General discussion

Do you know any warranties like this?

You have to love Dilbert:
http://dilbert.com/fast/2010-04-11/
I wonder if there really are companies that create bizarre maintenance requirements just so customers can never claim warranty service.

I've seen tech support discussions that include unreasonable requests which I guess is a related phenomenon.

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Comments
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We had such with a gas water heater

Newer designs require that the flame be adequately shielded to prevent possible ignition of spilled flammables in the area. Ours has some sort of thick aluminum element on the bottom of the heater which allows air to pass for burner use but will arrest a flame. This element is very much a dust filter as well and gets clogged. Clogging causes problems with the burner flame which can result in triggering a fuse device in the thermocouple rendering it non-functional. Initially, the manufacturer wouldn't honor warranty repairs as these elements had a maintenance requirement. They needed to be kept clean and free of dust. Since they aren't removable and sit about 2" off the floor under the heater, there's no real way to access them without some sort of custom vacuum attachment. There's also no way to visually inspect them to see if they are getting clogged. No where on the heater is there a sign mentioning the flame arrestor or noting it's location. What little old lady or man is going to be able to deal with this dumb device? Our thermocouple was failing about every 8-9 months even though I was trying my best to keep dust out of the flame arrestor. I can't imagine some old lady or man doing this but having to call for service every year at the cost of a couple hundred dollars or so to clean it and replace the dead thermocouple.

Eventually, some class action suit was filed and the manufacturer had to find a way to resolve the issue. By then, the manufacturer had come up with a thermocouple with a reset switch. I had to pay shipping only and was able to install it myself. Still, that doesn't fix the clogging of that stupid flame arrestor. My rant.

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Good rant. I hadn't heard of that. The gadget sounds

like the metal screen that used to be on miners' lamps, back when they were lit by gas.
I believe adequate safety is now achieved by requirements for mounting the heater 18" or so above floor level.

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Miners lamps...I remember those

and I remember what lit them. It was a water drip on calcium carbide in a closed chamber that released acetylene gas...something like this

Carbide lamp

or variations thereof that would attach to their hats. So you light the lamp and, essentially, walk into the mine with an acetylene torch on you head. Just how crazy was that? Happy

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But, as you yourself pointed out, the screen

in front kept the flame from igniting any mine gases.
I think Sir H. Davy invented it, right?

The difficult part, I'm told, was designing a teeny, tiny one for the canary.

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(NT) I have to think Charles Schulz could have designed one. :-)
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(NT) Good one!
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Here's an image...
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We could buy calcium carbide by the pound

at a local hardware/dry goods store. This was great fun for kids with creative minds. I don't even want to think what would happen if caught with it in a school today. Can't be any fun to be a teen anymore.

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Western Auto

Sometimes the manager wasn't in, even when later it turned out he was. They either went out of business or changed their name. Really, it probably varied between each store manager and the one in Tampa wasn't one of the better ones.

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Bought a lawnmower at Wal-Mart years ago

It broke and they wouldn't take it back. I was supposed to call Frank and talk to him. Call anywhere from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm and he was always out to lunch.

Haven't shopped there since.

Diana

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That's they way it's done!

When this happened to me as a teen I bought a 3sp bike with defective pedals on it. I went there several times at different times of the day and the manager was never in. I told mother and she went in while I stayed in the car, parked off to the side from the windows. She asked for the manager to open a charge account. Guess who said he was the manager? The same guy who'd been in there all along. Mom asked him to wait a minute, walked to the window, motioned me in. She then asked "Here's the manager, was he here when you came by looking for him?" I said "Yes". She proceeded to dress him down good about trying to ripoff a teenager who'd paid for his own bike from his own earnings, etc. He looked like a whipped puppy dog! I brought the bike back, got full refund, and like you, never entered that store again.

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Go figure...it's a mental thing

I went today to try to get a auto part. Supplied all the info and salespeople using counter PC, said they don't carry it. I had come earlier in the yr. and brought the same part only back vs. front of basically the same part which I brought. Well, I mentioned you guys can't help me and left. Later, I checked online and found the part being offered by same store. Only now, I'll go to the other auto parts store and buy the same part even manufactured by same supply source.

What got me "peeved, was the strange way, "we don't carry that part" answer. A very animated hand waving, disgusted look as if I ruined their day response. I could go back and with a computer printout and point out their error, but its becomes pointless to educate anyone with than a full deck of cards. -----Willy Sad

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... and we were told that bad customer service

attitudes went out with the Crash of '08. Happy

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Whenever I can't get Customer Service on the phone....

.....I call back and ask (or press the right buttons) for the Sales department. For some reason they always answer more quickly. Then when they tell me I have to call Customer Service I tell them I already tried that. It usually works.

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Would anyone agree?

Some services aimed to let the customer not to avail the warranty... It is just a camouflage of their product to have high sell because of the warranty...

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Dilbert has had many strips over the years

on the twisted relationships between Sales and Service. You caught a break. Happy

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(NT) Don't mess with a Mom!
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I especially enjoyed the reactions of Dilbert

and his co-worker (last panel), to the boss's summary.

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