04 January 2007

Dead Mice and Surly Repairmen

I had a bad experience today and hope to be able to resolve it tomorrow. My stacked washer/dryer unit started making noise last week (well, it had started making noise a long time ago--it had just gotten way too loud) when I dried things so I started calling around for a repairman. The third one was able to work on stacked units.

The guy they sent out complained from the moment he appeared at my back door. No one told him he could park in the driveway. No one told him it was a stacked unit. (I had mentioned both things to the person taking my call.) He didn't like where it was situated. When he started down my basement stairs he started knocking things down. He is a large (ok, fat) guy and he had a big bag and things strapped to his belt and he was clumsy. I go up and down these stairs with a full laundry basket all the time. They are almost 4 feet wide (and 3 feet clear, as they are a handy place to stack paint cans).

Anyway, my bearings were shot and he had to order a part and would come back next week. He reappeared today with a helper. As soon as he came in he made a pointed comment to the helper about watching out for the narrow stairs. He wasn't polite to me or cordial and I could sense that he was going to be a problem.

I like to watch repairmen because I can learn things and it also keeps them on their toes, so after a few minutes I went down. They had a panel off the back and had laid it on the top of the washing machine! I got some rags and asked them to spread them out on top before they laid anything down because it would get scratched. The big guy immediately took offense and started in about having already found a mouse in the dryer and killing it. I asked about it and was not shown any mouse. Then he said he didn't want to continue. I said not to take offense because I watched every repairman who worked on my house because something always is getting broken or scratched. He threatened to quit so I told him I didn't like his attitude and said "Just DO it" and went upstairs to call his office. I hadn't been unreasonable or confrontative until he started threatening to quit. I was just doing what any concerned homeowner would do.

I told the story to the dispatch person and said I wasn't going to pay if they left. We left it at "just see what he does". They continued to work and I left the door open so I could hear them. I did hear another mention of the mouse while they were putting things back together, but don't know what they said.

Where's The Mouse?

The big guy came up the stairs and went out without even looking at me or telling me it was done or demonstrating that the repair worked, and I was standing right there. He left it to his helper to give me the bill. He didn't say anything about demonstrating that it worked either so I had to ask. Then I said that I had to see for myself and went down and tested the dryer. It worked fine and I noticed that the rags were laid across the top of the washer all flat and straight. After they left I went down to dry something and removed the rags. To my horror the whole top of the washer looked like someone with golf shoes had done the twist on it! They had damaged it and covered it with the rags so I wouldn't find it until they got away. That's why they didn't call me down to check the dryer. They also left piles of lint on the floor even though there was a garbage can inches from the dryer. As I was sweeping it up I wondered where the mouse was. He wasn't in the can either! I think we all know where the mouse is, and I immediately called the dispatcher and told her what had happened (I didn't mention the mouse) and demanded someone come out and see what their guys had done, tomorrow. She assured me someone would be here.

I want my money back and that guy disciplined for not taking ordinary precautions with my expensive appliance. Shouldn't he have pieces of cardboard or drop cloths in his truck for times like this? I shudder to think what this guy does in someone's living quarters after seeing what he did in my basement. And my basement is clean and warm and well-lit, not nasty like some I have seen appliances in.

Update
The next day a repairman showed up and proceeded to tell me that was normal wear on my lid and rubbed some of the greasy black dirt off. He said he was the owner of the company and had seen wear like this many times. When I insisted that it wasn't and that I didn't put anything that would scratch on my lid (you can't set anything there, anyway because the dryer is right above it) he said "You're paranoid, lady!" and practically ran out. There were no apologies for the way his men had acted, or for the way they had treated my appliance. Needless to say, I again called the office and the dispatcher gave me to to Office Manager (a woman) who listened to me and asked me what I wanted. I said I wanted at least a new lid for my washer and she said that could be arranged.
One day a week later a knock came at my back door at 12:00 noon and it was the young assistant with my new lid. When I expressed my surprise at his being there he said the office was supposed to have called me. They hadn't. I let him in and let him replace it and stayed upstairs.
If anyone in my area wants the name of this company I will gladly give it to them, as they have the worst customer service I have ever seen.

1 comment:

bernadette said...

WOW! The guy sounds kind of mentally ill. I once had a cab-driver with that mean, scary disposition; he made me cry, he was so mean. i did not want to give him a tip but i was so scared of him that i DOUBLED his tip out of fear he would come after me if i didn't....but enuf about me. Your situation sounds dreadful and you should cancel the check or call your credit card company and cancel the payment due to the damage they did to your washer. even if they didn't do any damage to it.