About 6 weeks ago my trusty dryer of 7 years died. It was a slow and painful death, and on the final day, its heating element flickered and the heat was gone. I mourned for my dryer. I really did. But with the laundry building up I had no choice but to go out and purchase another dryer, with a matching washer. And what a fancy dryer it is. It is an engineering miracle. It senses the size of the load, it plays a happy, little song when the drying is done, it has brilliant blue lights on the control panel – the only thing it doesn’t do is fold the laundry and put it away. Well, it was my laundry savior until about 2 weeks ago, when on a Friday night, it stopped drying. Just like that. Kaput. Oh, the laundry flip-flops about in it, the blue lights on the control panel still light up, but there is no heat – at all.
In desperation, I called Samsung’s toll-free number to find out what I needed to do to rectify this situation. I was in shock. I couldn’t understand how a dryer, such an amazing dryer could die in such a short amount of time. I kept asking myself, has this society become so disposable that even our large appliances don’t even last 2 months. The Samsung guy was very nice, his voice was calming, he had me do several checks, and each time I held my breath, hoping it was something simple. But alas, it was not, and at the end of the conversation he said, “I am sorry, we will need to get a guy out there to take a look at the dryer. An appliance repair company will be contacting you. There is nothing else we can do.”
The next morning I awoke. Overnight, my ire had replaced my angst for the sudden demise of my shiny new dryer. All I could think about was how is this right, how is this acceptable, to have purchased a dryer 2 months ago, and it has stopped drying. I called Lowes and after several transfers I spoke to a very nice lady who basically told me I had committed a major faux pas by calling the Samsung Company, rather than Lowes. I kept telling her, “I am sorry, I didn’t know, I called them out of desperation. It was a Friday night, I have a burgeoning mound of laundry. All I want, is for my shiny new dryer to dry. I don’t think that is a lot to ask for.” She said, “I can get a guy out there on Tuesday to take a look at it.” Things were looking up.
But in the meantime, my boys are going to the gym twice a day, which means four sets of really stinky, sweaty gym outfits, plus sheets, plus towels and all the other stuff was building up. The laundry was overflowing. I couldn’t rest, the laundry pile was whispering to me even while I lay in my bed fuming about all of this.
The appliance guy – the one Lowe’s sent, did come out. He told me the thermostat had gone out. He was not surprised. He said he had replaced about 7 thermostats on these exact units in the last year. I said “But in 2 months? Have you ever seen this thermostat thing go out in 2 lousy months?” “Nope.” He said. “Maybe you have a lemon.” A lemon, I thought to myself. I knew cars could be lemons, but dryers? He said he would have to order the part. “How long is that going to take?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know.” What? How long is my shiny new dryer of 6 weeks going to be in a drying coma?
With Monday coming, and no clean clothes, my oldest son and I courageously took all our laundry to a Laundromat. My son had never been to a Laundromat. It was not in the best neighborhood, but it was the closest one to us. It turns out, Sunday night is not the best time to go to Laundromats. The place was hopping. The music was loud, some type of Soul Train music. It played over the whomp-whomp-whomp of overloaded unbalanced washers and slamming of dryer doors. The primary languages spoken that night were Hmong and Spanish, shouted over the washers, the blaring music, and the squeaking of the wheels on the laundry carts. Children of all ages and ethnicities ran through the aisles, avoiding the large boy with special needs that sat on the floor smack dab in the middle of the dryer aisle. Outside, it was storming, with lightning and thunder and smatterings of hail. The yellow fluorescent lights flickered overhead and the Wi-Fi didn’t work. We sat on wrought iron benches and watched other people’s laundry being washed in the washers while the children playing a game of tag, brushed against our legs as they slid under the benches we were sitting on to hide from the other participants of their game. It was a chaotically cacophonic experience that overwhelmed our senses.
On the plus side, the drying was free.
We survived my son’s first Laundromat experience and started the week with lusciously clean clothes. But the pile of laundry began to grow and by Wednesday of last week I hadn’t heard anything about our part arriving. I called the appliance service place to see what kind of timeline we were looking at, and they said if the part didn’t arrive by Friday, it should be here on this coming Monday.
The part did not arrive by UPS on Friday.
We made our second trek to the Laundromat yesterday. It turns out, Saturday afternoon is really a great time to go to the Laundromat. We were much more skilled and adept in navigating the intricacies of the Laundromat this time around. I managed NOT to put the detergent into the Softener compartment. Yay!! But I did manage to splash drops of bleach all over my red sweater. Boo!!!! We split our laundry loads up, so all our drying was done in about 30 minutes. We didn’t have to dodge careening children playing Tag this time. It was a much better, less over-stimulating, and decidedly quieter experience.
Tomorrow is Monday. If the part for the dryer doesn’t come in by tomorrow, it will be after Christmas before we can even have think about having our dryer fixed. That will be over 3 weeks without a dryer. If that occurs, if the part does not come tomorrow, I am not sure how I will react.
Should I call Lowe’s and have them replace my shiny new dryer? Should I be patient and hope the part comes in soon and someone will come replace the part and raise my shiny new dryer out of its drying coma? Washing the clothes and drying them outside is not an option, because the one time I need it to be sunny and hot, it is actually foggy and raining. So that option is out.
How is any of this okay? When did the consumer become so insignificant that it is completely acceptable for a 2 month old dryer not to work, and it is acceptable for a consumer to have absolutely no recourse other than to sit and wait and hope the dryer will be fixed? How are we as consumers allowing this to happen?
What would you do? Would you have demanded Lowe’s come out and replace the dryer when this first happened? Would you be patient and wait? Would you stop wearing clean clothes and try and ration them out, to avoid having to go back to the Laundromat? Would you shout at Samsung?
ADDENDUM (Monday 12/21/2015) – The part did not come in today. I called the appliance service place this afternoon and they said they had no ETA (like they were an airplane or some military outfit) – anyway they had no ETA on when the parts would come in because UPS had put a hold on them so they could deliver the presents. Well, I was quite confused by this explanation, because I am pretty sure that’s Santa’s job (delivering presents) and UPS should deliver parts – important stuff. They said it might come tomorrow, but how do they know that…do they have some inner knowledge of how many presents UPS has to deliver because Santa is shirking his responsibilities? I think they are just making up stuff to get me off the telephone.
I called Lowe’s earlier today and spoke to a very nice lady. She felt sorry for me at first, she understood it sucked to have only had a dryer for 2 months and then have it just stop working. She says that is why she buys LG products, because they don’t have these kind of problems. I didn’t know Lowe’s people could say these kind of things.
I told her my tragic thermostat tale. I said why can’t you guys just come out and replace the blasted thing. She says, “Well the 30 day exchange period is over.” What the heck? I tell her, “Well if I had known the dryer would have stopped working in 6 weeks of its purchase, I would have returned it. But, I am not psychic and I never, ever thought a major appliance would just stop functioning 2 months after being purchased.
So after going around and around on this, the lady from Lowe’s said she would bump all this up to a supervisor. Honestly, I am not really sure what that will do. We shall see. I will let you know what happens.