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Friday, January 14, 2011



I promised my loyal cooking column readers a recipe for cookies that did more for your body that taste good!

Here's the link:  

Appliances Be Damned

I’m warning you now-this is a rant about appliances.

We bought a Whirlpool Duet washing machine less than 4 years ago-because our 7 year-old Maytag died. Don’t ask-we didn’t know that Maytag and Whirlpool merged until after the $1,000 machine broke down less than a month after purchase.

Lucky for us, we bought the 4 year extended warranty. Even if we hadn’t, obviously we still would’ve been covered. The trouble? Except for the “Heavy” cycle, all the other speeds started, filled with water and then after 8 minutes-QUIT!

Whirlpool came out and fixed it-only to have it happen 3 months later. They came back and did an encore performance. A year later, we started the process all over again and 4 months later-a fourth trip was made.

We were doing okay until the beginning of November. Woo hoo, 8 months without a visit from my favorite appliance repair company.

I noticed that sometimes after I could have sworn I started it and would go check to see how long I had left it had stopped, but I just pretended it was my menopausal brain and kept re-starting it and stood there hands-on –hips and daring it not to keep going.

Well, on my birthday-we couldn’t deny the old problem had re-surfaced. I broke down and called the extended warranty company for the 3rd time in a year. At that point, the woman said, “You know, I think this qualifies you for the lemon clause and we might just issue you an RGA (returned goods authorization) for you to pick out a new washer.”

They sent a new company out-one who had “good behavior” issues, who told me they’d be back in about 5 days with the new part.

This was actually December 3rd. I told them we were leaving town on the 23rd and didn’t want to have them come while our house-sitter (aka our 19-year-old nephew) was there, but we did want it fixed long before this date.

They grunted and left. 10 days went by (so much for their promise), so I tried to contact them-they wouldn’t pick up the phone or return any of my messages!

I called Lowe’s and talked to Manager Molly-who said to give her an hour and she’d see if she could find out what was going on. After the hour (gotta hand kudos to Molly), she called back and said she couldn’t get them to answer either and that she called to let their customer service people know what was happening.

Still nothing. We left and, of course, our nephew got a phone call from the repair service-he said to call on my husband’s cell phone.

They didn’t.

When my husband got back, he had the same luck I did calling them directly. He then talked to Lowe’s.

Upon my return on January 3rd-we still didn’t have a working washing machine. But now, I was-how shall I put this tactfully? PISSED.

I called Molly and said-I want proceeding started on the lemon law clause. She directed me to the 888 number. I called. Explained for the umpteenth time that this was ludicrous that anyone should wait over a month to get their less than 4 year old washer repaired for the 5th time.

The supervisor said she’d send in the complaint about the service company and that it would take 3-5 days to get an answer about the RGA. I then said “Tell you what, you get the approval or the blasted machine gets repaired once and for all in 3 days-the one who makes me happy is the one I won’t sue.”

Now my patient hubby told me I went a tad nuts, but I didn’t think so.

Honestly-if anyone had just called me and explained what and why I had been waiting so long, I would have been fine-but it was the blatant rude and non-responding behavior that was getting me more ticked off than the broken washer.

Either way-at 8 a.m. on the 3rd day-Lowe’s Extended Warranty called to let me know I was getting a full refund plus tax and delivery due to everything that had gone on.

This time, my husband spent a few hours reading the customer reviews and consumer reports for which washing machine had the best ratings and least repairs.

We’ve got it on hold and yes, we’ve also purchased an extended warranty-no sense leaving it to chance in today’s appliance world of chance that this “winner of customer satisfaction for 3 years and running” will work any better than the rest.

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