WOW Word-Of-the-Week #407: Shameful

May 22, 2012 by  

Shameful – dishonorable conduct; lacking integrity.

Have you ever purchased a product that turned out to be defective? Were you able to get it replaced by the company free of charge?

This week’s WOW happens to feel a bit like a rant but I feel compelled to write this. Viking Range Corporation should be ashamed of how they treat their customers when it comes to replacing defective parts. We remodeled our home in 2007. We purchased a Viking refrigerator,  freezer, and range. For what they charge I could have built two kitchens!

The refrigerator vegetable drawers never worked right. They would roll out and not stay in when you tried to close them. When we tried to clean then and put them back it was a nightmare. I thought it was me!

Last week I had to have my freezer serviced because it stopped making ice. The timer broke. I understand parts break. I figured while the repair man was here I would have him show me how to get my drawers to work correctly. In less than two minutes he said, “This part is too short. It’s defective.” I asked him to order me another one. He called to tell me that they had completely redesigned the drawer system and I had to buy a whole new glass shelf in order to get my drawers to work correctly. That just didn’t seem fair to me. When I called Viking they told me, “It’s out of warranty.” I called back three times because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Even a supervisor said, “There’s nothing I can do.”

And so, because I didn’t call immediately and complain, they have no intention of replacing it. My feeling is, “What difference does it make? Defective is defective. I think a reputable company would replace it.”

I will NEVER buy another Viking product! They knew the part was bad and redesigned it. I think it is shameful for companies to not recall and replace defective items. What do you think?

This week’s focus is on conducting yourself and your business with integrity. If you knew you had a defective product would you still continue to sell it? Would you replace the defective part with no questions asked? Would you dismiss a customer’s valid complaint because they didn’t do it immediately?

Reader Responses

“I think you should air this complaint under Viking Reviews!   I have a Viking Range that works great, but is difficult to clean and recommended cleaning products from them cost a fortune!” – Marcia

“I agree that Viking should be held accountable. They are living on their “reputation” so consumers buy their products based on that.  I suspect that you are not the only customer to have a defective unit.  Have you tried communicating directly with their Senior management and bypass the “customer service” unit aka the “Department of Sales Prevention”.  Raise holy hell and make noise until you get their attention. Use your leverage you blog person you.” – John

“My wife is very good about filling in the paperwork of products that we purchase so that we can be kept apprised of recalls and warranties. And she will mail it promptly. Over the past several years we have purchased Ford vehicles. The company has been good about mailing us notices regarding part recalls and other potential defects in the cars. When we have received them, we brought the cars into the dealership to check them for the possible problems. It is incumbent on companies to let customers know when there are replacements needed for products and other defects. If the companies don’t do it, then the dealership where the product was purchased should do it. After all, they received your money. You paid for it, you should get something in return. It seems we live in a time where companies will attempt to find loopholes in agreements so they don’t have to reimburse us for defective merchandise or replace it. It is almost as if the contracts we sign for these items should bear the adage, “CAVEAT EMPTOR,” in large, boldface type. Your story, Susan, is a manifestation of the lack of customer service with American companies. It is almost as if they don’t care whether we come back with our business. They will take our money and then take their chances with selling the same junk to the next customer. We really do have to beware when we purchase something. And, of course, everything looks good on a showroom floor. But then get it home and try working it, that’s another story altogether. Good luck, Susan. That was almost as bad of an experience as the time you went on that long train trek, which cost a good deal of money.” – “Warrior” Joe

“I guess because it’s not dangerous or life-threatening they can take this stance. Thermador is no better.  My state-of-the-art frige had build-in/install specifications that ad to be strictly adhered to — but when that was done, the doors wouldn’t open/close smoothly. I had to have it removed, re-built,reinstalled, and the side gaskets had to be replaced because they were torn — at MY cost.  Thanks to my wonderful builder/re-modeler, the unit has been trouble-free ever since.” – Mary