Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How to take care of your parents $6000 refrigerator using an Executive Email Carpet Bomb

I learned how to send out an EECB from the Consumerist.com - which is a great consumer action website. Funny how now I live in Israel and there is no concept of consumer action or consumer protection, but I digress, I can now live vicariously through my parents' many messed up purchases.

In order to launch a successful EECB you need to locate the names of all the big executives by going to Google, or in my case I went to Forbes. Once you have the names, you need to do another Google search to try to figure out the format of the email adddresses that Whirlpool uses. In this case Whirlpool uses 2-3 formats, jane.doe@whirpool.com or jane_doe@whirlpool.com. Then I also did a seperate keyword search and I found some people's e mail addresses who work in PR and marketing at Whrilpool. I got lucky and I found one marketing person's personal address that was posted on Linkedin.com. Not Smart.

Next I wrote this e mail and sent it out to around 25 executives, including the CEO and the marketing/pr people that I found. 12 bounced back, but that means that 12-13 landed.

Here is copy of the e mail I sent out to whirlpool.

"Re: Jade Model #
Serial #
About a year and a half ago, after much deliberation my parents went ahead and bought a Jade refrigerator freezer over a Sub Zero refrigerator freezer. We spoke to the customer service representative and they assured us that it came with a full 3 year warranty. About 6 months ago - the side by side unit was exactly a year old - all the headaches began; ice started to build up in the freezer and they had trouble with the authorized service center assigned to fix the refrigerator. The service center tried to make us believe that it was not under warranty and we would have to pay for unnecessary parts on our own, after using a different service company and talking with Maytag the issue was resolved and the unit was apparently fixed by Active Appliances fixed it 11.15.07 . After a couple of months the same problem reoccurred; ice was once again starting to building up, so this time A & E Appliances came out and fixed it on 2.21.08. About 3 weeks ago my mother informs me that she heard the unit make a lot pop sound. I called Maytag AGAIN and got through to a CSR manager, I was informed that there is a known issue with the pan not draining that then causes the ice to freeze and building up, a custom part needs to be ordered, and my mother will be called back to schedule an appointment as soon as I got off the phone. The CS manager was very courteous and I actually believed her, but of course she never called back. My mother now reports that the unit is making loud noises and she seriously fears it will explode, she is smelling burning rubber and has no idea what to do. To top it all off it is starting to leak and now there is water damage on their custom wood flooring.
Yesterday my mother called Maytag again and was informed - contrary to what I was told 3 weeks ago - that Maytag would pay for the part but she would have to pay for installation. At this point I lost it and decided to escalate the issue and take it to the next level. This is beyond absurd, this is a $6000 refrigerator freezer, not a Coleman cooler, it should at least work for 2 years. If the Whirlpool conglomerate cannot handle all of its customers in a timely manner maybe they should stop acquiring other brands and focus on the ones that they already have. I will not go away until this problem is resolved, I expect a resolution in a timely manner, otherwise it will continue to escalate, I can be very tenacious. I also included the ever so popular Consumerist blog in on this e mail.
All the best, I look forward to either an e mail or a phone call shortly,

Jade Model #
Serial # "

The marketing person whose address I got from Linkedin wrote back within 3 hours:

Hi Ron, I am sorry to hear of all this difficulty. To do my part in correcting your / your parents unfortunate experience with our Maytag (Whirlpool owns Maytag and Mayrag owns Jade, which means Jade is owned my Whirlpool - confusing since Jade is no longer made (i think))customer service, I have forwarded your note to our PR team. I would expect that you would be hearing from someone shortly. Thank you.

I then promptly reply

Thank you for the prompt reply,
Just got through instant messaging Ben Popken - Consumerist editor - he is interested in hearing the outcome. Ball is in your court.

Thank you,

I guess I pissed her off because this was next e mail I recieved from her.


I'm going to request that all further coorespondences be directed to Chris_ (email redacted), please do not use this gmail address. Thank you.

So I did a quick Google search for Chris, and guess what, he is also on Linkedin, and I manage to find out that he is pretty high up on the Whirlpool PR ladder. So I fire off this little missive over the weekend.

Here was the e mail I sent out yesterday to the board of directors, CEO and a bunch of others over at Whirlpool and various different blogs. So far the response from the blogs and has been pretty decent, and all are interested in knowing how this turns out. Apparently, it is not often that they get stories about people getting shafted while buying from a high end consumer product manufacturer. I was forwarded your e mail address from one of the people I originally e mailed over at whirlpool, so I thought I would give you heads up and send out the e mail I originally sent and posted. Ball is in your court.
Thank you,
ps - this is NOT the road I wanted to head down, I just feel like I have no other choice, sorry.

This all started on Friday morning, this last e mail was sent out Sunday, by Monday morning my mother gets a call from from Whirlpool offering her a $6000 (give or take) credit for any fridge they carry from either JennAir or Whirpool, installation included. Is that not awesome!

Problem solved, all it takes is a little preseverence and patience and you to get could your parents a brand new $6000 refrigerator


scott said...

Interesting post, thank you. I have been in the HVAC-R service repair for 20 years. My daughter has a Jade RJRS 4881A model doing the same thing. The drain pan freezes at the hole even though the pan is heated. (There is an area around the drain made of plastic that isn't heated and freezes up) I'm going to call Jade and Maytag and see if I can get a "custom part".

scott said...

UPDATE: For all who have this same problem. The custom part is a revised "drain pan tray assembly with tube heater" part number 67003237. I ordered it on June 6th and they sat on it for ten days (presumably to make it) and it got shipped June 16th. I don't have it yet, but when I do, I'll explain what it looks liek and how hard it is to install and what modifications are necessary (If any are)

Anonymous said...

I also have a Jade refrigerator that has been repaired/attempted to be repaired 10 times!? The special drain tray was ordered, shipped and then not used. It now makes a sound like a race car- again. I would love to hear what happened to Scott! I think the lemon law should come into effect now.

Anonymous said...

I'm attempting the same thing you did, I ordered a part that I asked to return ... three days after the 30 day return period.

I would understand if they said "no" right off the bat, but after an hour on the phone so they could confirm with management, they agreed to take it back.

I called a week later because I hadn't received the label, and they said the return was denied and there was nothing they could do. I just don't like being lied to for a week just so they can get me off the phone.

Can you e-mail the marketing woman's name to BigWeesel at Gmail.Com? I tried the executive e-mail bomb but I think only one of ten didn't get returned as undeliverable.

Appreciate any help you could offer!


RivkaSarit said...

Ron, our landlord has provided a Maytag fridge as part of our rental. It is less than 3 years old, but I think it was purchased in the US & shipped over. The repair man is telling us that it only has a 1 year warranty because it was moved out of the US - but it was obviously manufactured for use outside the US due to the voltage and hertz differences. Any reccomendations????

Ron In Israel said...

Rivka -

Unfortunately for you the warranty for the fridge is only one year since the fridge is now in Israel. It doesn't matter where it was made, it matters what Maytag and their Israeli distributor says the warranty is in Israel. If the fridge was 110 then maybe you would have an argument, but the fact that it is 220 clearly shows it was meant to leave the US and then that changes the whole ballgame. At least that is the way I understand it. you may want to email Maytag directly, but I doubt they will do anything for you. Sorry :-(

Anonymous said...

I am having the same problem with my $6,000 Jade model RJRS4870B. Repair guy yesterday said there is nothing I can really do except to make sure that I continue my extended warranty (which expires in October). He mentioned nothing about the pan. Is the consensus that this generally works? Any one have any other advice.

Anonymous said...

OMG....I have a JADE refrig. that has given me problems continuously. When the repair guy comes out he says the same thing as most of the postings here: "The build up of ice in the freezer". which causes the refrigerator and freezer to heat up to 70 degrees. Which of course causes ALL the food to spoil, and has happened several times to me.
First of all I never see the build up of ice they're talking about so I am wondering if this is a defect or an excuse!

Anonymous said...

We had the same problem. We were told that it is a well known issue of some insulation missing in the pan. They replaced the pan with one that has some styrofoam on it and it has been fine for the last 9 months.

Anonymous said...

I am going to be on my third pan. This one is not under warranty. So I am starting to think its class action time.

Joe W said...

I am now going on my 5th drain pan. Any lawyers want a great class action suit, the repair guy said they replace these all the time. He also said the same basic unit by Whirlpool has the drip pan on the bottom. As an engineer I agree the pan should be on the bottom not on top. Water does not travel uphill.
So if you are a lawyer and want a class action list your phone number and all of us can call you. Or contact me at mrmac@aol.com

Samantha said...


I am with a law firm that is investigating complaints about the drip tray problems with certain refrigerators. If you own one a Jenn-Air, Jade, Dynasty or Dacor refrigerator with drip tray problems and want to learn more about our investigation, please visit our website www.GirardGibbs.com/DripTray.asp or call us toll-free at our toll-free number (866) 981-4800. You can also reach me by email at sje@GirardGibbs.com.