Sunday, August 21, 2011

As the Dryer Turns...the saga concludes!

The dryer saga is officially over! On Friday, Dryer Repair Dude #3/#4, aka Ken arrived to tackle the dryer that has run intermittently for several weeks. Fortunately all three dryer parts had arrived via UPS and appeared to be unscathed and actually matching the dryer color. Hooray! Ken informed me that in order to replace all three parts he would have to disassemble the dryer. Really? Into pieces? Answer: yes.

I left him to it and after just a few minutes elapsed, he came to me to ask where I would like him to put the pieces since there was no extra space left in my laundry room. It's a small laundry room. Very small laundry room. We arranged some space and he went back to it. In less than 30 minutes this is what was amassed on my floor.

The part in the far back to the right is the dryer drum where the clothes go!

I just hoped he knew how to get it all back together. The silver piece in the foreground of the picture is an area where a lot of lint collects. Ken who has been with me through a huge portion of this saga was super efficient and vacuumed out that part as well as all the other areas of the dryer that had collections of lint bunnies, duckies and buffaloes. After 5 years, a LOT of lint can collect.


My owner's manual recommends having a service technician, aka Repair Dude or Ken, come out at least every 2 years to clean and inspect the unit. Apparently I was 3 years overdue for this, but my minor lint buildup (and Ken assured me mine was very minor compared to others he'd recently cleaned) was NOT the source of my problem.

Quicker than I expected Ken was able to install each of the new parts. After adding the replacement parts and the thorough vacuuming he performed, I felt like I was getting a new dryer! Thank you Ken. He flipped the power switch back on and the moment of truth was upon us. Would the dryer work?


Seriously, he hit the button and nada, nil, zilch, zippo. Sigh. I thought Ken was going to explode. I give him  a lot of credit. Despite what I know was a major level of frustration and anger at the situation, he retained his high-level of professionalism and never cursed or lost control. He emphatically apologized to me and I was quick not to lay any blame upon him. I mean, really this guy has gone above and beyond the call of duty. He really had tried his hardest to get my machine running despite set back after set back that were beyond both of our control.

I suggested we take a little break. Here's the deal. The last two times Ken had worked on the dryer replacing parts, he couldn't get it to run even though everything appeared to be fine. We would make another appointment and he would leave. An hour or two later I would test the dryer out just on a whim and then, would kick on.

My theory is the computer boards in the dryer (there are 2) need some time to reboot before they work again. I mentioned this to Ken and he shrugged. He'd never heard of that and he'd never come across this particular problem before. We decided to wait it out a few minutes. He busied himself cleaning up the work area and after 15 minutes I suggested he try hitting the button. He did and nothing. But this time, I was watching what he hit. Ah-ha! He had not selected a cycle first. On my dryer, you first select the cycle and then push start. It won't run unless something is selected. He looked at me and hung his head. Well, of course, he knew that but in his hurry to prove that the dryer was finally working he'd forgotten that basic step.

Guess what? After selecting a cycle, it worked. There was great joy and rejoicing! Turns out there was a bad wire that was shorting things out and causing all the grief. With it replaced and all the lint removed, my dryer should run trouble free for a long time. Ken and I parted ways. As much as I appreciate the man and his perseverance, I can honestly say I do not want him to visit any time soon. Sorry, Ken.

Throughout this saga, I had several life lesson reminders. First, a little understanding goes a long way. Not losing my temper or blaming my hard-working repair gentleman actually benefited me in a more than one way. I was able to share a little kindness with someone that takes a lot of grief from cranky customers and in return he took extra care to really make sure I had a machine that worked AND was uber-clean. Kindness for kindness, I wish there was more of it in the world.

Second, when a big company is responsible for poor customer service, it is important to focus on the specific problem. My repair people were not responsible for the used/dirty parts that were shipped. When speaking to customer service, they were appreciative that I gave them clear details on what happened without being emotional or losing my temper. I'm not saying I did not express my displeasure, but there is a way to do it without being a jerk. The old saying you catch more flies with honey is very true. After that phone call, Sears called me twice to follow up and make sure that all was going as it should.

Third, sometimes you simply have to let things roll off your back. Yes, I had to give up 5 different afternoons to be there for a repair person. However, it wasn't a major inconvenience. My dryer did work sporadically, so I was not completely without a modern convenience for weeks. It really could have been worse. It could have been the air conditioning, the refrigerator or a burst water pipe. THAT would have been really bad. Broken dryer? Annoying but an appliance I can live without for a while. It could have been worse, and for that I am grateful.

In the meantime, life went on. School started, I've continued my 31 days of working out and yesterday we purchased the Teen's first car. But that is a story for another post......

1 comment:

  1. I dislike these inconveniences. I've had problems with my phone these past couple of months (not as serious as your problem, though). It was hours wasted going to the provider several times, finding answers online, etc.