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The washing machine broke.
It just stopped working.

This time I had splashed out on an extended warrantee.

I called the warrantee people but they wanted the receipt.

I called the firm I bought the machine from and they emailed me the receipt.

I called the warrantee people and sent them the receipt and they said fine, get someone to mend it, you pay up front and send us the invoice and we will pay thou back.
Or the warrantee people could sort it out for me but that would take five days.

I said I could do it and I found someone local.

He could come round today.

I asked when he might be here and he said he did not like being tied down while he had things on.

I was just checking I was calling the right number when he volunteered he could be here between two and four today.

Brilliant.

He arrived at ten to four.

He took one look at the machine and said he thought I should just call the manufacturer.

All these machines have electronics he said.

They all have them these days.

I explained that he had to mend it or the warrantee people would not pay me to pay him.

He looked surprised that I should want him to mend the machine and took it apart a bit more.

Then he borrowed my computer and made a phone call.

He told me it would be silly money to get it fixed.

I said I did not mind because I was getting the money back.

He pulled a circuit board out of the machine, looked at it gloomily and told me I should call the manufacturer.

Electronics he explained.

It’s the electronics.

One day he might get his card for electronics but it’s hardly worth it for the amount he sees.

I paid him TWENTY POUNDS for telling me the washing machine was broken and he got a free coffee.
Milk no sugar.

I called the manufacturer.

They put me through to a department.

They could not find details of my warrantee so I explained it was not with them.

They explained they were unable to help and would put me through to the right department.

They took my details and opened an ‘account’ for me which they said would help when they put me through to the next department.

They put me through to the main switchboard.

The main switchboard had no idea who I was, what my account number meant or anything I was talking about.

They put me through to a department.

They took my account number and then asked me all the details on it to ‘verify’ who I was.

They could not find details of my warrantee so I explained it was not with them.

They explained they were unable to help and would put me through to the right department.

They told me to have my account number ready, which would help me when they put me through to the next department.

They put me through to the main switchboard.

The main switchboard had no idea who I was, what my account number meant or anything I was talking about.

They put me through to a department.

They took my account number and then asked me all the details on it to ‘verify’ who I was.

They could not find details of my warrantee so I explained it was not with them.

They explained they were unable to help and would put me through to the right department.

They told me to have my account number ready, which would help me when they put me through to the next department.

I said hello to the main switchboard again and said in as clear a voice as I could manage “I want to pay someone money to come to my house and fix my washing machine. I want to pay them money’.

They put me through to a department.

I gave them the details of my account and all the verification details as well.

The person on the other end of the line was annoyed because I had answered all the security questions before they had a chance to ask them and they needed to ask three questions before they could log me in to my account.

I asked if answering the questions before they asked them was a problem.

Apparently they have to ask me three direct questions but I had exhausted all the facts on the system.

I suggested they pretend I had not said anything and they said they might just have to do that.
We settled on the first three answers I gave and we pretended we had not been talking.

They could not find details of my warrantee so I explained it was not with them.

They asked who it was with so I told them.

They said I probably wanted option one then.

I asked what option one was.

They said option one was where I paid them money and someone came round to my house and fixed my washing machine.

I said that sounded good but they stopped me and said they had not finished because they had to read all the terms and conditions out.

Then they read out all the terms and conditions and asked if I wanted option one.

I asked how many options there were.

Three options they said.

I should have kept my fat mouth shut.

I asked what option two was.

They explained that in order to access option two they needed to know how old the machine was.

I said it was just over a year.

They asked when I bought it.

January, I replied.

They told me since it was over a year old it was outside it’s warrantee.

I agreed, they really seemed to be getting under the skin of the issue.

They asked where I got it.

I told them it was brand new from an Ebay store.

They explained that just because I got it in January that did not mean it was brand new when I got it.

I said it was brand new when I got it.

They asked how I knew it was brand new when I got it.

I said I knew it was new because I bought it new.

They said that just because I bought it new did not mean that it was new to the people who sold it to me and they needed to know when it had been new new.

I explained that it came from a named high street store in Yorkshire with an Ebay section.
I went on to explain that when it arrived there was plastic, and polystyrene and restraining bolts and those plastic strap things you can use to break into cars wrapped round it.

They asked how I knew it was new.

I said it was new, new from a shop and everything.

They said they were only trying to help.

I asked what option two was.

They explained that option two was where I took out a warrantee with them before they did the work and I kept on paying for some months.

I said I was not sure about that.

They asked if they could carry on reading the terms and conditions.

I said that would be very helpful.

They read the terms and conditions and asked if I liked option two.

I said I would go with option one.

They asked why I did not like option two.

I said it was because I already had a warrantee.

They said I didn’t.

I said I did, just not with them.

They asked who it was with.

I told them again.

They agreed that was not with them and asked if I wanted to hear about option three.

I said I had found option two a little upsetting and was just having a cup of tea to calm me down so perhaps option one was best.

They were quiet for a moment and then agreed.

I asked when an engineer might come round and they said I was getting ahead of the system again.

I apologised and decided to have a digestive.

They took me through the process.

They asked for the upfront payment and asks if I wanted to pay by card.

I said yes please.

They said they were just getting ready to process that.

There was a long pause.

I could hear the office in the back ground.

It got a little uncomfortable.

They asked if I was still there.

I said yes.

They said they were waiting for me to speak.

I asked what they wanted me to say.

They said they wanted my account number.

I started to give it.

They stopped me and asked me for my full name.

I gave them my full name for the third time, then the number, security code and so on.

They seemed pleased.

I asked when the engineer might come round.

They said they were checking.

They were checking.

They were checking.

They said the engineer would come round in eight days time but would text me the day before to let me know the ‘three hour window’ they would be at my house.

They asked if this was convenient.

I was not honest.

I said it was.

They asked if there was anything else they could help me with and did I want to buy any cleaning products from them.

I looked at the clock. This had all taken some time.

They went on to say that if I did not they would understand because their shift was about to finish.

I said I felt my shift was finishing too and so no there was no further assistance they could be and I would not like any of their cleaning products and we stopped the conversation.

Somehow, and I have no idea how, I am twenty pounds down having actually had a real life person in the room with a screwdriver and a washing machine repair van outside my house AND I still managed to spend an hour on the phone AND I still have to wait more than a week for someone to come and look at my washing machine.

 

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