Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Cuisinart Customer Service: USA vs. Canada

You may recall my love for my Cuisinart Keurig Brewing Station. I heart it... seriously. But lately, it has been acting up on me. The dreaded DESCALE signal has come on at least 5 times in the last 3 months. The machine is not running right... and since its has a fantastic three year warranty (most Keurigs only have a year), I decided to call the Customer Service number in the back of the owner's manual and see about what could be done.

The first number I called, I got through to an agent after two keypad entries on the phone. A lovely agent greeted me and asked about the reason for my call. I explained the troubles I have been having and she confirmed in a rather upbeat tone that the machine was not functioning properly. She asked for the model # and the serial #, and said they would ship me out a new one immediately and when I received it, I had to ship them my current unit.

I thought ... this is too good to be true, but AWESOME!

The lovely agent asked for my name and address... but when asked for my STATE, I said ONTARIO, and she said 'oh, your from Canada?'. She then proceeded to give me the Canadian number for Cuisinart and said that it would save me on the headache of having to ship my machine to the USA. So I took the Canadian number down, we said our goodbyes, and I immediately dialed Cuisinart Canada Customer Service.

After selecting the language, and then listening to a recording three times over by a someone with a very heavy accent, I pressed zero and was transfer to a holding pattern for 10 minutes. When someone did finally get to my call, she was a low-talker. You know the kind I mean ... super soft voice as if she didn't want to disturb a hibernating house fly.

Anyways, I proceeded to tell her my spiel about when I purchased it, the descale issue, and the fact that the machine is not functioning properly. She then asked me did I have proof of purchase. I informed her, yes. She asked for my serial # and model # and told me that someone from Cuisinart would have to look at it as it sounds like the unit may not be working right. (Genius). She told me to mail in the unit to a specific address that she rhymed off and in 10 business days, someone would get back to me.

There was silence on my end for a good 20 seconds as I began to process the differences from the call I just had with Cuisinart USA. So I then tried to clarify with Agent Canada the process.

Me: "So, your telling me, I have to ship you my unit and be without my Keurig for a minimum of TEN DAYS"
Agent Canada: Yes (faintly) you are correct (softly),

Me: And in the meantime, I am just without it (read: without coffee, sanity, my soulmate)?
Agent Canada: Ahem.

Me: And after 10 days what?
Agent Canada: Someone will contact you to let you know what the next steps are.

Me: Wow.
Me: You know your US partners were all set to ship me a new one, without so much as asking for receipt. No questions asked.
Agent Canada: Uh-huh. That's the US.

Yes, that is the US... they get the importance of COFFEE to their customers. They understand that k-cups and world peace are pretty much one in the same. They know that taking a product away from a customer is wrong, and they recognize the inconvenience a bold move like this would have on the coffee drinking population.

USA Cuisinart gets it. Canada Cuisinart does not.

I don't understand how two different countries can have such different approaches when its the same issue to the same product.

Agent Canada got a little snarky, (but still a low-voice) when I barked again about having to go without the unit for so long. But the bottom line remains, if I want my unit fixed I have to send it away to get repaired with no guarantee of even getting a new one and no guarantee on the time line.

Lovely... just lovely.

You can bet if I can't brew my own k-cups for ten whole days... there is going to be hell to pay for someone at some point during that dark period.

You've been warned!

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