So I pull out my Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus Food Processor for a little chopping the other day. The plastics over the button have completely broke free due to the outsourcing from Cuisinart to China. The membrane of the buttons are some of the worst cost cutting measures I’ve seen from a major kitchen brand over the years but I digress.
I clean off the serrated cutting blade, the most common one I use and notice that the metal is starting to fold over on the end. This is an unusual sight as these are definitely the most used in my case and have always been very robust in the past. This doesn’t seem to be the case now.
A quick search on the internet and I see there is a recall for this very issue.
I find the initial United States Consumer and Safety Commission bulletin recall notice titled Cuisinart Food Processors Recalled by Conair Due to Laceration Hazard.
The food processor’s riveted blade can crack over time and small, metal pieces of the blade can break off into the processed food. This poses a laceration hazard to consumers.
December 13, 2016
About 8 million (in addition, about 300,000 were sold in Canada)
I initially called the US number by mistake 1-877-339-2534 and reached a dedicated recall line and they were ready to ship the part to me with no fuss until I started to provide a Canadian address. Unfortunately they could not ship this recall part to me and provided me with the Canadian phone number.
This is where the journey now begins.
This all began on Saturday June 10, 2023 and the US phone number was working on this day. I called the number I was given for the Canadian equivalent who is Conair Canada at 1-800-472-7606 but they are closed on weekends. A strictly 9-5 Monday to Friday line here.
The Canadian recall is titled Conair Consumer Products ULC recalls Riveted Blades in Cuisinart Food Processors.
They provide a little more information about the recall.
The food processor’s riveted blade can crack over time and small metal pieces of the blade can break off into the processed food. This poses a laceration hazard to consumers.
As of November 30, 2016, the company has received 10 reports of cracked or broken riveted blades in Canada, including 2 reports of mouth laceration or tooth injury. In the United States, the company has received 69 reports of consumers finding broken pieces of the blade in processed food including 30 reports of mouth lacerations or tooth injuries.
The Cuisinart food processors were sold from 1996 through December 2015.
Consumers should immediately stop using the food processor’s riveted blade and contact Conair Consumer Products ULC for a free replacement blade.
For more information, consumers may contact Conair Consumer Products ULC toll-free at 1-866-729-2389, by email (email@example.com), visit the firm’s website (http://www.cuisinart.ca/recall/) or visit Conair’s Warranty Care Centre at 100 Conair Parkway, Woodbridge, ON L4H 0L2 (Monday to Friday 9:30 am E.T. to 4:30 pm E.T).
They provide an email address of firstname.lastname@example.org that you can contact along with a phone number 1-866-729-2389. I’ve also been provided another number from the US equivalent but this eventually turns out to redirect to the same avr prompts. That number is 1-877-526-6247.
On the same day I emailed email@example.com to see how this will go. No response and no email received receipt. I don’t expect anything much to happen here as email is always a last resort and usually doesn’t fare well for me.
I call on Monday June 12, 2023 and start with the avr prompts. 1 for English 2 for French. 5 is the number for recalls and now you wait.
By wait I mean indefinitely. You will get to listen to this lovely prompt every minute for as long as you remain on the line. There is an option for a callback here too that I won’t use until a little later. For a test I put my phone on speaker and left it sitting connected while this hold music played.
For 105 minutes I left the line connected while I did other things in the meantime. Once this threshold hit I hung up the phone.
I’m curious so I gave the 1-800-472-7606 a try again the next day and choose the recall department. After around 7 minutes I get a new message. “Because of technical difficulties we cannot route your call 41611” and then the line disconnects. Great.
I call back and try the callback option. I’m still waiting days later…
Why isn’t there a dedicated line for recalls? The fact I have to work this much to receive a replacement recalled part is disturbing. I see the defect for myself and don’t plan on eating metal bits in my meal.
Once again, customer service of large companies are really becoming unbearable. The drop in service over the phone is disturbing. Nobody answers or calls people back. Doubly worse on a safety recall!
So I pushed my luck and contacted them again on Wednesday June 14, 2023 and put my number into the callback queue. 45 minutes later I get a call but not one you would expect. Indian music was blaring into the phone the minute I picked it up. A few hellos from me go unanswered and the call is disconnected.
Alright then it’s on, another call is made and I’m placed in the queue yet again. 90 minutes later I receive a phone call without any blasting music and there is a person on the other line. A heavy Indian accent making it hard to comprehend what is being asked of me. There is a huge clattering at random intervals in the background. I wonder where this person is situated? They sound like they’re calling from a Porta Potty on a construction site.
I run through the recall details that seem foreign to the operator on the other line. This person seems completely uninterested and obviously wants to finish up the call as soon as possible. Handing over the details of my shipping address is painful and I confirm that they do in fact have my proper details after several long minutes.
There is no mention of shipping times or anything. I don’t have any confidence that I will receive anything and as for shipping times? Who knows.
Surprisingly a package shows up on Friday June 16, 2023. I turn over the expedited package shipment and notice it’s from Cuisinart.
I’m shocked! The replacement blade has arrived!
The blade in packed within a sturdy cardboard shipping box with another box containing the blade and an instruction sheet. We don’t want people cutting themselves after a safety recall.
The box has a double use which is smart thinking. Shipping the blade to the customer without incident and it is also used to dispose of the old, recalled blade.
There are no rivets in this new one, plastic only. We’ll see how long this lasts.
I’m glad that this has been resolved but it does not change my outlook on the poor customer service getting to this point. They need to take a hard look at where they are outsourcing their customer support. Much work is needed here as many have given up contacting the company because of it.
They need a dedicated recall line where people pick up immediately like the US arm of the company. This runaround is unacceptable especially on a recall.
Here’s some further reading for those who are interested.