Is a $30 kettle worth losing a $1000+ customer & her friends?

By | October 12, 2006

You’d think the answer would be obvious, but apparently it isn’t to the folks at Le Gnome, in Edmonton. We’ve bought well over $1000 worth of goods from them over the past few years. We recently bought a kettle that burns your hand when you try to remove it from the stove. I tried to return it (with the receipt), but they have refused, and were quite hostile about it.

First, the clerk said she couldn’t resolve the issue: I’d have to come back to the store when the owner was there. Fine, I did so. The owner argued with me, saying they’ve sold lots of those kettles with no other complaints. Perhaps I was turning the stove up too high? (You mean you can’t turn it on max to boil water?? Excuse me!) Finally she said she’d have to check with the distributor’s rep and would call me the following week.

Several days later I finally get a call from the rep. Surprise, surprise, she insists that she’s tested it and it is fine. No, she won’t come to my house to see what it does on my stove. Basically, she’s saying that I’m a liar! Then she argued that if I’d bought a more expensive kettle, the handle would be better insulated. I’ve been boiling kettles for nearly 40 years. Most of them were cheaper than this one. I’ve never had this problem before.

I’m astounded that in this day and age, a company would be willing to lose a customer over this. Not only are they losing me as a customer, I will, of course, spread my experience to all my foodie friends (of which there are many). So they will end up losing a lot more than my business. Stupid.

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