Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not complaining

Sometimes, it seems like all I do on this blog is rant and rave and complain. Not this time. This time, I want to say thank you to an anonymous customer service worker at Honeywell.

When we bought The Freehold v2, one early task was to replace the non-programmable thermostat with a programmable one. (If you want to save some serious money, this is an easy and cheap way to do it.) I looked at the local big-box home store and picked out a Honeywell RTH 7500, based more on features and the Honeywell reputation than on price.

The new thermostat installed easily and has worked just fine until recently, when for some reason it lost a day--it thought it was Sunday when it was actually Monday. This means the programs are running at the wrong times, because our weekday routine is very different from our weekend routine.

This shouldn't be a problem--just reset the day of week and we're done. Unfortunately, while the thermostat is easy to program in most frequently used ways, the setup functions are cryptic--and day of week is a setup function. You really need the manual to do it.

As you may guess, I couldn't find the manual. It's probably here somewhere, but who knows where. After a quick look where it should have been, I resorted to the geek's best friend--the World Wide Web. I hit Honeywell's web site to download the manual.

But the download link wasn't working. Neither was the search function. Someone misprogrammed a script. So I had to resort to setting and resetting by hand for a day. Not a big deal, they'll see the problem all over their error logs, and fix it the next day, right?

Not right. Next evening, the problem still wasn't fixed. So I used the contact page and sent them a message, outlining the problem with their site and asked for a direct link to the manual or instructions on resetting the day of week.

For those of you who have tried this, it's a crap shoot. Half the time or more, you'll never get an answer. I was prepared to be angry.

About 15 hours later, I got the link and the instructions in a very nicely worded reply. The instructions and the link both worked just like they should. My thermostat now knows it's Tuesday, not Monday.

Now I could let myself get all bent by this. The thermostat inexplicably lost a day, and resetting it isn't straight-forward. I lost the manual, and Honeywell's webs site was seriously dysfunctional. It wasn't fixed promptly, because someone apparently isn't doing their job as well as they should. But one anonymous worker at Honeywell, by simply doing their job the way it should be done, has taken away all the reasons for anger and instead, created a well-satisfied customer who is now doing what any well-run company always hopes its well-satisfied customers will do--telling others.

Good on you, Honeywell.

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