We just bought a house in the Cornelius, NC area. Over the period of a few days, we went to Home Depot and bought a number of things including a new Matag washing machine and dryer. The sales people at Home Depot were very helpful and actually more professional than the ones at Lowe's. This Wednesday the Maytag washer and dryer were delivered. I happened to be out and it was probably a good thing. The delivery men set up the washing machine and it made so much noise that it was impossible to stay in the same room. My wife tried to get them to put the machine back on the truck and bring us a new one. They refused and told us to call the Maytag repairman. Of course I immediately did that when I got home. I was pretty irritated but the best they could do was to say that we should wait at home all day until a Maytag repairman showed up.
That led me to get in the truck and head to Home Depot and seek out a manager. Unfortunately his first comment was that it was Maytag's problem. That was the wrong answer. I bought the product from him, his company delivered a defective product to me. There is no other way to look at it.
I used to hate the policy that Apple had which stated that a Dead On Arrival computer had to be repaired instead of shipped back. I don't know about everyone else feels, but I for one think I deserve a new functional product when I buy one. If there are dangers in delivery then someone should be there to fix it at delivery. The delivery people told us to go ahead and use the machine, that there was no danger. So what if it caught fire or causes some other fire? What company pays for the problem?
I argued with the manager at Home Depot until he agreed to make some calls. It turns out that Home Depot has Matag drop ship most products so there was no new product that they could turn around and deliver to us. That is a pretty convenient arrangement that allows each company to hide behind the other. I guess the calls did a little good since we got a repairman before 5 pm.
Sometime around three o'clock the Maytag repairman showed up and fixed the machine. The motor had slipped off its brackets or something. It doesn't matter that it was fixed, Maytag and Home Depot aren't very high on my list anymore. I would have been fine if the delivery men had immediately called a repairman and gotten him over to the house instead of leaving us to the mercies of yet another corporate phone tree.
Is it any wonder that only 33% of the country has any confidence in our government. Corporations can do practically anything and get away with it. Corporations got a huge tax gift this past fall, but I don't remember one for normal individuals. If they want to revive our economy, our legislators should make certain that quality products are delivered to customers and that companies have to stand behind what they make. It just might restore some confidence in American products.
Seems like I remember the time when buying a new car in America meant a number of trips to the dealer to get everything working correctly. Then folks found out that they could buy Japanese cars and skip all those trips to the dealership to get all the production defects out. American auto makers have never recovered.
Are appliances the next place we will lose our American manufacturing skills? Is the pressure for quarterly profits so great that corners are cut so that consumers end up with a bad taste in their mounth. I know the next time I buy a major appliance, I'll consider some other brands and make certain that we do what we did here in Roanoke which is buy from a company that sells and services the products. Since one of our friends in North Carolina had an even more frustrating experience with Lowe's, I don't think buying there is a solution.
Keeping the American dream alive is hard enough without worrying about products that don't work out of the box or break within a year or two. How about government holding companies' feet to the fire instead of trying to stuff their balance sheets with cash? We found another corporate giveaway in North Carolina. It turns out if you get a speeding ticket that is greater than a certain amount over the speed limit, you end up getting an immediate insurance surcharge. You don't have to have an accident to get the increase. Of course the insurance companies can just point to it being a state law. That's a nice cozy arrangement, but don't expect it to get you out of the increase in your insurance it you also have an accident.
So when do CEOs start getting seats in the House of Representatives?