Millennial Money

Buying A Major Appliance? Try Being Nasty To Get Results


I have a little morality play today, an emotionally harrowing tale about how and how not to order a major appliance. About a month and a half ago my girlfriend and I ordered a washing machine and a dryer for our apartment. After sitting in a warehouse for about three weeks it was finally delivered on Friday.

To say that getting the washer-dryer delivered was a major pain in the posterior would be like calling the recent action in the market “pretty bad.” It was a nightmare, and I wasn’t even the one dealing with it as my girlfriend insists on handling these situations to prevent me from having a rage attack and breaking the furniture and, more importantly, because if I was handling it, nothing would ever get done.

Because I live in a condominium in New York City (no co-op board would have a miscreant like myself), every time I get something large delivered, a couch, a mattress, basically anytime a delivery guy has to take something up to my unit, I have to get proof of insurance from the delivery company. There’s a way this is supposed to happen: I put the building’s management company in touch with the retailer and they handle all the paperwork.

One of the very first things I learned after I became a homeowner about a year and a half ago is that in practice, that hardly never happens. What this all means is that nothing can be delivered to my apartment until I get the vendor to fax over the proof of insurance to my condo’s management company. You’d think this would be easy. The company we’re dealing with should want to make the delivery and close the sale, but some of these outfits just can't get their act together. That’s not always true, Best Buy made it easy when I ordered a television, but most of the time getting proof of insurance is like pulling teeth.

So for weeks my girlfriend would call the company we bought our washer-dryer from, AJ Madison ( if you’re curious, trying to get them to give us the proof of insurance and schedule the delivery. She’d be put on hold for hours, literally, once she was on hold for three hours. They wouldn’t do it, not only that, they tried to make her coordinate the delivery with UPS even though we were paying them for the delivery. And all the while they kept trying to call me to get around her and schedule the delivery without the necessary documentation.

Needless to say, none of this made my girlfriend very happy. After weeks of being totally disrespected and just generally getting the runaround, she decided to tell these [expletive deleted] idiots that unless they gave us the proof of insurance within the day, we were canceling the order. Long story short, she got to take out some of her aggression on them, they got scared, knocked a hundred dollars off the price of the washer-dryer, and got their act together immediately.

The moral of the story? When you’re buying a major appliance, being nice gets you nowhere. It pays to be nasty. Another moral, if you’re a retailer, don’t screw around with your customers. These jokers at AJ Madison probably didn’t make a penny on their sale because they had to pay to warehouse the washer-dryer for close to a month, or at least that’s the sob story they told us. Good.

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