Friday, November 4, 2011

Hood Vent Customer Service: Slightly Underwhelmed

I got up early (for me) Monday in an industrious mood.  The kitchen had some dirty dishes from the night before, so I set to work on them.  When I had a partially full dishwasher of things I knew needed the Power Scrub Plus cycle, I decided to add our Electrolux Icon vent hood filters.  We clean them this way every so often, keeping them regularly maintained, per the user's manual instructions.

The fan is black, but the rest should be shiny stainless...
Not brownish yuck ready to drip around the edges
That day, I noticed, though, that the filters weren't really doing the whole job, and there was a good layer of grease in the ductwork around the fan blades, and up past them.  This area is usually hidden, and supposedly protected by the filters.

I double-checked the user's manual, and it did not address this situation... So I went to the Elux Icon website and searched for further information.  Finding none, I used their contact form, provided the model and serial numbers, and described the problem.  I asked if this was expected to happen, and if they had cleaning advice.  

The first email said this:
Thank you for contacting Electrolux Major Appliances.
Please refer to the link below for assistance.   
(This is a link to the user's manual) 
Again, thank you for contacting Electrolux Major Appliances.
Thank You, 
The answer was quite prompt, and I was definitely thoroughly, though impersonally, thanked.  Since I'm not an idiot who hadn't checked the most obvious resource, it wasn't a lot of help.  The respondent definitely didn't address the question regarding whether or not the collection of grease in this area was 'expected' or 'normal.'  I wrote back, saying I'd already consulted the manual and was looking for more in-depth assistance.  The brief response to that one said that if I'd read the manual, the next step was to call for service, and I was given another link so that I could search for an authorized tech.  

My expectations may be out of line.  I have become accustomed to more personable responses from a manufacturer when dealing with appliance issues.   On the other hand, being pat on the head by a warmer, wordier person isn't worth that much if there are no other answers to be had, so maybe they should just get bonus points for expediency...

My questions are, and I honestly wonder: 

  • Is this good/reasonable customer service (A link between pre-set email courtesy phrases)?  Is this all they can really do, so the brief answers are adequate?  
  • Am I asking too much to be able to do my own maintenance, and should I have expected to spend for cleaning an appliance like this every few years?  (I've never had ventilation of this size and power, and also never cooked over a gas rangetop, so I can understand that it could have different needs than what I've owned previously.)
and mostly

  •  Should the grease be getting through the filter system like it is?  

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