Monday, September 30, 2013

When is a lemon not a lemon?

When it's a leaky dishwasher, on extended warranty.

As part of a kitchen renovation we did in 2008, we bought a raft of new appliances -- from a company we trusted, one that (for now at least) shall remain unnamed.

Included in those items was a dishwasher, made by a company whose slogan claims to be "Life's Good." I think they ought to change it to "Life's Glitchy" -- especially if you happened to buy Model LDS5811WW. For fun, click here to read some of the reviews posted by others who made the mistake of buying this particular machine.

Over the years, we've amassed a stack of papers from the many repairs we've had to get. Nearly all of them (6 of 8) have been about leaking. The last repair took place just the other day, on Friday, and wouldn't you know, when I next ran the dishwasher (after supper on Saturday), it leaked. Yet again. Only this time, it wasn't just the same old leak from the bottom of the door. Looking closely revealed it had sprung yet another spurt.

Because the floor underneath the machine was clearly wet, we knew we had to get the machine out to prevent greater damage. And sure enough, it's easy to see that, in addition to leaking from the bottom of the door (where it shows) it's also been leaking underneath there, quietly pissing itself, for quite a long while.

I feel almost as though I know the people in the repairs department -- not only the repair guy who visits our house so often, but also the intake workers, the management team, and even representatives from the insurance company that provided the extended warranty we purchased. I could name you a raft of them -- Julie, Chris, Shane, Jodie, Tina...

To give them credit, they've been patient as they've tried explaining the world of extended warranties, though I'll admit, by the time I've finished listening to some of their on-hold tunes and jingles, I'm not always the most patient listener.

So, finally, going back to my original question: What does it take to declare a machine a lemon -- so that it can be declared hopeless and be replaced? Three repairs.

But wait a minute. That's not quite right.

Declaring it a 'lemon' requires three repairs for the same problem.

Only, oops, that's not quite right either.

Three identical repairs for the same problem.

Only no, that's not quite right either.

Even though the 'vent' mechanism has been repaired three times, (this, besides door gaskets being replaced twice) we don't qualify for a 'lemon clause' replacement, because one of those repairs occurred while the machine was still under the manufacturer's warranty, and only two occurred on the extended warranty. Thus, the extended warranty won't cover replacement, as not all three occurred during the extended warranty.

And now, of course, the money in the extended warranty has pretty well run dry, so, in effect, no more coverage for the continuing wet spots in our kitchen.

As for the manufacturer, they kissed us off years ago. Basically told us "too bad" and to go away.

So, for now it looks as though I'm washing dishes in the sink. While that's not as bad as washing them in the bathtub was, I'm not happy about it.

It would sure be nice to think there might one thing in this world of ours where straightforward answers and plain dealing would be the case, rather than artful weaseling and dodging behind the guise of 4-point font legalese. But apparently, that's simply not the case.

Why did the chicken cross the kitchen? To get another towel to wipe up the water on the floor.

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