Monday 29 June 2015

The downside of buying American goods

Five years ago, we bought a Viking cooker, fridge and freezer; they came from Harrods. Today, we wanted to get the fridge serviced.

A Google search turned up no-one in the UK who could service a Viking fridge. So I contacted Viking.

Could you please give us contact details of a company in the UK that does servicing for the
Viking Professional? We have an 18.2 cu ft refrigerator and a 15.9 cu ft freezer. If we can't get anyone to service it, then we've made a terrible mistake in buying your products. Thank you.

They responded by getting a guy in Newcastle to call us. He said that it's too far for him to come.

So I tried to contact Viking again, to give them a second chance. Second time around, I filled in the online support form, but it no longer asks for "country", and when I give it my address details, it says "Not a valid zip code", because I gave my UK post code, of course.

So I've emailed them, explaining the story so far, asking for the details of a company that can do the servicing, and as a useful extra, telling them that their online form no longer works for their customers outside the USA.

Ladysolly is talking about buying another fridge. It's unlikely to be a Viking, unless they're able to recover from the impression I've got of them so far.

Then I went back to the Viking web site, and I found their international section . That led me to Middleby Worldwide UK. The suggested Warranty Solutions, who don't do Viking fridge servicing, but gave me the mobile number of their Viking expert, Stephen Stroud. He gave me the number of FFR Services. Their number is 0844 504 8326, and I spoke to someone there who gave me the mobile number of Bryan Williams.

Bryan sounds good, and he sounds like he knows what he's talking about! He does servicing for Viking fridges, freezers and cookers (and I'd guess a lot more besides) even though Viking isn't mentioned on their web site home page, although it is mentioned in their "about us".

I photographed the labels on the three appliances that give the model number and serial number, and emailed it to him. To fix the oven door, he thinks he'll need a new hinge, and he's waiting on parts from Viking for that. He charges £190 callout plus parts, so I think I've found what we've been looking for.

Viking, of course, are unaware of pretty much the only person in the UK who can service their appliances.

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