Friday, May 09, 2008

Thanks Frigidaire

Figidaire Wall OvenYou may recall that I was *ahem* slightly irritated over the mind-blowing difficulties of getting my broken Frigidaire wall oven fixed. It broke back in January and after five repair trips, three parts, four months and $600 I finally once again had a working oven but I was steamed that Harold's Appliance (the repair service) wasn't taking any responsibility for the problems and neither was Frigidaire.

I fumed and squawked and you all patiently listened, patted my hand and said, "There, there, we're here for you." Some even went so far as to write to Frigidaire and join me in storming the castle (Loralee? Mary? Are you there? Thanks!)

So in the interest of fairness and good sportsmanship I wanted to update you. Last Friday I received an email from Frigidaire's "Presidential Escalation Specialist" (no lie, that was her title) and if THAT doesn't have DEFCON 5 written all over it I don't know what does. She politely said the matter had come to her attention and would I please send her my product information so she could look into "assisting in the repairs."

Then Tuesday morning while I was still trying to collect my latest invoice from the repair service I got an email from Scott Harder, National Service Manager for Electrolux, with the following:

I just responded to your blog regarding your oven. Can you fax the invoice
from the repair to my number below? I would like to offer you a complete
compensation for the cost of your repair. I will personally contact
Harold's and find out what happened. We regret that you've had such a hard
time getting quality service.
Then, after faxing the invoices in I received this second notice:
I have requested that a check be mailed to the address on the
invoice for the total amount that you were charged for both repairs
($611.00). It should take a week to ten days to process, maybe a little
longer for the mail to get it to Alaska.

I did have an opportunity to speak with Harold's appliance. They are sorry
that you had such a hard time, and hope that next time things will go
better as this was a frustrating experience for them as well.

We hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive us for your bad
experience and have a positive impression of our company. We do make
quality products and stand behind them better than any other manufacturer.
From the bottom of my heart, Frigidaire, thank you very much. I appreciate the gesture.

Now the question arises: What have you learned Michelle from this whole experience?

Actually, I'm going to be a little serious here for a second because I felt a twinge of guilt after the whole thing was over. I was hot with righteous indignation over the ill-treatment I'd received and I sat down to write that original post without much thought about what the consequences would be.

My title was a little mean and I should have sat on the post overnight before firing it off like that. I probably would have cooled down a bit and taken it down a notch. But maybe it wouldn't have been so effective-- you might say. But my question is: is blogging all about revenge?

Of course not. I want to be nicer than that and I feel a little guilty to have let my emotions take over. Frigidaire kindly came forward and paid up for more than their share in the matter and I wish I'd been as high-handed. My working wall oven is baking up some good old-fashioned crow apparently.

So . . . I guess the lesson learned is watch out what you say because your words are out there and they'll stick. If you Google "Frigidaire" there my post is, with it's meany headline smack on page three--hopefully this post will land right beside it.

***

And on a lighter note, I was thrilled to discover a new online store that has officially become my favorite place for dresses. No really. Don't tell Andrew but I've ordered four of them (hey, it's spring, right? And I've been saving up my personal cash). It's called Shabby Apple and not only are the dresses beautiful but there isn't one over $100 and most are in the $60-$70 range. All of them are modest and very chic.

I'll be doing a full review of their site in June when I'll be able to tell you if the dresses I bought lived up to my expectations and offer a thrilling giveaway where you have the chance to own two of their dresses for yourself. But, in the meantime, if you'd care to join me in the fun of springtime shopping you can use this coupon code:

SAMarketing15offScribbit

at checkout and receive 15% off of your already well-priced order. The coupon is good through May 31st--so don't wait too long!

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46 comments:

scb said...

Hi Michelle, I picked your blog out from the Blogger Favourites list with interest, and have enjoyed reading it. Don't feel bad about your Frigidaire entry! Sometimes it takes a customer getting really steamed up about it for big companies to realise there's a problem. Would you have got anywhere if you'd waited for them to fix it by themselves? I don't think so! And your local repair guys weren't any better. Sometimes you just need to complain. Loudly. In public. Think of it as good assertiveness training! Anyway, I'm glad they came good for you. I've enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to catching up with you again soon. Best wishes, Sara (in Australia). http://doubleelephant.blogspot.com

Robin said...

Good for them for stepping up, and I'm sure the good will they just engendered will more than compensate for the amount they've covered.

Best of all - you have a working oven again!

Mercy's Maid said...

Sure you blasted them, but in doing so, you gave them an opportunity to shine. I think they've done just that.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I think it is fantastic that you were heard. I am glad to hear that the company recognized a lack of customer service and went above and beyond in order to fix it. It's all about public relations. And as for your guilt, would you feel guilty if they hadn't come back and fixed this problem? If not then you were still justified. And I respect you for baking up your crow with gracious humility as well. =)

Good job, Frigidaire, you did what was right.

Michaele said...

How wonderful! As much as we always hope that problems will be taken care of satisfactorily and immediately, sometimes it happens that things all work out in the end.

Patty W said...

You have no reason to feel guilty..had you not written as you did, chances are, the outcome wouldn't have been as good. They needed to know how this repair service was handling their products.

(I personally will not buy Frigidaire, have heard too many complaints about their products ) But then, I've had similar experience with Mtag products !

You can bake all sorts of yumminess now!

Org Junkie said...

If Frigidaire had done the right thing from the start nothing of this would have happened. It's a great lesson in customer service isn't it.

So glad it all worked out!

Mrs. Mecomber said...

Yeah, it's about time someone stepped up to those big companies and gave them the what's-what! I'm just glad it was you and not me, lol. Hey, I'm only saying what everyone is thinking!

No really-- I've felt that blogger guilt before, and I how I wish a corporate apology and a stove had come out of it for me...

But it's true, most times the customer IS right, and it is also true that we bloggers wield more power than we think. I'm so glad this worked out, however. And like Mercy's maid said, you gave the company an opportunity to shine. Frigidaire is smart enough to have taken that opportunity.

angie said...

I'm glad that took care of the problem and I like what you learned from this experience. I've bought several dressed from Shabby Apple and I can't wait to hear your review. I would buy from them again because their dresses are so cute, but I haven't had the most positive experience....(one dress didn't hold up after one wash (one of the elastic pieces came out the scrunches the waist, and another dress couldn't be exchanged for a smaller size when I lost weight even though it was brand new because it had been more than their 30 or 90 day exchange period). I'm not trying to be negative though, promise.....my lesson is don't let too much time pass if there *is* a problem.....:)

Stephanie said...

What great news!

And that ladies title? Weird! You may have gone a little ballistic (deservedly so) but I think your intention was to vent and maybe get some wrongs righted, not to get a freebie out of them. They went beyond what you expected. Good for them.

Shalee said...

Personally, I think you had to say what was on your heart at the time. It was a fair evaluation of the service received and the poor attitude at the time. Hindsight doesn't make the situation less reproachable. Don't let their good response create any guilt on your part.

BUT, I have to say bonus points to Frigidaire for doing the right thing. Knowing that we're going to need a new refrigerator soon, I had already crossed them off the list of contenders. Now, with delight, I can add them back to the list for their excellent response to this situation.

I'm glad that you're getting the service that you should have gotten in the first place! And I'm really glad that your pocket book is a little fuller too.

Cocoa said...

Glad Frigidaire came through! I'm also very glad I read the bottom of the post about Shabby Apple. I was just getting ready to head over there and order a few dresses myself. Now I can get a discount. HURRAY!

bleeding espresso said...

Oh I just love happy endings :)

tarable said...

I'm looking forward to your Shabby Apple review and giveaway. I've been perusing their site for a year or so now, but haven't gotten up the courage to buy anything yet. I always feel like I'm hard to fit and don't like to order from somewhere new w/o a brick & mortar store. I hope you love yours so I can justify a new dress then!

chelle said...

I understand you humble pie, yet I am glad that you had the power to "Stick it to the man", many families do not. So maybe just maybe, the company being "forced" to be fair, will trickle down to the lesser fortunate.

Loralee Choate said...

KUDOS to Frigidaire. I am really, really glad that they stepped up to the plate.

Here is the thing.

I know that you "Vented" on your post, but you are a thoughtful, responsible person that 98% does not just "React" and THAT is precisely what bothered me so much.

You were patient, resolved and flexible for a very long time. You tried different options, and frankly? Had much more understanding that most people would.

I am sure you have some regrets about venting, but truly? If you hadn't, you would have been out a lot of money that you shouldn't have been because no one would have paid attention.

I know that it was frustrating for everyone involved, but you tried going the diplomatic route and it wasn't working. If things are not brought to the attention of higher ups, the problems can't be fixed, improved and learned from.

Prisca said...

It was the LEAST they could do for you, Michelle! So glad they've acknowledged the stress and cost of your problem. I didn't view your post as revenge; it was born out of legitimate frustration. You're good to come back and blog about the resolution. :)

Give us the scoop on the Shabby Apple dresses. I love their clothes but haven't bought any yet. Please let us know how you like them!

Jeana said...

Hmm...On behalf of all the people (me being one of them) who got stuck with a lousy Frigidaire and the company never helped us out...I wouldn't feel too bad. I'm glad they helped you, but I still think they produce lousy products and don't stand behind them, so I have to say I'm glad the first article is showing up in Google. I think it is a better representation of them than this one, frankly.

I'm curious if they knew about your website, what you wrote about them, and how many readers you have before they decided to work with you.

John & Laura said...

ha ha!! Hooray! Glad you are getting that taken care of.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Michelle, you have nothing to fret over. Your original Frigidaire post was honest, to the point, while still being civil and diplomatic. I think you handled it very well, especially since you got such a solid response. If you had handled it any more gently, they probably wouldn't have taken notice. And how many other unsuspecting Frigidaire customers who aren't bloggers still haven't had their voices heard?!?

Congrats on getting your repairs taken care of!

Lei said...

Well, I am glad that they responded with a solution rather than just sympathy. That definitely speaks volumes aboive your complaint.

Julie Q. said...

Every post I've ever made in a moment of righteous indignation I have regretted and deleted within the week. That said, I'm glad your venting actually accomplished something. I remember a similar story a few months ago on This American Life (do you listen to their podcasts? I'm a big fan). One of the producers had been having months and months of Kafkaesque battles with her phone company. She eventually put the whole story on her show and, lo and behold, the president of the company gave her a personal (on air) phone call of apology. If you have the power of publicity on your side, I say wield it.

The Not Quite Crunchy Parent said...

H Michelle,

Perhaps your post could have been a wee bit more subtle but...would it have attracted any attention? Good question!

Had I or another less popular blogger written the post it would have received less attention...YOU ARE BEING WATCHED!

Ha!

I do think you use your position as a top Mommy blog responsibly but, given the way corporate America has taken notice of the blogsphere...I bet you're on a lot of "V.P. of Corporate Blogging"'s
list of blogs to read!

You're the advocate for the "little man, um, mommy" now!

Genny said...

Your blog is listed at The Mom Bloggers Club today as one to stop by. Glad I did! Thanks for the tip on the dresses, and I'm glad all is well with your fridge!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I agree that you getting steamed and putting it out there is what got results. Sadly, that is too often the case. I know how you feel...we all have a picture of who we are, or who we wish to be, and when Ms. Seether pops up and opens her mouth, that picture is scratched and torn a bit. But again, I don't think you would have gotten the results you wanted if you hadn't been so vocal.

I had a problem with AT&T once, which was ignored by all, no matter who I called and wrote to. Until I wrote a letter and cc'd the CEO. Then I got my refund.

Jordan (MamaBlogga) said...

I agree with all the previous comments who said what I was going to say in the first place. Which goes without saying.

(I've wanted to say something "goes without saying" and NOT say it for . . . um, EVER.)

I'm super happy you saw results! Good on Frigidaire.

What usually makes me feel better (or a little less guilty) about a post like that is to put a little note at the top (and/or bottom) of the original post noting that Frigidaire graciously resolved the problem once it had been brought to their attention, and linking back here.

:D!

luckyzmom said...

Who-ray for you! Well done Grasshopper!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Yes Yes Yes...I am here!

With the packing craziness in the house I have been a bit absent from blogland! BUT I am catching up some with you tonight and had to comment on this one.

I am so glad that you were "heard". I think this post stands as a statement that the company did fix the issue. What makes me wonder is how many people without recourse through blogs and the help of google never get a company to do what is right.

While it is great that they finally did, it is a shame it took so much. Your letter or a phone call should have been enough.

All that being said...
I am SO glad your oven is kickin' it now and your checkbook has recovered!!! WOO HOO!

Damselfly said...

Aw, you are so nice. I won't say too nice, but the fact you felt any guilt at all ....

Thanks for the Shabby Apple link. Looks like fun stuff!

diane allison-stroud said...

you've done the right thing. you've watched out for yourself and your family, and you understand the otherside and are feeling a little guilty, questioning your presentation... all is well, you are a good and honest person... and frigidaire, if you are reading, just wanted to let you know that you have always been my favorite, my grandmother always used your product so therefore i am! and that was a long long long time ago...

Knitty Geek said...

Hi Michelle. I agree with the PP's - I'm glad you were treated so well about the whole wall-oven fiasco.

And I agree with you about Shabby Apple - wow. I'm working on hubby right now about a late Mother's Day gift. Wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

I have a question about your oven. Is it a single oven with a warming oven or is it a double oven? What is that bottom thing?????

I have a built in single oven and would love to have a double, but don't have room for a full double oven, so I was wondering if this was a possibility for me???

jpharis@wans.net

Soapier said...

I think you did the right thing. It's important to voice your problems with a company, or your opinion, regardless of your initial tone. Apathy when it comes to customer satisfaction is a huge problem in the retail industry these days. Good for you. - J

Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings said...

You aren't the only one with gripes toward Frigidaire.

http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2008/05/frigidaire-is-forgettable.html

I hope they come through for us but I seriously doubt they will even answer my email.

dawn224 said...

I've been known to go back and put an edited note at the top of a blog entry that gets a lot of search traffic. You could always link to this as well.

But for now - I'm gonna go look at dresses!

Scribbit said...

The one pictured is a double oven with a warming unit I think--it looks just like mine except I don't have the bottom unit, just a single oven.

Marketing Mama said...

I'm happy they responded positively. I like the idea of putting a link to this post in the original. Soon it will all be over and you'll have your money back...

Terina said...

i LOVE shabby apple, and own two of their dresses. and so does my daughter!! i'm excited for the 15%off!! there are one or two dresses i've had my eye on.....

Janet said...

I'm know other people said this, but I'll say it too. I don't think you should feel the least bit guilty. If Frigidaire had done what they should have done to begin with, you would never have needed to write that post.

Rhonda said...

Hmmm, wonder if I was to do a post on the issues I have had for the past 3 years with GE...would I get any kind of response such as yours?

However, as a Marketing/Business Grad. We do thrive on customer responses and your post was a good example of how fast things happen when the everyday public becomes informed.

Congratulations on your success.

Rhonda said...

RE: The Shabby Apple, we just outfitted Rachel's 7 bridesmaids with one of their dresses. The Antiquated dress is so beautiful and certainly does live up to elegance.

One more thing about The Shabby Apple, they are very socially conscious. The tag that came with the dresses had a profile of a woman in India who works and has created her own small business in order to support her children going to school. The Shabby Apple gives to her and other causes.

elena jane said...

glad they sorted it all out in the end....even all the way out in alaska!! :-)

all over the map said...

It's great they came forward and made it good.
I think it is so humbling that you were able to look back and view your own and actions and ask yourself if you were too quick to anger, or could you do it differently next time. I think that's the greatest reward here. In saying that, I don't think you were wrong or offensive to stand strong. I think the more important lesson is that WE can all improve on our ways, even when we are wronged. It's a good message that you remembered that and shared it with us all.

Sonja said...

Woo Hoo! I was one of those that emailed Frigidaire. I'm so glad they did the right thing. It's too bad that they didn't just do the right thing in the first place. You know what though? This just proves how right you are about the influence of "mom blogs."

And, Michelle...I think you were totally justified in your "righteous indignation." I bet this post will make it to page three too.

Melissa Markham said...

I am glad that Frigidaire made the situation right. And I think this is one of the things that makes everyone take notice of bloggers! I don't think we should use our bloggy status to complain needlessly, but you had a real situation and companies seem to forget that there are real people out here using their products!

Your blogging just helped remind them!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

ACK! Now I'm having problems with my Frigidaire stove! Crap! It's just over 1 year old, so of course, the warranty is no good. Crap.