Feb 16, 2011

Make the Call (Janssen)

You've likely heard the term "planned obsolescence" where products are made to not last more than a few years.

This makes me insane. Is there anything LESS fun than spending money to replace a blender? I mean. . .it's a BLENDER. It's not like a vacation or something. Especially when it's just something small that goes wrong and you have to replace the whole thing.

But! Sometimes if you call the company, they'll send you a replacement part. For free (you may have noticed that free is my very favorite price).

Twice in the last few weeks, I've had an item with a minor break that made it rather useless. A quick phone call and a replacement part was in the mail. Not only did I not have to pay for a replacement part, I didn't even have to go to the store! Hooray!

One of the items was my vacuum belt. I only bought this vacuum six months earlier, so I wasn't every happy that it had already broken. Sure, it's only a couple of dollars for a new belt, but still!

I called and, without even asking if I had a warranty or receipt, they had me off the phone, with TWO new belts in the mail, within ten minutes.

All from the comfort of my living room floor.


Melanie said...

This is a great post; thank you! A small part on my blender recently broke, so I bought a new one (using a Groupon and Amazon gift cards, so it actually didn't cost me much).

Given what you've written in this post, I think it would be worth it to buy products from reputable companies/brands that are likely to offer replacement parts.

Kimberly F. said...

I wish IKEA did this. I got a bookshelf for Christmas and one of the shelves doesn't have the pre-drilled holes. I don't own a drill, so there isn't an easy fix. I called them and they said they'd send me a replacement part if I had the receipt (which I don't, since it was a gift, and the giver threw away the receipt awhile ago). But if I don't have a receipt, there's a solution! I can take apart what I've already assembled, put it back in the box, and drive an hour and a half to the nearest IKEA so I can prove to them that the part is bum and I actually own the product. Yes, I'm rushing to do just that...

SeƱora H-B said...

Amen, Melanie! It's all part of why I'm such a neurotic researcher when it comes to buying things. I want to know what Consumer Reports says, and then I want to know what the customer service record is.

I bought a mini wireless mouse last August when I bought my new laptop. The USB receiver just shorted out a couple of weeks ago. I was dreading making a call to Microsoft customer service. Imagine my delight when a human being picked up the phone. A new mouse is on the way in less time than it would have taken me to go out and buy one.

Hooray for good customer service!

Janelle said...

Wish I had thought of that when my toaster over died earlier this week. But as I have no idea what might be to blame for its death, I wouldn't have known what to replace.

And now I have a nice shiny new one that I got with a gift card and coupon. :)

Strong Family - said...

I did this with 2 sets of blinds that broke a few years ago. The company did not even ask how old they were or anything. They just sent me the parts to fix them absolutely free...both times it happened (on different blinds).

Merry said...

I am teaching my husband this! He bought a pair of Dockers from Ross, and about 2 months later, they were both falling apart where the seam was ripping the shoe fabric. He was happy to go back to the store and ask for an exchange, but when they said no he was going to give up and buy a new pair.

I convinced him to call Dockers about it. He "knew" they would say no, but they really asked him to send them the shoes and they would see. And they sent him a new pair! Wahoo!

Stacia said...

Crocs replaced the strap on my sons broken sandal. Only when it arrived and I was attaching it did I realize that his shoes were the knock-off brand.

Packrat said...

This is a great idea, since I'm like Kimberly. I'm not going to rush to drive hours to take something back.

Beware computer calls, though. You will be on the phone for hours - most likely with someone who doesn't speak English.