Demise of the machines


Where the magic happens

At the risk of sounding like the guy who doesn’t know how good he has it, I can verify that I do, indeed, know how good I have it. Sometimes though, I like what I have to work.


One of the selling points of our house on Syracuse’s west side was the kitchen. It’s not spacious by any means, but it makes up for its tight quarters with an array of GE Profile appliances, quartz countertops and Thomasville cabinetry. The previous owner loved cooking and dropped about $50,000 on the kitchen renovation. He and his wife promptly lost their jobs, got underwater on the house and, well, their loss is my gain.

This fall, General Electric issued a safety bulletin on its Profile series of dishwashers and, naturally, mine qualified. I made arrangements for the repair, took time off from work and, well, the repair person no showed. On the reschedule, we had a new temperature control unit and the threat of the dishwasher bursting into flames was allayed.

Or not. The day after Christmas, the recall fix blew. This time I went through my home warranty program, not knowing the cause. Sure enough, it was the temperature controller. This time, the repair guy advised to replace an electrical harness to better regulate the circuit that cuts off the drying element and prevents the dishwasher from catching fire. He placed the order and left. That was January 16.

For the better part of a month, I’ve been doing a dance with GE on this mystery part that may or may not exist. As a devoted reader of The Consumerist, I’ve learned about executive customer service avenues and how this rarely-played card is how to get the job done at last resort. I’ve used it with DIRECTV and figured that it couldn’t hurt here either. I e-mailed James Campbell, president of GE’s appliance division, with a finely-tuned description of the dishwasher’s problem and the subsequent repair drama. He responded from his Blackberry and promised a resolution. The next day, I had another repair part. Unfortunately, this was not the vaunted wiring harness. Another e-mail was sent and, this time, returned by phone from the GE Chairman’s office. This time I got the above-and-beyond answer — brand new dishwasher, which was installed hours ago. It’s nice to see a company stand behind its product, even one that is out of warranty. GE could have rushed me a wiring harness that may or may not have worked. It could have given me an intro line dishwasher. Hell, it could have blown me off. Instead, it followed through with this stud, which is currently drying a batch of pint glasses.

Earlier this month, my Cuisinart Grind and Brew gadget coffeemaker went on the blink. The grinder would run, but nothing would, well, grind. It basically became a $200 water heater. This was under warranty, which Cuisinart honored without discussion or endless troubleshooting steps that go nowhere (a la Dell).


2 thoughts on “Demise of the machines”

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