Remember that Cuisinart recall in December? If you missed it, it was the largest recall of kitchen appliances in the history of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Conair announced a voluntary recall of Cuisinart food processor blades after receiving 69 consumer reports of broken blades in their processed food. About 30 of those reports included mouth lacerations or tooth injuries, yikes!
The recall affected 8 million units sold between July 1996 and December 2015. Cuisinart set up a website for consumers to test their model to see if it contained the defective rivets, and they made promises of free replacement blades.
Well, here we are, seven months later, and I still haven't received my replacement blade from the Cuisinart recall. In February, I received a form letter thanking me for my patience. The letter advised that while they are producing blades as rapidly as possible, they estimate my blade could be shipped to me anytime between 5/1/2017 - 6/15/2017.
It's a few days past 6/15/2017 and my food processor is still collecting dust in the cabinet. Is it really reasonable to expect customers to wait for seven months to replace their defective blades?
Why is it Taking so Long?
At the time of the recall, CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye stressed that these products are very dangerous. He urged consumers to act immediately: stop using their food processors and request a free replacement blade. Like many others, I stopped using the blade as soon as I heard. The last thing I wanted to do was serve a meal full of broken pieces of metal!
So, if the blades are so dangerous, why is it taking six months to receive my new blade?
Cuisinart spokesman Dan Kulp responded to Consumer Reports' inquiries claiming that "precise manufacturing" is the reason for the delay. Apparently, the blades are only made in one small factory and the company can't rush the manufacturing process.
Since the response was so overwhelming, it is just going to take some time to meet demand. But, don't worry, they're addressing the customer inconvenience: they offered an exclusive, interactive recipe book that can be downloaded online.
Unfortunately for Cuisinart's customer service, consumers are not very happy with this response. It's impossible to overlook that Cuisinart has no problem meeting the demand of blades for brand new food processors. You know, the ones that come with a hefty price tag as opposed to the free replacement blade. If there is no shortage of blades for new food processors, why are they shorting customers who have already spent their money?
Their "exclusive" response for our continued patience is also a little insulting. Why offer a free recipe book when the internet is full of free recipes? Wouldn't it have made more sense to speed up the process? Or set up some kind of trade-in program that allowed customers to get a comparable (or higher-end) food processor of their choice?
Bottom line, seven months (and counting!) is an unreasonable amount of time to wait, and a recipe book isn't making that feel any better.
Is Anyone Receiving their Replacement Blade?
Some customers have reported that they started receiving replacement blades about two months ago. Although Cuisinart has promised to "send an email so you can anticipate when [the replacement blade] will arrive," most customers report the blade showed up unannounced one day.
Many customers are still in the dark about the status of their Cuisinart recall. When I contacted Cuisinart customer service for an update in March, I received a form email from David informing me that "we cannot provide an update to your order" and in the meantime, there's that interactive recipe book. Great, thanks!
My latest emails to Cuisinart have gone unanswered.
What Can we Do?
Customers on Facebook and Food52 forums are expressing their distaste for Cuisinart's poor customer service. They're responding to their "food processor withdrawal" by boycotting the Cuisinart brand.
If you're unhappy, contact Cuisinart! Take to their Facebook page and join the hundreds of consumers who are expressing their dissatisfaction with the company's poor choices and terrible customer service.
Let them know you're unhappy with a recipe book as a replacement a food processor blade. Without the blade, your food processor is just a useless, bulky piece of equipment that takes up space underneath your kitchen counter.
And to Cuisinart, I ask the following question:
What do you say about all of this? Are you going to finally going to respond to my inquiries, and those of countless other customers, or will you continue to ignore us? Is the price of manufacturing a replacement blade worth losing my business?
This post was originally published in June 2017.
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