Where to start?
I needed a sign early on, so I'd remember.
It was a Pavlov's dogs thing.
Mother's Day, 2022: Remember? Our microwave drawer started to smoke. ABT, where we bought it, came out. Not repairable. Replacement cost: $2,000. Ouch.
Middle of May: I called Thermador at ABT's suggestion and explained that while our warranty had expired, this microwave was from '17. I'd convinced my husband to buy Thermador, a name we could rely on. We didn't want to be replacing appliances willy nilly a few years down the line. The customer service person, who for the record was NOT very friendly or engaging or apologetic, said it might take a while for them to review. She told me they might agree to a partial replacement cost.
July 5th: Reg and I drove to Georgia for basketball championships in the new minivan. I decided to make some calls along the way, so I could get things accomplished.
The Thermador person looked up my account, and said words that
1) I found shocking, and
2) revealed an 'oops' that I'm convinced was never supposed to be shared with me.
"Oh, I see your complaint right here. Oh, hmm. For some reason, it was never filed. It's just sitting here."
I have no idea how I didn't lost control of the car. I was almost speechless, except that I wasn't, if you know what I mean. It had been almost 2 months since I'd called and filed my request to review the out of warranty breakdown. I'd also sent an email. What even is this? How? Poor Reg was trapped in a car while smoke poured from my ears. I think I muttered under my breath for the next 100 miles.
Understand, I've been using an old microwave from Lad's college days since MOTHER'S.DAY.
After Georgia, I called Thermador again. They wanted information, like proof of purchase, etc. Easy to provide. The initial contact person didn't feel like doing her job apparently, because she never asked.
Early September: after many phone calls and emails, Thermador planned to cover $996 of our replacement. Sign on the dotted line to accept the terms. Installation would be at my expense.
Me: OK, yeah, yeah, yeah - here's my credit card. Now, when's delivery?
Thermador: Oh. Well, we have no idea.
Me: Like two weeks, next year, some idea?
Thermador: Nope. No idea.
I considered calling ABT where I bought the microwave in case they had it in stock, but I was busy. I hoped that Thermador would surprise me and call sooner rather than later to say HEY, WE HAVE IT IN STOCK.
9/11/22: Sunday morning after a visit to Notre Dame, the washing machine acted normal: buttons lit up, but nothing happened when I turned it on. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, thinking I was clever. The display lit up to tease me. It would not wash.
Mini had sobbed again when I said good-bye after our tailgate visit. I abandoned my laundry mission when she called me and I chatted with her from the study. This was a few weeks ago, and things have improved dramatically, but she sobbed on the phone for 30 minutes. Mid it's-gonna-be-OK talk, a beep sounded upstairs. It was the 'laundry's-done' signal. Wait, huh?
The washer decided to wash clothes, like it was all just a silly misunderstanding. It kept plugging away, helping me get caught up on laundry I'd ignored while prepping food for my tailgate. I'd planned to write all day, but I could focus on nothing knowing Mini was upset. Nothing except mindless tasks, like laundry.
9/12/22: My machine, that I think was about 8 or 9 years old, bowed out officially. Mid towel load. Seriously? I've lost track of how many times I've said:
they don't make 'em like they used to.
Ever smelled water sitting in a washer for several days? Gross. I wrung out the towels best I could and Lad hauled the 200 lb load over to rewash at my parents' house.
My repair guy, Tom, couldn't come out until Friday when Coach and I would be driving to Omaha to visit Tank. Of course.
9/14/22: I called ABT (appliance store). I was still hoping my washer would be fixed.
I told a man named Robin my microwave (switching gears again) sob story. He had inventory of the microwave, he'd pay half the cost of installation. All I had to do was call Thermador and say:
HEY, NO WORRIES. ABT HAS A MICROWAVE DRAWER. I'M ALL SET. PLEASE REIMBURSE ME 50% PER OUR ARRANGEMENT.
9/15/22: I called Thermador: YEAH, WE DON'T DO THAT. THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS.
Me: You don't do WHAT EXACTLY? Believe in customer service? (here I quoted their commitment to excellence, which I know because I heard a recording while on hold so frequently) Agree to simplify things? I want to speak to a manager.
Manager heard my SAGA. She agreed to ask her boss, and she'd call me back the next day. She didn't think they'd be OK with it, but she'd look at the inventory and see if it would be available soon.
9/16/22: Coach and I were driving to Omaha when we got the news: washer needs a new control board. Tom was gonna see if he could locate one.
My friend Becky texted: If he can't get a control board, do yourself a favor. Get a Seed Queen.
Me: Seed queen?
Becky: Oops, Speed Queen.
Misspelled or not, I hadn't heard of it. It's a commercial washer that's supposed to last forever. But pricey.
We're approaching Omaha. I fear my washing machine is dead. The Thermador manager lady calls. *about the microwave. Are you keeping up?
Manager: Yeah, sorry. We don't do that. Looks like the inventory will be in sometime in the next 3-6 months.
Me: What? This cannot be happening. You mean to tell me I can get a Thermador microwave from a local dealer but you cannot figure out how to pay/reimburse me or them for half of it if I do it that way? And you cannot get me the appliance anytime soon. All this AND you understand that your customer service people ignored my request FOR TWO MONTHS when I first called? So long as we understand each other. I'll tell you what - this isn't over. You haven't heard the last of me.
It was difficult to not let this ordeal dampen the good time we were planning to have with Tank, his friends, and their parents. I was a hot, angry mess by the time we got to our hotel.
9/19/22: After a wonderful visit with Tank and a break from watching the laundry pile up, Tom called to say he couldn't get a control board.
Me: What washer should I buy? *He knows how much laundry I do.
Tom: SPEED QUEEN.
I called ABT and ordered one over the phone, but they couldn't deliver it for weeks.
I called back and pointed out that I still had a microwave scheduled to be delivered 9/28. They linked the two deliveries. Hooray.
I was confusing myself. I had a $1400 washing machine linked to a microwave delivery that I was supposed to cancel, because if I got the microwave from ABT - then Thermador wouldn't honor our arrangement.
9/20/22: I called Thermador again.
Me: I plan to reach out to the local television station and the newspapers in Chicago. I'll share my Thermador experience with anyone who will listen.
I was put on hold forever. Guess what? My microwave is
supposed to going to ship out on Sept. 30th.
Stop it. But OK.
I was appalled at the cost of this washing machine. On FB marketplace people were selling apartment building units with a coin start thing. Tempting. Imagine charging our offspring to do their laundry? Anyway, I found one, gently used, wouldn't fit after they people had moved. It was an hour away in Indiana. $800.
I called Tom the next morning to ask him his opinion. Would it still work after being in storage?
Tom: You're gonna drive an hour to pick it up? Well, I have a better option. I can use my discount to buy one at cost. You'd pick it up about 25 minutes away, install it yourselves. It's not hard. Connect a hose. It'd cost you about $800. I'll pay for it, then I'll bill you.
Stop it, for REAL? I'm all about saving $600.
The next day I called ABT and cancelled the $1400 washer. I talked to Robin at ABT about my microwave. He's keeping my other one on my order for now, in case Thermador flakes out. They'll still come out and install the 1/2 price microwave as soon as it arrives.
Now, all I had to do was go pick up my washer. Get it up the stairs. Get Coach to install it. Get the old one down the stairs and dispose of it. Easy breezie, right? What could go wrong?
This is longer than intended. Shock. Sorry. Sharing the last bit soon. The good news/spoiler alert - we do have clean clothes. Which of your appliances have lasted you the longest? Do you buy brand names? Have you heard of a Speed Queen? Have you ever gotten different results by calling a manufacturer repeatedly?