Customer DISservice Rant

I’ve owned a Husky Powerwasher for a few years, and I really like it.  It can be set gentle enough for the car, or tough enough to clean mildew stains off my sidewalk.  Unfortunately, just about the time i really needed it to clean some of the engine parts from Beta’s vehicle that we’re rebuilding, it failed me.

I must have let it freeze with water still in the pump, because the manifold assembly is cracked.  After weighing the cost of the replacement part against the cost of a new power washer, the replacement part won.  It’s not that hard to take apart and put back together.  So on June 26, I ordered one.  Expected to have it by July 3 or so, since it’s just coming from Illinois via UPS.

After almost two weeks, the order tracking system on still says "billing information received."  Unfortunately, their website doesn’t have any contact phone numbers, just a "live chat" that is sporadically manned.  Yes, they have posted hours, but it’s been my experience over these two weeks that they don’t monitor the chats anywhere near the posted hours of operation.

Here’s the transcript:

Please wait for a site operator to respond.

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with ‘Adolphe’
Adolphe: Hi.  How may I assist you today?
Netmom: I placed an order for Part Number: 7000174 Description: Manifold Assembly on June 26, and the payment cleared on June 27. The order tracking still says "billing information received" after almost two weeks! When can I expect this part to ship?
Adolphe: full name please and phone number
Netmom: [my name and phone number]
Adolphe: ma’am sometime UPS delay things like that. I will ask you to contact us monday in case you don’t receive it
Adolphe: it was shipped on june 30
Netmom: Can you provide me with a tracking number?
Adolphe: Tracking Number: [1Z …]
Netmom: Thank you.
Netmom: UPS says that the billing information has been sent to UPS, but the package has not been shipped.
Adolphe: Billing information has been sent to UPS. Check site later for updated shipment status or contact shipper for more details.
Adolphe: Tracking Number:  [1Z …]    
Adolphe: Type:  Package    
Adolphe: Status:  Billing Information Received    
Adolphe: Shipped To:  OAK RIDGE, TN,    
Adolphe: Shipped/Billed On:  06/30/2008    
Adolphe: Service:  GROUND    
Adolphe: Weight:  1.00 Lb  
Netmom: Yeah, that’s what it says. "Billing information received" means that they’re expecting the package, but it hasn’t actually left your facility yet. Is there a phone number where I can speak with a supervisor?
Adolphe: ma’am just wait till monday.allow 10 to 14 business days for delivery
Netmom: I cannot do that.
Adolphe: 8473481547
Adolphe: is there anything i can do for you today?
Netmom: No one is answering at that number. Is there a number directly to a supervisor or manager?
Adolphe: that’s it
Jacky: That is the manager’s number
Jacky: customer service number is 630 789 7601
Netmom: The recording says "you have reached the sales department."
Netmom: Is there any phone number where I can get a live human being to help me?
Jacky: We have a high volume of incoming calls, your patience is appreciated
Jacky: what is your phone number?
Netmom: (865) [nnn-nnnn], but I’ve left it in e-mail and voice mail messages repeatedly, and no one has ever called back.
Jacky: Will call you in a few minutes
Adolphe: I am calling you

After two phone calls from Adolphe — I have no idea where he is with that accent (Sudan, maybe?) — he finally figured out that the part has not shipped at all.  It’s on backorder, and isn’t expected to ship for "at least two more weeks."

In summary, first he blames UPS.  Then he wants me to wait until Monday and check back.  They gave me two different phone numbers that go directly to voice mail (I know by now that they do not return voice messages), then finally, he actually checks with the shipping department and finds out that they don’t even have it in stock.

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Unfortunately, the part will arrive AFTER the main things I needed it for are over with.  As much as I like this product, the service experience has soured me so much that I’ll absolutely buy a different brand next time.   I also plan to contact the company president, but that information isn’t easy to find; I had to go to the Network Solutions WHOIS to find out who owns the domain.  I guess I’ll have to do a little more sleuthing to get to the top of the food chain.

Forewarned is forearmed.  Bad customer service is the worst thing a business can do to itself.

PS: The internet is grand.

2 Responses to “Customer DISservice Rant”

  1. on 09 Jul 2008 at 3:32 pm Punk HP

    Next time, tall him to repeat after you:
    “Oh-Wa, Teh-nah, Siam”

  2. on 11 Jul 2008 at 10:43 am Dave

    I need the same part and am trying to decide if it is worth it

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