The Drama Begins

Imagine it. My husband and I have moved into our new home. It’s a fixer upper. We live in the first floor apartment, and my sister lives upstairs. We’ve fixed it up enough to be livable, and a little pretty, but there is plenty more to go and resources are tight.

I struggle with migraines and fatigue, and I can’t climb stairs when I’m feeling unwell, much less carry heavy things, like laundry, so it’s absolutely thrilling to have the laundry machine on the same floor as the living space. It’s so thrilling that I’m enjoying doing laundry for the first time.

Our apartments are not huge, and we got the same machines, upstairs and down. Small units popular in Europe that are a combination washer AND dryer, and they’re ventless to boot. They take smaller loads, but it seems like a godsend.

Until it breaks.

Am I a satisfied customer? No.

Don’t Trust Haier

Nope. Don't trust Haier.
Cute, isn’t it? Still, don’t trust Haier.

When my sister mentioned what brand she’d bought, two identical Haier’s, I hadn’t ever heard of it. Turns out Haier is associated with GE – Haier, a Chinese company, bought GE in October of 2017.

When we use the machine, it’s a little odd, and I don’t mean any of the things I expected. I expected the capacity to be small. I expected the machine to take a while to do a wash and dry load. I expected, if I put one or two pieces of clothes too many into said wash and dry load that things wouldn’t be fully dry. No. That was all normal and expected.

I didn’t expect it, even when fully leveled, to move across the floor.

I didn’t expect it, even when fully leveled, to sound like it was about to take off and leave orbit.

I didn’t expect it to stop working within the first six months.

Will I buy another Haier? No.

Who am I and why the corporate shaming?

So, here’s the thing. I’m not someone who gets off on complaining. I don’t get off on having a dramatic story to tell, unless I’m actually writing fiction, or preaching a sermon, because yes, I am both a writer and a priest. I’m also someone who meditates, focuses on forgiveness, and has been successfully getting rid of conflict in her life for the last decade. I wrestled and prayed and asked for advice before I did something like this, because I don’t like being a hypocrite, and I do like practicing what I preach.

And what I came to is this: providing accountability is not complaining, and letting other people know that a company is untrustworthy is not failing to forgive that company. And when all else fails, consider Jesus’ story of the unjust judge.

My washer was broken for months with clothes locked inside, and a wide, bizarre, and eldritch variety of things happened between my first call to get my under-warranty washer fixed in mid-April of 2018, to when a fully-functioning replacement washer arrived mid-July of 2018. Three months of bizarre and eldritch, people. And what did Haier do?

Well, I got the run around a lot.

Will I recommend Haier to my family and friends? No.

Why ‘Don’t Trust Haier’?

Well, the many friends I have who were outraged on my behalf suggested ‘Haier Sucks’, but in fact, I do like my little washer dryer combo unit. I just don’t trust the company who made it. I don’t trust them as far as I, myself, could throw said washer dryer combo unit, which I’m certain weighs as much as an elephant calf. Or slightly more.

Would I recommend a Haier machine to a friend or family member? No. Not because the machine isn’t nifty. Because the company behind it is untrustworthy, and their customer service staff, while mostly full of personable people, represent a company who doesn’t really care about customer satisfaction, and so they are empowered only so far.

Am I a satisfied customer? No. Despite the fact that I really like the machine I have, I am profoundly dissatisfied with the treatment I received and the number of fiery hoops I had to jump through to get a working washing machine. Fiery hoops I expect in the church, and I’m used to them there. Ditto with the process of getting published. Complete satisfaction within 5-business days is what I expect with my appliances under warranty, and frankly I don’t think that’s much to ask for.

Will I buy another Haier? No. Despite the fact that I like the machine I have, I don’t have the kind of money or time to waste on a machine that, if it breaks, will leave me in the lurch for months.

Number of times truly bizarre and eldritch things which occurred during repair process: EIGHT (8).

What Actually Happened that you Don’t Trust Haier?

Well, I’ve been taking notes. Here’s the aggregate. (Spell check also offered ‘aggravate’, which works, too.)

Number of times I took off from work, rearranged my schedule, and stayed home for an all-day service window appointment, all so that at the end of the day I still didn’t have a washer dryer combo unit that would wash (or dry) my clothes: SEVEN (7).

Number of times truly bizarre and eldritch things which occurred during repair process: EIGHT (8).

Specifically,
1- Haier at first contracted with a repair company that DOES NOT REPAIR HAIER MACHINES.
2- Haier’s computer system doesn’t tell Haier if the repair request has been rejected by the repair subcontractor.
3- Haier reported that they had no one who would repair in my area. (I live in Buffalo, NY, half way between Chicago, Washington, DC, and NYC… not in North Dakota, or Alaska.)
4- Haier’s repair subcontractor is not allowed to stock any parts on the truck. They must all be special ordered, one at a time. Which takes weeks. Each time. For each part.  Which are all back ordered, or simply out of stock. And the parts aren’t guaranteed to work, when installed. Ask me how I know.
5- The first replacement washer dryer combo unit arrived, broken, having obviously been dropped somewhere in transit. The sides were bulging.
6- Haier’s repair subcontrator tech begs me on two separate visits to get Haier to send me a replacement, because the number of times he has come out, only to not be able to fix my machine is messing up his ratio of visits to closed cases.
7- Haier’s robo call system is guaranteed, I discovered, to call me with dire threats should I not return a call, when I have already in fact returned that call, or dealt with that business – yet it happened very single time.
8- Haier’s customer service personnel routinely claim they have called or emailed, or will call or email, and they haven’t or don’t – and not because I’ve called instead. They just don’t. If I didn’t keep such meticulous notes of our interactions, their gaslighting might have worked.

Number of times I received an email from Haier saying that they had called me when they hadn’t, or promised to call me on a certain date and then they didn’t: TEN (10).

Number of times I received a call from Haier citing an email they had sent, that I never received: TWO (2).

Number of robo calls I received informing me that I MUST call Haier back immediately for something that I already called Haier about earlier in the day: TWENTY-THREE (23).

Amount of laundry reimbursement received from Haier, over the course of three months without a laundry machine: ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100).

Full disclosure:
The maximum is usually $75, so I was told by Haier. When I pointed out that their average wait time for repair couldn’t possibly be on the order of months, I was granted an extra $25.

Number of months I had clothes locked and getting disgusting in my laundry machine: THREE (3).

Number of irreplaceable items of clothing that were locked in said machine for three months: TWO (2). 

Specifically,
1- The race t-shirt from my first half-marathon.
2- The hand-embroidered handkerchief one of my sisters brought be back from Italy.

Number of otherwise expensive or difficult to replace items of clothing that were locked in said machine for three months: THREE (3). 

Specifically,
1- A pair of work pants from Lane Bryant that had been tailored to fit me
2- A clergy shirt I had made out of tech fabric.
3- An insulative base layer I made for my husband.

Number of times Haier asked me if I had receipts for any of my clothing locked in the machine: FIVE (5). 

Amount of clothes reimbursement received from Haier, after duly sending pictures of all the clothes, once they were out of the machine: ZERO DOLLARS ($0). 

Full disclosure:
I’ve been told by Haier that the standard reimbursement is no more than $150. When I finally asked how much we would get, I was told, “the company has declined your request for reimbursement.”
And you know, $150 would have replaced my one work outfit, and nothing else – a clergy shirt, and a tailored pair of pants – but it would have been something. A token gesture. A token gesture which would have kept me from shaming the corporation online. The token gesture I did get was an extended warranty, on top of the standard one-year manufacturer’s warranty for the newly delivered replacement. For how long, you ask? A year? Two years? Five years? …no. Six months extra.

Haier’s Overall Satisfaction Rating on ConsumerAffairs.com, as of the writing of this blog post: ONE (1) STAR, 93 REVIEWS. NOT INCLUDING THE ONE I’M ABOUT TO LEAVE.

Haier’s rating on Lowes.com for the exact machine we bought from that store, the 2.0 cubit foot Ventless Combination Washer and Dryer in White: TWO POINT FIVE (2.5) STARS, 19 RATINGS, NOT INCLUDING THE ONE I’M ABOUT TO LEAVE.

So. What’s your story with Haier? Let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by

Sare Liz Anuszkiewicz

Writer. Priest.

One thought on “The Drama Begins”

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