Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hot Time, Not Cooking and Screaming at Goliath

It's hot. This is a major understatement this year in south Texas. It's really hot. I am ceasing to count the days over 100 degrees and instead counting the meager number of days that have blessedly slipped to under 3 digits.

I am hot, too. Not in the popular conversational movie star icon sense, nor in the more appropriate menopausal grandmother Hot flashy sense, but in the raging, screaming, "Falling Down", or even networky, "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it any more" , hot around the collar kind of sense.

Last January, I updated my kitchen, a few light fixtures, and the flooring in my house. The decorator that I hired was competent and chosen mainly because I didn't want to deal with the inevitable hassles and problems that can occur during remodeling. Even though she is doing her best to help with what should be a minor issue, I can't help but feeling a little like David battling Goliath. I need a bigger rock, a stronger slingshot or at least a better strategy.

My minor issue is the oven. I cook good! I mean really good. Well is probably better gramatically, but I still mean good. Randy's eyes would roll around and he made yummy faces when I prepared something from our old oven. This NEW Jenn Air oven does not cook good. In fact, it does not cook a frozen pizza without burning the bottom. I spent forty bucks on cheese cake ingredients for the bake sale for the children's shelter and tried to make my famous blackberry cheese cake.  (I got the recipe from Texas Monthly - click link). I could not bring myself to sell that cracked up mess at the bake sale. It would have been far too embarrassing.

I knew there was something wrong with the NEW oven fairly early on, but thought that I just needed to get used to it. After about a month of trying to adapt, a call went out to Jenn Air. The response was that it needed calibration, and we had to do that ourselves before the service people would come out.

We calibrated it ourselves. It was 40 degrees off. The other problem was that it was not consistently 40 degrees off. Randy is accustomed to field expedience, ( military experience) and I just tend to make do with whatever is handy, so we wrangled up the thermometer that we use for cooking the turkey at Christmas, and have been using that to judge temperature on our  NEW hi tech, computerized, state of the art Jenn Air oven.

OK, I know that you can get a lemon with anything, and that most anything can be repaired, and with all the surveys and customer service and good will going on, this excellent product, backed by a very excellent company is sure to be repaired, lickety split. Right?

Wrong. Sometime, probably in late April or May, Jenn Air sent out technicians from General Services. They were nice young men, very polite, usually not extremely punctual, but always called to let me know if they had a flat tire, death in the family , or excuse du jour for why I was the appointment that had to be moved to 7:30 or 8:00 on Friday evening, or better yet why my Friday appointment had to be moved to Saturday. Poor things. I think they were over booked. They couldn't seem to get the right replacement parts, plus they broke my cooking stones when they turned the oven over. We even thought at one time they had discontinued a part for a brand new model oven, but found out later that was just a boo boo. Whew!ALTHOUGH IT REALLY DOESN 'T MATTER BECAUSE IT STILL DOESN'T WORK!
Jenn Air was obviously beginning to have doubts about General Service, because they scheduled another service company, South Texas to check out my oven and confirm if it was really irreparable.  The gentleman from South Tex said "No Problemo" and expedited the order for 3 parts to hopefully be here before I left for vacation on the 13th of July. 

Needless to say, the parts never materialized and while I was sunning by the pool on July 25th, I got a call from Jenn Air in Cleveland, Tennessee (so thankful they were calling from the USA) who in their infinite wisdom scheduled the nice, but ineffectual folks from General Services and the relative newcomers from South Texas Appliance to show up at the same time.  What Fun!  At least in my mind.  I envisioned something like a repair showdown, sort of between the "Showdown at the OK corral meets Hell's Kitchen". 

I am still waiting for a replacement for my cooking stone. The nice folks from General Services came for their scheduled appointment - a 4th or 5th visit to my house on Friday, July 29. For the second time, they deem the NEW oven to be irreparable. The representative from South Texas called and gets kind of whacked out because the competing company is here and will not come.  I am so disappointed.  No showdown.  THE NEW OVEN STILL DOESN'T WORK. 

It is now August 3,  we have been through vacation, have waited for a set appointment because South Texas has 1  of 3 parts  in.  They know that this part (which has already been replaced once - it's a mother board.  Is this second one a step mother board?)   will repair my oven that General Service has already deemed irreparable.  Yesterday, I literrally screamed at the supervisor when they didn't show up for a scheduled appointment and their excuse was that I did not call them back to confirm within 5 minutes.   I banged my head on the wall.  I acted like a real baby.  I shook.  Randy took my blood pressure. I did not want these people and their step mother board in my house.  All I wanted to do was pelt them with the pieces of the cooking  stone that the other service company had broken. 

It was a long afternoon and a longer night.  I was up at 2:30 a.m. watching Little Miss Sunshine and then Law and Order re runs because I was so bothered by my own behavior and because I had allowed a minor inconvenience, the 7 months long delay of the repair of a hi tech, computerized, lemon glazed oven and the absolutely horrible customer service.

I didn't pick  either of these service companies. When the people finally show up, they are personable, polite and seem to be knowledgeable, even though the problem is still not corrected.  The crux of MY problem is not only that my NEW oven doesn't work right, but the gatekeepers, appointment makers and schedulers who have been trained to "understand", don't really understand at all.  They don't understand how frustrating it is for a cooker who loves to cook to do without for 7 months, to not be able to perform a community service, to not be able to enjoy cooking with grandchildren and family.  I have missed cooking for: Easter, Numerous Birthday Cakes ( I do have a huge family) Red, White and Blue Cakes for 4th of July,Children's Shelter Bake Sale, Ham Biscuits to take on Vacation, I nearly blew the run Cake for Jason's grooms cake and I have really just been making do with my turkey thermometer.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I think the appointment makers are reading off a script.  I don't think they understand or care for that matter.  An unhappy customer is just a kink in the works, a minor annoyance.  I want to find a piece of my cooking stone and pelt them with it. 
After my emotional explosion, Randy called, rescheduled the appointment. Of course now it was another day later before we could be worked into their busy, busy schedule.  He was told that our appointment time was between 8 & 1.  We MUST answer our phone to confirm that we are here for our scheduled appointement, because they will not come out if we do not answer and if for ANY reason we are on another line, we'd better call back in less than 5 minutes or they will have to reschedule. 

South Texas showed up today.  They called at 12:56.  So at least they were punctual - they had 4 minutes to spare.  They brought the step-mother board.  They did not bring anything to make sure the oven is callibrated. I guess we have to do that ourselves.  The frozen pizza from lunch nearly burned.  The Jenn Air is label is peeling off the oven.  I think it wants to escape.  I am still not happy.  I don't think I will be happy.  I feel like David just got peed on by Goliath and I still can't find my stones with which to hit him. 

1 comment:

  1. OMG, hope tomorrow is a better day,today was a downer for me too!!