Monday, June 30, 2008

As Promised: Don't Buy Maytag

Based on the responses that I got from my previous post , inspired by the inimitable Pedro Vera , I've decided to now detail my experience with my good friends at Maytag.

We bought our house in 2004. It was built in 1977. When we bought it, we knew that most of the appliances in it were old, if not original, so we went in with our eyes open. Little did we know. In the nearly 4 years that we've been living here, we've been forced to replace the water heater, the heat pump/furnace, the dishwasher, the washer and dryer, the garbage disposal, two faucets and a shower head. The refrigerator is making funny noises now.

We turned the extra room downstairs into our guest room. It's right next to the laundry room. It wasn't evident when we bought the house, but we found that if we closed the door to that room for a few days, it developed a musty, mildewy smell. A few weeks later, we determined that there was a very small leak from the washing machine right up against the wall to the guest room. Aha! The source of the locker-room aroma. Given that the washer and dryer were made of wood and and the instruction manuals were in hieroglyphics, we decided that it probably wasn't worth it to try and have them repaired, so the shopping begins.

We compared prices, models, features, different stores, etc., being the savvy shoppers that we are. We eventually settled on a midgrade Maytag washer and dryer set from Lowes. It was installed the next day, and we laundered our little hearts out.

On the second or third day after our purchase, we noticed a rather large puddle of water in laundry room. Checked all the connections, everything's tight. No water leaking. We decided to experiment and so started the washing machine on its "large" setting with no clothes in it.

It filled up. No problem.

It started agitating. No problem.

It finished its first cycle and started draining. Animals began coming to our house by twos. I was checking Genesis to try to get the specs on that whole ark thingy. Turns out that I didn't have a tape that measured in cubits.

Not a big problem. It's less than a week old. We'll just call Maytag since it's still under warranty by anybody's definition. We call, and they tell us they can come out next Wednesday. No sooner? No, sorry, we're very busy (so much for that lonely repair guy).

So I take Wednesday off, because the repairman will be here sometime between 2 AM and 11 PM. I gave them an hour past the latest time they were supposed to be here before I called. I was told that "whoever scheduled this appointment didn't know what they were doing" and that I had been rescheduled to next Tuesday. I pointed out that no one had bothered to call and tell me this, and they apologized for the glitch.

Oh well, what are you gonna do? It's still a free repair under warranty and we still have plenty of clean clothes, although there's mini-Everest forming in the bedroom.

So I take Tuesday off (sometime between 2 AM and 11 PM). I gave them 15 minutes after the latest time they were supposed to be here before I called. I was told that "the repairman didn't have a part that he needed" and that I'd been rescheduled for next Tuesday.

I lost it. I went completely ballistic. I yelled. I told them that it simply wouldn't do. I asked to speak to a supervisor. I was told that the person I was talking to had all the authority that any supervisor had. So now they're rescheduling for two weeks in a row without bothering to call and they won't even give me the satisfaction of putting a superior on the line.

They said that perhaps I should call someone local who did Maytag warranty work. They gave me a list of 5 numbers in the area that I could call. I started calling. I looked in the Yellow Pages under every single listing in Northern Virginia that had "Maytag" under appliance repair. I came to the realization that there is not one single representative in all of Northern Virginia or Washington, DC that will do Maytag warranty work.

So what do I do now? They've sort of got us by the short hairs, as it were. Can't use the washer, rapidly running out of clean clothes, can't get Maytag to respond, nobody else will touch a Maytag under warranty. I guess we just call them back, explain what we've been through, and tell them that the next person they hear from will be my attorney, as I've been off work for two days because of their ineptitude.

My wife, God bless her, got in the car and went back to Lowes without me, because I was a quivering mass of angry badgers at this point. I might have bitten someone (a la Green Canary). About halfway through her tale of woe to the Lowes appliances manager, he interrupted her and said, "How 'bout if we just bring you another one?"

Really? Is this something akin to that "customer service" thing I've heard so much about?

The next day, Lowes delivered us a shiny, new washer. The installer guys told me that they wished they had a nickel back for every Maytag appliance they've had to replace. Thankfully, it's been working ever since. I still have Maytag appliances, but they're the last ones I'll ever own.

The funny thing is, I know that this blog entry will net me some Maytag advertisements, much as my previous entry got me many, many Verizon ads. Don't be fooled.

So shop at Lowes. We've never had a problem with them or their service. Just don't buy anything from Maytag.

UPDATE: I meant to post this in the original. We never called Maytag to cancel the third appointment, and we never heard from them again. For all I know, we're still being rescheduled for the repair.


Phil said...

They've gone downhill ever since Gordon Jump died.

Gilahi said...

Yeah. I was really glad that Arthur Carlson had a fairly easy job in retirement.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

What a drag! My parents have only ever owned Maytag washers and dryers and they've been great. The first set they had for nearly 30 years and only finally replaced them because the workhorse washer no longer spun and the dryer stopped heating. That said, though, they've never had to call for Maytag service, so maybe that's the rub: Good appliances, bad customer service?

Given the state of my current washer, I'd give my left arm for a Maytag right now. My set is Frigidaire and came with the house. It's a front loader. Those things are CRAP. If you had a moldy, mildewy smell problem in the room adjacent to your W&D, try having that smell in your washer. Front loaders are a nightmare. And they don't clean like a top loader because there's no agitation going on to beat the dirt and gungous out of clothes. In short: Front loaders are disgusting.

Gee... I think I have a topic for a post of my own...

Gilahi said...

Could be. Maybe the stuff they made 30 years ago was better than the stuff they make today. Maybe we just got a lemon, but the "service" has put me off Maytag forever. I can tell you that if they'd been offering this level of service 30 years ago, they'd be out of business by now.

Coincidentally, watching TV last night I saw a commercial for Maytag followed immediately by a commercial for Verizon. They should take some of that advertising budget and invest it in their respective service departments.

Phil said...

Perhaps their ads should say "Even if you're only considering buying a Maytag, go ahead and set up a service appointment today, because it's going to take us that long to get around to you".

Gilahi said...

Right! And quit your job because you never know when we might show up.

GreenCanary said...

Thanks for the shout out :-)

I will take into account this tale of woe when next I go to buy an appliance. My normal criteria for such things are: 1) shiny; 2) makes fabulous beeping noises; 3) has lots of buttons; and 4) is shiny.

Gilahi said...

You're welcome!

There IS an awful lot to be said for shininess and beeping noises. Too many buttons and I start to get vertigo.

Add to Technorati Favorites