Edition 67
Message from the Editor Slow Cooker Problems – New and Faulty
by Przybyla Felecia, Speaker & Media Management, Reverse Logistics Association

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This time I’m happy to say this returns problem wasn’t my issue, but unfortunately is a situation with a friend of mine. The problem still isn’t resolved, but this story again shows the views and struggles of the customer.

My friend “Susan” is a big user of her slow cooker. In fact, she has been using the same brand slow cooker for over 18 years and recently bought a newer/bigger 6qt at Target for $35. She has three boys (ages 13+) who keep her busy and are big eaters, so she uses her slow cooker A LOT. She bought the newer/bigger one so that she could make bigger meals, for the needs of her hungry boys.

A couple of months ago, the first time she used her new slow cooker, she put a roast in and filled it halfway with water. She put it on Low for 9-10 hours, and when she got home from work that evening, the water was completely gone, the roast was burnt to a crisp, and of course smaller and hard; she compared it to a hockey puck.

She thought – new slow cooker appliance, maybe she needed more water. So she tried again on another day, and this time added more water, only to get the same results. She had done these steps with no problems for the past 18 years with her older slow cooker – so she knew the product was faulty.

The quickest and easiest thing to do would be to return the product to Target; unfortunately, she had misplaced her receipt and already thrown out the box, so she didn’t want to deal with the hassles of returning without a receipt AND box (although I suggested she still try).



So she contacted the slow cooker’s customer service. They asked her to do a test on the unit: to fill the slow cooker half full with water and turn it on high for 4 hours, and then take a candy thermometer to it. It took her a few days to be able to carve out 4 hours just to be home – as I said – she is very busy. She also doesn’t have a candy thermometer so she just observed and at 5 hours it was at a rolling boil. She emailed them back with those results two weeks ago.

Here’s the frustrating part – most people who use slow cookers use them so they don’t have to be home in 4 hours to check on the food. My friend is a single mom, of 3 very busy teenage boys, she works full-time, takes care of her dad nearby, and is very active in her church and scouts with her boys. So she is busy… She depends on her slow cooker to save her time. Meanwhile, she isn’t able to use a slow cooker, because everything she puts in it gets burnt.



She hasn’t heard back from customer service yet. She emailed them back 2 weeks ago, to tell them about the “test results”, and still no response. She is ready to just throw the unit away, take the $35 loss, and get a new one – but after some friend’s suggestions has tried being patient working with customer service – yet without a slow cooker.

I hope she gets the situation resolved, and doesn’t have to take the $35 loss, but I also hope this is an example of situations where companies need to put themselves in their customer’s shoes. If a new unit is purchased not working are all the scenarios and steps thought through so the customer isn’t waiting months to get a new unit?

- To Be Continued…
RLM

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