Friday, August 24, 2012

Getting It Right

Late last fall, after I had begun developing a late bloomer interest in actually, you know, cooking, I decided to replace the cumbersome food processor/mixer/blender combo we'd been given back in 1979 with a new food processor. I shopped around a bit, and the one that I could afford that had a feature in which I was particularly interested was this KitchenAid.

No big bells, no loud whistles, all I wanted was one that would chop, grate, slice, and provide me with two sizes of bowls. This one was perfect.

Usually I am very, very good about sending in warranty information straight away, and then promptly losing all paperwork and forgetting when I bought something anyway, and of course, using an appliance with no trouble until the day after it's out of warranty. In this case I departed my own well-written text, and just never got around to sending in the warranty information.

I'd had it about a month -- it was just after Christmas, I think -- when I finally decided to use the thing. I attempted to shred a block of cheese, and nothing happened. Nothing good, anyway. Nothing I could do would make the thing work again for more than about 15 seconds. At that point I should have contacted the manufacturer immediately, right?

But nope. I was busy with Christmas retail season. I had just gone back to work after being out for six weeks during my mother's illness and the weeks after her death. My siblings and I had a system worked out to provide care for my father that we executed for 6 months, taking turns staying with him for the 24 hour a day care he needed. Then he was hospitalized, then he went to a nursing home, then he went to an assisted living facility were we all felt good about not being in constant attendance, so here I was all these months later, staring at a useless food processor, knowing I'd thrown money I didn't have to waste down the toilet.

Winning, right? But with a little time on my hands now, here's what happened.

Me, to KitchenAid, 7/28/2012: I bought this food processor several months ago, and it has never worked correctly: my husband believes that there is a problem with the contact that needs to be made when you put the top on in order to lock it so it will operate safely. It will allow the processor to work for a couple of seconds, but then appears to lose the connection and it shuts down.  We should have contacted you when the problem first happened, of course, but it happened during a time when our family was undergoing some significant upheavals, and it just wasn't the most important item on the list. We are in the process of throwing things out, and I really hate to ditch the processor, but frankly I don't remember whether we registered it!

What I'm hoping, I guess, is that this is a problem that is not unique to my unit, and that perhaps you can help me figure out how we can fix the issue. I have always had very good use from KitchenAid products, and expect that if this problem is fixed the same will hold true this time.

KitchenAid, to Me, 7/31/2012:  I am sorry to hear that you have had a problem with your food processor.  If you put the bowl, lid and food pusher together while it is not on the unit, does you see the little "finger" that pops out of the base of the handle?  If this broken, that could cause the problem that you are having.  If that does not solve the problem, Please let me know and I will go ahead and replace the bowl under warranty to see if that helps.  I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Me, to KA, 8/5/2102:  We do see that little finger pop out. What happens when I use it is that the lid assembly comes loose. It will not attract "locked.". When THIS happens the unit shuts down. 
We actually filed a video of this for you. Here is the YouTube link, which is viewable only to those who have the link.

Please watch to the end.  Thank you!

KA, to Me, 8/6/2012:  Dear Ms. Lucas, Thank you for providing that video.  I have placed an order for a new work bowl cover to be sent to you at no charge to see if that helps.  If it does not, I will send out a new bowl.  You video indicates that a new lid may be the correct fix.

Me, to KA, 8/16/2012: I received the replacement top for my food processor and I am happy to say that, while it did not completely fix the problem, at least the processor is usable now! Experimenting over the weekend revealed that when the grating/slicing blades are used for anything with any "heft" (cheese, potato, carrots, etc.) the problem repeats itself almost every time. For less dense things, it works fine, and the mechanism can be adjusted manually (with a screwdriver) to enable the top to do it's safety job and allow us to use chopping, blending features, at least. That's a big improvement! Am I 100% happy? No. But you went above and beyond, and for well more than half of the things I wanted a processor for, we will make do. We just won't be using it for grating/shredding some things.  

I appreciate so much your helpfulness, and your willing to work with me on this issue.


KA, to Me, 8/20/2012:  Dear Ms. Lucas, While I am happy that the lid has made the processor functional, we want you to be able use all of the functions.  Therefore, I have placed an order for a new processor to be sent to you under warranty. You should receive your replacement unit within the next 7 to 10 business days via FedEx. Once it arrives, we do require that the original processor be returned to KitchenAid.  If you no longer have the box that your original unit came in, you may use the box and packing materials that your replacement comes in to return your original unit. A pre-paid label will be included with your replacement food processor.

And yesterday, this was on my front porch. 

It's so very easy to complain about shoddily made merchandise and poor customer service these days. And in our current culture, people tend to lap it up. Kvetching as entertainment. I'm as guilty of that as the next person. 

I just wanted to share this story about a company that did not have to do any of this, but chose to do the right thing by me, and the right thing for their business. 

Thank you, KitchenAid, and thank you Janine, KitchenAid's e-Solutions Specialist!


  1. Congrats! What a wonderful company! KitchenAid will get my business!

  2. So glad you shared this. I personally think there is more good customer service and workmanship than bad but we mostly talk about the bad. More of us should be sharing the stories of the good.