Monday, November 24, 2008

A Range of emotions.

The saga with the stove is finally over. Let's all take a minute to sing the Hallelujah Chorus...

So how did we go from this?

To this?

For Part One of the story... I think I'll fill you in on the actual installation. The appliance guys called and said they'd be at my house sometime between 12 and 4pm on Thursday, November 20. They showed up at 3:30 (naturally). The first task was taking out the old double oven/range. They struggled with that thing for like 20 minutes... and then once they got it out realized why it took so long. It was literally stuck to the cabinets. 38 years of grease had glued it into it's little spot in the kitchen. YUCK.

While the guys were struggling to get it out the door I quickly grabbed a Mr. Clean eraser and scrubbed the cabinets so as not to have the same problem in 38 more years. (Oh yeah... and vacuumed up the dead roaches on the floor. Ick.) Then the guys came back in with the brand spankin new equipment and promptly told me they could not install the microwave above the oven because there was no outlet. Long story short, AHS would not pay for an outlet to be installed because it was a "modification"... nor would they pay for the cord needed to actually plug in the stove. (GGGrrrrr... more on the "fantastic customer service skills of AHS" later...)

So on the Sunday before Thanksgiving it took Dave all day but finally he got an outlet put in. There were all these weird supports and boards in the wall - I'm guessing that's because there used to be a doorway where the stove now resides. Remember this? We discovered the old doorway after we stripped the wallpaper in the dining room, which is adjacent to the kitchen.

So anyway we got it in, made an outlet, hoisted the micro up, got that in, and painted the wall (or plywood in our case) (What? Totally normal wall material, right?) and Voila! Now we're cookin!

I love the new stove - and am really enjoying that glass top. It's just sad that it took 5 months of aggravation and government intervention (The BBB rocks!) to get AHS to honor their commitment to us. We had originally called AHS on July 7 to come out and fix the broken burner on the stove. They came out, diagnosed it and said we'll be back in a week to replace it. Well here we are in November. I'd say on average I spent about 4 days per week on the phone with them - either on hold, or talking to someone who knew "nothing about my ticket. Can you hold while I pull up your information?" Totally aggravating. Yes. Was I going to let them win? Never.

A sample of "my life on hold" for the past 5 months:

What seems to be the problem?

(SIGH) I have a broken stove and am waiting on the new part. I'm just wondering what's taking so long because I'd really like to start using my stove again.

Let me pull up your file.

click click click click click. click.


click click click click click BIG CLICK. MAYBE AN ENTER KEY?

Hmm. Well. It looks like we are waiting on a part.

Right. I just told you that. How long before it comes in?

5 to 7 business days.

You told me that 5 to 7 days ago.

Actually I did not ma'am. This is the first time I've seen your file.

Well someone from your company then. Actually - someone from your company has been telling me to wait 5 to 7 days for about 2/3/4/5 months now.

Hmm... that is a unusually long time. Usually we are out there within the week. Hold on while I... click click click... Let me just pull up.... click click click click click click click. Hmm. Well it said the part was ordered and delivered.

But it obviously wasn't. Because I still have a broken stove. Can I speak to your manager?

None are available right now.
Ok I'll hold.
No I'm sorry. We don't allow our customers to hold for a manager.

Wait - You're kidding right?? I can hold for 47 minutes to get YOU on the phone, but I can't hold for a manager. Why is that? This is ridiculous. Can I leave a message at least?

No I'm sorry. You have to leave your phone number and a manager will call you back.

So phone calls like this went on for weeks. The conversations always absurd... No one ever calling me back. I always ALWAYS had to make the call first. But we finally did find out what actually happened to that mystery part. AHS did order it, it got sent to Jacksonville Appliance and Electric, but they used it in someone else's home. (Aside from the fact that they are obviously a shady company - how about the fact that someone else in Jacksonville has this relic of a stove and needs the same exact fix!!??!!) So AHS's recommended solution was to re-order the same part, using the same company and go through the whole rig-a-ma-rue again.

Well I said nuts to that and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. FINALLY I got the customer service I'd been fighting for. But it was a long time coming.

I learned some very valuable lessons from this whole experience.

1.) The BBB is an awesome outfit and will totally fight for the little man.

2.) I have the ability to sit on hold for a very long time... and even start to enjoy the muzak.

and 3.) American Home Shield is an awful AWFUL company and if you have a friend or loved one thinking about using them as their home warranty company - send them this blog and then barricade their checkbook!! Do not let them waste one penny on this company!!

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