The Case of the Broken Blender

Situation You work for the customer service manager for Blast Blenders, Inc. Your
company manufacturers high-end blenders for homes and commercial restaurants. The blenders are especially popular with restaurants that sell smoothies. Yesterday, you received a letter, a broken blender, and an original oil painting from Bob Garcia. The text of the letter appears in Figure 1. Mr. Garcia evidently has not read the warranty or the instruction manual that he received with the blender. The manual clearly states that users should use blenders only for blending food and drinks. Because Mr. Garcia has used the blender for mixing paint, he has not only damaged the motor, but also introduced toxic substances into the blender. Even if Mr. Garcia paid for your company to repair the blender, the toxic substances could still get into any food or drinks mixed in the blender.

You want to keep Mr. Garcia’s business—after all, he sent you an original oil painting of his dog, Houdini. However, his warranty is no longer valid because he used the blender to mix paint. You must also recommend that Mr. Garcia can no longer use the blender for safely blending food or drinks because of the toxic substances used in paints. If you were to recommend that Mr. Garcia or your company repair the blender, you and your company could be liable if someone was to become sick from the toxic substances that remained in the blender. You must write Mr. Garcia explaining that you will not repair or replace the blender—even if repaired, it can’t be safely used. However, you have decided to give him a coupon for 20 percent off a new blender.
Assignment Using what you have learned about:
• writing reader-oriented correspondence
• technical style
• writing ethical documents
• writing for your readers

write a reader-oriented letter to Mr. Garcia. In your letter, tell Mr. Garcia that you cannot repair or replace his blender.

Present your response in letter format, closely following the example posted in ecampus under Preparing Your Work. Using the format that readers expect is part of the assignment, so ensure that you do so!
Figure 1: Letter from Mr. Garcia

January 30, 2004

Customer Service Manager
Blast Blenders, Inc.
4525 Benders Blvd.
Phoenix, Arizona 45043

Dear Customer Service Manager:

I have sent you my Blast Blender, model 240T. I bought the blender six months ago. I bought it from a great salesperson, Joe, at my local applicance store in my hometown. The store is called Rodenbeckers Home Applicances. I have enclosed the registration card and warranty (along with the receipt) for the blender. Last week, the blender stopped working. I took the blender apart to see if the paint that I had been mixing had clogged the motor. (When I’m not at work, I paint oil paintings that I sell in a local store. I’ve not yet sold a painting, but I keep trying; one of these days, someone will buy my paintings. My Blast Blender works great at mixing my paints.) Paint had not clogged the motor. However, I did find paint on the inside of the housing—you know around the switch that you use to turn the blender on and off. I think that paint got in the housing because one day I forgot to put the lid on the blender pitcher. I was mixing a beautiful shade of purple—unfortunately, I had purple paint on the blender and on the ceiling and cabinets in the kitchen. (It made a huge mess—my wife wasn’t too happy about the purple, especially since I decided that the best way to deal with the paint spills was to paint the cabinets purple. Personally, I think they look great. If you would like, I can send you a picture of the cabinets.)

I cleaned the housing by soaking it in hot soapy water for several hours and then dried the housing with my hair dryer. I didn’t clean the motor because I knew that putting the motor in water would violate the warranty. The blender will still not work. Please repair my blender since it is still under warranty and return it to me in the same box. If you can’t repair it, I will happily accept a new blender.

Happy blending,
Bob Garcia
Soon to be famous painter


P. S. Enjoy the oil painting of Houdini—my dog. He passed away about two months ago. I really miss him.

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