A Resolution I Can Take To The Bank

Two weeks ago, I wrote about our frustration with our washing machine warranty company.  I’d like to tell you that the warranty company called us back the next day and approved the issuance of a check to cover the full amount of replacement.

I’d love to tell you such a story, but it would be a fairy tale more unbelievable than Cinderella (have you ever ridden in a pumpkin coach pulled by horses that used to be mice?) or Snow White (wouldn’t you be suspicious of an apple given to you by a scary looking old woman who pressured you to take a bite right now?)  I’d politely say, “thank you,” and then toss it in the trash…and then run like crazy.  Yeah, that’s exactly what I would do…

The warranty company did call a few days after the second repair person came to the house.  They told my husband how much the replacement washer cost and then proceeded to offer him $70 less.  (Huh?!)

My hubby explained that we purchased a repair or full replacement warranty and asked what he needed to do to get the other $70.  The customer service (I use the term loosely) rep proceeded to explain that there was a pro-rated deduction based on the age of the washer, but the itty-bitty fine print on our  warranty contract stated absolutely nothing about any pro rating.

Hubby then talked to the supervisor.  This time, they told him a different reason for a deduction – and they were offering even less money!  Again, hubby asked them where it said that in the contract.  They read off some mumbo-jumbo, which was not in the paperwork we had in front of us.

I don’t know that much about negotiation, but I’m fairly certain that it’s supposed to result in a larger settlement amount.  I began to have serious doubts about my husband’s negotiation skills.  For a brief moment, I considered getting involved, but with the way things were going, I figured I’d end up writing them a check before the call ended.  So, I let hubby continue, even though he was getting quite upset.

After leaving my husband on hold for about fifteen minutes, the supervisor came back and agreed that my husband was right – we were entitled to a refund of the full amount we paid for our washer (which was $20 more than what the replacement cost.)

And then we got the check in the mail and lived happily ever after with a whisper-quiet washing machine, right?  Not quite.

Several days later, we got another call from the warranty company.  The settlement offer they presented was the full purchase price, less the $187 repair bill for the guy that couldn’t do anything because parts weren’t even ordered.

Hubby was irritated that they came up with three different reasons to offer us less than replacement and told them he felt like he was being jerked around.  He argued that we shouldn’t have to pay that bill because they didn’t even do anything.  I think the lady just wanted to get rid of him, so she agreed to settle for the entire replacement amount.

My opinion of my hubby’s bargaining skills improved slightly, but I’m still not so sure I’d want to take him to buy a new car.  For several days, I waited for another low-ball phone call.  But now the wait is over, because on Monday, I found our check in the mailbox for the full purchase price of our washer.

Hallelujah!  This ordeal is finally over.  I’m depositing that check first thing in the morning before they change their mind and stop payment on it or something.  I bet this never happened in the olden days of washboards and buckets 🙂

I guess our nightmare did have a fairy tale ending (sort of.)  Do you have a story of a business interaction with a fairy tale ending?

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30 thoughts on “A Resolution I Can Take To The Bank

  1. SuziCate June 28, 2011 / 6:11 AM

    What frustration but yay a happy ending!

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 8:36 PM

      Thanks, SuziCate! Yes, it’s an ending that I like to keep replaying in my mind. I’m glad it’s over!

  2. crumbl June 28, 2011 / 8:54 AM

    My nickname should be “Stonewall” … I do NOT take no for an answer from “service providers”.

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 7:53 PM

      Good for you, Crumbl. It’s a shame when companies don’t do the right thing. I’m a horrible negotiator because I get too upset and emotional at the “wrongness” of it all.

  3. Carl D'Agostino June 28, 2011 / 8:57 AM

    Companies really lose money because they are used to selling quality US made and the crap made in China is such that guarantees are worthless and the company is probably frustrated too with so many complaints. Well too bad. Go into a different business like growing corn or something. In the United States.

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 7:57 PM

      Quality merchandise would be a wonderful thing. I grew up expecting value from my purchases, so now I’m often disappointed. It’s not a value when the washing machine is effectively dead before the five-year mark. (It would be five years in November.)

      Thanks for sharing your comment, Carl!

  4. clarbojahn June 28, 2011 / 9:27 AM

    I’m so glad you persevered and got your replacement money back. I have several stories of bad service but none with a happy ending.
    One happy note recently is that with health insurance. Husb got enrolled in an medigap insurance covering what medicare doesn’t and gets reimbursed for going to the Doctors now instead of having to pay a copay.
    Wish I was old enough to get this. But for you older readers, take heed, its worth it. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 8:01 PM

      Well, our experience has been more tragedies than happy endings, too…so I’m going to hold onto this one.

      I’m glad the health insurance is working for your husband. Medical expenses can be scary, so it’s good that you’ve got coverage. Thanks, Clar 🙂

  5. SAS Fiction Girl June 28, 2011 / 11:49 AM

    My parents bought two identical leather chairs. One of the chairs began to discolor on the headrest. Apparently, the leather was not properly pre-treated at the factory. When my mom called and spoke to the store, they gave her the runaround and basically told her the chair discoloration must have been due to something she did wrong. They refused to repair or replace the chair. I was pretty unhappy with their attitude and for blaming my parents for faulty merchandise.

    So I called the store. Mind you, this was during the special time of female hormonal fluctuations when I don’t take crap from anyone. I find that my powers of persuasion are greatest at this time and I get more accomplished, business-wise. The man I spoke to at the store decided it was all the factory’s fault after all and ordered a new chair delivered to my parents’ house.

    I think some businesses have a policy of passing the buck as long as possible, hoping the complainer will give up and go away. It is even more confusing to give the consumer several different answers to one simple question. Good for you and your husband hanging in there until the company made it right. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 8:06 PM

      That was the best service fairy tale ending ever, Jen!

      It did seem like they were trying to save a few bucks and were just making stuff up to get us to accept it. For once it was a blessing that my hubby is just as stubborn as I am 🙂

      P.S. I am so envious of you right now. When I am in the middle of the “special time of female hormonal fluctuations,” I’m more likely to get banned from an establishment than to calmly and reasonably state my case and effect a resolution. This is why I write and hubby takes care of the negotiations 😉

  6. Debbie June 28, 2011 / 12:23 PM

    Good for your hubby! I know you’re glad this nightmare is over and you finally got the check — too often, people give up early and short-change themselves. Perseverance really is the key!

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 8:08 PM

      Thanks, Debbie! I was beginning to think we should’ve just taken the replacement minus $70 because it kept getting worse. Luckily, it worked out and the check is in the bank.

  7. Carol Ann Hoel June 28, 2011 / 12:33 PM

    I think your husband did very well. He won without going to court. That’s impressive.

    I did once have a conflict over a La-Z-Boy chair. I was turned down many times, and the last time, brokenheartedly, I nearly gave up. The chair I bought was for my husband (since deceased), who had a cancer that caused anything lumpy to hurt his back terribly. I couldn’t feel the lumps when I sat in the chair, but he couldn’t tolerate it. At that time, I was not working to take care of him. On this final push, when I’d decided to quit trying, the LORD seemed to whisper to me in that still small voice that I won. Sure enough, a few weeks later, I received another letter. This time the writer of the letter allowed me to return the chair and receive full credit on any other chair I wanted! That was a God thing. 🙂 Blessings to you, Janna, and to your negotiating hubby!

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 8:14 PM

      I didn’t even think about going to court. We had to do that once (and won) but it was a huge hassle.

      Your story made me sad for your husband. It must have been exhausting for you to fight that fight with the emotional strain you had, too. The ending was a true God-inspired happy ending. I’m so glad they decided to make it right and gave you the opportunity to get a more comfy chair. There is some hope out there for all of us consumers.

      Thanks for sharing your service fairy tale, Carol. It was a beautiful ending, indeed!

  8. pattisj June 28, 2011 / 3:18 PM

    So, are you telling me that you’re buying a tub and washboard with your refund? Glad you got it worked out!

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 8:17 PM

      Hahaha! You’re funny, Patti. Although I’m fairly certain that method won’t suffer mechanical breakdown, there is absolutely no way I could do it. I’d have to quit my job just to do laundry 🙂 As fun as that sounds, it won’t pay the mortgage, so we will definitely be employing a machine to work our laundry.

  9. chlost June 28, 2011 / 6:13 PM

    Good job!
    But let’s be sure the check clears before celebrating. I’m just that cynical.
    Whenever I encounter great service, I make sure to tell the person that I am dealing with how much I appreciate that. It is sad that such service is the exception rather than the rule.

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 8:19 PM

      Well, I deposited the check this morning and I’ll keep checking to make sure the money doesn’t disappear. It is disappointing that great service is so shocking these days.

      Thanks for stopping by, Chlost.

    • crumbl June 29, 2011 / 5:26 AM

      Isn’t it funny how often good service goes unrewarded, even by simple acknowledgement? I very much appreciate when I get good service, and I’ll tell you and your manager, and I’ll rip you a new one when I don’t, then also talk to your manager. It is sad that customer service these days seems more a chore than a privilege. More an, “okay, I’m here for the paycheque, don’t bug me”, than a, “how can I help you” attitude. Good post, chlost

      • jannatwrites June 30, 2011 / 6:58 AM

        I’ve worked with the general public and it’s nice when someone will go out of their way to praise good service. It’s a nice balance to those who are more than happy to tell their complaints to anyone who will listen…or even those who don’t, for that matter.

        I went to the grocery store last weekend and the checker and the bagger never stopped their personal conversation while scanning/bagging my groceries. I felt like I was intruding!

        • pattisj July 4, 2011 / 8:45 PM

          Our regular grocery store experience has been the same, bad attitudes, etc. We switched to a different one recently, one with GOOD customer service. It’s worth driving just a wee bit further.

        • jannatwrites July 4, 2011 / 8:59 PM

          I’m glad you found one with good service. I’m still searching, but haven’t given up 🙂

  10. Patty June 28, 2011 / 6:45 PM

    Isn’t it hard to believe that 55-60+ years ago my mother and my grandmother were washing with that washboard? and boiling clothes? I have a washboard in my family room as an “antique” decoration. Yes I have antique appliances in my home. You deserve a present day appliance. Good work on your spouse’s perseverence.

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 8:23 PM

      Times were certainly different back then. I think it’s neat that you have antique appliances. They probably work better than some of the modern-day ones 😉

      Thanks for stopping by and celebrating the resolution, Patty!

  11. nrhatch June 28, 2011 / 8:11 PM

    That. Is. Awesome!
    Yay! I’m glad that you’re getting a NEW machine. Woot!

    We’ve had good and bad stories. Usually “polite perseverance” works to the “consumer’s” advantage. When it doesn’t, a well-planned “hissy fit melt-down” sometimes does the trick.

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2011 / 8:35 PM

      It is exciting, Nancy! I’m soooo glad this saga is over. We’ve got other things coming up that that I’ll be free to obsess over now that this is wrapped up 😉

      I love the ‘well-planned hissy fit melt-down’. I’ve had the hissy fit melt-down before, but not with good results. ‘Tis another reason why I choose to be the silent partner in our house when it comes to problem resolution!

  12. Widdershins June 28, 2011 / 10:01 PM

    Insurance companies are the pits … well done to hubs for persevering.

    • jannatwrites June 30, 2011 / 6:54 AM

      Thanks, Widdershins! I am glad he was able to keep it together and get this resolved.

  13. dorcas July 4, 2011 / 1:50 PM

    I am going to be real scared of buying a washer in the future… maybe i should just stick to washing by hand..

    (n don’t approve the previous comment.. 🙂 din realize hubby was logged in.. )

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2011 / 7:58 PM

      It seems that would be simpler, but laundry would become a full-time job, don’t you think? I’d still take my chances on a machine….just not the same brand 😉

      Thanks for stopping by today, Dorcas!

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