Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Washing Machines - !@#$%^&*(

Some people I know have serious problems with their dishwashers. Me, this is the week both my VCR and DVD player finally imploded (Pooteewheet is actually ripping it apart and taking a shammy to the laser lens at the moment - HOT!) and Katie has decided to do a bit of white collar crime and pretend she never borrowed my portable DVD player, so I'll have NO idea whatsover if Alice Paul actually goes to the hoosgau in Iron Jawed Angels unless I choose to watch it on the desktop or the laptop (gotta love technology).

But that's not my story. My story is about the washing machine at one of my rental properties. I got a call from my brother on Saturday, during gaming, telling me that the rental property we own in Apple Valley had some sort of issue with both the washing machine and garage door opener. Garage door openers I know about. Fix the chain or scrap it. Simplistic, but effective, and in a pinch, I can install one all by myself. Washing machines - well, unless it's taking it apart to see if Pooteewheet was washing nylons without a delicates bag, I'm at a loss. But I'm pretty sure I know what happened to the Apple Valley washing machine, because there's a big orange wire in the front yard bugging all the neighbors, and right behind the machine is a brand new piece of wood mounted to the studs, complete with about six wires and three splitters for the new cable wires. I have no doubts, whatsoever, that the cable company decided to move my washing machine to install their equipment, and felt no compunction whatsoever about roughly manhandling my ten year old machine. While it was in need of replacement, I'm pretty sure the loving touch of Larry the Cable Guy pushed it over the edge. So on Sunday, Pooteewheet and Eryn and I traveled to Apple Valley and perused a few stores looking for a.) a washing machine, and b.) a store that would actually deliver it and install it and take the old one away as I am desparately lacking anything with a truck bed (unlike some other small business people, I try not to make taxpayers foot my bill for a Humvee). We settled on Warners Stellian was closest. A mere four blocks away or so. After selecting a machine they told us that we'd have to wait until Wednesday for delivery. I cursed a little (I feel for anyone who goes without a washing machine for any period of time, particularly someone's with lots of kids) and then decided my renter would manage. So, we laid out $361 and called it a day. Until Wednesday. Then, when I hadn't heard from them by noon today, I called them. They told me to call the warehouse, which I did, and which has a MUCH longer hold. When someone finally talked to me, the discussion was:

"I had a washing machine that was supposed to be delivered today, and you were going to call me, but I haven't heard from anyone yet." (a statement of fact, not a question).
"Do you have an order number?"
"Nope. It's at home. But I bought it in Apple Valley, and I can give you a name."
"Ok...yeah, here you are. That's not scheduled to be delivered."
"Um...yeah. But mostly just not scheduled to be delivered."
"I don't know how it didn't get into the computer,but we don't have a delivery date scheduled for it. We could have it there Friday or Saturday morning."
"No. That's ok. That's too long to be without laundry. Cancel my purchase."
"Not yet...I'll call you back."
...15 minutes
"Sir, we could have it there Friday or early Saturday morning."
"Cancel my purchase."
"We're very busy at the moment, and it has to be shipped from the warehouse to Apple Valley - a wait is natural."
"Cancel my purchase."
"We're very sorry sir."

At which point I put in a call to Maytag in Apple Valley (on 42, between Portland and 77) who sold me a washing machine for $3 more than Warners Stellian and had it in place by 5:15 p.m., same day, even after telling me they were incredibly busy. Sure, I had to make my wife go on a special trip to look at more washing machines, sure I had to go down there myself after work hours so I could wait for it, sure I had to haul Eryn with while Pooteewheet was gone and convince her that socket wrenches and pipe wrenches were toys and more exciting than an imminent trip to the playground, but do I hold it against Warners Stellian - hell yes, buy from Maytag.

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