An Open Letter to Frigidaire
So, about a week ago, the door handle on our Frigidaire refrigerator broke.
Luckily, we purchased the refrigerator less than a year ago. (What kind of world are we living in, when we feel lucky that our appliances break less than a year after purchase?) So, we went to the Frigidaire website and filled out their annoying customer service form.
We received this reply:
Thank you for contacting Frigidaire. We regret to hear about the issue you are having. However, in order to determine how we might be of assistance, we will need the date of purchase for your refrigerator.
Once again, thank you for contacting Frigidaire.
Frigidaire Correspondence Specialist
There is no way to directly reply to the e-mail, so, we filled out another form and included the exact date of purchase.
And received this reply:
Exhibit– I’m about done with these…
Thank you for contacting Frigidaire customer service. I am sorry for the trouble you are having with your refrigerator handle. The door handle is a cosmetic malfunction, and is not covered even under the manufacture warranty. You may purchase a replacement handle by contacting our parts department at800-599-7569. Thank you again for contacting Frigidaire customer service.
Now, I understand that CSRs are nothing more than copy-and-paste versions of their company’s manual, (still annoying that the first “correspondence specialist” didn’t check to see if the handle was covered at all…) but I imagine that even they have to be appalled by some of the bullsh*t flowing forth from their fingertips.
Without further ado:
As someone with a kitchen full of your appliances,
I was disappointed to hear that you refused to pay the 15 cents required to make and ship me a plastic replacement handle for my $700, still-under-warranty refrigerator. Of course, this was only until I found out that the door handle is not a functional part of the refrigerator, but merely a cosmetic accessory. Wow, did I feel foolish.
You see, over the years, my experiences with refrigerators have always included the use of door handles. I can recall childhood memories of opening our big, white Frigidaire by its handle, oftentimes to get juice after playing in the hot, Alabama sun. Little did I know, I should have been wedging my tiny fingers in between the heavy door and the refrigerator, so as not to add wear to the delicate, hanging ornamentation we called a door handle. When I think of all the times I quietly closed a refrigerator door by the handle, instead of slamming it shut with volleyball-spike intensity, it makes me physically ill.
However, I want to make it perfectly clear that you, Frigidaire, share no culpability in my confusion. I was simply raised the wrong way.
I blame my mother; as a result of Lyme disease, she’s had arthritis for most of her adult life. I can see that it would have been difficult for her to open the refrigerator without the use of the door handle, but still, if it hadn’t been for her mistaken belief that the handle of a refrigerator is for leverage as opposed to aesthetics, I wouldn’t be in the embarrassing situation I am now. She has a Frigidaire now, but it’s okay, because I will be sending her a Gripmaster hand strengthener along with a very stern letter, shortly.
I know it will take some getting used to, losing both my refrigerator door handle and the abstract idea of refrigerator door handles in general, but I’m sure it’ll be a quick adjustment, as I am writing a blog about living a year without eating out, and I will be using my refrigerator several times a day, every day.
The only things that have gone wrong so far, have been a couple of accidents involving attempts to put something in the refrigerator that requires both hands. I used to be able to manage the door with just a pinky looped through the door handle, but now I just scream for someone in the house to help me, or I walk back to the counter, set the item down, go over and open the refrigerator the right way, then walk the item back over and set it in the refrigerator. Simple.
Thank you for your offer to buy a new door handle without any implied warranty, but I think it will be much easier to break myself of this terrible handle-habit without the temptation of a shiny, new handle.
Yes, people have commented that my Frigidaire now looks “janked,” but I just tell them that it’s a cosmetic malfunction – similar to the dent in the side, from that time I shot my dog out of a cannon. I also inform them that I saved Frigidaire a full 15 cents during a recession – a time when companies like Frigidaire cannot afford to hemorrhage money to the unrealistic expectations of simple-minded Frigidaire customers like me, simply because we have thousands of dollars worth of high-end Frigidaire appliances in our kitchen. I tell them that I also take solace in knowing that any Frigidaire employee would be equally happy with the customer service I received, had it been his/her family with a broken door handle, instead of mine. (Of course, this is a ridiculous scenario, as no Frigidaire employee would dare use their decorative door handle as a grip).
I only hope that this letter adequately captures my apologies to Frigidaire for my honest/stupid-stupid-dumb-dumb mistake and for wasting their extremely valuable time. I look forward to seeing how they use that 15 cents to become a company of even more integrity and heart in the future, if that’s even possible.
If there’s a take-away lesson for readers of this letter, it’s to start learning to use your Frigidaire appliances without the handle. LEAVE IT ALONE! I’m sure it’s fine for guests to use them occasionally, but do subtly remind them that the handle is for decorative purposes only, and “is not covered, even under the manufacture warranty.”
As for me, I have a plan. I’m going to start learning how to go handle-less – oven first; that way, everything else will be easy.
Once again, thank you, Frigidaire, for all that you do.
Your lowly customer,