Friday, July 17, 2015

The Case of The Stolen Faucet

So when we bought the house we live in now and remodeled it, we invested a lot of money in our plumbing fixtures. We were having the sink and all the counters replaced in the kitchen - it had previously had shiny black bathroom tiles with white grout on the counters - and we wanted nice, pretty things that would last to go with the new look.

At the time, Grohe faucets were considered very high end, and we found a sleek, nice gooseneck fixture that we went with. It was NOT cheap.

Now never in my many years of having and using faucets have I EVER seen a faucet corrode from the inside until there were holes in the chrome finish on the spout - but that's what I have now.

On the gooseneck part of the faucet no less!

I found this very odd and about a year ago I began trying to contact Grohe with no success. Their contact form on their website went unanswered, I couldn't reach them by email and their phones terminate in a never ending voicemail death spiral.

So I called my plumber yesterday and told him all this. He seemed surprised and said he had always gotten great service from them, so he gave me a different phone number.

I called. I was in hold music hell for an hour, at which point an extremely grumpy person named Matt answered. I told him my situation and said I had photos and would like a warranty claim, as Grohe pretended they had a lifetime warranty.

At this point, things went sideways.

Matt asked me if I had the receipt. I had located the instruction manual and the warranty card at that point, but not the receipt, as the faucet was purchased in 2003. I said "No, I do not, but the faucet is actually in my sink - I didn't steal the faucet, and I have both the warranty card and the manual." He said "Well, anyone can just say they bought a faucet - I need a receipt to start a warranty claim - you can't just tell me you bought it."

I said, "Look, Matt - this is not TJ Maxx. This is a high end faucet which is IN MY SINK and has been for 12 years. I'm not a faucet fence. Even if I WERE a faucet fence - what would my angle be, exactly? I have a faucet with two big holes in it in my kitchen - the only possible benefit to telling you that is that I get a faucet that works. To replace the one that is in my sink. Which is attached to my house. That I bought 12 years ago. I will not be standing on South Congress hawking the replacement faucet. Besides, it's not like you can't prove it's a Grohe faucet - it says Grohe right on it."

He said: "You need the receipt."

I said: "I need a supervisor."

Now you know what happens next, because it happens every time you ask for a supervisor. He put me on hold and then disconnected me, as per the m.o. of such people. I think he has a great career waiting for him at AT&T.

However, I called back. I held for another hour of hellish hold music, during which time, I went into the garage, dug out my giant remodeling notebook and I FOUND THE DAMN RECEIPT. I also Facebooked and Tweeted Grohe my wrath. When you're on hold for an hour, you can get quite a bit done.

When, with 2% of my phone battery remaining, I was connected, I got a young lady named Tonya. I told her my whole story again, and she says: "Can you email me a photo while we're talking?", which I did. She processed an order for the gooseneck and the cartridge (which had also failed) while we were on the phone. She did not ask for the receipt. After we hung up, the social media team contacted me, although they have not sent me an email yet, which they said they would.

This is the second time this week (the other was with American Home Shield) that I've felt like companies should switch the social media teams into the customer service teams - they do a much better job at both response time and resolution.

Is there a ring of faucet criminals that I'm not aware of? A faucet cartel? I completely understand in a retail situation that a person needs their receipt. But how in the world could someone think asking for a warranty on a faucet with a hole in it was a scam? People have stopped using their brains entirely, I'm starting to think. I hope it's not the result of cat videos or the Apple Watch, because if so, things are going to go downhill fast.

Now I'm the host of today's Mix-Ability challenge on Splitcoast and I wanted to do a transfer technique. This is SUCH a fun way to do an easy background and recycle at the same time. I found a fun image on an article about LAUNDRY of all things (horrors) in this month's Martha Stewart Living and I thought it would be PERFECT for the challenge. This just takes a few minutes and all you need is this heavy gloss gel medium from Liquitex. If you try it, be sure and use keyword MIX129 when uploading to the gallery at Splitcoast.

Here's a little video on the process:

And here's a closeup of the finished card. Fun, right?

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Now tomorrow is my regular monthly card class, so I'll have three projects ready for you this weekend in a new Blue2You digital only class on demand - have you seen these? I have a fun one out there right now - here are the ones I packed up last night. :)

Is one of these yours?

These are for the One Big Meaning stamp a stack that's available now.

I hope you're doing something stampy this weekend!

Don't forget - my live streaming coverage of Convention and my adventure start Tuesday - so tune in early Tuesday morning for updates!



  1. Okay, at first I was going to heckle you because it looked like your Misti had Jennifer McGuire's name on it and I was going to razz you for clearly stealing it from her. Then it dawned on me that it's likely the autograph of the Misti designer.

    Love the card - I wish you and the Other were taking applications for additional HH members. I really want to move in.

  2. I just love the technique. Now I have to hunt for that picture. lol Thank you for sharing.

  3. Brilliant card, totally enjoyed your write up today. Ahh the joys of being on hold. I often wonder if my husband could do as well if he too had to do the hold and listen to crap music thing for hours on end.

  4. Oh my gosh, your stories are hilarious! I have to agree with you that people are using less common sense these days (ugh, now I sound like my parents!). You make the transfer technique look easy, I'm actually going to try it as soon as I can find me some Liquitex. Maybe I'll even use that karate kitty, LOL.

  5. Oh man! I need another birthday! LOL Maybe I will sneak some grocery money and go buy a jar of glossy heavy gel medium next! :) This does look like a very fun challenge. You made me giggle at "not for OCD people" :) I like the way parts of the picture didn't transfer lending even more of a vintage look to the project. Cracked me up that the backside was a CAT!!! Who knew?

  6. okay, that's just crazy amazing! beautiful card!

  7. I use this image transfer technique to transfer my photography on to canvas -- NEVER thought to do it on watercolor paper, much less using magazine images! You are a genius!! As soon as I can use my dominant hand again (shoulder surgery), I will totally give this a try.

    And I have had the same level of customer service (first experience, not the second) from Grohe. Bought Grohe for the exact same reason as you. Wish I had bought a Delta now. I would have the money to buy a Misti now.

  8. I've seen this done before but not with such great results. I don't know how you were able to decide which image to use. Karate cat is just too funny but the laundry on the line has a lovely retro feel.
    Totally commiserate with you about the lack of the customer service in big companies. I've decided there is none. Can't tell you how many times I've emailed or even sent vitriolic snail mail to company executives because their employees don't appear to know what "customer service" means. Grohe, by the way, is just one of those manufacturers. I've had 3 faucets and finally went with a cheaper albeit less sleek brand that has lasted for decades. The other is Comcast...think they're the worst. Sometimes, I believe I retired from the corporate world just so I could deal with corporate ineptitude with complete impunity.

  9. Relate totally to customer service hell ... mine was with Amazon though. Always learn so much from your videos! Thank you for taking the time to make them available to us newbies.Enjoy your weekend.

  10. This is an awesome card AND technique Lydia. As always I enjoy reading your hilarious stories. (This one I had to read to my husband! LOL) We can appreciate this too as our customer service is the same here in Canada! I guess ALL customer service people have the same M.O. to follow. The only problem IS, the regular old consumer is a bit more educated today. haha

  11. We remodeled our house years ago and bought high end faucets that "will never lose their finish." Guess what? Yep. And within years they looked horrible. The best performing fixture in the entire house was the cheap Delta faucet in the laundry room.

    And I completely agree with you about customer service stories. I had a frustrating experience on the phone - although admittedly I might have sounded like a scammer. Frustrated, I sent out a tweet and heard back within two minutes...on a Sunday. They fixed my problem within 24 hours. I now just go straight to Twitter or Facebook. I also make sure to thank them profusely. :)

  12. Lydia, Can you tell me what ink you used to stamp your sentiment. Water based dye ink didn't work. Then I tried Versafine, Ranger archival and Colorbox chalk ink but they all 'dried' tacky on the surface of the transfer, even after several hours. I know you mentioned Stayzon but that doesn't look like what you are using. My transfers, by the way, turned out great. I am glad to find a use for my glossy gel medium. (I have no idea when or why I bought it!!)

    Regarding customer service: There appears to be an acute shortage of common sense these days.

    1. Hey Sharman! I used Versafine. But you have to let that dry forever on the gel medium, so I helped it along with the heat gun. It takes a little patience but I like it better than Staz-On


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