Customer Service


The following originally appeared on 6/8/09 at Exit 51.

Customer Service

Last year for Christmas, I asked Santa to bring me a tricked out Tovolo spatula.  I had first seen it in Cook’s Illustrated where it was rated a Best Buy. Since I thought of CI as Consumer Reports for the kitchen, I figured that they had conveyed their Best Buy status after thorough testing and it would be a welcome addition to my utensil drawer.  Although, I am still questioning their Best Buy designation in 2007 of the Chefmate dutch oven.  Staining issues aside, I don’t think a Best Buy product should be showing chips out of the enamel after only two years.  It’s not as though I’m using a  drillbit to stir things around in there. Which gets us back to Tovolo.

It wasn’t as though I NEEDED another spatula.  Yes, I have been known to utterly ruin spatulas.  Like the time I was making candy and the silicone head popped clean off after the hard ball stage was reached.  SFC does his fair share of destruction to kitchen tools as well.  He tends to leave them propped on the side of hot pots and pans.  Both of our pancake spatulas have burns and welts that any self respecting CSI team could match up to our cookware.

So I saw the Tovolo as the best of all worlds.  The stainless steel handle would prevent any more utensil abuse by SFC and heat resistant to 600 degrees would ensure that no spatulas would be harmed in any future candy making foolishness.

It was love at first sight.  You know how right a heavy pan feels when you pick it up?  Solid and sturdy?  You know you’re destined to be together forever.  That was how I felt about my Tovolo.  But then one day, suddenly, it all went wrong.  As I was cooking, I noticed a big chunk missing from the silicone.  I looked closer and there was a second smaller gash and a cut.  This was definitely not good.

So what do you do?  Besides fish through the food and hope that there’s no surprises lurking at the bottom of the pan that is.  If you’re me, you get in touch with the manufacturer.  I hate how disposable our society is even though I know I am just as guilty as the next guy of buying a replacement instead of fixing what I have.  I’m trying to get better about that though.  Have I ever told you that my blender is over 50 years old?  It is and it still works like a charm.

Unfortunately, in this case, there was no fixing Tovolo.  And so I wondered if the manufacturer would stand behind its product or just brush me off with some standard form reply.  Not only did they stand behind their product and replace my sassy red spatula with a brand new one, they even gave me a happy blue one to keep it company in the drawer.  How did they know blue is my favorite color?

Too often it seems like companies forget what customer service is about.  Cheers to Tovolo for keeping it real.

Now, I wonder if I’ll be high enough on Santa “Nice” list this year to score a a new Le Crueset dutch oven because that Chefmate is really making me nervous.

7 thoughts on “Customer Service

  1. That is one sweet looking spatula. And it reminds me – did you get your scraper beater thingie yet and did you try it out?

    1. It was good while it lasted. Loved the way they felt in my hand but I kept having issues with the edges breaking. And I think I may have contributed to the problem by using them to scrape out things from the food processor. Once the silicone gets nicked by the blade, it’s all downhill.

      Turns out “Santa” hasn’t ordered my beater blade yet. Grrrr.

  2. I got a Le Creuset Dutch oven last year from Santa. It’s awesome. The handle on the top of the lid fell off, though, so I contacted them and they replaced it for free–another customer service success story!

    ps: your blender is 50 years old? You are amazing.

    1. Kitch, “Santa” made my Le Creuset dutch oven dreams come true this year. I’m looking forward to a lifelong relationship with My Precious (yes, I named it…goes along with my Kitchen Aid mixer dubbed Sir Mix A Lot).

      The blender is in fact over 50 years old and works perfectly. I inherited it from my grandmother. What can I say, they don’t make ’em like they used to.

  3. Reading this post was like reading a really gripping mystery novel. From the get go, I was dying to know how the Tovolo spatula worked out for you. When it came down to their customer service, I wasn’t holding my breath – I’ve gotten so used to companies giving consumers the shaft.

    Surprise happy endings are the best. Props to Tovolo.

    1. Ali, the response I got from Tovolo’s customer service folks was fantastic. Regardless of how their product performed, I have nothing but good things to say about the company.

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