Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another thing happening on Thursday

Yesterday I posted about a few things that were going on on Thursday. I'd actually forgotten another thing going on that day that is significant for us and also leads on to something of a rant.

On Thursday our fridge/freezer gets repaired.

Now, this is nothing unusual really, but the thing is, this is a unit that we bought less than two years ago that cost us about $2500 (including fitting parts and delivery etc). Apparently pretty much all new units come with a very basic 1 year warranty these days, and this is no exception.

So much for having confidence in your products...

The unit in question is a Maytag Ice2O one that has a French door door fridge at the top with in-door water and ice, and a pull-out freezer at the bottom. It works very well: when it's not broken.

What happened was a couple of weeks ago the freezer started to warm up. The temperature alarm allowed us to save the food by moving it to another freezer. A while after that the fridge went the same way.

We called an engineer out, but he couldn't find anything wrong because we'd turned it off in the meantime (the noises it was making were worrying us) and when he turned it back on again it started cooling properly.

Then on Friday the same thing happened. This time we left it on, and called out the engineer again (on Monday). Unfortunately, we weren't as fortunate as my colleague Chris who merely had to replace a bulb in his freezer. For us, it was that the compressor had shorted out, and needed replacing.

I'm very grateful to the engineer who then went on to call Maytag himself to try and see what they could do. They first told him that it was a one year warranty and that was it. The engineer then continued to fight our cause, pointing out that this would be something like a $650 repair on a $2500 unit that is less than two years old, and Maytag finally said they would give the part for free, though they would not help out at all with the labour.

Firstly, I'm grateful to Maytag for giving the part for free: it is something they are no legally bound to do. I'm even more grateful to the engineer who did a great job at representing us to the company.

However, I would say that refridgerators are appliances that people purchase expecting to be able to keep them for like ten years. These aren't things we just throw away after a year.

I am new to this country (and Maytag isn't a brand I'd heard of before in the UK), but since I've moved here I've heard about the "Maytag Repairman" commercials which document the sad existence of the poor Maytag Repairman who is bored out of his mind because Maytag products never break down. What's happened to that? Why do your products (which are supposed to be long-life) carry only one-year warranties? Do you really have that little faith in your products these days?

Or maybe the situation is that you're quite fond of the income stream you get from selling extended warranties?

Hmm, this is getting personal, and I could go on ranting. but I think I've made my point.

I'm off to get a cold drink out of the cool box filled with ice in my garage...

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