Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chef Debbie Says: Just Give Me What I Want & There Won't Be a Problem!

Four years ago I bought a new home range. I paid quite a bit of $$$ for it and it was a huge upgrade from my previous 25~year old one.

In March, one of the burners ~ the large front double burner ~ quit working. As in, hot one second and dead the next! Not a good thing for somebody like me who cooks a lot.

So I called the repair company. They came out and, long story short, didn't have the part I needed.

No problem, I thought, I'll just find it online.

Huh! Seems that EVERY online appliance dealer had that part on back~order.

Interesting, but not impossible. I'll just call the Customer Service department of the company that manufactured it. They've always been responsive and able to help me.

Well. Seems there might be a bit of a problem. Said part is no longer being manufactured, and is on indefinite back~order. You can, I was told, keep calling back to see when the part will be available.

OK sure. I'll call back. After all, I can't be the ONLY person with this problem. Surely they'll realize that thousands of these ranges were manufactured and that a critical component is not working. I mean, what are they going to do about the ranges still under warranty?

After five months of calling every 10 days, I'm fed up. The part is still not being manufactured, isn't going to be manufactured in the foreseeable future and basically I have a $2,000 piece of equipment that is only 75% functioning. And, since the same part is in the other 2 currently (and 1 intermittently) working burners, I'm not holding out a lot of hope that they won't have problems in the very near future...

Now I'm mad. Boiling, pissed off, don't mess with me M. A. D. And, as sweet husband Tim can attest, pissing me off is not a good way to start, end or have in any part of your day.

So I wrote a letter. A very detailed letter describing exactly what happened when and what I tried to do to solve the problem. Sent said letter to the top marketing person at the manufacturer. Very simply stated that I'm going to start talking to EVERY PERSON I see about this problem. And I know a lot of people.

Mr. Marketing Person called me and assured me that they would take care of the problem ~ one way or another. So they looked for the part. And looked. And looked. There isn't one to be found anywhere.

Received another call from the company. Seems I can go online and pick out the replacement range I'd like to have, it will be delivered and the old one pulled.

So, my friends, bottom line here. If you have a legitimate complaint and Customer Service can't ~ or won't ~ solve the problem, make sure the marketing people know about it. Keep track of what you've done to attempt to correct the problem yourself, be fair and respectful and then just politely suggest that you're going to talk to EVERY SINGLE PERSON YOU KNOW about your problem.

It worked for me ~ but then again I am a persistent PITA until I get what I want!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chef Debbie's Summer Escapades: All In One Yummy~issimo! Blog

No your eyes are not deceiving you! This is actually a NEW Yummy! blog!

It's only been 2 1/2 months since my last blog, and there's been absolutely nothing going on... if you believe that, I have a bridge for sale...

So what's been happening in Yummy~ville?

Well, we went to the Fancy Food Show in NYC in June. Stayed with sweet husband Tim's sister, Judy and her teddy bear husband, Alan. We spent several days playing in the city and then ate and drank our way through the FFS. I didn't think it was possible that I'd ever get tired of luscious, creamy, double bleu cheese...

For those of you who followed Hell's Kitchen and the foul mouthed chef contestants trying to win the opportunity to work for (and turn into a mini) Gordon Ramsey, this is Petroza who was signing autographs at the FFS for a condiment vendor. I always thought he seemed like the only "normal" contestant on the show!

Back in Cincinnati with the suitcases barely unpacked, it was time for me to leave for New Orleans for my USPCA National Conference. How fun is it to eat and drink your way through such an amazing food city with 300 of your closest foodie friends!

Spent a good bit of time with one of my favorite people in the world, Liz Geeslin and her clan, the Kitchen Bitches!

Besides the AMAZING food at some of New Orleans' premier restaurants like K-Paul's, Brigtsen's and The Acme Oyster Co., I was fortunate to meet Lisa Brisch's fabulous husband, Jim, who is one of the nicest, easy~going and funny men around! (Sorry Lisa ~ but I don't have to LIVE with him, so he seemed just about perfect to me...)

It had been two years since I'd seen KB Lisa and had never met Jim ~ but I certainly hope it's not another two years until I see them again!

And, finally, to bring you up to date... the bottling process has finally begun!

Yeah, yeah, I know! I've been saying for several years that I was going to work on bottling a couple of products. But after meeting some vendors at the FFS in June, as well as tasting many new products (that I humbly believe aren't as good as mine are) the process has begun!

I'm working on several Gourmet Spreads ~ they can be used as a sandwich spread, salad dressing or a veggie dip. The first batch of samples were given out last week and here are a few of the initial comments:

Holy Jesus! I just wanted to eat it by the spoonful right out of the jar!

I had to hide this from my husband because he almost ate the entire jar by himself!

This is so amazing! When can I start stocking it here?

The flavors that my tasting panel will have to endure in the next couple of weeks:

Roquefort Sherry

Basil Parmesan

Asiago Cracked Peppercorn

Mediterranean (Feta and fenugreek).

My hope is to have two flavors on store shelves before the end of the year ~ not sure which two flavors yet, but everyone seemed to love the Roquefort Sherry.

OK, so now you're all up to date and you can quit "reminding" me that I haven't written a blog in a while, or mentioning to sweet husband to tell me it's time to write a blog!

There's a lot of fun and exciting things coming up in the next few months ~ events and parties planned every weekend in September and most of October, my BIRTHDAY (hint, hint), a radio remote with my sweet friend Queen Janeen at Meijer and, I sincerely hope, a VACATION in late October.

I promise to blog more ~ well, at least more than once every 10 weeks or so...