Saturday 28 December 2019

Not a fan: Elmark screws up its recall and I went all the way to Ubi for nothing

So Elmark is recalling a number of its fan models.

Since I have seven ceiling fans in my flat (because Singapore), odds are that I would be affected. True enough, two of my fans have the Elmark brand.

To find out if my Elmark fans are among those being recalled, I took a picture of the fan and WhatApped it to Elmark as instructed by the company website.

I received this reply:
Hi, the fan is in the recall list, u are entitled to the Elmark $150 vouchers, please head down to our showroom (55 Ubi Ave 1, #02-04), with the picture, warranty card and purchase receipt to facilitate our staff.

Warranty card? Receipt? The fans were bought I don't know how many years ago. Who would still have the warranty card and receipt?

Miraculously, my wife did find the receipt. It was dated 2013.

Yesterday, it took me over an hour to get to 55 Ubi Avenue 1 and find the Elmark "showroom".

A sign at the entrance said we had to remove our shoes. What kind of showroom is this?

The showroom was actually part of an office.

There was no receptionist. People were busy on the phone in their cubicles and not paying any attention to my wife and me. We just stood there like idiots for a while, not knowing what we were supposed to do.

Eventually, a woman approached us and we told her we were there for the recall and showed her our receipt.

She asked us whether we want to have our fans removed or replaced. Removal is free. For a replacement, we would get a $150 voucher for the purchase of a new Elmark fan.

She showed us a new ceiling fan on display with the price tag of $488. My wife asked if there were cheaper fans.

While my wife and I discussed what to do, the woman left us and showed our receipt to another woman in the office who was older.

The older woman came to us and dropped the bombshell: Our fan wasn't on the recall list.


She explained that because of the recall, the staff were overwhelmed by messages and so the company hired someone to handle them.

That someone, being new and presumably not properly trained, misidentified our fan as being on the recall list when it wasn't.

The bottom line was we went all the way to Ubi for nothing.

Even though our Elmark fan wasn't recalled, we were being punished for owning an Elmark fan.

The older woman was very apologetic and said since we went all the way there, we could still have the $150 voucher, which could only be used to buy an Elmark fan.

After all that?

The recall was starting to feel like a ruse to get us to buy a new Elmark fan.

We declined.

While my wife was relieved we didn't have to spend money on a new fan, I was pissed about the screw-up.

So pissed that as I was putting my shoes back on, I thought about writing to Enterprise Singapore to complain about Elmark.

I'm definitely not a fan.