my short and torrid love affair with vitamix

For a short while, I owned a VitaMix.

The first day, I was in love. I watched the instructional video, excited to try new creations.

My first try in the VitaMix was humus. A simple recipe with great results. Smooth, creamy and delicious. I continued on to make soups, nut butters and dips with varying success. The machine had incredible power – almost too much at times. Green monster smoothies were amazingly smooth. My almond butter turned out grainy – never reaching the smooth consistency that I saw on so many YouTube videos. The butternut squash soup we blended up turned out delicious. My roasted red pepper sauce was mind blowing. My attempt at cashew cheese was disastrous – the VitaMix was a bit too powerful for the mix, as it heated up the cashews too much and killed the probiotics that were critical to the recipe. The banana ice cream changed my life. Like I said, varying results.

About a week in to owning this powerful piece of equipment, I started to notice a leak from underneath the pitcher. It was small at first, just a few drops in the base of the machine. A few weeks later, it had gotten worse. Now, I was getting about half a teaspoon of liquid at the base, but really only when I mixed a thin liquid or water and soap to clean it. The problem continued to worsen over the coming weeks.

I purchased my VitaMix on August 2nd. I emailed customer service about the leaks on August 27th. I received a reply on September 11th – two weeks later. For a company that is supposed to be renowned for its customer service, this delay seemed excessive. They asked if my blender was still leaking and if I had access to a color printer to print a return shipping label. I was dealing with the death of a family friend, my reply took a few weeks – I wrote them back on September 24th, to confirm the leak was still there and that I did have a color printer, but I never heard back.

After a month of waiting, I called the customer service hotline. By now, a mold had started growing in the base of my pitcher, between the clear plastic at the bottom and the blade unit underneath – where I could not reach to clean.

The customer service rep said the leak was most likely due to a bad seal and that he could rush  out a new blade and wrench to change it out. However, by this time the mold that had started to grow was really grossing me out. Considering that mold spores can embed in plastic and never be thoroughly cleaned, I was past the point of being ok with just switching the blade. If I’d had access to this area to clean it sooner, or had received a timely reply to my customer service request, this wouldn’t have been an issue. I told him so and asked if they could just replace the pitcher instead. He was unable to do this for me (even though that’s what the original email from their customer service rep suggested they do) and that they would call me back once they discussed it with a manager.

Come Monday morning, I got a call back. The new pitcher had been approved, however, I would need to wait for them to mail me a return label, then I was to box up the pitcher and find a FedEx location to ship it back from. Once that was complete, I was to call them with the tracking number so they could send out a new pitcher. It seemed like so many steps, plus several days without a functional blender. I was a little bewildered as to why they couldn’t just send me the new pitcher, with the return shipping label, then let me send back the old one in the same box. When I asked about whether this was an option, they balked about it, stating, “That’s a $150 pitcher!” Yes… and even though I spent $400 on your blender, the pitcher I have is BROKEN. It was insulting. They seemed to imply that I would steal it. I told them to forget it – I’d just take the pitcher back to Costco, somewhere that has consistently fantastic customer service. It would be easier than jumping through all of the hoops VitaMix was requiring, and, honestly, at this point I was fed up with the company.

So, after a short three months of owning a VitaMix, I’ve taken the blender back to Costco. For now, I’m back to my Magic Bullet. While it’s not as powerful as the VitaMix, it also doesn’t come with the hefty price tag, so I don’t expect as much out of it. The VitaMix did some awesome things, but I’m making do with the Magic Bullet. For now, I’m not missing the VitaMix. I’m not sure that I’ll purchase another one. Maybe I’ll look in to the Blendtec instead.

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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