Monday, September 25, 2006

Buy the dryer, get the washer free

No, this isn't some fantastic deal I just found, it's one I'm offering *you*. But only for a limited time (till Tuesday), when the nice appliance delivery people haul away the washer. Then the offer becomes just "Buy the dryer".

I hate Maytag. Let me start at the beginning. When we bought our house 6 years ago (in September actually), we bought ourselves a new fridge, washer, and dryer from a local Maytag store. The brand seemed to have a good reputation, and we splurged a bit to get a nice washer--their "Neptune" line. Our fridge was labeled as Consumer Reports "best buy". All seemed well. Then the appliances were delivered. The delivery was a nightmare--they brought the wrong fridge at first (an ivory top-and-bottom one instead of a white side-by-side). The installers left greasy handprints all over our laundry room walls (later prompting our pepto-bismo pink paint job), and to top it off, the washer spewed water all over our brand-new kitchen and laundry room the first time we turned it on (thank goodness it's positioned over the sump pump in the unfinished side of the basement, or our newly-built finished basement ceilings would have been ruined already). They had to replace the washer after 2 failed service calls.

Fast forward 2 years, to the month. One day the washer starts up, fills with water, and then just stops. We call the repair people and take half a day off work, twice. The "control board" was fried. We paid $100 in labor, and the $200 part was (barely) still covered by the warranty.

Fast forward 2 more years, again to the month (Charlotte was about a month old at the time). Same deal. Washer starts up, fills with water, then stops. Almost the same week I get notice in the mail about a class-action lawsuit pending against Maytag for just this problem in our washer, plus a little mildew issue that we'd also noticed. This time, I was home with the baby, so I didn't lose any work, and the repair was handled for free due to the lawsuit. We eventually got our initial $100 repairs "reimbursed" from the lawsuit in the form of a $12 check and $80 in credit towards a new Maytag appliance. Gee, thanks.

In between there, while I was still preganant, our fridge stopped refridgerating for several days. The repair people (this time from Sears) had numerous issues in actually showing up for their appointments to repair the thing, and my husband ended up installing the $20 part that controls the defrost cycles. I mentioned it at work, and found that of the ~17 employees at that job, at least 5 of them had the same problem with a Maytag or Jenn-Air fridge after 3-4 years of use....hmmmm...

Now comes this past Saturday. I started a load of laundry. I walked in later to get a cleaning wipe off the shelf and there was water all over the floor, but the washer was still going (with the "door locked" button still on). I grabbed towels, and told my husband that we had to watch it. I don't think the thing ever got to the spin cycle. He tried a couple of times to force it to drain, and ended up shutting off the water to the the thing. In the mean time, the "locked" door (it's a front-loader) flew open and our laundry room and part of the bathroom and kitchen got an ample sudsing. (I really like our "floor mate" hard floor cleaner...it sucks water off a vinyl floor nice and fast).

We discussed our options over the weekend--1) Take 2 (maybe more) days off work to wait for repair people and spend upwards of $300 to fix the darned thing. 2) Buy a new washer. 3) Buya new washer and dryer and get a set that can be stacked to gain us some space in our teeny-tiny laundry room (it's like 5x5). After weighing the various costs and benefits (and the fear that $300+ in repairs now will have to be repeated in September '08 and '10, etc), we went with option 3. We have a new, stacking, Kenmore front-loading set ordered that will be delivered Tuesday.

So, back to my title. If anyone wants it, we have a broken Neptune (super XL capacity, energy star, front loader, yadda yadda) washer that you can have for FREE if you haul it away before the Sears people arrive (they will remove it for us otherwise). We also have for sale, the matching electric XL capacity dryer, which has never given us a day of trouble (1 of 3 appliances bought that day). It has a nifty sliding temperature control (anything between "air fluff" and high), a variety of cycles, etc. I love the dryer---it has a huge door that easily handles a king sized comforter. It's only crime is in not stacking with the new washing machine. The dryer cost ~$800 new, I'd be asking about $300 for it.

Ok, so there probably aren't enough folks reading my blog to actually sell this stuff too (unless we're unbelievably lucky). So, I guess I get to figure out how to place a classified ad in the Post Dispatch.

2 comments:

Amanda said...

Try the Bargain ad section, doesn't cost money but I'm not sure if there's a limit on how much the thing can cost.

Paul said...

You're probably not going to be surprised to hear that your story is repeated with many similar variations in homes all over America, but Maytag and Whirlpool choose to believe that these are isolated problems and refuse to service and support their customers who purchased the most expensive machines they sell.

My Maytag story is posted at:
http://thewaythingsare.typepad.com/antimarketer/2006/10/brand_mismanage.html

Hope you didn't buy a Whirlpool as a replacement - same company, same lack of support. I bought a top of the line LG and it is far superior in every respect. It's quieter, it looks better, it washes better, better value for the money, more features -- so far we're pretty happy.

They couldn't get that old Maytag out of my house fast enough.