I just know the end results. And only that because the person on the phone told me. Absolutely no sense of urgency for a customer whose appliance has been malfunctioning for a SOLID 4 MONTHS NOW.
This is just plain ridiculous.
But I’m not done.
Where was the automated phone call?
I talked to the scheduler on Wednesday, January 14, and scheduled the delivery of the repaired fridge for Friday.
Typically, the way it’s done is that they schedule the day, but then the night before, you receive an automated message giving you a 3 or 4 hour window in which to expect delivery. And you’re informed of this when scheduling service with the person. This has always been the case (excepting the emergency repair visit on December 1st). But to be fair, I was not warned of this when I spoke to the scheduler on the 14th.
So I can only hypothesize and make an educated guess that the reason why I didn’t get an automated phone call on Thursday night on my cellphone was because the call was made to a certain now disconnected number. Can’t prove it. Just a theory. But a likely one.
And this led directly to my next point of absolute frustration.
The queue, the hang-up, the queue, then on hold; rinse; repeat
Now, I’m at home all day during the week, so, normally not knowing the delivery time isn’t as serious a problem, say, for someone who’s got to take time off to accept delivery.
However, I had just confirmed that my glasses were in (ordered 3 frickin’ weeks ago; they sit finished in the lab for days, and you make me call you to see if they were done, Pearle Vision? I’m coming for you next!), and I would have enjoyed being able to go out to get them. Unfortunately, some scheduling was required in order to do this. Erin was home, but had appointments, and could only watch the kids in the morning. So I decided I’d just call Warners’ Stellian and see if I could find out the delivery window, so I could plan accordingly.
I called at 9am, and was put in line behind 1 other person. A minute or two passed, and suddenly my call was disconnected. A common mistake. I’ve worked phones before. Believe me, I’ve hung up on my share of people by accident. No big deal. I dialed again.
And took my place in line behind 3 new callers. Irritating, but, shit happens, right? So I wait for 2 or 3 minutes, listening to the nice man tell me that everyone’s busy but that there are only 2 people ahead of me…then 1…and then I hear a few clicks on the line, a jump in the music, and then I’m…still on hold. I wait for a few more minutes, and a few more, and then I begin to realize that the nice man is no longer talking to me, and I’m no longer being told that all customer service agents are busy. I’m being told that my patience is appreciated and that they will be back with me shortly. Wait…back with me?
It was a subtle difference, but it meant that I was no longer in the queue, I was simply on hold. Odd. I waited for a total of 10 minutes. Then hung up and called back.
I was behind 1 person in the queue, and then this time, it was even more pronounced: the sound of a line ringing and then being immediately put on hold. By this time, I’m furious. I just spent 20 minutes just trying to confirm some information that I should have been given in the first place!
I realize that phone systems are incredibly complicated animals, and obviously, one of the busiest times for a call center is when they first open, and if this was the only problem I’d been having with this company the story would be different. But since I’ve had so much trouble with them, getting the runaround with the phone system makes me feel even more hostile toward them.
Ultimately, I don’t get the information I’m looking for. I can’t plan my morning. Just one more strike against Warners’ Stellian added to a long line of strikes.
A 100%, fully functional refrigerator…isn’t in my kitchen
Before they delivered the fridge to my house, the techs at Warners’ Stellian’s shop tested the unit to make sure it was working. And I’m glad they did it. They very thoroughly tested everything, the freezer, the refrigerator…and the water dispenser. And then they packed it up and on the night before the delivery, they loaded it into the delivery truck.
That delivery truck sat in their unheated garage overnight.
During one of the coldest nights in January.
With water still in the water dispenser system.
I know this for three reasons:
1) When the unit arrived, there was a small icicle hanging from the water dispenser on the front
2) When the delivery guy went to hook up the water to the hose in the back, the connector was blocked with solid ice.
3) After attempting to hook it up, the delivery guy told me about the garage.
The delivery guy advised me to wait until evening before trying to connect the water again. So I did. Now, I can’t tell you if the freezing of water has damaged the hoses inside the refrigerator, because it never got there. The hose connector on the fridge’s side sprays water all over my floor when the water’s turned on.
The bright side
Well, in an effort to keep positive, the refrigerator cools to 35 degrees just like I tell it to. The freezer to 0 degrees. So at least I have that going for me. And there’s more room to store my food. If I try to keep my expectations to just these facts, I’m not filled with fury. Which is a positive.
But, having spent the weekend without a functioning water dispenser, I’ll be spending some time on the phone with customer service.
Please do me a favor and pray that I’m able to get through, won’t you?
Want to read about my bad experience with Warners’ Stellian and their extended warranty from the start? I’ve created a new category here at the Q-Blog that contains all posts that touch on the subject of my powerfully bad experience with Warners’ Stellian. Check it out.