Friday, February 3, 2012

Baldwin Brass Door Hardware~Lifetime Means Lifetime

Wow!  Have you spent your life struggling with warranties, discovering that usually, the guarantee or warranty on something you bought was just not worth the hassle to get the company to stand behind their product?  Well, that's me...except for my Dell computer...seems like other companies just put too many hurdles up to get something replaced as they promised.  Dell recently replaced my laptop keyboard for me...sent the tech out...and caused me no grief at all.  I love my Dell!

Well, today, my faith is renewed a little least for Baldwin Brass door hardware!  Here is a picture of my Baldwin Brass Canterbury shiny brass door handles and separate dead bolt.  We have double doors and a handle on each one.  This shows the outside and interior version of my handles.

Day before yesterday, we went to leave the house and tried to lock our door...ooops...the key turned and turned in the lock but nothing engaged.  Couldn't lock the door!  We finally locked it from the inside and went out through the garage.  House secure...but this created a problem since our grandson Brandon, working late nights at Disney World, needs to use his key to get in at wee hours of the morning...or else wake us up to let him in.  I grew up in a town where no one locked their doors.  Did you grow up like that?  Well those days are over.  We need a locking front door!

So the dilemma starts.  Elderly, and not handy, tool challenged, and we call a locksmith?   So, Ron takes the key cylinder that works the dead bolt out of the door and takes it to Home Depot.  The key man there tells him the "tail piece" has broken off, but it has a "life time warranty" and that Baldwin Brass will stand behind it.  Yeah....right.  He also says that Kwikset bought Baldwin Brass and gives us the address for their website.  I go there and find there is a form to fill out...figures...and they want to know all kinds of bought, etc.  At the time, I didn't even know the product number or anything like that.  The hardware was bought at least 10 years ago and bought with the doors, so if I had a receipt, it was long gone.  Funny thing about the beveled glass in these doors...fakes out our dogs every person looks like a parade walking by the house and really gives them something to get upset about!  

So, for two days, I worried about it...then decided to go to the Baldwin site.  Wonderful site...products all labeled well and it was easy to pick out our hardware...
Canterbury with lever interior handle...

and I saw that they still provided customer support and an 800 today, even though after spending a lifetime on the phone in my job before retirement...which left me with an aversion to the phone...and a hatred of "telephone menus"...I held my breath and dialed the 800 number.  The menu was 2 choices...not bad.  I knew from the website that my hardware was Estate and not Prestige, so I pressed the correct number.

It rang, and rang, and rang...and rang some more....but....that was the only negative experience about the whole phone call.  I was actually glad I wasn't put on hold and had to listen to music I probably hate...ringing was definitely better.  A click on the other end and a very pleasant female voice asked me how she could help.  I explained that I needed warranty help with a broken Baldwin door lock.  After a few questions, and my answers, interspersed with her "absolutely no problem, we'll take care of that for you"...reassuring me several times that she was happy to help, she took my address and my email address...assured me that the tail piece would be mailed right away and that she would email me detailed instructions on how to replace it.  The cheerfulness in her voice left me feeling so good about everything.  I was so apprehensive and sure I would get a hard time...and there she was, making the whole experience pleasant!

True to her word...the email arrived in minutes...and guess what?  Her name is Elizabeth Jackson...a good sign as that is my niece's married name...LOL.  My niece is in Pittsburgh, PA and Baldwin's Elizabeth is in Reading, PA.  What a coincidence.

I'm just absolutely thrilled with Baldwin Brass and I can't recommend them enough.  I will never buy any other kind of door hardware, as long as they make it.  I just hope Kwikset doesn't ruin a super good company that has super good service!  I don't know if I would have gotten someone like Elizabeth if I had called Kwikset...I certainly hope so.

Keeping up a house, when you're getting up in years, is certainly a challenge.  Seems like every day, there is something that needs attention or fixin...but at least this broken item still looks as good as the day it was installed and the company is as good as their word.  Lifetime really does mean lifetime!