Help FOUND through Assistant General Manager Ron Potter at Menard's in Valparaiso, IN
We bought this grill with some yard sale proceeds and were excited to return to our charcoal grilling foodie heaven!
It was on sale, nice sized and good lookin'! My dear Husband battled with some shlocky hole alignments in putting it together, but other than family entanglements expected with two tiny kidlets, assembly was timely. We used it for the first time on Father's Day. (If you must know, we grilled onion burgers. Yup, they were tasty.) What left a bad taste in our mouths was the top of the grill on which the paint peeled up. We are not idiots, we didn't light a huge fire and close the grill or anything...this was just a shoddy product. A shoddy product that we paid cash for since we live debt free. A shoddy product for which we threw away the receipt, not expecting this would need to be returned.
The booklet for "The Original Outdoor Cooker" charcoal grill insisted that "Should you encounter any problem(such as the top of the grill peeling up after one use) or obtain replacement parts CONTACT US FIRST Do not return product to the store."
I called the company phone number and left two different messages along with my story and contact information on Friday June 24 and Tuesday June 28. Surprisingly, have not heard back from the company.
After reading grilling recipe articles in our local NWI Times newspaper I began to resent the fact we would not be grilling this fine Fourth of July weekend. I thought even without a receipt and even though we paid in cash (Menard's will happily look up and replace a lost receipt from a credit or debit card transaction) I would at least call and see if they could help.
I usually find better help for sticky customer service situations when I talk to an employee or manager in person. Unfortunately with two babies and the large item in question I didn't think I was up for the challenge. I called Menard's and asked to speak with the manager on duty. I spoke with Ro-- I tried to clarify, Rob or Rod? He said RON! I think we both laughed. Maybe it was just me? I explained the whole evil grill saga and Ron (Ron Potter, I found out later) not only said they could offer store credit at sale price without a receipt, but he took the time to look up all grill transactions under the SKU I gave him, found ours and even told me we bought the grill at 3:43pm Saturday June 4th!
Ron said Menard's could give us our full purchase price with the "Transaction Inquiry" he printed out. We established that he would leave it at the Office Manger's desk up front and I could get it anytime today to do a return. I was so happy with this result that I told him I was a customer service blogger and I could feel a blog coming on. Ron laughed and said "This is what I get paid to do, I don't need accolades!" I asked if I could send the blog link to anyone and he did say on the Menard's website there was a customer comments area, so I will send this there too.
So many employees can help their customers like Ron Potter helped me, but they choose not to. They either do not care or aren't empowered enough in their work to make the extra effort that makes a difference. It may be true Mr. Potter just didn't want to see a crazy lady with two babies screaming and crying and dragging a big broken grill through the store...but I'd prefer to think he just likes to do everything he can to help people in ay situation he is in. Thank you Ron Potter, because of you my husband thinks I am awesome and we will be grilling this weekend...wanna stop by?
(Of course the full story will continue after I bring the behemoth of a grill into the store...stay posted for updates!)