828 Sunbeam Customer Non-Service

An open letter to Sunbeam:

This is utterly ridiculous ...  Customer Non-Service in the digital age

I wanted to make a complaint on your website. After filling in the form, I cannot submit it … Captcha apparently is required. But the Captcha function does not work (neither can I enter a phone number, see enclosed screen-grab). Then I called your Customer Contact Centre … only to find out they are not contactable on Saturdays.


Next I spend some 15 minutes looking for an email address; alas, you’re still in the middle of the last century, with providing … a fax number. Oh dear!


This is my complaint:


We purchased a Sunbeam heater HE2105. It is probably the most useless product we have purchased in a long time. It does heat alright ... but to get it to start or stop one has to press the same button untold times.


That is bad enough, but the appliance is controlled via a digital panel that - wait for it - is placed on the front of the heater, not the top. When your designers tested the unit, they obviously did so with it sitting on top of a table. But guess what, we're using it on the floor and due to a safety switch, the unit cannot be leaned back to look at the bloody digital readout; so in order to adjust the settings, one has to go down on one's knees, on the floor.


All that would be not too bad, if it wasn't for the fact that the user of the heater is my 88 year old mother in law. Who is very, very disappointed with her purchase. Can you blame her?

What is wrong with the proven design of a simple on/off switch and I, II, III settings for the desired level of heating, on top of the unit?


She obviously has purchased the wrong heater and I will have words with the salesman who sold it to her (at Ewens Hardware, 874 Military Rd., Mosman). But it is a mystery to me why a unit with such an obvious design fault is in shops, let alone being sold to an elderly woman.


I request you authorise the dealer to take the unit back and replace it with a more suitable one (I don’t have the box anymore, it was discarded once we unpacked the heater.)


Sincerely, C. Burmeister


Next I shall walk to the post box … all this would have taken about an hour of my time; my hourly rate is $85, please submit a cheque to my address.