AJ Madison Sales Reps - Well-Informed and Impartial?

amck2November 15, 2012

Discovered AJ Madison through this forum and called for price quotes on 3 ranges I'm considering. She provided me with a quote for a Bluestar range. When I asked her for the price on a Bertazonni she said, "Oh, you don't want a Bertazonni, you'd be much better off with the Bluestar."

Then, when I asked for a 3rd price on an induction range she said, "You won't like the oven." When I asked why, she said, "Because it's electric." I reminded her that I'd said I was torn between AG & dual fuel because I often bake and had always appreciated the even heat of electric oven. She again repeated, "You might like the induction cooktop, but you won't like the electric oven." (At that point we weren't talking about a specific brand or model.)

I know many of you have scored good deals with AJ Madison, but I'm wondering if their reps are steered to promote certain brands and models and/or if I just happened to get a rep who wasn't well informed.

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Are AJ Madison prices different on the phone compared to the website or are these items that do not have actual prices listed on the website?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 1:58PM
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You can get better prices from the sales rep than you will find on the web site, at least that is my experience. My wife and I just completed a gut reno in NYC and we talked to AJ Madison as well as Drimmer's and Gringer & Sons. I think all three have very qualified sales people and perhaps some that are less savvy.

I had a very good experience with Mark at Drimmers-- he was very available to me and really seemed to know what he was talking about-- but I encourage you to talk to all of them because you may get a better quote from one and then you can ask the others if they can match it. I could easily have gone with AJ Madison. They too were helpful and their prices were very competitive.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I agree with the rep totally. Comparing A BlueStar to a Bertazonni is like comparing a Fiero to a Ferrari. And electric ovens aren't the be all end all for baking that folklore would have them be.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:57PM
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DCJersey, the ranges I was interested in did not list the price on the site. It said to call for price.

hollysprings, the intention of my post isn't to debate whether the reps statements were correct. I am simply curious to know if others who've called for a price have (without having asked for an opinion/recommendation) been directed toward purchasing one brand over another.

Also, not debating whether electric ovens are better than gas. I was making the point that the rep stated that I wouldn't like an induction range because the oven would be electric. This, after I'd made clear that I have only owned, and been satisfied with, electric ovens.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Last year we decided to bring my terminal MIL to our home for her final days. Of course, that was the week my dryer died. Knowing I NEEDED a dryer immediately, I called AJ Madison and Sears. Sears could give me free shipping, setup and haul away but with a Saturday delivery. AJ Madison charged $75 for delivery, setup and haul away with a Friday delivery. Getting the dryer one day earlier was more important as she required 24/7 care, with frequent linen changes. The AJ Madison truck shows up and is prepared to leave the dryer in the driveway. The driver told me that it was a separate truck that did those kind of deliveries. I think it was my tears (real at that point) that convinced them to at least bring the dryer to my basement. Called AJ Madison to talk with my salesman. He was off for the day and no one would help me or even return my call. Stuck at that point, we installed and hauled away the dryer on our own, but the other services would have been so much easier for us in the midst of all the other chaos. Called many times the next week to get a credit on my charge but neither the salesman nor manager would return my call. I could have called the credit card people but that was so low on my list of priorities, it never got done, but I swore I would never use them again.

In fact, I overheard a couple in HD looking at an outdoor grill and comparing it to info they saw online at the AJ site, and I was quick to tell them my story. A small but comforting payback.

My MIL was not with us long. She was 90 and for years had been saying she had a good life and was ready to go anytime. Just glad we could make the last days more comfortable for her. She and I never really got along but I wouldn't do it any other way. It is the way I would want MY Mom to be treated. Good lessons for my adult children, still living at home, but I digress.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:22PM
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lynn-r-ct, thanks for your post. My purchase will be made to replace a broken stove - not part of a planned build or remodel - so I'm researching venues other than our local appliance store to get the best value for my un-budgeted dollar. I read about AJ Madison here, but no one I know has purchased through them. It's helpful to hear first-hand experiences.

Appliances are a little like cars. There's the sticker price, and then there are the add ons - delivery, installation, pick-up, etc. Even though I'm trying to be conscientious about how much I spend, I am willing to pay more for good service.

Also want to say I was touched by the generosity of spirit you showed your MIL. I'm sure although it must have been hard, you have no regrets.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 6:47PM
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lynn- I'm sorry you had a bad experience with AJMadison. We had a good experience with them just this month. We procrastinated on ordering our GE Induction Slide-In and had been watching the prices but hadn't pulled the trigger. Finally I told my DH we needed to get it ordered or we couldn't have a countertop measurement done. Abe's of Maine had a better price but reviews for AJ Madison were better. So, he called AJ Madison on a Saturday. They met the price and offered free delivery and would take the range up 8 steps and put it where we wanted. (Other vendors we looked at would charge extra for this service.) We got an email when the range got to Ohio and a phone call the day before with delivery information. The driver called us when he was a half hour away and two nice gentlemen delivered it and placed it in our dining room as we asked. I would use AJMadison again in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:24PM
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lynn_r_ct, I can very much understand the stress you felt at the time as well as the disappointment and frustration you experienced.

However, I want to point out, for the benefit of others who are considering purchasing appliances, we need to have a good understanding of what service is included in what we have paid for so we don't set yourself up for disappointment.

For example, on AJ Madison's website, there is following popup if you click on "standard delivery" link: This delivery method includes a two-man delivery to your front door. This method does not include unpacking, plugging in, installation or debris removal. This method does not include steps. These services may be added to your order for an additional charge ...

From what I understand, if this is the service included in your purchase contract (whether free or paid), the workers are not allowed to bring the appliances into the house for liability reasons.

The delivery services offered from vendor to vendor can differ a lot, so make sure you ask questions and print out the service contract to have a copy when you receive the delivery, esp. if you expect more than just a drop off.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:38PM
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Without a doubt, I knew exactly what I ordered re: service. I specifically discussed with my salesman that Sears was offering FREE delivery, setup and haul away that week, and asked if he could match it. He insisted he could not, that he would have to charge me $75, which as I stated, I agreed to just to get the dryer in the house and working ASAP. My husband owned his own business for 23 yrs(before he was goobled up by the big boxes) so I am well aware of various delivery methods.

As is, by the time we got the old dryer out, and installed the new one, I should have gone with Sears. I would have had it sooner and saved myself the $75.

About a year earlier I had purchased a $700 Weber gas grill from AJ. I spent about 3 hrs trying to put this damn thing together and nothing was lining up. Called AJ and no one would help. I finally choose to call Weber directly, and after about an hr on the phone with a great sales rep, she figured out there was the wrong year's brochure in the box, which is why the "holes didn't line up." I'll admit that I was frustrated at AJ's lack of concern with my dilemma, but figured I would give them another chance when I needed to buy a dryer.

My experience with the dryer was more than enough for me. What's the expression? Once bitten, shame on you, twice bitten... No more.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:26AM
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We had excellent experiences with AJ Madison. We bought a sink, MW drawer, our CC cooktop, a Liebherr beverage fridge, and a washer and dryer. As a note, if you will be purchasing multiple items, try to bundle them together and ask for a discount. There are also items which they can't discount individually (MAP pricing?) but they can make adjustments to other items on your invoice.

I was not directed to any appliances in particular, but then when I called, I always knew the specific models I wanted (thanks GW!).

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:04AM
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You know, whenever someone makes a vague comment like, "you won't be happy with brand X, you should buy brand Y" but fails to include even one shred of a reason ... I get the impression they are speaking out of their dark orifice.

If the rep had said, "The price on X is this much, which is lower than the other range but I know many customers really love the ABC feature..." Then I would give her comments weight. But as it is, it comes off sounding like there is some contest she is trying to win or something like that.

Good luck sorting through everything.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:53AM
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EngineerChic, "there is some contest she is trying to win..." That is precisely the impression I was left with after the conversation and that's why I posted - to get a read from others if this is what to expect from AJ reps, or if the person I spoke with was an exception.

Like oldbat2be, I was prepared with my model numbers and had done considerable research before placing my call. I began by saying I was interested in 3 ranges, so she knew I wasn't going to tie up her time w/ a list that went on forever. When she cut me off when I said, "And the induction range I'm interested in.." by stating, "You won't like the induction because the oven's electric..." I initially thought she simply misspoke, having meant to say electric cooktop, and reminding her I liked electric ovens. When she repeated it again and I asked why, she just said again, "Because it's electric."

I hung up having lost confidence dealing with them, but then thought I might have reached one stressed or incompetent rep. That's why I thought I'd check here before writing them off.

I have to confess that the first thing that came to mind is that there was some bonus/incentive for pushing particular models/brands, or that perhaps some were stocked & ready to ship and she wanted to seal the deal that day to ensure her commission. It was a very strange interaction.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 8:50AM
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hollysprings, the intention of my post isn't to debate whether the reps statements were correct.

amck -- your impressions regarding impartiality or lack thereof may be correct, I have no idea. However, the FIRST question you asked was whether AJMs sales reps were "well-informed," i.e., are their statements correct. That is likely the question that hollysprings was attempting to address.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:12PM
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