On the weekend of October 11, 2008, I went to Shelburne Falls, MA, for a two-day advanced cheese making workshop. When I returned home, M had made me a wonderful welcome home dinner of baked chicken wings. He mentioned that the oven seemed a little weird, that it seemed to have taken a really long time for the oven to heat up to temperature — almost an hour-and-a-half. Hmmm.
And that’s how our journey into the workings of Fisher & Paykal customer service started.
I guess we figured it would be a fairly straight-forward process of getting our local service guys (the really patient, good folks at Bouchard-Pierce, where we bought all of our new kitchen appliances after the house move) to come out and replace whatever piece wasn’t working.
In fact, it did at first appear to be that simple. A B-P repair guy came over, watched as the oven temperature slowly crept up to a warm temperature of 79°, called Fisher & Paykel to explain the problem, and proceeded to replace the element. The service guy at Fisher & Paykel didn’t seem to have a lot of advice, but our guy (Jason) figured it was either the element or the main computer board that was causing the problem, and he wanted to try the element first because it was less expensive and they had it on a hand (they’d have to order the board).
Of course, the new element didn’t fix the problem, and Jason was to return at least four more times to replace
the electronic oven control
the clock assembly
the temperature sensor
and the oven mode board (two times)
This process carried us through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years Eve. All along, we had been pretty patient, but that patience was growing so thin you could see a baked lasagna through it, if we had been able to bake a lasagna, or roast a chicken, or make a baked potato, or bake a loaf of bread, or (for heaven’s sake!) warm up leftovers.
At that point, we had hit our limit. We’d made it through all the holidays thanks to the generosity of our grill, cook top, and microwave oven, but we wanted out oven back. I know we have nothing to complain about, but, really, it began to seem as if the oven was basically just taking up cabinet space that could be better used to store microwavable dinners.
While all this was happening, M and I were mentally writing a long, detailed blog entry that described every phone call, every “missing record” of said phone calls, every service visit, every frustration, but now, at this distance, I don’t feel up to it. What I will say is that our local service company did right by us. In the end, it took a cranky customer call (or 2, or 3) to get the manufacturer moving, but the service guys were supportive every step of the way, and charged us nothing for all the visits they made. I call them “local”, but they are actually at least an hour a way from here.
In the end, we found a senior person at Fisher-Paykel who was willing to look at the entire dossier and she saw that everything had been tried and that we had waited a long time for a resolution. She thought maybe there was one more part they could try to replace, but when she learned that the part was backordered, she had the power to just say, “Enough already! Give these folks a new oven!”
And so, on February 13, four months and one day after we first had trouble, Jason and his partner at Bouchard-Pierce (I’m sorry that I can’t remember his name; he was soft-spoken, friendly, and very understanding about an energetic puppy who wanted to lick his face) came calling with this:
In less than an hour, the new oven was installed. The time it took to get it up to 350°? 15 minutes.