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  1. #1
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    Manitowoc Ice Technical Support

    I don't know if this has been the case since Manitowoc changed its brand name to Welbilt, but getting through to technical support is a pain in the wazoo! I have several RNS0308A machines that are still under factory warranty. Recently, one started leaking bearing grease and water in the area around the joint between the evaporator assembly and the gear motor assembly. I'm not sure, but it looks like it's coming from the seal. Anyway, I called the vendor to start the warranty process and he tells me I need to get ahold of Manitowoc technical support who will then give me a reference number. From there, I have to call an "authorized" Manitowoc service company to look at the machine and make a determination what happened and what needs to be repaired or replaced. I work for a school district maintaining and servicing all the kitchen equipment in the school district, so we normally do our own in-house service on equipment, rarely calling in outside contractors. Since this is a warranty issue, I have no choice but to call Manitowoc technical support.

    Anyway, I call the number for Manitowoc Ice, go through the menu and finally get through. But, it's not technical support. It is a lady who takes all the information (model, serial, issue, etc.) and tells you a technical support person will call back. I asked her how long that would take to get a call back. She says, "Oh, I have no idea. It could be 5 minutes. It could be several hours." I tried explaining to her that I have service work to do and that I can't sit at my desk all day waiting for a phone call. She responds, "Well, it's a call-back system and that's the way we do it here." I ask, "So, there's no way you can put me on hold until a someone is able to take my call?" "Oh, no! We have too many calls and we can't put people on hold. It's a call-back system only."

    I have a personal cell phone, but I'll be darned if I'm going to conduct school business on my personal phone. Besides that, many times I can't get a signal when I'm working in the bowels of a school's kitchen. Not to mention, if I'm in the middle of working on a steamer or convection oven, I can't just stop and drop everything I'm doing to take a phone call. It's ridiculous. We have many pieces of Welbilt brand named equipment in our kitchens like Cleveland, Frymaster, Garland, Delfield, etc., and up to now, I've never had an issue getting through to one of those brand's technical support people.

    What do you guys do in a situation where you need to get through to their technical support? Do you wait at the shop or in your office until they call you back? Do you take the calls in the field on your cell phones while you're on job sites working on customer's equipment? What do you do?
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  2. #2
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    I also just had an issue where I had to call Manitowoc. They are 2 hours behind me so I couldn't call them until 3 hours after my work day started. I had to wait an hour for a call back one day but the other day it was about 15 minutes. Randy is very helpful.

    Tell your boss you need a cell phone. More and more companies are going to call back or even e mail only. I service about 25 school districts. I wish they had someone who at least looked at their stuff. Emergency call yesterday. Walk in freezer making horrible noise. I drive 30 miles to find a small piece of ice hitting a fan blade. Their guys are incapable of looking at it and taking care of it. Same thing every one. I have to shake my head sometimes.
    There's TREACHERY AFOOT!!!

  3. #3
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    Manitowoc has conducted business that way since, at least, the Q models were introduced.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  4. #4
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    >need to get through to their technical support? Do you wait at the shop or in your office until they
    > call you back? Do you take the calls in the field on your cell phones while you're on job sites working
    > on customer's equipment? What do you do?

    As a field service tech at the service side of business at PartsTown, we were told in no uncertain terms, if it's a probable warrantee job, you call the manufacturer, and wait on hold, or wait for a call back *while clocked in and on chargeable time* until you get an answer and approval. Until we hear from the manufacturer what specificaly they will pay for, no dissasemble, but again, *we are charging somebody*. No one waits at the shop, and my truck was my office.

    All time spent on the phone getting part numbers or diagrams online, for non warrantee jobs was also on customers time. We were not allowed to get out of a job on our tablets if we needed parts and didn't have them ordered. This was so that our time was charged out to the customer for researching parts, whereas before, we might be tempted to look up parts when hanging around the office before starting time.

  5. #5
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    Like 2sac said, Manitowoc has been doing it that way for many years now.

    We do pretty much what BadBozo said as far as looking up parts and handling warranty jobs. In fact, if you knew that unit was under warranty why waste your time on it? Have the Authorized Service Agency in your area come fix it for free.

    As far as taking calls in the field while Iím working on the customers equipment: yes, all day long. Thatís the world we live in. Everybody needs everything done ASAP. So if my boss or coworker calls and has a question I answer the phone. Doesnít matter if my hands are greasy or whatever. I answer dozens of emails and texts regarding work everyday. I can, but rarely do, complete my entire work order on my phone. So yes, my phone is always out and Iím always talking/typing on it even while working on the customers equipment. But itís ALL work related. I donít answer my wifeís phone calls or do any social media of any kind, cause Iím not on any of that stuff. The phone is just as important a tool as any other to a commercial kitchen field repair technician





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  6. #6
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    I hope to live long enough to see Augmented Reality become commonplace in this industry. Imagine wearing a pair of (safety ) glasses while working on a fryer- urgent emails and texts appear in the lower left of your field of vision, while the right side has a continious display of part numbers for part you point to, that the system looks up in real time. With a certain spoken phrase "Add that part, please, Mertle", the part is placed in the work order que, stock is checked, and ordered. You can ask the system to retrive a schematic for the model number as you glance at the data plate. "Photo of data plate, please, Mertle". "Photo of leaking pot, please, Mertle" "Record angry customer conversation about prices, please, Mertle."

  7. #7
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    The schools I work at are a bit different. I got called to a walk-in freezer too warm. I find a bad time clock and frosted up evap. The maint staff act like "what's the big deal" while the kitchen manager is going crazy because his inventory is thawed out. I'm thawing out the coil and the maint. guy comes in the box and ask's if I would have time to look at a rooftop unit that won't heat. I say as soon as I know everything's all set with the freezer I'll look at it. He says no hurry, it hasn't worked in 2 years!
    There's TREACHERY AFOOT!!!

  8. #8
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    Thread Starter
    I'm surprised that Manitowoc has been doing business like this since the Q model days, especially since none of the other Welbilt branded companies that I'm aware of use this procedure. We only purchased these particular Manitowoc machines because my boss wanted the kitchens to have nugget ice for cooling down leftover food before putting the food in the walk-in-coolers. Before, we had Ice-O-Matic cubers and still do in some kitchens and other places in the school district. I have no say-so as to which equipment the school district purchases, unfortunately. I, generally, make all my phone calls in the morning before I head out to the kitchens. And, as a rule, I try avoiding making calls to technical support unless it's absolutely necessary. Before I started working for the school district (8 years now), I worked out in the real world running service for 30 years. Before cell phones, when pagers were the norm, we'd have to carry quarters in our service trucks and pull over to use pay phones, as I'm sure many of you did, too.

    As far as wasting my time on it, believe me I didn't want to have to deal with it, but that's what I was told by the warranty guy with Baker Distributing, where we purchased the machines. Apparently, you have to get approval from Manitowoc and a reference number before calling a company to do the warranty work. If I have a piece of equipment under warranty, which isn't many at this point, and it needs a part that doesn't cost a lot, I'll buy the part and do the work myself rather than have to deal with warranty and all the hassle of getting the equipment repaired by an "authorized" outside contractor. If you want to know the truth of the matter, I haven't met an outside contractor yet that is as meticulous about their work as I am, so I really don't want them touching my equipment. Unfortunately, we have a new school being built that will be open for business in August 2019 and I'll have a kitchen full of new, under warranty equipment. I'm going to dread the day I have to get ahold of technical support to have any warranty work done.

    Thanks for all the advice and feedback!
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandShark View Post
    I'm surprised that Manitowoc has been doing business like this since the Q model days, especially since none of the other Welbilt branded companies that I'm aware of use this procedure. We only purchased these particular Manitowoc machines because my boss wanted the kitchens to have nugget ice for cooling down leftover food before putting the food in the walk-in-coolers. Before, we had Ice-O-Matic cubers and still do in some kitchens and other places in the school district. I have no say-so as to which equipment the school district purchases, unfortunately. I, generally, make all my phone calls in the morning before I head out to the kitchens. And, as a rule, I try avoiding making calls to technical support unless it's absolutely necessary. Before I started working for the school district (8 years now), I worked out in the real world running service for 30 years. Before cell phones, when pagers were the norm, we'd have to carry quarters in our service trucks and pull over to use pay phones, as I'm sure many of you did, too.

    As far as wasting my time on it, believe me I didn't want to have to deal with it, but that's what I was told by the warranty guy with Baker Distributing, where we purchased the machines. Apparently, you have to get approval from Manitowoc and a reference number before calling a company to do the warranty work. If I have a piece of equipment under warranty, which isn't many at this point, and it needs a part that doesn't cost a lot, I'll buy the part and do the work myself rather than have to deal with warranty and all the hassle of getting the equipment repaired by an "authorized" outside contractor. If you want to know the truth of the matter, I haven't met an outside contractor yet that is as meticulous about their work as I am, so I really don't want them touching my equipment. Unfortunately, we have a new school being built that will be open for business in August 2019 and I'll have a kitchen full of new, under warranty equipment. I'm going to dread the day I have to get ahold of technical support to have any warranty work done.

    Thanks for all the advice and feedback!
    I can totally understand wanting to handle things that are under warranty yourself, especially if itís a cheaper fix. Dealing with all of the warranty stuff can certainly be a headache at times. And you never know what kind of tech youíll get when they come to service your equipment. But thatís not gonna be cheap.

    Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to maintain a kitchen all by myself. Be the only guy that ever touches the equipment. I wouldnít have to worry about other companies hacking crap together. Or my own coworkers for that matter. I would likely treat warranty situations the same way as you do.


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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanMan812 View Post
    I can totally understand wanting to handle things that are under warranty yourself, especially if itís a cheaper fix. Dealing with all of the warranty stuff can certainly be a headache at times. And you never know what kind of tech youíll get when they come to service your equipment. But thatís not gonna be cheap.

    Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to maintain a kitchen all by myself. Be the only guy that ever touches the equipment. I wouldnít have to worry about other companies hacking crap together. Or my own coworkers for that matter. I would likely treat warranty situations the same way as you do.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Itís great being the only service technician for the kitchens. Of course, when youíre the only one, there are times it would be nice to have a helper to set up your extension ladder, carry your tools, go fetch stuff and do all the grunt work. Iím 64, so I canít put compressors on my shoulders and carry them up ladders like I used to, so I have to work smarter than I did when I was younger.

    After I started working for the school district, I put every piece of equipment in an Excel spreadsheet with model numbers, serial numbes, dates of manufacture, voltages, expected dates of replacement and other information. I downloaded and I have printed every manual I could get my hands on. I even convinced Hobart to give me access to service literature for their dishwashers.

    After being here as long as I have, I know everything about every piece of equipment in every kitchen. I keep up with preventative maintenance and no one else in the district touches my equipment, especially the guys in the Maintenance Department. I keep a lot of parts on my truck and in my shop. Needless to say, my boss thinks I walk on water. Ha! Ha! I love this job!
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

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  13. #11
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    Wait until you get that new kitchen with all of the electronics. Have a power issue and the fun begins. I have 1 school that had a transformer blow 2 months ago. I've changed controllers on 2 Victory V-temps, a board on an ice machine and we're waiting for a control board for a Quick Switch salad table. Another school just completed a big project but had some electrical sanfu's. Another V-Temp control board and walk in controller issues.
    There's TREACHERY AFOOT!!!

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcr View Post
    Wait until you get that new kitchen with all of the electronics. Have a power issue and the fun begins. I have 1 school that had a transformer blow 2 months ago. I've changed controllers on 2 Victory V-temps, a board on an ice machine and we're waiting for a control board for a Quick Switch salad table. Another school just completed a big project but had some electrical sanfu's. Another V-Temp control board and walk in controller issues.
    Funny you should mention that because I was recently looking at the specifications for the walk-in-cooler and freezer. Both come with ArticFox wi-fi controllers. I'm pretty sure the ovens and steamers will have electro-mechanical controls, though. Although, the dishwasher will probably have electronics and I know the reach-ins and hot wells will have digital controllers, which have a fairly high failure rate. Then, there's the ice machine...Ugh! Anyone remember those old Kold Draft ice machines? I think they were GT-7?

    https://youtu.be/bwqdajeS1Ug
    Last edited by SandShark; 12-02-2018 at 10:48 AM.
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  15. #13
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    I personally like the ArcticFox (KE2) controllers. But there are many more bells and whistles to them than a traditional mechanical clock, stat and LLSV. So inherently thereís more that will go wrong.

    Kold-draft... I would like to say that I like these machines since they are manufactured in the area I live but I just donít. They havenít really changed in decades except to source cheaper quality parts.




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