Home Depot (Hampton Bay)

ISSUE: Poorly manufactured light socket assembly (inside the glass cover) leaves lights without power.

RESOLUTION: Free and speedy replacement of all parts outside of warranty period.

COMPANY RATING: Five stars (out of five)

When we moved into our house about four years ago, we went to Home Depot and purchased Hampton Bay "Romano" ceiling fans for each bedroom in our house. For those of you who don't know, Hampton Bay is a brand name exclusive to Home Depot. Essentially, they buy from several 3rd party manufacturers and sell everything under one brand. When it comes to warranty issues, you end up calling the 3rd party vendor for help.

A few months ago, we started to see that the threads inside our light sockets (part of the fan inside the glass dome) were wearing out and the bulbs would pop out or not make contact with the power pins and produce light. Being a few years old (and past the one year limited warranty period), I was worried that there was no hope in getting these fixed.

I started at Home Depot who told me that the Romano fan was several years discontinued and that all new fans come with different size light bulb sockets; thus, they had no replacement parts in stock. They suggested that I call a special number (it had even changed from the number printed in the manual) for warranty service and see if they could find me replacement parts.

To my surprise, when I called the number, I was connected to Ceiling Fans USA, Inc. in Glendale, Arizona where a nice person listened to the issue and said they'd be glad to find the parts and ship them for free! The parts arrived just a few days later, just as they told me they would. They even ended up sending me replacement bulbs that I didn't ask for!

I am now basking in the warm glow of light emitted from my newly repaired ceiling fans. I'm also basking in the warm glow of excellent customer service. CHEERS to both Home Depot and Ceiling Fans USA. You both rock!

What I love about this entire consumer experience is that they never had to admit to (or deny) a faulty design in their light socket assembly. Instead, they just blew me away with attentive and accurate customer service.