Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ode to a Working Dryer

Okay, so I'm not actually writing an ode. I must be the worst lyricist ever to grace the face of the Earth. But I am so grateful to finally have a working dryer! Here is the story behind our dryer woes:

Sometime earlier this year (the exact time has been lost in antiquity), when it was cold enough that our gas bills were still quite high, our dryer began to make funny grinding noises. And by funny, I certainly do not mean amusing. So, with happy thoughts of saving money on our gas bills, we decided to give our dryer a rest and start using a drying rack. This did, in fact, have an effect on our gas bills, and there was much rejoicing. However, it also meant that our clothes were stiff and required much ironing. This did not make one Harmony happy, since she grew up in a house where the iron was brought out of the closet perhaps once every 5 years. Needless to say, she is more likely to burn the clothes than to get them looking crisp and neat.

So after about a month of dry, stiff, wrinkled clothing, I decided it was time to get the dryer fixed. We had bought the dryer from the scratch and dent section of the appliance store, and were told that it would be under the manufacturer's warranty for 1 year after the purchase date. We had also purchased a maintenance plan for the dryer from the appliance company, since we were essentially buying a used model. So I called the huge appliance store first, and was told that they would not fix it until the manufacturer's warranty expired. So the only thing left to do was call the manufacturer. The manufacturer gave me 3 numbers to call for their repairmen, and I got to work. The first place I called said that they no longer serviced my zipcode. The second place I called said they no longer were affiliated with the manufacturer. And the third place did not answer, but promised to return my call within 30 minutes. I left a message, and waited about 3 days. Then I called again and left another message. Still no reply. It was around this time that I began to get very busy and decided that I did not have time to track down a dryer repair company. But after another month or so of stalling, JunkMale reminded me that he was still having to wear stiff clothing, and that a good chunk of our wardrobe was still sitting in the ironing pile. This would need to be addressed.

So again I called the manufacturers, and I finally got in touch with a repair company who was willing to come see my dryer. The repairman arrived later that week, and the first thing he said when he saw my dryer was, "This dryer is an old model. It does not fall under the manufacturer's warranty."

Cue panic. The dryer company wouldn't fix it, the appliance company wouldn't fix it -- what were we going to do? But being the naturally calm and collected lady that I am (ha!), I found the receipt from when we purchased the dryer and showed it to the repairman. "See?" I said. "We bought it less than a year ago. They promised us that it was still under your warranty. They refuse to fix it...." So with a very unhappy expression on his face, he turned back to the dryer and began to look at it to figure out what was wrong.

"It's missing a support in the back," he finally told me. "The barrel is grinding against the engine, and if you keep using it the engine will short out. We will order the part for you, and it should be here in 5 to 7 business days."

That took place the last week of June. July was a busy month for us, and so it was not until late in the month when we realized that we had still not heard from the repair company. I called them up again, and the receptionist told me that the part was not in yet. I should expect it in about two weeks.

Three weeks or so later I called back, only to hear that the part was on backorder. They could give me no time frame.

Everyone who knew about the situation was telling me to keep calling and to be ruthless. The only problem with this is that I am a pushover. My part in the last conversation I had with the company went something like this:

"The part is on backorder? When should I expect it?..... No timeframe? Oh, I see. But, well, we haven't had a working dryer for months.... Oh, it's frustrating for you, too? Oh, I'm so sorry. I hope things get better for you.... Yes, I understand. Please have a wonderful day. Thank you, bye."

So after a month or more of me getting nowhere, it seemed time to call in the big guns. JunkMale started calling them. This time, the story was that the part had arrived, but somehow they had been shipped the wrong part. They promised to get the factory to overnight the correct part to them. For several days, every time he called, the same promise was made. Finally, they actually did order the part, and yesterday (over 3 months from the promise of '5 to 7 business days') a man came out and installed the part. Our dryer works! I did a load of laundry, and not a single article of clothing needed to go to the ironing pile! And there was much rejoicing in our household. :)

EDIT by JunkMale: It is quite possible that we might never ever buy a Frigidaire appliance again, or call upon All County Appliance Services for servicing needs.

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4 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks

    Hooray! My husband always gets better results than I do when it comes to customer service. It must be the testosterone!

  • Alan

    It takes a little bit of a mean streak to get results sometimes. Harmony doesn't have a mean streak!

  • Ewokgirl

    I'm so glad you have a working dryer again! That's a long time to go without one.

    Your story reminded me of my recent calls to my insurance company. We had 2 leaks under our house, and it took them 3 months to approve everything and send us money. Our claims adjuster was going out of town, she was going to have a colleague take care of us, colleague didn't seem to exist, paperwork was lost, etc. However, I'm the mean one in the relationship, and my husband is the nice one, so these phone calls are always handled by me.

    Now we're trying to get a tree company to come out to take down a tree that split in half and fell over. My phone calls are unheeded, my emails are ignored, etc. Customer service no longer seems to exist these days.

  • Harmony's Mom

    It is always amazing when customer service does come through for you. You do need to be persistent, and when all else fails, send your husband. A one-two punch has never failed for us!
    As we speak I am still trying to deal with car insurance about dropping one daughter's car we have still been paying for (not yours). They won't take phone messages & the e-mails haven't been working. I will try again.