Archive for the ‘customer service’ Category

7 most popular appliance blog posts of 2011

December 28, 2011

A post on cleaning the dishwasher was a top dog.

Though not the most-read posts of all time on the Warners’ Stellian Appliance blog, these next 7 posts garnered the most views of those written this year.

7. HOW TO: clean a dishwasher

With more states banning phosphates in dishwashers without consumers possibly noticing, dishwashers got white film.

But a regular maintenance cleaning is always a good idea.

6. HOW TO: clean cast iron grates

If you’re lucky enough to have cast iron grates, you’re unlucky enough to handle cleaning them. The experts at Wolf Range weighed in.

5. DIY Network ‘Rehab Addict’ Nicole Curtis talks appliances

Old house lover/rehabber Nicole Curtis invited us into her “Minnehaha House” in Minneapolis for tips on fixing up kitchens and buying the right appliances.

4. Stove drip pans cleaning tips

Is there anything worse than the grime that builds up on the burner pans on your stove top? Not only do I include a deep-cleaning method, but I offer up the secret ingredient to easily keeping those drip pans shiny on a weekly basis.

3. How long does a dishwasher last?

2. How long does a refrigerator last?

1. How long does a washer last?

No, you’re right; they don’t make ‘em like they used to. (But believe me, that’s not all bad!) Unfortunately, gone are the days when you could expect your appliances to last a decade and a half. Find the new lifespans in each post above.

If your stove dies on Thanksgiving

November 23, 2011

Many stoves choose to end their life right around the time you’ve finally finished thawing, brining, trussing and stuffing that huge bird on Thanksgiving morning.

Now your oven very well might be dead, but sometimes you just need to give it the ol’ Fonzie treatment.

Now, I’m not actually suggesting you punch your juke, er…range; but try shutting off your circuit or unplugging your appliance for 20 minutes. It’s always the first advice I give customers before we attempt service — and it’s worked before! Best case scenario, you’re back in business once you plug it back in or reset the circuit.

If you have a gas range and the cooktop is working but the oven isn’t, flip the regulator switch (which automatically cuts off the flow of gas at a certain pressure).

If you’re still getting an error code or the unit is still dead, you’re probably going to need service. You can call us on Friday at 651-222-0011 (opt. 4).

But at least you tried. In a pinch, fire up the grill.

Ice maker not working: Refrigerator not making ice

October 31, 2011

When your refrigerator’s ice maker isn’t working, you should definitely do some ice maker troubleshooting before calling repair.

Many people don’t even know how an icemaker works, so your ice maker problems can be a simple misunderstanding.

JennAir.com

Make sure the metal arm on your ice maker is DOWN and any control is set to “ON.”

Is the water supply properly connected and turned on? It should be, also.

A loose drain cap can leave you with thin ice because water will empty from the water pan, so tighten that drain cap!

The drain tube could be clogged from sediment, which you can flush out by shutting off the water line, waiting, and turning back on. Ensure there are no kinks in the drain that could prevent the flow of rejected water out.

Those are just basic tips everyone should try before calling for ice maker repair. Hopefully it works for you.

 

Well-versed in customer appreciation

October 21, 2011

Artist's rendering of customer

Yesterday, we received pretty much the sweetest letter from a customer in recent memory.

Not only did it remind us how great our customer service department is, it rhymed (well, mostly).

We’re so very appreciative of our customers (especially now through 10/24 during our Customer Appreciation Sale), that we’re delighted whenever the sentiment is returned.

I’m publishing the poem with you here, because it’s too cute to be shared with only an envelope:

I arose this morning
Happy as can be
Went into my kitchen
And what did I see?

Water all over
My nice clean floor
I opened my refrigerator
And couldn’t believe what I saw

A small lake in the bottom
Some frozen, some melted
I dashed for the phone
I really needed help

Tomorrow, they said,
My fridge would be fixed
I said OK
My popsicles melted off their sticks

I called back again
And with Lauren in St. Paul I pleaded,
Oh somehow can my fridge get fixed today?
And by gosh she conceded and they were on their way.

An hour or so later
Mike & Bill did arrive
When the truck pulled up
I was so happy I almost cried

What a great team
They saw the problem right away
Out came the tools
And eventually, the ice melted away

What a great company
to do business with
Which I have for many years
Give a toast to your employees, use champagne not beer

I wanted you to know
What great people work for you
Anytime stop by for a cold one
The bottles are cold thanks to your crew

Regards, Mike

Seriously, customers. Any time you offer creative appreciation AND beer, you have our attention :)

Sure we offer free delivery, but our crews are ‘priceless’

August 15, 2011

When you think of customer service, you immediately might picture your salesperson helping secure available rebates or choose the perfect appliance for a tricky space.

And you’d be right.

But our delivery and install crews also deserve much credit for our stellar reputation for customer service. We offer free delivery and freestanding installation in the metro for orders $499 and up, but you get way more than you pay for.

Some purchases are routine replacements with nothing special in terms of selection or installation, but I love the emails from customers who’ve experienced our expertise in more complicated situations (especially when they come with photos).

Here’s a recent email that Susie sent to her salesperson at our Apple Valley appliance store:


I had to take a moment out to again thank you for all your help.  It seemed so hopeless when we started to replace the Jenn-Air microwave, but with your help I was encouraged.  I never dreamed it would turn out so well. These fellows were priceless.

Quickly they assessed the situation and made a few modifications and soon we were in business.

Unless you had seen the Jenn-Air in place you would think the KitchenAid was made to order.  I’m so thrilled we could use the old trim plate.

We are very happy with the new unit and truly appreciate all you did to make it possible. Thanks again,  -Susie & Jack

No. 1 cause of appliance returns

June 6, 2011

So you’ve fallen in love with a new appliance, and it looks great and has the features to do all the stuff you want it do.

And you plunk down a sizable chunk of change (appliances are no small expenditure!), and schedule the delivery.

So imagine your sadness when the only thing our highly complimented, professional crew delivers is the bad news that your beautiful new appliance won’t

  • fit through your doors
  • into your allotted space
  • work with your existing connections

This isn’t a rare occurrence that only happens to those with irregular house situations; It happens ALL the time because all houses are irregular.

Heck, my new refrigerator nearly didn’t fit because the width changed between the upper cabinet and lower cabinet, and I had only measured the latter! (Luckily, our guys are pros and made it work for me.)

Also, consider the space needed to use the appliance. For instance, is there enough room for the door to open? Not only was my space almost too narrow for the top of my fridge, but in switching from a top-mount refrigerator to a freezer-on-the-bottom model, I failed to consider that the freezer drawer would need to clear the window frame along its left side only a couple inches ahead. Again, our guys are pros and made my selection work despite all its challenges.

If you’re purchasing laundry, consider which side your washer and dryer are on and make sure that the doors will open appropriately.

Ideally, the machine on the left should have hinges on the left side of its doors and the machine on the right should have its hinges on the right side of the door.

Bottom line: Assuming you need “standard”-sized appliances is dangerous because standard doesn’t exist. And every house is different.

If you’re considering replacing any of your appliances soon, this checklist will help you prevent the expensive and time-consuming mistake of purchasing the wrong product for your space.

Our salespeople will qualify you, but as in the case of my refrigerator, even I didn’t measure diligently enough!

Measure the opening    

Measure the area where your appliance will be placed rather than the size of your existing appliance. And take it from me and measure along several spots of your opening.

Size up the pathway

Those living in older homes especially, take note! Ensure that your appliance it will fit through each hallway and doorway of the entire path to its final destination.

Of course, you can remove railings and doors if necessary, but you’ll want to do this in advance and remeasure to ensure that this too allows enough space. When in doubt, discuss the situation with your sales rep.

Check your connections

You need the appropriate electric outlet within 3-½ feet of the space you’ve selected for your new product. Make sure the outlet is grounded (accepts a three-prong plug), since most appliances require one. For electric dryers and electric ranges, be sure to check for a 240V electric connection.

Measure twice, cut once

Take another look at the pathway en route to the final destination of your appliance and ensure that your product will fit through the designated space.

It could save you more than 25% of the purchase price, your valuable time and (if you’re like me) your ego.
>>See our complete list of tips for buying appliances and having them delivered

Our delivery crews go ‘above and beyond’

March 21, 2011

Our customers frequently gush about their experience with our delivery and installation crews. We hear about how professional and courteous our delivery crew members are. But most importantly, they’re ours (most appliance companies outsource these services), meaning they undergo background checks and appreciate the responsibility of representing Warners’ Stellian.

We recently found this thank you card a customer sent with some pictures she snapped of our employees, Tim and Tony, tackling a particularly challenging project.

Mr. Warner,

Your two employees did a great job getting the old machines out and Maytag stackable washer and dryer in.

The outstanding part came when they tried to connect the dryer vent. I’m including pictures so you can see what good employees you have.

I thank Warners’ Stellian for years of good service and especially Tony F. and Tim B.

Sincerely, Mary P.

p.s. note the small opening for his head. At one point all you could see was his feet.

For the majority of our orders, delivery and installation is free (delivery on orders $499 & up; freestanding installation) disproving the old adage, “you get what you pay for.”

Anyone else have similar experiences they’d like to share?

Loud refrigerator? We hear ya

July 7, 2010

Image: maxabout.com

If you’ve replaced your refrigerator within the last several years, your shiny new model might be making its presence known in noisier way.

Why?

For one, foam insulation — often used to make these appliances more energy-efficient — lacks the sound-baffling capabilities of fiberglass insulation incorporated into previous energy hogs.

Here’s some other “normal” sounds to expect, along with their abnormal counterparts:

Evaporator coil

A boiling, surging or gurgling sound as the compressor starts and stops. Also, a pop as the evaporator expands and contracts after defrosting.

Evaporator fan

The sound of air being forced through the unit is normal, but a continuous ticking or even intermittent squealing is abnormal.

Defrost heater

Sizzling or hissing sound from water dropping onto the heater during defrost cycle

Compressor

Newer fridges’ compressors are much more efficient and run much faster, giving off a high-pitched hum, whine or pulse. But watch out for clicking during start up (especially if the lights dim), banging or knocking during start or stop, a ping or snap followed by the compressor stopping.

Cold control and defrost timer

A snapping or ticking sound as the refrigerator turns on and off

Plastic liner

Cracking or popping as the temperatures change

Drain pan

Running water during or after the defrost cycle

Water valve

Buzzing, clicking or running water as the icemaker fills or water is dispensed

Icemaker

Cracking of ice and cubes dropping into the bin

Condenser fan

Air being forced over the condenser is normal, but squealing from the motor is abnormal.

Condenser

You should hear a surging or gurgling sound from the flow of refrigerant when the compressor runs, but an improperly placed drain pan could cause rattling.

If the normal sounds bother you, consider a piece of rubber-backed carpet for underneath the fridge. You could even put sound absorbing materials inside the cabinet if the refrigerator sits in an enclosure.

Cleaning oven glass

December 9, 2009

Noticed some streaks and stains on the inner oven glass that weren’t there before?

(fig. 1)

Hold up! Step back from your Jump To Conclusions mat — it’s not a bad seal.

Several vents (highlighted in fig. 1) open directly into the inner door to vent the hot air away from the glass. And because of their proximity to the stove top and its mess, people often spray cleaner near the vents that sneaks inside the door and drips down, causing streaks and stains.

What to do?

Our smart and helpful customer service rep Amy cautions you against pulling the door apart yourself.

Officially, if it bothers you enough, pay a service company to clean it — otherwise you’ll void the warranty, she said. Unfortunately, this aesthetic nuisance falls outside of warranty coverage because the customer did it herself.

Anatomy of an oven door

But if your range is older than 10 years — and in some cases, five years — warranty is no longer a concern.

So, unofficially, you can check out this HOW TOs on espares.com and find more on fixya.com — at your own risk.

Don’t get all “Red Green” inspired and duct tape the vents, like one customer informed Amy he’d being doing. That hot air needs to go somewhere.

A better way to prevent stains between the glass is to not spray near the vents. Better yet, spray cleaners directly onto the rag, rather than the range.

Dishwasher troubleshooting: Dishes not clean

November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving means two things: lots of food and lots of dirty dishes. And more dirt requires more soap, right?

WRONG.

Despite what you might think, too much soap can actually prevent your dishes from getting clean — especially on the top rack.

You should only use about half the amount of detergent recommended on the package. And if you have a water softener, you need only 1-2 teaspoons of powder — even less if you use liquid.

I think these people may have used too much detergent.

Too much soap can cause over-sudsing. Our customer service representative Maghan explained to me that the dishwasher tries to drain as much of the soap suds and food residue as it can. But when too much soap is used and it produces  so many suds, the dishwasher can’t drain it all in the time allowed.

So instead of draining, the soap bubbles pop inside, redepositing tiny food particles back onto the dishes, which show up most on glassware and silverware.

How do you know if you’re over-sudsing? Run a cycle without any soap. If suds are left at the bottom of the tub, you’re over-sudsing.

To remedy, we suggest a “vinegar cycle”:

  • Empty any dishes and shut soap door, without adding any detergent
  • Run dishwasher until it gets to the wash cycle
  • Open the door and check if the dispenser flap has opened
    • If it hasn’t, run for another minute or so until the flap opens
    • If the flap has opened, add the 1 cup vinegar and run through the full cycle.

You might have to repeat the process two or three times to ensure you’ve eliminated the build up of soap. Maghan also suggests trying a dishwasher cleaner like Glisten or Dishwasher Magic.

And I’ve said it again but I will continue to harp on about using rinse aid. It’s not just for looks, people! Maghan reminds us dishwashers today come designed to use rinse aid to help dry, as they lack a built-in fan.

So remember: gorge on turkey, just go easy on the soap, OK?

Photo credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flexsleuthor/ / CC BY 2.0

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