Monday, October 15, 2007

Sorry, Man -- It Just Wasn't Working Out

Last August our washing machine broke down. It sputtered when it should have spun and it clanked when it should have cleaned, so off we went to shop for a new washer.

What fun.


I was perfectly satisfied to get another middle-of-the-line (well, lower middle-of-the-line) washer, but we'd heard so much hype about the new electronic, energy-saving front-loaders that we decided we just had to take a look. The more people (OK, sales people) we talked to, the more appealing the front-loaders seemed. They were definitely cute, with all their buttons and gizmos up front. And the energy-saving benefits couldn't be disputed. But were they good washers... and was this particular Kenmore machine (model #47512) a good washer?

"Weeelll," said Pam, the Very Sweet Sears Sales Woman, "Keep in mind that it is electronic, so when it breaks you can't just fix the mechanics. And because it's electronic, chances are it won't last as long as the mechanical washers. Which means, of course, that you'll want to get the extended warranty because electronic repairs are expensive."

What I should have said was "No thank you." But instead I begged, "Oooooh, tell me more!"

So she did.

"Weeell," said Pam, the Very Sweet Sears Sales Woman, "This machine has so many options! You can select a temperature and a wash cycle and you can even clean it by pressing this button."

I thought, 'Hmmmm... I can select a wash cycle and temperature with my old, cheap, mechanical washing machine, and why would a washing machine need to be cleaned???!"

What I should have said was "No thank you." But instead I begged, "Oooooh, tell me more!"

So she did.

"Within the first 5 minutes of beginning your load, you can add a garment by pressing this little red button. And if you want to spin a garment dry, just select rinse and spin. The number of available features is just astounding!"

I thought, 'Hmmmm... With my old cheap, mechanical washing machine I could add a garment any time during the wash cycle before the dirty water got sucked down the drain, and why would I want to get a garment wet again, rinsing it, in order to spin it dry?'

What I should have said was "No thank you." But instead I insisted, "Oooooh, say no more. We'll take it!"

Big mistake! For close to $1000 I got a washer that had all kinds of bells and whistles and buttons and gizmos, but wouldn't allow me to add a garment in the middle of the wash cycle and wouldn't just rinse... or just spin... or just frikkin' act like a basic simple ol' washing machine.

And the clincher? Hair and gunk gathered on the rubber boot just inside the door so that when I took out the wet laundry, it collected all the gunk again that had just been washed out!

On Saturday I went to Sears and found the Very Sweet Sears Sales Woman and told her that I wanted to like my new, expensive, electronic washing machine. Really I did. But I hated it and I wanted an normal ol' cheap mechanic washer that allowed me to add a garment, to just rinse or to just spin.

The Very Sweet Sears Sales Woman stayed sweet, insisting "Hon, you should be happy with your washing machine! Really, is there anything worse than a washing machine that makes you miserable?" ("Yes hon, there actually is..." I wanted to say. But instead I agreed, "Noooo! Really, it's just so saaaaaad!")

"You just go ahead a pick what you want," she said, "and we'll take care of it for you. Of course, I should mention that there will be a 15% re-stocking fee, another delivery fee..."

So here is my new cheap mechanical washer... and my cheap basic dryer! I got both for just $100 more than I spent on that fancy electronic front-loading energy (except emotional, of course)-saver gizmo!

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Home's Jewels said...

It's funny how we all are so different. I got a front loader and dryer set a few months ago and feel so liberated. My old conventional machine could only handle 1 laundry basket-full. The front loader can handle 2-1/2 laundry baskets at one time. And it only takes 40 minutes to dry that huge load. It is a massive time saver to me.

I hope your new W&D work out well for you.

Anonymous said...

I agree a person should love their washer, or at least not hate it. I've never met anyone who didn't love their front loader though. I'm in absolute lust with mine.

Blog Antagonist said...

Well....that's food for thought. My 15 year old washer and dryer are both on their last legs and I have been coveting one of those front loaders. I'm short, and I have to stand on tip toe to get clothes out of the top loader. I'll definitely do my research and try not to fall for the sales pitch.

I'm glad you got to get a new set. Sometimes, simple is better.

J said...

Front loaders are normal here in Europe (probably because they take up less space and dwellings are smaller here) and I do agree that it's awful having to take your clothes out over the stuff you've just washed.

Give me a normal top loader any day.

Anonymous said...

About six years ago I got one of those fancy Fisher-Paykel washers where everything runs by magnets, it sounds like a jet engine and was supposed to be "it". It was priced accordingly. So I got suckered in and I HATED the damn thing. After a couple of years it started leaking and I convinced hubby that we needed to get rid of it and buy an inexpensive GE machine for a third of the Fisher-Paykel washer and I've been happy ever since. said...

well......front loaders sux.Who wants to bend down to see in them? We have a Fisher Paykel 7.5kg model which is a smart drive model. Cost a bit for some repairs recently.....but it is about 10 years old, and mother board got zapped in an electrical storm, so cannot blame it. AND.....the spin is soooooo good, clothes nearly dry, and takes about 10 minutes on the OUTSIDE line for sun drying. Great machine, allows smallest loads and large, and we use the grey water on the garden too.

Anonymous said...

Good to know. My washer and dryer are in good shape, so I'm not even in the market. Any insights on the perfect stove? That I am in the market for and just can't decide!

Guilty Secret said...

I just bought the flashiest hair dryer I could find a few weeks ago. It has 30 different settings! (Combinations of different heat and power levels.) Guess what? It's broken down already.

Here in UK nearly everyone has front-loading machines. Therefore, I have never been able to add an item I forgot to the wash. That would be amazing! (I am easily pleased, huh?)

Jen said...

Ugh... watch out for those sweet sales people!

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