Crazy check :: repairman edition

Yesterday brought about a welcome (and thoroughly overdue) event here at home: our washing machine was finally repaired after three weeks of being down. During those three weeks I had little choice but to bum a wash cycle off a gracious and understanding neighbor and visit the laundromat. Twice. Were it not for those allowances my children would have been subject to recycling underwear. As it was, I suspect that socks might have been worn more than once, ahem.

Do you have time for a story? Because I’m about to launch into one. Fair warning.

About a month ago the washer broke the first time. My increasingly handy husband was able to disassemble the machine, diagnose the trouble, and order and install a part to remedy the problem.  And then on the very next laundry day I heard a loud bang and went to investigate. Sure enough, water was leaking from the bottom of the washer again. When Jeff took apart the machine for the second time, we found that indeed the same part we had just replaced had warped in the same way. Jeff called Samsung and went through a troubleshooting process with the phone agent. When there was no solution to our problem, we had to call in a repairman. Unfortunately, there was a five day wait for an appointment. Still, we secured a slot in the busy repairman’s schedule and waited.

The repairman came. The series of events went down like this:

  1. Jeff explained to him the situation–that we knew our problem stemmed from running the steam cycle. Furthermore, we’d already replaced a warped plastic part once but it broke the very first time we ran the steam cycle again.  Jeff explained to the repairman that we were paying for his expertise in determining why that plastic part was warping and eventually, causing a hose to bust.
  2. Repairman suggested that since we knew the problem stemmed from the steam cycle that maybe an appropriate solution was to not run the steam cycle.
  3. {Pausing for effect}.
  4. Jeff smiled and nodded, explaining that the whole reason we purchased this particular model was for the steam cycle and that, furthermore, we would not have agreed to paying a $70 service call fee had we known that the repairman’s “expertise” began and ended with stating the obvious. (He was more tactful out loud than I am on screen).
  5. Repairman grudgingly called a secret tech line for Samsung.
  6. Secret Samsung guy hastily decides that we needed to replace the steam unit.
  7. Having already obligated ourselves to a $70 service fee just for the repairman showing up, we opted to have him proceed with recommended repairs because (a) the $70 fee would go towards repairs and (b) the part and labor would be warrantied.
  8. Repairman ordered the part and informed us that it would be another week before he could return to install it.

Joy. In the midst of all of that was Thanksgiving. Our house guests were informed upon arrival that they would be rationed a single towel and washcloth during their stay. Sorry about that again, Grams and Gramps.

Yesterday marked the much anticipated return of the repairman with the much anticipated steam unit. I insisted that Jeff be present for the appointment to oversee the whole thing because after the first appointment, neither of us had much faith in aforementioned repairman.

The repairman came. The series of events went down like this:

  1. The repairman quickly installs the $97 steam unit and starts packing his tools to go.
  2. Jeff insists that he run a test cycle, just to be sure. Repairman reluctantly agrees, but proceeds to pack his things while the cycle runs. About ten minutes in, he tells Jeff that he’s going to put his things in his truck and goes outside.
  3. Jeff, meanwhile, notices that the same part from the first repair was getting suspiciously hot and goes outside to fetch the repairman.
  4. Jeff finds the repairman in his van, with it running, preparing to leave. Jeff knocks on the window and insists that the repairman come back inside. Repairman is clearly agitated by this request.
  5. The part in question, meanwhile, is extremely hot. When the repairman checks it, he attempts to assure Jeff that it’s fine. Jeff begs to differ and shuts the machine down before the {plastic} part warps from the heat like it has done twice already.
  6. Repairman suggests that we “see if it breaks again since it’s under warranty” and offers to return if it does.
  7. {Another pause here for effect}.
  8. Jeff smiles and nods and says something about his wife going postal if she is forced to go a single day more without the ability to launder her undergarments. The repairman grudgingly calls secret Samsung line. Again.
  9. Utilizing the electronic panel on our washer, secret Samsung guy goes through a series of diagnostics with repairman and lo and behold after completing their due diligence they discover that the problem was never the steam unit at all, but a clog that was preventing steam from escaping. The built-up heat eventually warped the plastic part. Twice. And would–no doubt–have done it a third time were it not for my husband’s persistence with the incompetent repairman.
  10. Repairman cleans the clog and kindly offers to give us a discount on the steam unit that we never needed to begin with.
  11. Jeff smiles and nods, and explains that under no circumstances will we be paying for a part that we never needed in the first place.
  12. Heated discussion ensues, but in the end, repairman agrees to removing the charge for of the unnecessary steam unit. He also notes that his company isn’t going to reimburse him for the part but that he, personally, is going to have to eat the cost.
  13. Jeff smiles and nods, explaining to repairman the difference between a “me” problem vs. a “you” problem.

The end.

What matters most is this: after three long weeks I celebrated a pile of clean and fresh and dry towels. I may never look at laundry the same way again.

clean towles (2 of 1)But really, why on earth would that repairman expect us to pay for a part that he–in his “expertise”– erroneously ordered and installed?

Crazy check, please. Would you have paid for that part? Would the repairman’s sob story have swayed you?

13 Replies to “Crazy check :: repairman edition”

  1. It “might” have swayed me had he not tried to leave and then proceed to argue with you regarding the issue. After those shenanigans – Heck no! He deserved whatever he got! And he also deserves a call to his supervisor!!!!

    1. Jeff’s first suggestion was that the repairman put the old (perfectly functioning) steam unit back in place and return the new one to the vendor. The repairman said he couldn’t return it, even though on his first visit he mentioned that the reason the parts were so costly was because they used a vendor that allowed for returns. Not a straight story, if you ask me. After all of that, Jeff wasn’t in the mood to negotiate. Chris’s offer would have made a great solution under better circumstances.

  2. Also, are you still loving your Samsungs? We are not. Two dryer repairs, and a washer that smells bad no matter what we do and how often I clean the cracks and crevices. So disappointing.

    1. I’m in the same boat as you. I would not buy a front-loading washer again because I have to constantly leave the door open and clean the cracks. This is our first (well, first and second, technically) repair, but I still have mixed feelings on the brand. Samsung would not let Jeff speak with a tech line person; they insisted we go through this specific repair company. If they had just allowed Jeff to do that from the beginning, we could have saved everyone time and money. So that seems shady to me.

  3. We have a Samsung that we’ve had since about 2008. It has been a great washer and dryer set. Our only issue was due to a problem movers created in 2009 when they drilled a hole through the washer drum when securing shipping bolts. The problem I have with Samsung is the length of time it takes to get the parts in. I waited about 3 weeks after that move to be able to wash clothes again (kind of tough when everything coming out of a box needs to be washed again). However, now that it has been fixed, the set has survived another move and is washing just fine. I, too, leave the washer door open after a load to allow it to dry out in there. I did find the Affresh washer cleaner stuff to help the last time the odor got bad.

  4. My husband would have been swayed because he is kind and compassionate to a fault. (Not that the rest of us aren’t!!) But me? I would have been loudly murmuring over the repairman’s shoulder, ringing his supervisor and asking for help on Samsung’s Twitter page. I wanted the red Samsung washer and dryer really really bad but … our local repairman advised against it. Those machines give him most his business. But still … they so pretty!!
    Glad your wearing the laundry hat again Darcie!! ;)

  5. I see nothing wrong with your actions. Way to not be taken advantage of and I would let Samsung know about this repairman. If they care about their brand, they will listen.

  6. Why worry about what other people think?
    Be your own person and let other people be politically correct.
    Worry about Ebola or ISIS so I won’t have to.
    Hmmm, I wonder what Dear Abby would say?

  7. I love Gramps! I want a T-shirt that says his exact comment. Maybe Gramps could do a guest post on the blog?

    I would have done exactly what you and Jeff did. Good job for standing up for yourselves. Maybe you prevented this from happening to someone else? I also would have called Samsung to notify them of the shady “repairman.”

    We have the Whirlpool Duet front loader and I hate it. I can’t get rid of that mildew smell no matter what I do. I tried calling Whirlpool and they said they “weren’t aware of front loaders having any smell issues.” Ha!

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