What a shower…

Or how not to do customer service…

About a week ago, my electric shower went wrong. I lost pressure out of the shower head, and water started gushing out of a hole in the bottom of the unit. I was initially alarmed, but on inspection, I could see this hole was deliberately made, and therefore meant for water to come out of, under certain circumstances.

So I went to the Triton Showers web page, and using their help/FAQ, discovered the issue was with the Pressure Release Device (PRD) and the FAQ gave me a number to ring.

Which BT told me was no longer in service. So I then emailed Triton’s help desk, explaining the problem. I got a reply as follows:

“If the water is coming from the PRD (Pressure Relief Device),which is situated behind the hose from a clear tube this part unfortunately is not covered by your warranty… the only recommendation I can offer is to remove the shower head from the hose allow the hose to hang in the bath or cubicle turn the shower on the cold setting and allow the water to run out of the wide end of the hose and leave to run for about 10 minutes.”

I was a bit surprised that they could exclude anything from a warranty, given the unit is only 9 months old, but I tried what they suggested, and it didn’t work. In fact, I would soon find there was no way that it would work – it was bad information.

So I wrote a fairly strongly worded email back, and my case obviously got escalated. It was only then explained that the the PRD is a “fuse-like device” – i.e. once blown, it has to be replaced. However, (they said) this is easily done. Furthermore although the item sells for 10 pounds plus 3.60 p+p, they would send me one for free if I just paid the p+p.

This now made sense, although I pointed out to my new customer service friend that the first response distinctly gave the impression that I was going to have replace the whole unit – “the only recommendation I can offer” didn’t include “buy this spare part”. It also made nonsense of the earlier advice, as if the PRD was blown, no amount of flushing was going to “unblow” it.

Anyway, I sprung for the p+p, and the item arrived today. When I opened the jiffy bag, I had to laugh.

This tiny piece of plastic, with a rubber grommet in it, is what costs 10 quid. It is common to most, if not all of Triton’s showers, and they produce them by the thousands. Besides that, this item, no bigger than my finger nail, a piece of paper, and a (used) jiffy bag, is what I was charged 3.60 p+p for.

To make matters worse, the piece of paper, containing “easy to follow instructions” had badly photocopied instructions on both sides, for two different shower units, neither of which bore any resemblance to mine.

Somehow I worked it out, and and I managed to fit it this morning. Then I had a nice hot shower.

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