A KitchenAid Upgrade
My father is an attorney. He has a general civil practice here in Brooklyn, NY. He also has a history of clients who believe in trying to barter instead of paying legal fees. We’ve had the bagel man, the sports tickets man, the nut man, the painter, and more. I’m an attorney, too, but I don’t have the sort of practice where I get this sort of creativity from clients. (Yet.) Dad does.
One of my father’s clients owned a restaurant that was soon to go out of business. The client planned on auctioning off his various kitchen appliances and such. Dad figured we should go over there while the restaurant was still open, have dinner, and look around the kitchen to see if there was anything we wanted.
We wanted the chest freezer, the KitchenAid stand mixer (which was larger and more powerful than ours), and a ton of flatware and glassware. It turned out that the glassware was spoken for, the freezer was leased, and the KitchenAid was broken.
“Fine,” said I. “Give me the broken KitchenAid. I’ll fix it.”
Dad delivered it to our apartment a few days later. (Along with a massive bucket of flatware. Fantastic!)
Our new broken KitchenAid was an Epicurean, with a 6 quart capacity and a 475 watt motor. We looked it over when it arrived – broken whisk, no problem. That was about $20 to replace at Sur La Table. Plugged it in – it was a bit loud, but then, KitchenAids always are. Sounded like the motor was working just fine. What’s the big deal?
Ah, there’s the problem. The lever that raises and lowers the bowl is broken.
Wait, you mean we just got a perfectly good working KitchenAid Epicurean 475 watt 6 quart stand mixer, and all we have to do is replace the whisk and fix the lever? Okay!
We unscrewed the base of the mixer and looked inside. The problem appeared to be that the plastic lift lever (that which attaches the thing you turn with your hand to the thing that turns inside and actually moves the bowl) was broken. We googled around, and ordered a new one for about $8.
Problem was, we could not quite figure out how to open the machine up further and actually replace the plastic lift lever with the new one that was due to arrive in the mail.
So, I called up KitchenAid’s customer service number and asked them to talk me through replacing the lift lever. I told them our diagnosis and explained that all I needed was some advice on opening the thing up. The customer service representative asked for the model and serial numbers of the machine, and put me on hold while she went to see if she could find the information I was looking for.
“I’m sorry, the model you have has been discontinued,” she said when she returned. “We don’t have any new parts for that model.”
“That’s okay,” said I. “I already ordered the new part I need. I just need you to explain to me how to replace the broken one with it once it gets here.”
“But,” she continued, cheerily ignoring me, “I spoke to my supervisor for you, and she has authorized me to extend your warranty and give you a free replacement with one of our new 6 quart models.”
Now, I can be a bit dense sometimes, but even I know when to stop talking.
I said, “Thank you.”
“We’ll send you a new KitchenAid Professional 600 [575 watt] 6 quart stand mixer.”
I said again, “Thank you.”
She went on to explain that while the shade of grey I have no longer exists, she could offer me a choice of three other shades of grey. I picked the one that was in stock and would arrive soonest.
“Your new mixer should arrive in 7-10 days. All you have to do when it gets there is take the new model out of the box, then put your old machine into the box. You’ll have to write your customer ID number on the outside of the box. And then we’ll have UPS come back to pick up the box and send it back to us. Can I help you with anything else today?”
“No, thank you, you’ve already made me very happy.”
This conversation took place last Wednesday. The new KitchenAid arrived yesterday. 7-10 days must mean something very different (and much more delightful) in their world than it does in mine.
KitchenAid may not offer lifetime warranties on their products, but they sure do take good care of their customers.