General Electric — how a freezer door handle ends up being handled at the chairman's office level!
This posting is almost as long as the issue itself. An interesting and frustrating tale of how bad customer service escalated to the GE Chairman's office. All could have been resolved if the uncooperative GE appliance customer service staff had handled my initial calls properly. However, it didn't stop there and even at the highest levels of GE, there are issues. The following letter was sent after numerous calls... read on, it only gets worse.
December 12, 2006
GM of Consumer Relations
AP6 Room 129
Louisville, KY 40225
Re: GESL22XGRBS-SL CLEAN STEEL SXS
I am writing in frustration and as a last resort since my multiple phone calls to GE customer service have resulted in inadequate results with no return calls and no information on file of any of my previous calls, orders, or the current status of our problem.
In October, our freezer door was inspected and a frozen water line was discovered by Ross the repair technician. He ordered a new door. When delivered, he discovered it was incorrect and the handle did not fit properly. He said he would order a new door. Weeks went by and I called GE customer service and his cell phone. There was no order for a new door and he never returned my call. After talking to several people, a “manager” said someone would be out to fix the problem.
On the day Wes, the new technician, arrived he had no idea what the problem was. As I was explaining the handle issue, 3 incorrect parts arrived. He said they were wrong and that we needed a template for drilling holes in the door to attach it. He took the incorrect parts, and said he would order the template.
When the template arrived, he came back to install the handle only to discover that the template was wrong. After drilling several holes, Wes “made the handle fit” by adjusting a gap so that it was not that noticeable. He indicated that he would inform someone of the problem, since we were not satisfied.
I gave up calling and waited to be contacted by someone as to how they would rectify this situation. Instead, yesterday a freezer door arrived. I called customer service again and was told by a “manager” that there was no record of any order. I am disgusted with the lack of professionalism and proficiency of the customer service staff for a customer who purchased an extended warranty, their inability to track calls for the last several months, and the unresolved issue of the incorrect freezer door handle.
After the letter was sent I received a voicemail from a Natasha from Customer Service informing me that I should call the customer service line again. At this point, I broke through the voicemail system in Lexington, KY and left a message for Mr.Graft. It was returned by KJ of the GE Chairman’s office.
After many discussions, and another visit by a repairman the following email was sent to KJ on 2/6/2007
I am writing to clarify and summarize yesterday's voicemail and conversation regarding the freezer door issues. And most importantly to point out two glaring inefficiencies: First, that a representative from the chairman’s office had not previously contacted the repair staff until I suggested it yesterday, and second, that the recreation of my freezer door problem was conducted at your office on the refrigerator door instead.
1. You stated that Ed, the engineer, had recreated the door handle assembly without any gap appearing between the handle and the top and bottom piece. Therefore, my situation was unique.
2. I asked if you had contacted the repairman who had experienced the problem with our freezer door, and you said no. You said it was difficult to contact GE appliance repair staff. I suggested that as a representative of the chairman's office that you should, since they have cell phones, etc. You did contact him and he indicated on his third visit, I appeared satisfied when he was here and had filed the holes in the freezer door to get a better fit for the handle in order to eliminate and/or reduce the gap in the handle and align it with the refrigerator door handle.
3. I said that I was not satisfied with the last service call, where the repairman had said "it was the best he could do", and I at that point agreed that there appeared to be nothing more that could be done.
4. You also stated that the engineer in your office had actually recreated the handle situation not on the freezer door but on the refrigerator door instead, since the freezer door was unavailable. You offered to have the repairman come again and file the holes further to get a better fit. I indicated that I did not want any more service calls where filing the holes would take place. I also pointed out that it was not an accurate recreation of my issue if the refrigerator door handle was assembled, instead of the freezer door.
5. We agreed at the end of the conversation that since the assembly at your office showed no gap, a new freezer door and handle would be ordered and the installation started again from the beginning. You checked and found the freezer door is now available and will call and let me know when the new equipment is to be delivered and arrange an installation service call.
What I would recommend is that since the freezer door is now available, you:
a.) Order a freezer door for your engineer and have him assemble it, and
b.) Determine if the freezer door and handle align with the refrigerator door handle, since that is the problem we have been having since November. I hope our conversation was recorded for future use in resolving customer issues that are elevated beyond the general customer service staff.
Update as of 3/6/2007
After yet more visits, Wes the GE repairman came with another door, and ran into the same template problem. I called KJ and Wes, Ed the engineer and his technical staff had a conference call on my cell phone. Wes informed them of the quarter inch discrepancy in the template when attaching a freezer door, and the engineering staff didn’t believe that there could be a problem. He stated that in order to make the door handle fit, the holes drilled needed to be adjusted and then filed in order for the plastic handle not to have a noticeable gap. The engineering staff said they had not had that problem when they “recreated” the situation, but Wes informed them he had seen it before and that maybe they were not getting reports, because no other customers had complained. (I would not have except I was exasperated by customer service and decided to see how big a mountain this molehill would become!) The engineering staff seemed to be in denial and never really admitted that a problem could be possible- this is my observation since my phone was in speaker mode.
After installing the door, adjusting the handle Wes and I realized there was a noticeable dent in the door. He said he would order a replacement. I called KJ and she said I would probably not be satisfied and they would send a new comparable refrigerator. I agreed to that and on 3/6/2007 a new one was delivered only to find that it too was damaged according to the delivery staff. I called KJ and requested another one by Thursday 3/8/2007.
Although I requested delivery yesterday, I just received a call that they are delivering it today.
Here is the email I sent KJ in the chairman’s office today.
I just received a call stating the refrigerator would be delivered today! This is incredibly inconvenient and causing us more distress. When talking to the scheduler, I stated that I requested yesterday and the next day I would be available for delivery would be next Tuesday which she stated was already booked. Therefore I am going to try and be available today after major rescheduling.
This is another example of poor communication in this ongoing saga.