Good Customer Service!

Considering how much we complain about our bad experiences with companies, I feel I have to report my most recent corporate interaction. It was so good it was scary.

We have a fridge. It’s an Indesit, about seven years old. It’s so old (in British white goods terms) that the manufacturer has changed its logo since we got it.

A bit of history, as a digression: we got the fridge on the house insurance, after I stabbed our previous fridge in the back while defrosting it. This was in Prince Regent Street, when we lived at the top of four flights of steep concrete stairs. The delivery men were not happy. Then they saw that the fridge went in the back of a kitchen built into a dormer window, and that they had to remove the old fridge over the counters, install the new one the same way, and take the old one down all those stairs. And it was a hot day. And I couldn’t, obviously, offer them a cold drink for their troubles.

Back to the subject. This fridge, though fine in all other ways, had a plastic bottom shelf. This shelf had a little clear plastic window over the vegetable drawer. The little clear plastic window was structurally separate, meaning that the weight of everything on the shelf had to be carried by two narrow beams of the main bit where it went over the drawer. Inevitably, one of those beams began to crack and bend. I repaired it with electrical tape and chopsticks, but its time was clearly up.

With heavy heart and little trust, I Googled “Indesit refrigerator shelf replacement UK” and got lots of useless sites. I also emailed Indesit directly, asking if they by any chance sold spare shelves to the public.

They replied within a day, with a toll-free UK phone number. Now, I hate calling strangers on the phone. Revile it. I’d rather starve in a gutter than be a telemarketer or a phone survey taker. So it took me a couple of days to decide that I hated the fridge shelf situation more than I hated one call.

The spares line answered on the first ring. Wow. The voice was friendly and cheerful. Double wow. They could sell me the shelf, even of an obselete fridge. Would I like a plastic one or a metal one? I was agog. It would be £6.85 including VAT and delivery for the metal one I wanted. I nearly had my head between my knees, I was so close to fainting from shock.

Then the kicker. It was out of stock. Maybe in three weeks or so? They took my credit card number and I hung up, my sense of the order of the universe restored by the one setback.

That was last week. So when the parcel arrived on Monday, with the shelf – the correct shelf, well, I was astonished.

Still, in a bow to the true nature of the universe, it did at least come with a silly warning message.