Sevierville man's space heater lost due to wrong information

Sevierville man's space heater lost due to wrong customer service information

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Bill Clayton first bought an iHeater less than two years ago. These $250 space heaters come with a one year warranty. Bill Clayton first bought an iHeater less than two years ago. These $250 space heaters come with a one year warranty.
Just before his guarantee was about to expire, Clayton's heater wouldn't turn on. He says the switch came apart. Just before his guarantee was about to expire, Clayton's heater wouldn't turn on. He says the switch came apart.
Bill Clayton sent the heater back to the manufacturer, but later found out he was told to send it to the wrong location. Bill Clayton sent the heater back to the manufacturer, but later found out he was told to send it to the wrong location.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - Being in business means more than just selling a product. More and more people expect good customer service. 

A man in Sevierville told 6 On Your Side how he was given wrong information by customer service when he sent his space heater off for repairs.

A positive customer experience can relate directly to profit. Generally, a happy customer can become a company's biggest advocate.

According to a government report on consumer affairs, loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase.

In Sevierville, Bill Clayton has no trouble with the space heater he bought, but his positive experience with the heater ended with a call to customer service.

Clayton had to buy another space heater in November after the first one he had purchased got lost when he sent it for repairs.

Clayton first bought an iHeater less than two years ago. These $250 space heaters come with a one year warranty.

Just before his guarantee was about to expire, Clayton's heater wouldn't turn on. He says the switch came apart.

He liked the heater and wanted it fixed, so he contacted the manufacturer's customer service department.

"I called to request a switch because I can install it. They said, 'Oh, no, you have to send the heater,' and they gave me the address," said Clayton.

The address, according to his receipt, is in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Clayton sent the unit by FedEx, paying $30 out of his own pocket to ship it.

"I sent it on the tenth I believe or the 11th of October and they received it on the 16th, in Connecticut," said Clayton. "The guy told me it would take roughly three weeks. They would replace the switch and/or if they couldn't do that, they would send me a new heater."

For weeks, Clayton heard nothing from the manufacturer.

"I called and asked where it was. They didn't know who I was and never heard of me," he said. "[The customer representative] said 'Why did you send it to Connecticut?' I said I was instructed to. I told her not out of the clear blue sky am I going to send it to an address. She said, 'Oh, you sent it to the wrong place. You should have sent it to Indianapolis.'"

Clayton said he was told there was nothing the company could do until they located the heater.

After not hearing anything for six weeks, he went out and bought a second heater.

6 On Your Side called the manufacturer. That address in Connecticut is where customer service is located. We were told the Indianapolis address is the company's repair shop.

The polite customer service representative said that Clayton has called twice since early December, but there is no update on the whereabouts of his heater. 

Clayton says there is no problem with the iHeater his cousin owns. He wants his heater back or a refund.

"I hope it doesn't happen to anybody else," he said.

At this point. Bill Clayton is pretty fed up with customer service with the iHeater company, but he says he can't get lash out at customer service when he talks with them because the company has his heater somewhere either in Connecticut or Indiana.

We asked customer service if they will send Clayton a new heater if they can't find the heater he sent to them. They couldn't answer the question.

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