My washing machine broke down last weekend (the second time in a month). Since its last repair it has been leaking a little bit of water but it still worked and I was able to continue with my never-ending pile of laundry. I know I should have called the repair people straight away but life is so hectic that I haven’t had the time to arrange another appointment plus the machine is in our annex so its sort of out of sight, out of mind. Now it has developed a new fault. The machine doesn’t complete the washing cycle, it bleeps an annoying bleep and the door jams. Fortunately I paid for an additional warranty to cover break down and repairs. With a big family my washing machine comes under a lot of pressure so it gives me a peace of mind to know I have extra cover to cope with breakdowns. I know from my mum’s experience how much a single call out and repair can cost so it makes sense for me to have this additional cover.
So first thing Monday morning (last week), I telephoned the store I bought it from and explained the difficulties I was having. They took my details and said they would send them on to the insurance company who would organise for an engineer to call. Such a faff going through a third party but still things were dealt with quite quickly and a short time later I received confirmation that an engineer would be with me on Thursday. Unfortunately the time slot they gave me was between 8am and 6pm, a ten hour time slot! I didn’t think to question it as I was too busy mentally working out how I was going to fit this in with taking my daughter to her new school unit in the afternoon.
Under pressure, I accepted the appointment but secretly hoped that it wouldn’t clash with our visit to the school but guess what ….. it did. I had only nipped out of the house for 15 minutes but in that time the engineer had come and gone and had left one of those “sorry I missed you cards” in the porch. Even more infuriating was that I missed him by 4 minutes! I felt so annoyed. Nevertheless, I rang the number on the “card” hoping that I could get a message to the engineer explaining what had happened and asking if he could call on us later. The telephonist tried her best but the engineer refused to pay us another visit. I don’t know why, he gave no reason which made me feel he was being deliberately awkward.
Consequently I now have to wait to Tuesday which again clashes with another appointment as most of my days do. However this time my husband is taking the day off whilst I do what I have to do for my children but it is very inconvenient and costly too. With no washing machine we’ve been forced to use he local launderette but with the amount of laundry we’ve built up over the past week it cost us £20! Annoyingly, no sooner had we cleared the backlog than the washing pile started to build up again, no thanks to our teenage daughter tidying her bedroom. Though I’m pleased that she has tidied her room I am left with a shocking pile of washing to get through so much so I can’t even see the laundry basket let alone the bottom of it!
But I digress, the point is that it infuriates me when companies can’t provide a decent customer service. You know I’ve paid for this additional cover; the least they could do is to offer a flexible service that takes account of the needs of their customers. How many of us can afford to hang around all day waiting for an engineer or a delivery? And how many of us can afford to wait weeks to get our machines repaired? Do they have any idea how essential a washing machine is to a family these days?
Postscript: The engineer came on the Tuesday, glued something where the water was apparently coming from and fixed the programming. A day later I put my first load of washing into the machine but half way into the cycle it broke down again. I now have a machine full of water and wet towels and a jammed door. Some repair! Fed up, I called the store and complained. They have now put in an urgent request for the engineer to come back out.
Monday 3rd December – the motley crew, ie engineer and assistant, visited us again. The main guy admitted his shut-up job didn’t work and has now ordered two sets of parts. Why he didn’t do this in the first place, I don’t know. Creating more work for himself perhaps or a deliberate company policy to try and get away with a cheap fix?? Whatever the reason it didn’t work and he will now be visiting us again on Friday to make the necessary repairs so fingers crossed I will have a working washing machine for the weekend.