Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Customer Dis-Service Volume 1

I ordered some coffee and a “free” coffeemaker from Gevalia Kaffe (a division of Kraft Foods) two years ago.

During the 2003 State of the Union address I was making a pot of coffee, and my coffepot (a vacuum carafe) exploded, showering me with scalding hot coffee and spraying glass shards into my face. I escaped blinding only because I was wearing glasses, which were pitted and scratched by the flying glass.

I recieved moderate burns all over the front of my body, some small cuts on my face, hands, and feet from the glass (I was barefoot). In the accident, about $200 worth of clothing was destroyed, as was a $750-$1500, difficult to replace antique watch (I collect them, and that particular model is HARD to find), and my $350 glasses.

Honestly, I wasn’t all that upset. I've been shot, I've been stabbed, and I've been in explosions, I can take a coffeemaker going pop. I was a lot more upset about the watch (a vintage Hamilton air crew cronograph) being ruined by the hot coffee, and my sweater and glasses being ruined.

Anyway, I cleaned up, patched up, changed my clothes, and then called the Gevalia customer service line to report what had happened. I told them specifically at this time that I didnt want to sue, that I just wanted compensation for the damage.

Anyway they had me go through this “process”, where I would fill out a report, have a phone interview, and they would “forward my case to...”, each step of which would take a week or so.

They “lost” my case twice.


Yes, they actually attempted to bill me for this coffemaker that exploded in my face.

Of course I refused to pay, called in on this one to EVERYONE they had given me to talk to, and they said “Oh of course sir, we’ll take care of that right away”.

Six weeks later, I’m getting a dunnage notice.

Same thing, “Oh I’m so sorry sir, we’ll take care of it. And we’ll send you a years worth of free coffee”.

I got my “free coffee”. Guess what, now I’m getting dunning notices on the original order, AND on the 24lbs of coffee.

Oh and my “case”?

Well I finally got fed up with peons “losing” my paperwork setc… over and over again, and I called and emailed the senior VP of customer relations, and the senior VP for corporate communications for Kraft foods.

Well it went to the insurance company, who sent it to their lawyers, who sent it back saying that it was actually the manufacturers insurance company. THey then sent it to the manufacturers insurance company, who assigned a “client advocate” to the “case”. This client advocate ALSO said he would fix all the billing problems etc…

The insurance company forwarded the claim to the parent company in Taiwan who went to THEIR lawyers etc… then back to the insurance company, then back to the advocate etc…

Anyway I hadn’t even bothered with the claim for months, it’s been two years, I’ve moved twice, and guess what happens? I start getting the damn dunning notices again a couple months ago.

The last time I got one was a few days ago, and man, I’m just about ready to kill someone.