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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


As some of you may know, my wife and I just moved.  Within 2 weeks of our move, however, our Jenn-Air wall oven had a break-down.  We had baked dinner and the door refused to shut all the way when my wife took the food out.  She couldn't figure out why.  When she tried to shut it again, it did indeed shut, but the locking mechanism had caught and the oven door refused to open, nor would the oven go into "baking" mode.

Now, I had called someone to try to handle the situation, and he got the oven to open, but that was it.  Anything else required a part.  He told me the oven was suck in "self-cleaning" mode and wouldn't bake or unlock.  Before the part arrived, however, I remembered that we have a home warranty through Home Warranty of America (henceforth called HWA).  I canceled the ordered and called HWA.  They sent out a man through the company they contract through, Julie's Used Appliances.

It took a little longer than I had hoped for the man to show up, but he did show up and told me that the oven's faceplate needed to be replaced.  He didn't mention the lock or the self-cleaning mode.  He said he'd call me back later that day to tell me that he ordered the part and how much it would be.  A week later I called Julie's to find out why I hadn't been contacted yet.  The girl who answered the phone proclaimed to be the girl who does all the "cleaning."  Her words.  She didn't know anything (so, why did she answer the phone?).  I then called HWA, who ALSO didn't know anything, because Julie's hadn't yet gotten in touch with them.  An hour later, HWA calls me back and tells me that Julie's didn't bother getting in touch with them because they were going to cover the cost of the faceplate in the $75 I already paid them.  Huzzah!

Two days later, HWA calls me back rather late at night.  It turns out that there was more wrong with the oven, which Julie's didn't tell me about.  The *gasp* locking mechanism needed to be fixed.  Who could have guessed?  And THAT part they don't cover.  Why?  Because it is part of the self-cleaning mode.  I guess they don't consider child safety to be important.

At this point we've been without an oven for 2 weeks.  If you know me and my family, we like to cook, which includes baking things in the oven.  I called Julie's first thing the next morning and spoke the the guy who looked at the oven, but he was in a rush and said he would call me back in half an hour or so.  Several hours later I called back and got the cleaning girl again.  I told her to leave a message for the repairman - to go ahead and order the locking mechanism part even though it isn't covered.

A week later and I finally get a call saying the guy is on his way.  I ask him about the locking mechanism and he acts like he's never heard of this.  Obviously he didn't get the message.  So he doesn't show up after all and instead orders the locking mechanism part.  I told him that I had to leave in a week to go out of town, and I gave him the number of my in-laws who would be home.

Let's skip ahead.  My wife and I are getting off the plane back in the states and we plug our phones in for the first time in 10 days (we didn't have a data or calling plan for the UK and didn't want to be billed for roaming, so we took out the batteries).  Lo and behold, I have a message from Julie's saying he'll be at our house.  Guess that even though I left the message of whom to call with him, he still didn't get it.

The day before he had come by to fix the oven (I guess it took that long to get the part).  But when he does, he apparently discovered that the board was fried.  So he replaced the faceplate, but nothing else. The oven still doesn't work, and now the faceplate he replaced is fuzzy and unreadable.  It was at this point that I got angry.  I wrote an email to HWA, telling them what had happened and urging them to reconsider their contractors.  I also reviewed the company online, stating only what had happened and that I am very dissatisfied.  This post, which you may hopefully agree is not much more than a factual account of what had happened, is more opinionated than the review I left.

Today I called them and wanted to know what was up.  My in-laws told me that they were supposed to be here on Monday, but that was two days ago, so I wanted to know if they would ever show up to fix the oven.  The woman who answered the phone told me she would call me back and that she would get in touch with the repairman.  Now, I told her that I was dissatisfied, and that no one had EVER called me back, so I hope she can understand my position of doubt that I would hear from her.  Amazingly, she did call me back.  Apparently she read my review.

"I see you wrote about us.  hmm.. I don't know what that's gonna get you..."  These are HER words.
"Are you blackmailing me?"
"Blackmail?  I don't think this is blackmail."
"Refusing to do service or charging me more because I am a dissatisfied customer and left a factual review supporting this sounds like blackmail to me."

She said she would have a guy here tomorrow.  Now we'll see what happens.  Apparently we should not review people online until we are done dealing with them.  But, apparently, she doesn't understand that, as the customer, I am not going to lay down and take what she's dishing out anymore.  HWA doesn't cover the repair, so if her company deals poorly with me any longer, I am going back to the first guy.

What do you think?  Is it blackmail?  I understood her comment as asking me subtly to remove the review, so you could see removing the review as the thing she is strong-arming me to do.

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