It's been a long time since I had a working fridge. After many days waiting for engineers and many fruitless phone calls, this letter will be winging its way to Servevast, Smeg's repair arm, tomorrow:
I am writing to complain about the incompetence and unhelpfulness of your staff and contractors during your, so far unsuccessful, attempts to repair my fridge freezer.
Since November 2007 three attempts have been made to repair my appliance, without success, and we are awaiting a fourth. Your call centre staff tell me that as long as the appliance is considered “repairable” you will continue to attempt to repair it. Perhaps there will be a fifth, sixth or seventh attempt. Who knows?
In the meantime my wife and I are left unable to refrigerate so much as a pint of milk, living off takeaways and ready meals and having to take numerous days off to wait around for engineers.
This is expensive and inconvenient, yet despite repeated complaints to yourselves there is no end in sight.
Please allow me to outline the details of our torment. It’s a long story but I can assure you that it is far easier to read than it has been to live through.
1. The fridge began to malfunction in October 2007. After an engineer diagnosed a faulty compressor, we had to wait several weeks for a part to arrive from Italy. It was fitted in early December. So far: two days off, six weeks (approx) without a fridge
2. Some time in January 2008 the fridge began to go wrong again. Once again an engineer came out and once again said the compressor was to blame. This seemed unlikely to us but he insisted so, again, we waited for a new compressor. The engineer who came to fit the replacement part said, after further inspection, that the compresssor was not at fault and the problem was actually the control unit. So far: four days off, ten weeks (approx) without a fridge
3. After a considerable wait for a new control unit, a third engineer arrived. On taking the part from its bubble wrap, he discovered that it was broken in two pieces. “They should put these things in boxes,” he observed. Quite. So far: five days off, fourteen weeks (approx) without a fridge
4. We’re patient people but even to us this was starting to seem ridiculous. We suggested to Academy Engineering that it was time to write off the fridge. They contacted Servevast and were told they could not. It’s still “repairable”, apparently, despite Academy’s sterling demonstrations to the contrary. We called Servevast and they suggested we speak to our insurers. The insurers referred us back to Servevast. “You’re banging your head against a wall, aren’t you?” said the woman from Servevast, who, as it happens, own the wall. So far: five days off with at least one more to come, sixteen weeks (approx) without a fridge and more to come
The website for Smeg Service says “with a prestigious brand you expect a quality after sales service”. We think so too. Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us why we haven’t received one and what you intend to do about it?
Let's see what happens.