Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yet Another Reason to Buy Stuff Made in the USA

On April 29th, my washing machine died peacefully in mid-cycle. One minute it was spinning my delicates, and the next, it had departed this world. As it was only four years old, and had died long before its time, I pulled out my manuals, located the customer service number, and called New Zealand.

You see, when we purchased this state-of-the-art-high-efficiency-eco-friendly appliance and its brother, the dryer, we were totally sold on how efficient and eco-friendly it was. It was a high-end set, one that we normally would have avoided due to the price tag. But it was ON SALE!

The folks at Jeff Lynch saw me coming. They'd likely had this blue-blooded marvel of modern machinery for months with no takers, because the suckers were made in NEW ZEALAND, and most folks in Greenville have better sense. Regrettably, I do not. I was quite impressed with the salesman's assurance that THIS washer and dryer only had two moving parts each which would naturally cut down on repairs...

The nice lady in New Zealand informed me that, of course their washers will last longer than four years. It simply needed to be repaired. She gave me the phone number of the lone authorized repair shop in the area. I called. They come to Greenville on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, they said, but they were all booked up that week. They could come out the NEXT Monday.

Because my husband loves me, and knows that if I had to go inside a laundry mat my therapy sessions would increase to three times a week (which would be very expensive), he went.

On Monday, the repair team (yes, it takes two repairmen to look at appliances made in New Zealand) were here exactly four minutes before the brave one informed me that all they could do that day was collect the $65 for the service call because the control panel had gone out, and a new one would have to be ordered. They don't stock repair parts on this brand.

I said something my mamma probably wouldn't approve of, then wrote him a check. He told me that I'd have to call the office and order the part because the computer was down. He wasn't sure what it would cost, but I'd have to pay for it in advance because parts ordered from NEW ZEALAND are non-returnable.

I called. I said some more things my mother wouldn't approve of to the poor lady who answered the phone. She ordered my control board ($245) and scheduled the team to come back out the following Monday. Poor Jim went back to the laundry mat.

But, the part didn't arrive on time from NEW ZEALAND, and she called me the next Monday morning to let me know that they'd have to reschedule for Wednesday. On Wednesday, I was going to be out of town, so we rescheduled for the next Monday.

Poor Jim went back to the laundry mat. But this time, sure that the washer would finally be fixed on Monday, he only did what we absolutely had to have to get through the weekend.

On Monday morning (of this week) the repair team came in with the control panel. "This shouldn't take long," the brave one said. I came upstairs and went about my day. Ten minutes later, the brave one called upstairs, "Ah, Ma'am?"

I was on the phone, but quickly finished my call and scurried downstairs, alarmed by his now not-so-confident tone. The team was huddled over the patient, which had been disassembled like one of those bodies being autopsied on CSI. I will tell you right now that there are way more than two moving parts.

The brave one shook his head. "It was your motor that shorted out the control panel. Soon as we got the new one on, it took it right out. We're going to have to order a new motor," he said. From--you guessed it--NEW ZEALAND. All they could do was collect the money for the motor. The computer was up, so they knew they needed a check for another $86.43. "You won't have to pay for another circuit board," the one that never would look me in the eye assured me.

They're coming back next Monday.

Poor Jim will go back to the laundry mat this weekend...

But because LAST weekend he only did what we thought we'd need until Monday, I am slap out of workout clothes. Which is why I did not make it to Jazzercise yesterday, nor will I make it today or tomorrow. I am not happy about this at all, because I was finally back into my routine, but, let's face it, I can't dance without my motion-control workout bras and lycra capris.

I bet you those New Zealand washing machine manufacturers are all are part of the Vast Fat-Wing Conspiracy.

Peace, out...



elysabeth said...

OMG - how terrible - those machines are something. I can just see this being an episode of CSI or Grey's Anatomy - "Clear." Thud thud thud. "Not working yet. Clear." "Wait I see something moving. It's not the part that is supposed to move." - I feel for you, hon. But hopefully with the new motor you wan't have to worry any more about the washer - good luck - E :)

Sissel said...

Hilarious!! I mean, how terrible - I feel just awful for you. (But it was a cute read!)

I think washing clothes and other such domestic chores are overrated anyway....