Thursday, September 29, 2011
The squeaky wheel
Upon returning home from Oklahoma in August, I needed to do some laundry. We had done a lot of it before we left because we don't really like traveling with loads of dirty laundry, and we don't have a lot of clothes. But, I wanted to wash blankets and pillow pets after being in the car for many ours and knowing/not knowing what may have been spilled on them. I ran a load, but something was different when I got things out of the washer. They were covered in little rubber flecks. The floor was also covered in water! Paul checks it out and calls Whirlpool to make a repair appointment. We haven't had the washer for more than nine months, so we knew it was still under warranty. This was on Sunday night, and the earliest appointment they have was Tuesday morning between 9 and noon. I was really worried that it was something I had done. I know that I do a lot of laundry. I was trying to figure out if I loaded it too much, or something had gotten caught in there that shouldn't have been washed...I worried until Tuesday morning. The repair man came, and said that there were little holes in the "bellow", the rubber portion that seals the front-loading washer. He assured me that he had the part in the truck and would be back in a few minutes. Forty-five minutes later he comes in and tells me that he doesn't have the part and that he put an order out for it. It would take 10-14 days. I just kinda looked at him for a minute, trying to figure out how we were going to survive 10-14 days without a washer. I'm sure my face showed a little shock because he soon said that if I called the costumer service line they can usually get it in a little faster. After he left, I called Paul and had him call the costumer service line because he's better at getting information out of people and getting them to do things. I am known as the "push-over". So, he calls back and says that the woman he spoke to said she would try to get it there in a few days. Thursday comes around and my dear, sweet, good neighbor allowed me to do a load of pajamas and kids' clothes at her house while we had a play-date. She was/is a life-saver! I got home, got the kids down for a nap, and was lying on the couch for a minute when Paul calls to tell me that the part for the washer was back-ordered until October! I couldn't believe it. There was no way I was going to mooch off my very gracious friends for two more months! I know they would have let me, but laundry is a big deal for a big families! I could easily do a load a day, and I have little mess makers. So, I looked up the number for the Whirlpool head quarters. I was going to be a squeaky wheel by-golly! I hadn't even had the washer for a year and it was falling apart. There must be something wrong with the part if other people are needing it 'cause it's back-ordered to October! I called, and tried not to get upset with the service person on the other line. I knew it was not his fault and I told him that I just needed somebody to listen to my issue and get me to someone who could do something about it. After talking for a few minutes, the poor guy felt pretty bad for me. Four kids under 3, potty-trained/training twins, newborn spit up, just got home from a long trip to a broken washer...he was very nice. He got in contact with a few more parts' dealers and said that he would do all that he could to get me the part. A few days past, a few loads of laundry we done at friends' homes, and a few more phone calls were made to Whirlpool. I finally told the man on the line (a new guy) that if I didn't get my part in a few days, he was either going to send me a new machine to replace this one with an extended warranty, pay me hourly for the inconvenience of going to laundromat, or get my part here as fast as he could. He was not as nice as the other guy. However, ten minutes after I got off the phone with hm, FedEx came and delivered a part. The repair man came back the next morning and fixed the machine (he wasn't as nice the second time around either). A week later another replacement part came. Sometimes, it's okay to be a squeaky wheel. I don't like doing it, but the functionality of my home was at stake. I am very grateful for modern conveniences...especially the smell of fabric softener, Tide and dryer sheets.