Only The CEO At Cuisinart Has The Power To Send You A Shipping Label

Jennifer bought the Cuisinart coffeemaker at right about a month ago. It lists for $145.00, and you can get it from Amazon for, as of this writing, $75.45. Unfortunately for Jennifer, her appliance just plain stopped working, and nothing she did at home would fix it. Cuisinart agreed to send her a new one, and even waived the shipping fee, but they want her old coffeemaker back. This wouldn’t be a problem, but the cost to ship the large and heavy machine is $47.62. That amount would put Jennifer more than halfway to just buying a new machine.

I purchased this product on November 13th, 2011. On December 16th 2011, the unit would no longer brew. I followed the directions given by Cuisinart customer support to trouble shoot the unit, with no luck. They authorized a return, and waived the $10 shipping fee to send me a new one – but required I send in the old one. The shipping costs to send the defective unit in were $47.62.

I asked if there was any way that they could provide a shipping label or waive the return of the old unit as it was just barely a month old and the shipping costs were almost as much as a new unit, and was refused no matter how high up the management chain I went or who I spoke with (I did try calling in multiple times). Eventually I was given the address of the CEO’s office and told my only recourse was to send a letter to him.

I purchased this specifically because of the Cuisinart name – after some research, I’ve discovered that what that really means is that they don’t follow consumer protection laws in Maine, CA, or any other state with laws about costs related to warranty repairs. While I purchase a reasonable amount of appliances and had been considering purchasing a food processor, at this point I will never do business with this company again.

The good news is that Amazon took the return back and will be sending me out a new (non-Cuisinart) coffee maker ASAP, but this is terrible service for what is listed as a $145 coffee maker.

Yay, Amazon! Boo, Cuisinart! This story serves as a good lesson, though – when something goes wrong and a product’s manufacturer won’t help you, contact the retailer. Or sometimes it’s the other way around.

Comments

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  1. Aphex242 says:

    We had that coffemaker. It weighs maybe 7 pounds. Even with packing materials and the rest it’d be way under 12.

    Wherever she got that shipping quote was from a place trying to rip her off. Protip: Get a FedEx or UPS account and print your own labels.

    Shipping that thing ground would cost, at most, about $25. Probably considerably less.

    Not the point explicitly, I know. It’s insane Cuisinart wanted her to pay to ship it back for something that died within a month of purchase.

    • ecwis says:

      Yeah $47.62 is a joke. The FedEx LIST price to send a 7 lbs package from California to New Jersey is $10.20.

    • Jevia says:

      I’m wondering if as part of the shipping, she was required to ship it certified, insured, or other services with extra costs.

      Interesting that it costs Cuisinart $10 to ship, but the OP 4 times that much.

      • ecwis says:

        FedEx and UPS do not charge more to insure a package (up to $100). There is absolutely no reason it would need to be sent Certified Mail.

      • Psychicsword says:

        It is probably marked as an “oversized” package and Cuisinart is using a special pricing account with UPS or FedEx.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        The reason it costs plebes $40 to ship stuff is so corporations can have $10 shipping.

    • Snip says:

      Thanks for clarifying, I was wondering about that. There’s no way that should cost that much to ship unless she had to ship insured or something like that.

    • vivalakellye says:

      Yeah, I’ve definitely shipped several 30-40 lb boxes at UPS and have never paid more than $50/box for Ground.

  2. chefboyardee says:

    That image is to the left of the copy, not to the right :)

  3. Scooter McGee says:

    I’ve had similar experiences in recent months with D-Link and BlueAnt. My D-Link router died recently after less than six months ownership. I had to ship it to them at my expense even though it was their product that died just sitting there. BlueAnt also wanted me to ship a bluetooth headset back to them, again at my expense, when it suddenly decided it would would only charge if I do it through my computer’s USB port.

    I know it sounds petty, but making the customer pay to ship the faulty equipment you manufactured within the warranty period helps me decide what brand I will not purchase in the future. I can understand making the customer pay for shipping if it was deemed from abuse, but once determined to be a defect, the customer should be refunded.

    • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

      It’s *not* petty, not at all. Companies surely know that placing the shipping burden on the customer will reduce the number of warranty claims they actually have to service. The maker of a shoddy product can slap a “10-year warranty!” sticker on the box with reasonable confidence that people are more likely to trash the thing than ship it anywhere, especially if it weighs 30 pounds.

      When I was a kid, I had an expensive waterproof Walkman that broke from time to time. It wasn’t a big deal because my parents could drive me to the company owned Sony repair depot five miles away. I guess repair depots have gone the way of the dodo in the name of efficiency (and executive bonuses), but refusing to cover shipping is different. It implies that the company has no confidence in its products and wants to offer a sham warranty it doesn’t really intend to honor.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        I just looked up the “local warranty service depot” for Panasonic electric shavers yesterday. The one and only I could find is in McAllen, TX.

    • nybiker says:

      You want to know what’s bad with some warranties. Try furnaces. I bought a new Burnham back in May 2004. Last month it was cracked. Yeah, they have a 10-year warranty, but it’s been only 7. Ok, so my oil supply company, with whom I have a service contract, tells me that they get the new unit replaced without charge, but there will be an installation charge of $3,000. WTF!!! Yep, no getting around that. I just did a quick & dirty search for the name (to ensure I spelled it correctly) and on the furnacecompare (http://www.furnacecompare.com/furnaces/burnham/reviews/) site, I find this: “#58 of 69 brands of furnaces.” “Only 18% would recommend.” Oh well, I just hope this lasts long enough and when the time comes to replace it, I will find another brand.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Tell the furnace company you want your new furnace and when you receive it then turn around and sell it to help compensate you for your cracked one.

  4. PLATTWORX says:

    I found the Cuisinart coffee maker shown above on Amazon.com for about the price lists. It’s the Cuisinart DCC-1200. It weights 9 POUNDS that is not a “large and heavy machine” and as someone who ships via USPS and UPS often there is NO WAY returning that item would have cost Jennifer a fraction of the $47.62 she claims in her message.

    Even the much larger Cuisinart DGB-900BC which sells for double the price weights all of 14 pounds. Still, not a chance on Earth Jennifer would have had to pay $47.62 to return it unless she was using FedEx… which would be unnecessary and a waste.

    Yes, Cuisinart should have paid return shipping. However, the OP either can’t calculate shipping costs or decided a dramatic exageration of the situation had a better chance or having her story posted. Did anyone fact check it first?

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Weight isn’t the only consideration in shipping; size makes a difference in price. Also, since I doubt she’d just slap a label on the machine, you’d have to factor in adequate packaging.

      • PLATTWORX says:

        Nice try… but using a huge box (not necessary for a machine of this size) and even newspaper ask packing material if she did not have the original (newspaper is probably heavier than foam peanuts or air pillows) we still are well under half the $47.62.

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          Sounds like the OP needs to start throwing around the term “implied warranty of merchantability” and/or contact their state Attorney General (depending on how big they are on consumer protection) if they want to get Cuisinart to “take this seriously”.

    • Damocles57 says:

      “…there is NO WAY returning that item would have cost Jennifer a fraction of the $47.62 she claims in her message.”

      Actually, it would cost a fraction of $47.62.

      The only question is what is the size of the fraction….

  5. sirwired says:

    The return of a defective product is a normal and reasonable part of a product warranty. Many companies are not in the habit of sending out $150 appliances and not wanting some proof you didn’t want a 2nd one for the office.

    It is also quite normal for you to cover the shipping one way. Some companies will cover the return shipping, others won’t. This is all documented in the warranty documentation, which is available prior to purchase.

    Also, $47.62 to mail this thing? What’s it made of, lead? For the amount quoted, UPS will ship a 36lb package from one side of the lower-48 to the other It ain’t THAT heavy.

    • Tyanna says:

      I’m going to guess she’s from Canada, and it needs to ship to the US. I just shipped some Christmas presents to the US. I’m willing to bet the box was smaller and lighter than the one she’s have to send and it cost me just under $25.

    • ecwis says:

      Yeah it’s all documented in the warranty information which is INSIDE the box. That’s not really fair.

      • George4478 says:

        It is also found in the Product Manual (located via handy link on the Amazon page where she ordered the package). I think Cuisinart’s policy sucks, but your assertion that the information is only available AFTER she receives the item from Amazon is incorrect.

        • ecwis says:

          I just read the manual and it doesn’t say anything about having to send the broken unit back. All it says is that you have to pay a $10 shipping charge.

      • sirwired says:

        You can get the warranty off of the website. In addition, any manufacturer will fax it upon request (if, for some bizarre reason, it’s not on their website), or any retailer can obtain it for you.

        And yes, the warranty tells you you have to return the product. They tell you to either mail your defective product in (with the $10) or call them. If you call them, I presume they’ll then tell you over the phone to return the product.

        Again, this is a 100% standard warranty term; this is not Cuisinart being evil here…

    • Jawaka says:

      Agreed. I do a fair amount of selling on Ebay and have a good idea of what it costs to ship things. There;s no way in hell it would cost $47 to ship that unless you’re shipping express mail. Ship it UPS ground or Parcel Post and it would likely only cost 1/2 of that.

  6. consumeristjohnny says:

    There are so many things in this post.
    1. $46 to ship? Is she out of country?
    2. Another reason that many people choose to buy at a brick and mortar store (where you actually can return a physical item yourself)
    3. What was the warranty on the product? Did she read it or just bitch about it?
    4. “I purchase a reasonable amount of appliances and had been considering purchasing a food processor, at this point I will never do business with this company again.” As always with the entitled comes the threat. I am taking my ball and going home Why is always needed to be announced that you will no longer do business with them? Does it make you feel important?

    • El_Fez says:

      As always with the entitled comes the threat.

      You know, a functioning device a month after it came out of the box isn’t exactly an unreasonable request and doesn’t rocket you to the head of the “I’m a bitchy customer” line.

    • ovalseven says:

      Does going all Summer’s Eve on her make you feel more important?

    • DariusC says:

      Probably said she wasn’t going to do business again with them because she probably won’t… If she did, she would state that she would.

  7. whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

    I own several Cuisinart appliances, and I’m in the market for several more. Unless there’s a good followup — and at this point, “fixing the problem under the harsh light of media/web attention” is not sufficient — this story will impact my future purchase decisions.

    • webweazel says:

      My mom got one of these Cuisinart coffeemakers as a gift about 8 years ago. She used it for two years, then she got a different coffee maker because of personal preference, and gave the CA to me. I just got rid of it a few months ago, because after 5 years of flawless DAILY use, it finally just up and died. Still have the carafe that I don’t quite know what to do with, because it doesn’t fit in my new maker.

      Unless Cuisinart product/repair complaints show up on here on a more frequent basis showing a continuing trend of bad products or service, I consider stuff like this a fluke. Shit happens.

      • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

        It’s not the fact that the thing broke — I’ve owned the exact same model of coffeemaker since 2005. I’ve never had a Cuisinart warranty claim, period. But the customer service stance shown here is not okay.

    • csciguy says:

      Seriously? How do you EVER buy a product then? People have problems with products. Things break. The situation was handled here just fine. Get over it.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      Look at Breville. I got a $250 toaster oven from them, and it started acting up a about 6 weeks out of warranty. I saw online that several other people had the same issue. I emailed them, they sent me a label to mail it back, and I had a brand new toaster within days. They had updated the part that failed, and had even added same safety clips that the original unit didn’t have.

  8. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Sounds like the OP needs to start throwing around the term “implied warranty of merchantability” and/or contact their state Attorney General (depending on how big they are on consumer protection) if they want to get Cuisinart to “take this seriously”.

  9. newcx says:

    Why didn’t Jennifer go to Amazon in the first place? They recently replaced an item for me and e-mailed the return shipping label without question.

  10. MickeyMoo says:

    A lot of the product reviews for Cuisinart on Amazon (I always read the 1 and 2 star ones first) indicate that quality control, reliability, and customer service are lacking @ Cuisinart. I’ve always wanted one of their food processors, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

  11. FrugalFreak says:

    Companies know it will cost and they work it into their cheaper product/warranty strategy.

  12. MattS says:

    We had the same coffeemaker, it broke, Cuisinart asked for it back, etc. We never bothered to send it back, but Cuisinart sent us a new one – a newer model, in fact – no questions asked. I don’t think we did anything special.

  13. CodingParadox says:

    She’s getting rocked on shipping… Go to a shipping service like http://www.shipcalc.com to figure out how much it should actually cost to ship. Requires making shipping accounts with the shipper, but you save a ton of money.

  14. bar_foo says:

    This is why some companies have warranties at all. Many umbrellas, for example, come with a little warranty notice, but since it would cost $7 or so to send your $10 dollar umbrella in to repair (or more likely replace), if you even kept the receipt, I doubt many people take them up on it. But it looks better in the store to advertise that it’s guaranteed.

  15. SmokeyBacon says:

    While it sucks that the OP would have to pay to ship the defective product back under warranty, can I just ask – where has she been living – under a rock? I would be much more surprised if they allowed for a warranty return that didn’t require the purchaser to pay to send it back. She references consumer protection laws related to warranty repairs – what exactly are those? My guess is that we don’t have them here because I haven’t heard of such a thing as it relates to paying to ship the product back.

  16. amgriffin says:

    It’s time for the percolator! Cheaper, more fun & you can dance to it.

  17. OldSchool says:

    The root of the problem is that appliances bearing the “Cuisinart” brand are not actually made by the original Cuisinart company that was responsible for it’s reputation for producing quality appliances, the name was purchased some years ago by Conair and the quality is nothing like it once was….

  18. mk says:

    I got this coffee maker when I got married. A little less than a year later, the handle on the carafe started to separate making it difficult and dangerous to pour coffee. I called Cuisinart and they replaced the carafe free of charge. I was pleasantly surprised by their customer service. Obviously not the experience OP is having, which is too bad. I bought other Cuisinart products because of that experience.

  19. VicMatson says:

    Something’s wrong here (or someone is an idiot), no way that estimate is real! If you know someone with a business account that ships several packages a day, you can ship if for about 8 bucks!!!

  20. Weapon X says:

    My Quisinart DGB-900BC died almost two years after purchasing it. I had to pay return shipping. I recall that USPS was somewhere in the neighborhood of $47.62, so I did the logical thing and checked FedEx and UPS shipping rates. UPS was just over $20. It never felt like I was getting taken for a ride by Quisinart, because they sent me a brand spanking new (not refurbished) $200 coffee machine: same model, but with a few design updates that appeared to address the problem that I had with my old machine. Quisinart has a 3 year warranty for their coffee machines. That is somewhat unheard of in the small kitchen appliance business.

    It amazes me that this woman will go through the trouble of getting this story of consumer victimization out to the blogosphere, but can’t take the time to check UPS rates.???

  21. farker22 says:

    unfortunately for both of us, i had a similar product with similar results. The gf was so pissed i spent so much on a coffee maker and i bought it due to the brand.

  22. scoutermac says:

    Warranties are typically worthless.