Saturday, March 14, 2009


Okay so it was Friday the 13th yesterday and I walked around on egg shells, all day, like I'm afraid of bein' seen. If the power who is in charge of bad luck sees me, Wham! Some horrible, ill-wind, hoodo jinx was gonna get me. Everybody knows that bad things happen to good people on Friday the 13th. It's a very stressful day and what's worse we had Friday the 13th two months in a row! Now how does that happen? One of my friends said it had somethin' to do with leap year? I don't think so. I tried googlin' to see what I could find out and it wasn't much help, so I asked CD and he thought a minute, I could tell by the steam comin' out, and he said it would probably happen again around 2015. Now how he figured it out without takin' off his shoes and socks, I'll never know. But back to what this post is really about. I had good luck yesterday. First I had bad luck, not yesterday, three days ago on Tuesday, and then on Friday the 13th my luck changed for the better! Here's my story,

We replace our hot water heater about every 4-5 years. We live in an area with lots of lime stone and have ridiculously hard water. Now I drain my water heater periodically like I'm suppose to but, alas, we can't get our water heater to give us longer service. Soooo, the last time our water heater quit on us, five months ago, we decided it was time to shell out the really big bucks and buy a water heater with a longer warranty time. We bought a really nice one with a 30 year warranty. I suggested that maybe we go with the one that had a lifetime warranty and CD said that a 30 year warranty was a lifetime warranty to us. I don't know where he thinks he's goin' but I plan on bein' here longer than 30 more years! Anywho, we bought this nice big time name brand water heater from a nice big time name home improvement store.

We felt very reassured in the product we bought since we have owned more than one of their washin' machines through the years and I have a dishwasher right now that is the same name brand and I have always been happy with this company. BUT tragedy struck on Tuesday of this past week and after only 5 months of faithful service, kaput, no hot water was comin' forth from the faucet! We have a friend who is a handy man type and he checked it over and said it could be the computerized circuit board or the heatin' element and we should call the well known companies warranty center. My husband was on hold for 45 minutes! I went online to the address listed in our owner's manual but it was not a valid address. Hmmmm. I finally found a place on their website that had nothin' to do with the warranty but I emailed anyway to see what I could find out. I still have not received a reply from the company.

In my search for a new contact for the warranty I stumbled upon some comments made by fellow, no hot water, people like us. I was in shock over what I learned. There are hundreds and hundreds of unhappy people out there who have had their water heaters quit while under warranty with no satisfaction in gettin' their water heaters fixed or replaced and like me, there is not even a way to contact the company. Not all the complaints were aimed at my brand of water heater, it's pretty much all water heaters. Our friend said there are only about 3 companies that make water heaters even though there are several different names out there. So they are all pretty much affiliated. Great!

So I called the number from our owners manual the next day and after bein' on hold (it's a electronic voice that comes on and says hold please) for 35 minutes I hung up. When my husband got home from work we took turns holdin' the phone while bein' on hold for 70 minutes! At this point I was just ready to take the water heater back and go buy a new cheap one. Our friend, who deals with this kind of stuff all the time, said that the home improvement store would not be able to take the water heater back without an authorization from the well known hot water heater company. I'm wonderin', how do I get that when they won't answer the phone and they've shut down the link to the repair center? Now remember this is not just happenin' to me but to lots of people.

So, my hubby went and bought another water heater, he thought he had to have hot water. I told him we were NOT goin' to fix the broken one, I WAS goin' to get it returned. Our friend said, 'It's not goin' to happen.'

The associate that I spoke with at the home improvement store said that they could not take back the water heater without a return authorization from the factory. I told him about not bein' able to get in touch with the company, he gave me a phone number but it was the same one I already had.

Aggggh! I was so frustrated by this point.

Later that evenin' I called the home improvement store again and spoke to a different associate. I've learned if you don't get satisfaction the first time, try again. Our friend just laughed and said, 'They are not gonna take it back.'

I was told the same thing by the second associate as the first. He asked if I wanted to speak to the night manager. YES, please. She said their hands were tied and she had to have a return authorization.

Okay now, I'm really startin' to get mad here. The next mornin' I called the home improvement store and asked to speak to the manager again. I figured that if I'd spoken to the night manager the night before they must surely have a day manager and this manager was probably the BIG cheese in the department. When he got on line I went into this big spill about how I couldn't get in contact with the factory to get a authorization number and further more I thought he probably knew there would never be an authorization number! I went on to say that we purchased a lot of goodies from them, and we do, we live in an older home that we have been remodelin' through the years. I wasn't rude, just firm. When the man was able to get a word in, he just said, 'Bring it back.' That's all he said, just bring it back. So we did!

So on Friday the 13th the expensive well known name brand 30 year warranty water heater went back to the well known home improvement store.

I'm thinkin' now that maybe Friday the 13th isn't such an unlucky day. I'm also thinkin' that if you know you are in the right, hang in there and keep at it until you have completely exhausted your options. And then, Still don't give up if you know you are right.

Our friend says that the next time he needs help with a return problem, he's havin' me handle the situation!


Punkn said...

You go girl! It does pay to hang in there. It is also worth going to the top if you don't get satisfaction. I'll definitely give you a call next time I have an expensive, hard to return item.

Darlene said...

You were definitely right to keep on till you could get your money back. That is absolutely ridiculous that you couldn't even get ahold of anyone from the original manufacturer...I would have been HOT! Glad it all worked out for you.

My New 30 said...

Rebel you are such a HOOT! I love your stories and the little jewels in them (still laughing about the shoes & socks LOL).

I hesitate to even say this but knock on wood, I've always been pretty lucky with this kind of thing (fortunately) but I'll bet that's changing these days. I did have to call DirecTV yesterday about an add-on, not anything broken, because of a glitch at the website where normally you could just order this piece. I didn't have to hold long, but it took the rep forever to figure out how to handle it and get what I needed ordered. Not her fault, she just didn't have the information - and she apologized and I wasn't that busy, but still, it was a bit annoying.

You're right though, keep at it, don't cave and stand your ground!! WTG my friend! I think you should have named the water heater company personally.

TuTu's Bliss said...

Way to go! :)

Bo said...

Hi Rebel...Great success story! Have you considered one of those new fangled water heaters that doesn't have a storage tank, but heats the water on demand...they are very pricey but maybe they wouldn't be as big of a problem...
;-) Bo

muddywaters said...

I hate dealing with the man. There's a certain big name home improvement store that I avoid doing business with at all cost.

I had a Pontiac Grand Am that had an alternator that went out every two years. It was a pain in the rear.

That's why I deal with food. If something goes bad, at least I can eat my mistake.

Jodi said...

I'm so glad you were able to take the water heater back. I've also learned that persistence pays off and many times it depends on who you speak to.