Thursday, May 07, 2009

You Can't Always Get What You Want

When I signed the towering stack of paperwork to enter into the realm of home ownership, I coincidentally left the comfy confines of irresponsibility. The thing I miss most about that world is being able to call the landlord when anything in the apartment was broken. The luxury item that I insisted on in both an apartment and now my home, was a dishwasher. And now my dishwasher was broken.

It wasn't anything major going bad like the plumbing, but the spring that holds the door shut had snapped. It's remarkable how much those springs do, because without them, the door feels like a lead weight coming down that will crash through the floor only to stop once it's reached the center of the earth. I put on my dishwasher repairman hat and did a little research. I mean, how hard can it be to replace a spring?

Several sites online had elaborate diagrams of every single piece that holds my dishwasher together. I found the correct spring (part 1 on diagram), compared sites for the lowest price, and I ordered. Several days later, I received an e-mail from the place I ordered which stated:

"Good Morning
During the process of your order we see that the item that you have purchased had a pricing error. The price has been adjusted. With your permission we can charge you the additional cost and proceed with the order. Or if wish to cancel the order at this point please respond to this email and inform that you wish to do so. I do apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your time."

I didn't feel good about these guys pulling a bait-and-switch on me, so I told them I'd like it for what they'd listed. They insisted on the price change, so I canceled my order. I went to the next vendor and bought the spring, and a few days later it arrived. I installed it easily, and we were back in dishwasher door weightlessness-world once again. All was good for about 3 days. And then Lily heard a snap while opening the dishwasher, and the door felt like a lead weight once more.

I checked the springs and they were both in good shape. It was now the little tiny jellybean-sized plastic linkage (part 1A on diagram) that had broken on one side. So back to the non-price-jacking vendor I go to buy two linkages, just in case another one broke. 5 days later a package arrives. Here's what the contents of the package looked like:

It's hard to imagine that somebody would actually package these two items together and not think they're not going to get a call back. One clearly looked used. Because of the nature of the part, it deals with springs and pressure, I couldn't trust that the part wasn't used to the extent that there wasn't already significant wear on it to the point that it would break prematurely.

So I wrote the vendor back and sent the pictures. The response was that I should trash the used part and they'd send me a new one immediately. Two days later they delivered on their promise. And now we're back in dishwasher door weightlessness-world once again. Pure bliss.