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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Open Letter to @homedepot CEO Frank Blake - Please Stand Behind What You Sell | Maris Ehlers Photography

This is a very long open letter to Home Depot CEO Frank Blake regarding the lemon LG Dishwasher we purchased last year.  Please help me get it to him by sharing, reposting and tagging Home Depot.  Thank you! 

Twitter:  @homedepot

April 25, 2012

Mr. Frank Blake
CEO Home Depot
2455 Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30339

Dear Mr. Blake:

Thank you in advance for reading this letter. As an executive who earns over $10.6 million a year, I would guess you are a busy man.  I earn far less, but rest assured, I am just as busy as you are, so since I’ve taken the time out of my life to have this experience with your company, I would appreciate you taking the time out of yours to read it. 

Last year, I bought a new LG dishwasher from the Home Depot store in Maple GroveThe dishwasher had a price tag of $1,099.  I felt like it was a really high price to pay for a unit, but I had previously bought an LG front loading washer and LG front loading dryer (to the tune of $1,000 each, also from the same Home Depot store) several years prior and love them, so figured my loyalty was well placed.

When I made the purchase, I also purchased the extended warranty. I do not recall off hand how much this was, but it wasn’t cheap. 

One morning a few short months later, I stepped into my kitchen to find our recycled tobacco barn wood floors soaking wet.  You can imagine my dismay.  I ran downstairs to the basement, to find water had been running down the walls and all over the floor.  The obvious culprit was the dishwasher. 

I called Home Depot, and was immediately put in contact with the warranty division.  Yay!  The odd thing was, I learned that day that Home Depot actually sells the service contract that I entered into with Home Depot to another company.  No worries, I’m sure it was in the fine print of the warranty contract (boo!). Two weeks later, a repairman came out on September 15, 2011, and could not find the problem.  It was odd, because the dishwasher did quit leaking at that time, but then REALLY leaked again less than two months later in November of 2011.  Water once again went everywhere.

By this time, our floors had started to rot, and the planks had swollen when wet and pushed other boards out of alignment, bad enough that our pantry door would no longer shut.  Eventually they dried out, which means that they are now warped and misshapened.

Again, the repairman came, looked around, looked under the unit, but did not take anything apart.  His diagnosis this time was that there was a small inexpensive part that had failed, and he replaced it. 

Fast forward to 2012, and the dishwasher started leaking again. Continuously. Once again, our floors have been soaked.  At this point, I became quite frustrated.  I called again, and was told that there had to be three service calls made before a unit could be deemed unfixable.  Fine.  The repairman came out again.  Still couldn’t find anything wrong.  Right before Easter, it happened again.  I called again.  This time it was a different tech from the same company, and he couldn’t find the records of their previous visits.  His diagnosis was that the unit was not level, which was causing the leaking.

Three days later, on a Saturday morning, the dishwasher started leaking on the floors and down the walls again.  I called and was told that another repair visit would need to be scheduled, and although this was now going to be our fifth repair visit for the same issue, it could not be deemed unfixable unless the repairman made that call while he was there.  Because that’s the policy, and policies mean that’s just the way it is, regardless of the circumstances, right?

I very angrily questioned why four visits are required (and we had already hit that number) when the Home Depot policy listed three, and I was told that A & E (the company that services the Home Depot extended warranty contracts) policy is four visits and that it “supercedes” the Home Depot Policy that I purchased.  Really! 

In reality, five visits are required, because a claim could not be made until the repairman is out at the site, which means he had to come back again.

Well, I’ve wasted yet another half a day.  The tech arrived early, was polite, etc., etc., and this time he actually took apart the door.  First time in five service calls that anyone has actually done this.  He says he has found the leak.  Sounds good, but I’ve heard this before!

Next step?  He has to call at least four different people while at my home to argue about who is going to pay for the part and who is going to pay for the labor, because in the end, no one wants to.  He’s uncomfortable, frustrated and so am I. 

Now, here we sit again, because the part has to be shipped and the earliest they can come after delivery is Friday, May 4th.

So in the year that I have had this dishwasher that I paid over $1,000 for, plus more than that when you include the extended warranty, I have an estimated damage to my kitchen floors for nearly $3,000, and I have approximately seven months out of that year where the dishwasher has either been leaking or we couldn’t use it because we were waiting for service.

I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointed, disgusted, mad, angry, frustrated and just plain old ticked off I am about all of this.  I completely feel like this whole extended warranty is a scam, and that all of you just hope that we get frustrated enough that we will just go buy a new dishwasher.  Every time I even think about this my blood pressure rises and I get upset.

I feel that throughout this entire process, the customer is the one who matters the least.  Customer service calls are sent to India or some other country, and the person on the other end of the line has absolutely no ability or authority to actually fix my problem, they can only repeat the policies that make no sense, that do not take anything into consideration other than “the fine print”, and it is frustrating beyond belief.

I am pleading with you to make this experience different.  After five service calls within one year of a major purchase that INCLUDED an extended warranty, I deserve to be treated better than this.  I wouldn’t even ask to have our floors fixed (and by the way we are glad we haven’t had them fixed yet anyway, because they would just be getting ruined repeatedly), but I do expect Home Depot to stand behind their warranty and replace my barely one year old lemon of a dishwasher with either a credit for the full price plus the warranty and sales tax, or a brand new (not refurbished) replacement dishwasher.  Before I spend another two weeks washing every dish and glass for a family of four by hand.


Maris Murphy Ehlers
Disappointed Home Depot Customer
763-370-4704 (763-498-7509 home)

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