Singin’ the Phone Queue Blues

posted in: personal news 1

I have spent approximately half of my waking hours, for the last week, trying to get a brand new, but defective, clothes dryer replaced. It wouldn’t seem like it should be so hard. And yet…

Our downstairs apartment, recently vacated by Allysen’s mom and now inhabited by our daughter and her husband, needed a new dryer. We found just the right one at AJMadison.com, a compact GE Appliances model. It looks great! Just one problem: The drum smells like a skunk crawled inside and got hit by a car. The first (and only) test load of towels came out smelling like that same skunk. Not new plastic. Skunk. Angry skunk. Dead skunk.

When I contacted the dealer (after two hours in a phone queue), they stepped right up and said, “Hey, we’re really sorry! Let’s get you a new one, pronto.”

Hahahahaha! Of course they didn’t. No, they punted it to GE Appliances, who sent a tech. Who apparently didn’t have much of a sense of smell, because he said, “Smells like plastic to me.” And suggested I throw in some fragrance tablets to cover the smell.

Several long phone queues later…

Same technician came back. “Now I smell it!” he said. And made his own phone call (no queue for him), and got a replacement authorized. “You’ll hear from GE Consumer Relations [different from Customer Service] about getting a new dryer.”

Hahahahaha! Right. I called them and, after outlasting another phone queue was told, “Ah yes, your new dryer is authorized. Just one problem—we don’t have one in stock to send you.” But what about the dealer? Can’t you work with the dealer? They probably have some. “Sure,” says GE Appliances Consumer Relations, “we can do that. But we don’t see them in our system, so you need to call them and get their dealer account number, and call us back with it. Can do?” Yeah… sputter… right.

Phone queue…

A.J. Madison: “Yes, we have plenty of them in the warehouse, but we can’t send you one unless you call GE Appliances and ask them to email us an RMA. Then we’ll be right on it. Here’s our account number.”

Phone queue…

GE Appliances Consumer Relations: “Nothing in your case file here about an exchange. Who did you talk to, again?”

Consumer: “Aaaiieeeeee!”

GE Appliances Consumer Relations: “Please calm down, sir. We know just how you feel.” Do you? “Oh wait, I see here it says unrepairable. So, yes. We need you to reach out to the dealer and ask them to call our Customer Care department [not to be confused with Consumer Relations or Customer Service] to ask for an RMA. No, we can’t send the RMA. Only they can do that.”

Let’s cut this short, I cackle. I’ll call them myself.

Phone queue…

GE Appliances Customer Care: “We can’t talk to you. No no no. The dealer has to call us.”

#^^&#(! Phone queue…

A.J. Madison: “Oh very well, we can call them. But it’s 5:00 now, and everyone’s closed. We’ll call them first thing in the morning.”

And that’s where we stand. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this, besides buy local, it’s that GE Appliances is not part of the General Electric company, aka G.E. No, the appliances division, name and all, was sold some years ago to the Haier group in China. Sort of like Craftsman and Sears. GE and GE Appliances are not the same. Know what you’re buying.

Yeah, right.

  1. Karen
    | Reply

    Black & Decker did the same thing with their household appliances division. Still has the name, but you get made in China crap.

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