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Stricter enforcement by HO-Is this going to change how I help my customer?

kam

Legacy Member
Staff member
Mar 17, 2006
3,659
322
From what I have been reading (along with HO's announcement on the Lifetime Cookware), it seems as though HO has gotten much tougher about the replacement policy.

First, I can completely AGREE with HO on the abuse issues. They should not be replacing items that have NOT been taken care of as directed on U&C.

But, I have been thinking about how this is going to change how I help my customers.

If I am being completely honest, I have put in product adj for items that I strongly suspected had not been taken care of properly. Do I push my customer and accuse them of lying to me? No, I put in the adjustment.

Here might be a typical conversation:
Consultant: Did you put item X in the dishwasher? That can be the problem since item X cannot go in the dishwasher.
Customer: Oh, I don't think it has been in the dishwasher, I can't remember.
Consultant: Well, if it has been placed in the dishwasher, then that would not be covered, so I can't ask for a replacement.
Customer: Oh! Then I am sure it has NOT been in the dishwasher.

OK, in that situation, I would have a strong suspicion that the item had NOT been taken care of to U&C guidelines. But what are we supposed to do at that point?? Call the cusotmer a liar? So, we call and get a Ref# and the customer sends the item back. But, there is a good possibility that the item might be rejected. (Which, if the item had NOT been taken care of, it should be rejected).

I feel as if this puts me in a difficult position.
1. I can either tick off the customer while I am asking the U&C questions about the product. I mean, if they said they didn't abuse it - how far am I supposed to take it?
2. Or I can have a ticked off customer when they spend $ to return the item only to have it rejected.

I am thinking at this point, I am going to start giving out the number for them to call and speak to Customer Service to handle product problems themsleves. Let HO give them the third degree.

Which is a shame. I have always handled calling HO for returns for my customers as I feel this provides them with better customer service.
 

leftymac

Veteran Member
Jan 23, 2008
1,756
4
From what I have been reading (along with HO's announcement on the Lifetime Cookware), it seems as though HO has gotten much tougher about the replacement policy.

First, I can completely AGREE with HO on the abuse issues. They should not be replacing items that have NOT been taken care of as directed on U&C.

But, I have been thinking about how this is going to change how I help my customers.

If I am being completely honest, I have put in product adj for items that I strongly suspected had not been taken care of properly. Do I push my customer and accuse them of lying to me? No, I put in the adjustment.

Here might be a typical conversation:
Consultant: Did you put item X in the dishwasher? That can be the problem since item X cannot go in the dishwasher.
Customer: Oh, I don't think it has been in the dishwasher, I can't remember.
Consultant: Well, if it has been placed in the dishwasher, then that would not be covered, so I can't ask for a replacement.
Guest: Oh! Then I am sure it has NOT been in the dishwasher.

OK, in that situation, I would have a strong suspicion that the item had NOT been taken care of to U&C guidelines. But what are we supposed to do at that point?? Call the cusotmer a liar? So, we call and get a Ref# and the customer sends the item back. But, there is a good possibility that the item might be rejected. (Which, if the item had NOT been taken care of, it should be rejected).

I feel as if this puts me in a difficult position.
1. I can either tick off the customer while I am asking the U&C questions about the product. I mean, if they said they didn't abuse it - how far am I supposed to take it?
2. Or I can have a ticked off customer when they spend $ to return the item only to have it rejected.

I am thinking at this point, I am going to start giving out the number for them to call and speak to Customer Service to handle product problems themsleves. Let HO give them the third degree.

Which is a shame. I have always handled calling HO for returns for my customers as I feel this provides them with better customer service.

Exactly! I only do adjustments for my customers if it's in the first 30 days. Otherwise, I give them instructions to call HO. I'm not going to be the middleman there, especially if I think the damage has been caused because of user error.
 

emiscookin

Member
Mar 26, 2010
312
0
Hmm.. that's a tough one. Maybe during your shows you could stress that once they get their products they really NEED to follow the U&C instructions properly or it will void their warranty. Also stress that they need to SAVE THEIR RECEIPTS!!!

But then again, I am concerned that if I (or you) say this it will look like our products are not good quality and turn customers away. :confused:

("Oh if he/she's stressing the whole warranty thing...I thought I wouldn't have to depend on that, but if I do...what kind of quality is this stuff really???")

You know what I mean?
 

elizabethfox

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Nov 14, 2007
870
1
I feel the same way Kam. I have ALWAYS handled my customers returns for them. I too feel it is good customer service. But now with the stricter guidelines I don't feel comfortable handling them anymore. :(
 

ChefCat

Member
Jan 29, 2010
197
0
Here might be a typical conversation:
Consultant: Did you put item X in the dishwasher? That can be the problem since item X cannot go in the dishwasher.
Customer: Oh, I don't think it has been in the dishwasher, I can't remember.
Consultant: Well, if it has been placed in the dishwasher, then that would not be covered, so I can't ask for a replacement.
Customer: Oh! Then I am sure it has NOT been in the dishwasher.


This could be another way to discuss a situation where a customer used a dishwasher for the NS cookwear:

Consultant: Tell me about how you used this pan.

Customer: I loved to cook blah, blah, blah in it, I would use it all the time....

Consultant: It is a great size for everyday cooking. I love it for blah, blah, blah too! Now tell me how would you usually clean it?

Customer: Oh, well I would just toss it in the dishwasher with everything else, makes clean up a snap.

Consultant: Oh... I see. Well I am sorry to tell you this but these pans are not meant to be cleaned in the dishwasher. The pan came with a use and care sheet explaining proper care. Unfortunately the dishwasher caused this discoloration and it is irreversible and using the dishwasher does void the warranty. I would be happy to help you replace this pan at a savings of 50% off. (Then go into a booking talk and help the customer earn a half off selection. If you wanted maybe offer some other incentive as an act of kindness and sympathy. Maybe suggest the SS pans.)

In the first sample dialogue given, the consultants first line seems to just set the conversation up for a negative and defensive response from the customer. Maybe try to ask several open-ended non-judgmental questions to learn about how the item was treated and then go from there. Ask questions the make them tell you if they used the dishwasher or not with out actually asking "did you use the dishwasher?" With respect then inform what PC policy is. I'm some what new, but to me it seems the policy did not change, PC is just following it now. I plan to try to inform each of my customers about use and care but ultimately the responsibility lies in them to understand what our lifetime guarantee entails. Having "fine print" stipulations is not at all uncommon and the use and care sheet is not that much to read.
 

kam

Legacy Member
Staff member
Mar 17, 2006
3,659
322
  • Thread starter
  • #6
This could be another way to discuss a situation where a customer used a dishwasher for the NS cookwear:

Consultant: Tell me about how you used this pan.

Customer: I loved to cook blah, blah, blah in it, I would use it all the time....

Consultant: It is a great size for everyday cooking. I love it for blah, blah, blah too! Now tell me how would you usually clean it?

Customer: Oh, well I would just toss it in the dishwasher with everything else, makes clean up a snap.

Consultant: Oh... I see. Well I am sorry to tell you this but these pans are not meant to be cleaned in the dishwasher. The pan came with a use and care sheet explaining proper care. Unfortunately the dishwasher caused this discoloration and it is irreversible and using the dishwasher does void the warranty. I would be happy to help you replace this pan at a savings of 50% off. (Then go into a booking talk and help the customer earn a half off selection. If you wanted maybe offer some other incentive as an act of kindness and sympathy. Maybe suggest the SS pans.)

In the first sample dialogue given, the consultants first line seems to just set the conversation up for a negative and defensive response from the customer. Maybe try to ask several open-ended non-judgmental questions to learn about how the item was treated and then go from there. Ask questions the make them tell you if they used the dishwasher or not with out actually asking "did you use the dishwasher?" With respect then inform what PC policy is. I'm some what new, but to me it seems the policy did not change, PC is just following it now. I plan to try to inform each of my customers about use and care but ultimately the responsibility lies in them to understand what our lifetime guarantee entails. Having "fine print" stipulations is not at all uncommon and the use and care sheet is not that much to read.

That is a good way to spin the conversation...but I wasn't quoting an actual conversation. It was just an example to illustrate a point. My point was that sometimes when customers are asking for a product replacement, they SAY they followed U&C, but HOW they responded or their tone might make you suspect otherwise. And that's what I feel is going to put me in a difficult position.
 
Last edited:

ChefCat

Member
Jan 29, 2010
197
0
That is a good way to spin the conversation...but I wasn't quoting an actual conversation. My point was that sometimes when customers are asking for a product replacement, they SAY they followed U&C, but HOW they responded or their tone might make you suspect otherwise. And that's what I feel is going to put me in a difficult position.

I understand. I guess the best any of us can do is be open and honest and let the customer know that HO is adhering to the stipulations for the warranty. If the damage to the pan looks to us like the sample damage photos then tell the customer that they are welcome to send the pan in to request replacement but that we feel that HO may reject the replacement because the damage shown is consistent with the damage from dishwasher use, improper use, etc.. Which is not accusatory, but informative. The decision over weather or not a replacement is given is not up to us so there is only so much we can do.

I wonder if HO would ever be open to receiving emailed photos of damaged cookware to do a preliminary evaluation for a replacement? Could save some money in postage.
 

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