Do NOT Buy Vinotemp Winecellar Products!
By Chad B.
I recently installed a Vinotemp Cooling Unit in a winecellar I was building. I’m here to warn everyone NOT to make the same mistake I made.
Until this wine cellar, I hadn’t even heard of Vinotemp but my client was browsing on the Internet and found this one particular unit that he liked very much. I wasn’t crazy about installing a brand I wasn’t familiar with but hey if that’s what the customer wants I’ll give it to them. After all, I didn’t see anything alarming on the website that said they were anything but professionals and it certainly wasn’t the cheapest product out there so I thought “what could go wrong”.
Well, that was until the delivery date came. Yep it was about 10 days late arriving and it’s cover was all scratched up. So I called my supplier who dealt with Vinotemp trying to get this cover replaced. It took about 2 1/2 weeks for Vinotemp to finally agree to replace the cover….but the catch was they wouldn’t send me the new one until I sent them the old one. Well by this time we were putting the finishing touches on the winecellar so that was a bit inconvenient for our client because he wanted to start using his winecellar (the unit won’t run without the cover, the controls are attached to it). I was able to work it out with the client but of course the client wanted to hold back a couple thousand dollars until I got the new cover.
So I sent the cover back and expected the new one in about a week. Yeah right, so I started calling them every day. I was promised a return call with the updated status. Apparently at Vinotemp they don’t believe in returning calls. After another 2 weeks of this (3 weeks total) they tell me they are sending me the new cover. When I get it, I can tell instantly that this was the same cover, they just tried to buff out the scratches (it’s stainless steel). Oh , now what do I do. It doesn’t look awful but I know it’s not new and I promised my client a new cover. At this point my client is getting impatient, he wants his winecellar working and I want my money. So I decide to take the cover to the client, show it to them, and let them make the determination. After all they are the ones that wanted to use Vinotemp despite my hesitation to do so. Well, luckily he decided that it probably wasn’t going to get any better and didn’t hold me responsible for it so he paid up, I was complete, everyone was happy right?
Well after about a week, the client calls and complains and says his cooling unit is making a high pitch noise. He said it was so loud that he had to shut off the unit so that he a friend could play pool in the room next door. So immediately my HVAC guy and I head down there to see what the problem is. We turn it on and it wasn’t as loud as it was the night before but it was definitely not normal. We start checking everything to make sure nothing is loose. We are able to locate the noise to the solenoid valve area. I call Vinotemp and try to tell them what the problem is, they pass off from one person to the next but apparently nobody there is familiar with a split system .
Finally the engineer gets on the phone and I can’t understand a word that he is saying. His name was Hamil if that helps you any. So I describe the problem to him and he says oh you need a new solenoid valve. Yep that’s pretty much what I thought, but the catch is that means the whole coil needs to be replaced. So he says he’s going to send me a new coil. A week later I get a package in the mail, open it up and all they sent me was the electromagnetic controls for the valve. What the hell? So I talk to them again and they say this will take care of the problem. So we head back down there to install this new part. Nope no luck that didn’t change a thing.
So at this point, I’m mad but not furious. So I call them again, try to talk to Hamil again, and he says that the coil needs to be replaced. No sh*t, that’s what you said last time (at least I think that’s what you said). He says he will tell his manager and she will call me. I said can’t I just talk to your manager right now. No she’s not in the office today. OK fine.
The next day comes and goes no call. The following day I call and ask for his manager. She finally gets on the phone, and acts like she has no idea what I’m talking about so I have to tell her the whole story again. She puts me on hold to go talk to Hamil, and comes back and says ok she knows what part I need but it’s not in stock they are going to have to order it. Then she asks me if she can call me back. I said NO WAY! I haven’t received one single return phone call from anyone there after leaving at least a dozen different messages, I said I will hold. I wait on hold for 30 minutes while she is supposedly calling her supplier. She finally gets back on the line and says I’m on hold with the supplier, would you like to continue to hold or can I call you back. At this time I’m fuming that I have been on hold for this long, but she promised many times that she would call me back so I agreed. 3 hours later she calls back and gets my voicemail, “well, I wasn’t able to reach the supplier today so I’ll try again tomorrow and let you know but I promised I would call you back so here it is”. Gee thanks, that helps.
That was on Monday, so I’ve been busy this week and really haven’t had time to deal with it but I call again today (Thursday) and of course Amanda the manager is busy and can’t take my call. “Would you like to leave a message?” Oh I BLEW UP! FINAL STRAW! IT”S ON!
Then the secretary starts being a smart ass with me, well send back the old evaporator coil and we will send you a new one. YEAH I HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE. So then I demand to speak with as high up as I can go, that’s when this real bimbo named Diane gets on the phone claiming to be the boss but she refused to give me her title.
I couldn’t get two words in edge wise without her interrupting me with “You have two options, you can send us the old one and then we will send you the new one or you can send us $1,100 and we will send you a new evaporator coil”. When I told her to stop interrupting me and let me speak, she didn’t say a word to the point where I had to repeatedly say “hello” and she proudly says “I thought you didn’t want me to speak”. Seriously, are we in third grade now. So I ask did you hear me. That’s when she repeated the company line “You have two options, you can send us the old one and then we will send you the new one or you can send us $1,100 and we will send you a new evaporator coil”.
Well, to wrap this up. I blew my top today. I think my heart actually stopped for a minute my blood pressure was so high. Bottom line, is Vinotemp is a company that does NOT stand behind their products. They don’t have technicians that know their products on the phone or in the field to help better serve you. Their customer service is amongst the worst I have ever dealt with and if you decide to buy any of their products you are taking a huge risk. There are many reputable companies out there selling better products at similar or better prices. There is no good reason to buy from Vinotemp and I’m not just talking about their wine cooling units but their wine racks and wine coolers as well. It’s just not worth it dealing with their customer service.
Two thumbs down for Vinotemp. Buyer beware!
Chad B. is not happy with Vinotemp!