Just three years ago, my parents bought a GE Hotpoint gas stove. So, you can imagine their surprise when they came home from work on August 18th to discover that the black decorative glass panel on the stove door had fallen out of its frame and was shattered in hundreds of pieces on the floor.
The stove was two years out of warranty, but clearly this is a type of failure that GE might consider performing an out-of-warranty repair. My father took photos as he found it, swept the bits of glass into a cardboard box and hit the Internet for a way to contact GE. GE does have a feedback form on their appliances site, and my father filled it out that evening. He received an automated response, but nothing more.
My mother mentioned it to me on the phone that Saturday, the 21st, and I mentioned that GE Appliances might have a Twitter account. My folks aren’t that familiar with Twitter, so I decided to tweet on their behalf. I sent out the following into the Twitter void:
Mike626: The glass door of my parents’ 2 year old GE Hotpoint stove shattered into hundreds of pieces while they were at work. GE has a Twitter Acct? (1:37pm, Aug 21)
GE Responded on Sunday, less than 24 hours later:
GE_Appliances: @Mike626 This is Megan from GE. How can I help? (Aug 22, 10:28am)
They asked me to email them directly with my parent’s information and I provided them with a brief decription and my father’s photos.
Less than one day after GE responded to me on Twitter, I was copied on the following email to my father:
Date: Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 7:52 AM
Subject: RE: Stove Glass Door Failure
Thank you for reaching out to us concerning your parent’s range and providing the tracking number for your father’s e-mail.
I was able to research the e-mail and have sent your dad the following response:
Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxxx,
Thank you for contacting us. I share your concern over the inconvenience and expense involved when a product fails to operate properly and I am sorry to learn of the difficulty you have experienced with your gas range.
I have scheduled no charge service with GE Consumer Service for this Friday, August 27, between 8AM-12 Noon. Your service call number is xxxxxxxxxx. If this is not a convenient time to have the range serviced, please contact GE Consumer Service directly at 1-800-432-2737, Monday through Friday, 7:00am to 10:00pm, or Saturday and Sunday, 8:00am to 6:00pm, Eastern Time to reschedule.
I hope this is helpful. Should you need any further assistance or have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Consumer e-Response Team
GE Consumer & Industrial
The service technician showed up on time, and after the usual complications of ordering a part and the Labor Day holiday weekend, my father sent me the following email yesterday:
Date: Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Range Door
The glass in the gas range door has been installed.
GE IS OK BY ME.
I’m thoroughly impressed by GE’s Social Media response team on Twitter. To get a response in less than a day, and a free service call scheduled within 48 hours is a huge customer service win on GE’s part. That a company so large can provide such personal service is a testament to the power of a tool like Twitter.