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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Albion Heater-Bad Customer Service #4

In November of 2008, we bought one of those electric wood stove-looking space heaters to help heat our sunroom.  Menards had the one that we liked the best so we plunked down $100 and brought it home.

In case you are wondering, those things on the heater are coconut monkeys.  Actually, one of the monkey's is famous and has been featured in a very prominent and prestigious magazine.

Why coconut monkeys, you ask.  This sunroom is done in a tropical theme as it overlooks the pool.  Here are a few shots to show you.

Well, we had this space heater for what I thought was well over a year and it quit.  And I mean it completely quit-no fire, no heat, nothing.  I thought it was over the year warranty so I got in no hurry to mess with it.  A few weeks later, I thought that I might as well check the receipt and was mad at myself to see that it had broken within the year period but now was 1 week over a year.  I called anyways and they graciously (so I thought) offered to honor the warranty.  Now, I read the warranty and it said that they would send a replacement.  Imagine my surprise when a month later, I got a box of parts in the mail.  I called the number again (and mind you that it was at the very LEAST a half hour wait EVERY time I called).  I could not believe when they informed me that it was easy and I could just fix it myself with a screwdriver.  They didn't seem to care when I told them that this wasn't a Pez Dispenser I was fixing but an electrical appliance that I had no training in that could possibly burn my house down.  She assured me that it was very simple so I thought "what the Hell" and hung up.  Okay Corey, get a screwdriver.

Check.  Now start taking it apart.  I did manage to get it into pieces and to gouge the shit out of my hand as well in this "simple" process.

Okay, it wasn't really gouged quite that badly but pretty damn close.  The whole time I was doing this, I was just trying to picture my grandma attempting this when she was alive.  Would they have asked her to do this?

"Okay, got my screwdriver.  Now point me to that electronical thingamajig."

"That's a shoe horn, grandma."

"Shut the Hell up you snot nosed little bastard."

So, back to the story.  I went to put the new parts in which were switches and the heating unit and NONE of them fit.  They were all the wrong parts.  So back to the phone and a half hour later I was met with a promise of new and correct parts to be mailed out to me.  Another month rolled by and a package arrived.  I was glad I was finally going to have it fixed because it was now late December and getting pretty cold.  Better get some blankets out there.  Wrong parts again.  Another half hour, another promise, another month, another box of wrong parts.  Meanwhile, this is what my living room looked like for 4 months because I was afraid to move anything for fear I wouldn't remember how to put it back together as the wiring was actually pretty complicated.

This was the last time.  I was pissed now and they got the full-on Corey.  I yelled at them how ridiculous it was to have a customer trying to fix their shitty appliance that they couldn't build correctly the first f**king time.  I also let them know that it wasn't really as f**king easy as they kept stressing to me EVERY time I called.  Sure, it was easy to them.  They were sitting in a cubicle in Canada.  They were also made aware that in this "easy" repair,  I had gouged the shit out of my hand and the wiring was just a spaghetti mess of wires with no diagram of how to re-hook it all up.  As usual, my yelling paid off and they emailed me a form to take back to Menard's to return it with and exchange for a new one.  I still had my original receipt so I scooped up the pieces of my heater and headed to Menards.  I stopped at the returns desk and dropped off the pieces of my heater and headed to get a new one.  They still carried the exact same heater so I went and got it and gave them my old receipt.  I could not believe when they just did a regular exchange on it.  I asked if they needed this letter from the manufacturer and got a "Nah".  I went through all of that for NOTHING.  I could have just returned the damn thing.  I about grabbed the return desk girl and forced her to take that note and like it.  But soon my anger melted away as did all of the snow, since winter was almost over now that I had my new space heater.


  1. As a critic of bad customer service, you might enjoy this little prank I made recently. I called my credit card's customer service line to do some "negotiating." Having a bit of leverage, I thought it presented a great opportunity to mess with them a little without fear of retribution. I made a video of the call and posted it on my blog along with my comments about what happened and a fuller "director's cut" transcript. Pay attention to his response to the classic line "Why does Bank of America hate Christmas?" Enjoy.

  2. Ha, ha. Good one. I liked the Mumbai, New Jersey. Funny