A Customer Service Story in Several (Plastic) Parts

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Food processor
Food processor. Photo: Bill Shribman

We own and love a Cuisinart food processor.

For those less familiar with culinary arts, a Cuisinart food processor has a heavy base with a rotor and a spindle.

A bowl sits on top of the base and inside it sits an interchangeable blade.

And it has a cover with a lid. The lid is actually, I learn in the jargon of food processing, a pusher.

Our cover is broken where the pusher clicks in. A little piece of plastic is chipped off.

Food Processor
Food Processor. Photo: Bill Shribman

I look it up online and order a new cover from Amazon.

I wait.

The cover arrives.

Food Processor
Food Processor. Photo: Bill Shribman

The cover has a curved hole for a curved pusher. But it comes without a pusher and the pusher is part of a safety mechanism. It’s needed to trigger the rotor.

To confirm that I am at least on the right path, I check out the new cover with the curved edge attached to my old bowl on its old base.

The new cover fits. That’s good. If you manually trigger the rotor, it does indeed turn the blade. Also good.

So I just need a curved pusher to fit in the curved hole.

I call Cuisinart, read them all the numbers, give them the story so far, and George tells me what part number I need for the curved pusher for the curved hole.

I order it from Amazon as it is cheaper.

I wait.

The new pusher arrives.

Food Processor
Food Processor. Photo: Bill Shribman

It is the wrong one. It has a flat edge. It doesn’t fit. I need one that’s curved.

I call Cuisinart, I get Connie. She can’t connect me to a supervisor. I have to schedule a time to speak to a supervisor and they will call me back.

That doesn’t work for me. I hang up.

I call Cuisinart, I get Marcy, give her the story so far, and Marcy tells me what part number I need.

I order it from her to get it right.

I wait.

The new pusher arrives.

Food Processor
Food Processor. Photo: Bill Shribman

It is the wrong one. It has a flat edge. It doesn’t fit. I need one that’s curved.

I call Cuisinart, I get Connie again. Now she can connect me to a supervisor, I don’t have to schedule a time to speak to a supervisor.

I get Dave, today’s supervisor. I read him all the numbers, give him the story so far, and he says the problem is that cover doesn’t exist any more.

Dave thinks the cover with the curved hole that Amazon has shipped is an old one, even though it is new.

He says I would have to buy new parts from Cuisinart.

I have now twice purchased the wrong parts under Cuisnart’s instructions, but he cannot do more to help me besides selling me a new bowl and cover. And he has no way to reach head office in New Jersey by telephone for permission to help me further.

Interesting side note: Thomas Edison lived and worked in New Jersey. Much of New Jersey has had telephones for quite some time. Edison used one there in 1878.

Resigned, however, I say I will buy the extra parts from Dave.

Dave goes to order the correct parts.

I hold.

I hold some more.

Dave returns to say he cannot order these parts. Dave says he does now have clearance from head office and will send a full set: a bowl, a cover, and a pusher, and Cuisinart. That’s the customer service I was looking for.

I wait.

A box arrives from Cuisinart. My new bowl, cover, and pusher!

But after a thorough search through the bubble wrap, I can see there is a cover but no bowl and no pusher.

And the cover has familiar, clean gentle curves.

It is, indeed, the cover with a curved hole for a curved pusher, the cover which Cuisinart said doesn’t exist any more.

And I now have two.

Food Processor
Food Processor. Photo: Bill Shribman

But I also have two pushers with flat edges. And, if you recall, they don’t fit.

I call Cuisinart, read them all the numbers, give them the story so far, and I get Marcy, who is today’s supervisor but she says I can’t connect to Dave. They really do seem to have a hard time with phones at Cuisinart.

But Marcy is helpful and investigates and says that the curved cover came from New Jersey, that the other parts are coming from Arizona.

She says they will all match when they arrive.

I wait.

I wait some more.

A new bowl and a curved pusher arrive. They fit.

The clouds part, rainbow pushes through the clouds. Unicorns prance. Mermaids sing. And behold.

And thanks to some old school customer service, and a little perseverance, we can now crush food into very small pieces once again.

Food Processor
Food Processor. Photo: Bill Shribman

PS: Names have been changed.

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