Update 4/30/08: the gentleman whose name appeared here as the CEO of Kärcher USA is no longer with the company. At his request, I removed his name from the post.
I own a Kärcher electric pressure washer. I bought it because it was reputed to be from a solid company. Over the five or so years that I’ve had it, it’s worked well enough, but it failed, so I wanted to get it repaired. Here’s the deal:
- if you have a gas pressure washer, you can take it to one of Karcher’s service centers.
- If you have an electric pressure washer, and it’s under warranty, Karcher will exchange it for a refurbished unit under their “rapid exchange” program.
- If you have an electric pressure washer, and it’s out of warranty, too bad. Karcher won’t fix it. I spoke to Shane, at their customer service [sic] center. He said, “Oh, if you want to fix it, you can order the parts from us.”
So, I fired up Word and made ready to send them a letter asking how I could get the unit fixed. Surely what Shane told me can’t be right. However, here’s what I learned:
- The Karcher USA web site doesn’t list an address or telephone number for their US office.
- The customer support number on their website goes to what’s obviously an outsourced firm; they’ll only give out the company address, not the phone number. That’s because (drum roll) they don’t have it
- If you use an online directory to find their phone number, the listed telephone number for their Atlanta office rings incessantly; no one ever answers
- Their press releases don’t include any contact information
- The press release site for the parent company requires a user name and password to log on
After a whole bunch more web searching, I found their correct address (2825 Breckinridge Blvd, Suite 120; Duluth, GA 30096) and phone number (678-935-4545). No one answers that number, either, but I plan to keep trying until I get a human. In the meantime, I’d certainly advise against buying anything from these folks, given their unusual mastery of customer-avoidance techniques.
Update: I found this page, which lists XXX as the CEO and 678-935-4550 as the fax number. Score!
Update: I faxed them a letter. It’s in the “more” section.
Update: I got a call on Friday, July 29, from a customer service rep who offered me a discount on a remanufactured unit. He was supposed to send me some email explaining which units I could choose from– but lo and behold, 10 days later, no email. Hmmm. (And yes, I checked the spam filter logs; no such email ever arrived here)