Kitchenaid Botches No Hassle Warranty

Last Mother’s day I got several neat presents. I got a tablet pc and an immersion blender from Kitchen Aid. I was sceptical at first. I remember how underpowered the last American immersion blender we had was.  But, we had done our online research and many chef’s recommended this product for its powerful motor and varying speeds. To boot Kitchen Aid boasted a "hassle free warranty." Excellent! I am sold.

But the boast turned to a botched promise. The blender worked great. Jim made me home-made mayonnaise -makes me weak it’s so fabulous, fruit yogurt smoothies for my health, and shakes. I made cooking starters – like sofrito from with recao from my garden or a starter with my fresh oregano brujo.  Asier was now into babyfoods and having a ball eating home cooked meals pureed for him. We were in heaven for exactly six months. Then the shaft in the middle of the blender attachment loosened and stopped working.  Life expectancy of modern household items is poor, which is why warranties are important to read.­

Kitchen Aid promises:

If your countertop appliance or cook’s tool fails for any reason during the first year, KitchenAid will replace it free of charge. Our Hassle-Free Replacement Warranty guarantees that we will:

  • deliver a replacement right to your door
  • arrange the return of the failed appliance
  • guarantee the new appliance for one year
  • I called on and wrote on three separate occasions trying to get a hold of someone at Kitchen Aid that would honor this simple statement of warrany. Instead I found three separate individuals and a myriad of avoidance tactics. Have you ever seen "The Incredibles"? Early on in the movie there is a scene where Mr. Incredible works for an insurance agency and his job performance takes into consideration how many claims he is able to reject. My dealings with Kitchen Aid reminded me of this surreal scene, except there was no Mr. Incredible to uphold the spirit of the warranty.

     The more at length I spoke with Kitchen Aid the more levels of wrong emerged.

    "I am sorry, but your blender was manufactured two years ago and the warranty is only for one year. But if you purchased it within the past year we will honor the warranty."  Excellent! I sent them the receipt. The online customer service attendant never replied to my email. Never explained if there was anything wrong. I wrote a couple of times requesting clarification but no one cared. This is wrong, let me go a bit more old fashioned and go speak with a human being.

    Over the phone I got more details and attempts to deny the customer satisfaction.

    "I am sorry I can’t do anything for you because you bought this product on ebay and you know that people can sell anything on ebay".  There was a subtle hint at black market goods or illicit goods sold through dubious channels on ebay. Obviously to Kitchen Aid the appearance of suspicious activity was enough to blackball me as a possible thief or regular at the blackmarket. So rather than celebrate that I am a happy consumer, I am labeled a thief or treated as a scam artist over a $50 product. Two separate customer service representatives mentioned the ban on ebay commercial transactions, so I can only guess its in their "100 ways to avoid honoring the warranty hand book".

    "Excuse me? Is Kitchen Aid discriminating against the hundreds of smaller venue stores that use ebay as an ecommerce platform?" I replied. One of the customer service representatives was bold or informed enough to reply: "No we do not discriminate we sell to smaller stores too and Kitchen Aid has their own Ebay store, but we cannot honor the warranty because the purchase was from an individual."

    Individual resale voids the warranty… I made a mental note.  BUT I bought this from an ebay merchant. Can you reconsider?  "I am sorry but the receipt you sent us is not from an authorized dealer, you can understand anybody can sell on ebay, that is why we have our own ebay site." 

    "Excuse me? I replied incredulously, I read your statement and it does not require "authorized dealers." You should ammend your policy and honor the spirit. Can you reconsider?" I boldly requested.

    "No, I am sorry I cannot help you but we cannot honor the warranty because you live in Puerto Rico." the attendant explained. "OK so n ow you are discriminating against US citizens living in Puerto Rico. We can buy and use your products just not be covered in your warranty?"  The attendant quickly tried to correct that impression by saying that I would be covered in the warranty HAD I purchased the Kitchen Aid Immersion Blender from the KitchenAid International site, because, they are the ones authorized to sell to Puerto Rico. Amazing!

    None of these caveats were evident on the website, nor in the product literature. KitchenAid wants us to buy their products and assume that they have a great warranty, assured that the products will serve us well or if not Kitchen Aid will make it up to us. But the facts at the end of the day are that the Kitchen Aid website sells a false bill of goods. The product worked well for 6 months and thereafter the excuses and slightly veiled insults were preferable than building a commercial relationship with a consumer that loves to cook and bake. Heck if they had explained the limitations on the warranty but told me that they would honor it in exchange for using my satisfied customer testimonial… I would have done so in a heartbeat. Instead, they went for tightening their fist over their $40 dollar replacement and made a consumer sour on the brand.