Water was pooling under our “backup” fridge in my garage, and so I figured something must broken with its refrigeration. However, when I pulled the fridge away from the wall to check things out, I discovered that the source of the water wasn’t the fridge… it was the shower faucet built into the wall behind the fridge that was dripping slowly. My builder had thoughtfully put a shower faucet there in the garage so I could wash my cars inside the garage with warm water. Yes… #firstworldproblem, I know.
Anyway, when I realized the shower valve was the source of the water leak, I was actually happy. Fixing a leaky shower valve is way easier than troubleshooting a leaky refrigerator. And I figured since all the other shower faucets inside the house were Kohler brand, getting a replacement valve to fix the problem would be quick, easy, and free — since Kohler warrants most of their products (including shower valves) for life, and they’ve been nothing but awesome to work with as a consumer (as I’ve raved about in a previous blog post).
But my glee at the promise of a free and easy fix turned to dread when I saw “Moen” engraved on the escutcheon plate. Doh! I figured that the builder had tried to saved some money by using a “cheaper” brand faucet in the garage, and since I’d never dealt with a Moen repair before, I assumed I’d have to suck it up and purchase my own replacement parts. Turns out, nothing could have been further from the truth.
I headed back into my office and searched for “Moen faucet repair,” to try and look up the part number of the valve I’d need. It turns out Moen makes three types of valves, and mine was their “Standard” one — meaning I needed a Moen 1225 replacement cartridge. I looked up the part on Amazon: retail price was $25.35, but the Amazon price was $17.27 (with free Prime shipping). I almost ordered the part right there and then, but decided to check YouTube first (as I do with many DIY projects) to see what was involved in the replacement, see if I’d need any special tools, and find out of there were any additional parts I should replace, service, or lubricate at the same time. Thankfully, I ran across this video:
I don’t expect you to watch the entire thing, but I did — and my favorite part of the video happens at 3:13, when the following note popped up:
Wait… really? Moens are guaranteed for life just like my beloved Kohlers? As someone who considers himself a pretty knowledgeable handyman, I was ashamed I never knew that… and I immediately took back every grumpy thought I’d had about my builder using what I’d mistakenly considered a “sub-standard” valve in the garage.
I did another web search for “Moen valve warranty” and came across this page. The important part reads:
Moen® products have been manufactured under the highest standards of quality and workmanship. Moen warrants to the original consumer purchaser for as long as the original consumer purchaser owns their home (the “Warranty Period” for homeowners), that this faucet will be leak- and drip-free during normal use and all parts and finishes of this faucet will be free from defects in material and manufacturing workmanship…
If this faucet should ever develop a leak or drip during the Warranty Period, Moen will FREE OF CHARGE provide the parts necessary to put the faucet back in good working condition and will replace FREE OF CHARGE any part or finish that proves defective in material and manufacturing workmanship, under normal installation, use and service. Replacement parts may be obtained by calling 1-800-289-6636 (Canada 1-800-465-6130), or by writing to the address shown below.
Man, I love it when companies put “free of charge” in all caps and bold! I quickly dialed the number on the webpage, and after the standard “press 1 if you’re a consumer” and “press 1 for kitchen products, press 2 for bathroom products,” I was soon connected to James. Now, I have nothing against off-shore call centers, but I have to admit it sure was nice to hear an unmistakably American voice pick up a customer service phone call. 🙂
James was extremely friendly and professional. He asked the standard questions I expected to confirm which faucet I had, when it had been installed, and that I was indeed the original owner. He also verified that I did, indeed, need a 1225 replacement cartridge to fix my issue. And then, James uttered those magic words we all love to hear from a customer service representative: “We’d be happy to send you that replacement part free of charge.”
James took down my shipping and email addresses, then informed me that the replacement part would be here within 10 days. I had the option to pay for expedited shipping, but I politely declined (since I’d already put a cap on the faucet’s hose outlet to stop the leak, and can wait the 10 days before repairing). He also asked me to optionally email him a photo of the faucet if I got a chance, so he could associate it with my customer ID and the warranty claim. I’d already snapped a photo of the valve with my phone to help me identify it, so I put him on speaker and emailed him the photo while we talked. The entire phone call took maybe seven minutes. A few seconds later, this showed up in my inbox:
That’s top-notch customer service right there, kids.
I owe Moen an apology for initially assuming their warranty and customer service wouldn’t be comparable to Kohler’s. After my phone call with the friendly and competent James, my assumptions were proven dead wrong. Moen’s warranty promises that they’ll stand behind their products, and James professionalism and friendly attitude more than delivered on that promise. I won’t hesitate to purchase Moen products in the future.