Bissell upright Proheat Turbo Deep Cleaner — Inferior quality, poor Customer Service
Bissell. When they say, “We mean clean”, they mean cleaning out your pockets!
I purchased a Bissell upright Proheat Turbo Deep Cleaner within the last year. The machine's been used no more than six times to remove pet stains in limited areas only.
Attempting a similar "spot cleaning" several days ago I noticed it wasn't spraying any water/solution.
I stepped through all of their Troubleshooting recommendations and still, not functioning.
Believing the cause was merely some obstruction (tangled hair/button/paper clip, etc.) I disassembled the hood surrounding the spray jets/beater bar only to find that the pinion gear that drives the beater bar belt had sheared off its shaft and had become lodged in the pump drive mechanism (in reality it wasn't spraying AND the beater bar wasn't spinning).
As the drive mechanism is integral to the pump, I called Bissell's Customer Service, explained the situation and requested that -- in view of the still-active warranty and the machine's rather limited usage -- that they simply send me a replacement pump, which I would install and all would be well in the Kingdom.
Not so simple. The young lady on the other end said the pump is not a “user serviceable part” and that they didn’t stock those parts. She did however refer me to their “Authorized Service Center” in my area and told me that they could furnish the part.
I quickly called their Service Center. The very nice gentleman there told me they had been a Bissell “Authorized Service Center” for only 10 days and that he was unfamiliar with their service plans. Interestingly enough, he also said he had a similar unit disassembled on his work bench at that very moment with the exact same problem; when I questioned him, he estimated the age of that unit at approximately 6 mos. The next thing I knew the owner of the shop grabbed the phone and said that he had one pump in stock, but that I would have to pay $35.00 for it because Bissell wouldn’t reimburse him if he didn’t diagnose the problem and affect the repair himself.
Back to Bissell. I called C.S. again and asked to speak to a supervisor, surely he/she would have enough sense to understand and remedy the problem. Not so. That guy began reciting language from their “small print” declaring that I voided my warranty when I opened the cleaner’s shell. OK, time to climb to another level. At this point I’m still believing that someone within this organization must have enough intelligence to see that I’m not asking for any form of labor to be performed, but just need to be mailed a small part that was obviously poorly engineered to prematurely fail as it did in the first place.
I asked to speak to his supervisor, and after a long pause on “Hold” I was transferred to a woman who would identify herself only as “Michelle at Corporate”. She only mumbled the same ridiculous rhetoric as her underling. I tried to appeal to her sense of fairness inasmuch as:
1) The ostensibly easy step of unclogging an obstruction did not warrant a trip to a Repair Center.
2) It was only by my examination of the unit that the extent of the problem was identifiable.
3) Clearly the part in question had an inherent design flaw (after all, any interruption of beater bar rotational torque should have resulted in a failed rubber belt, not the shearing off of a steel drive gear shaft.
4) I am ready, willing and able to replace the part myself – no technician required.
This lady was rude to the point of hostility, telling me that I would have to pay for the parts/labor to restore an appliance originally costing $179 and only used a half-dozen times. Further, to document our conversation I asked her for her direct phone number/extension and her last name. She outright refused to provide any of that information.
This entire company is pathetic. They’re designing, marketing and selling inferior products, have inadequate service protocols, and their Customer Service skills are abhorrent. I will never purchase another Bissell product and strongly encourage anyone considering a future appliance purchase to Google other consumers’ similar experiences; they populate the Internet.
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