I never took shop.
Until a few years ago I did not know a flat head screwdriver from a phillips screwdriver. Nor did I care.
Now as a widow, I find that knowing a bit more about all of the things that make my house stand up and my car go are worthwhile.
When a problem arise, I do my best research and then at some point I go for it.
Take my new dishwasher.
My old one was on its last legs. Now, you know, the problem with dishwashers is not being left with racks of dirty dishes because the machine decides to quit. Nor, is it even semi-clean dishes or semi-dirty dishes (depending on your philosophical bent).
The real threat of a faulty dishwasher is leaking. Ruined flooring. My friends came home after a long absence to find their kitchen flooded. It was an expensive and time-consuming repair.
Another friend had a leak that was caught early but still managed to ruin a good portion of his hardwood kitchen floor.
So I bought a new dishwasher. Against my better judgement, I bought it at Best Buy. I like Best Buy for electronics. But, I am a little suspicious when an electronics store sells appliances.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like to farmers to grow food, doctors to dispense medical care and retailers to pick a speciality and excel at it.
But I was at Best Buy, the price was right and the deal was good. I went home and measured my cabinet space…perfect! The Best Buy delivered it a few days later. The installation had a 90-day warranty.
I did not buy an extended warranty for the dishwasher itself. I decided that a Kitchen Aid should last, right? Plus, it had a 12-month warranty. The installer told me the proper products to use, taught me how to load it and gave me some other tips. It looked beautiful in my kitchen and worked perfectly. Plus, it was quiet.
Then, the middle rack started sliding open. It would “catch” after a few tries. I put off calling Best Buy thinking it was probably how I was loading it. Of course, the minute my 90-day installation Best Buy warranty expired, the middle rack would not close. I was stuck unloading and hand washing my dishes until I could get a repair person to come out.
Kudos to Kitchen Aid as their system for warranty repairs worked quickly and efficiently. The front of the dishwasher needed to be raised just a hair. Problem was that there was no room to raise it.
Thank goodness, the problem for the present seems to have gone away. My next step is to have a handyman look at it and see if we can put some narrow shims under the front two legs. I don’t know if that will work but it seems simpler than having the cabinet opening enlarged.
Now, when I bought my new refrigerator I thought the process would be easier as I was buying from a dedicated appliance store. But, to my surprise and chagrin, I was stuck measuring the opening. I had three friends help me. Since all of the measurements were the same, I felt it was safe to buy my beautiful Fisher Paykel. It fit beautifully in the opening.
So, no matter how hard I try, there seems to always be a question that I did not know to ask or something that I did not know to consider. Buying appliances can be a painful learning process!
To return to Best Buy or any big box store or perhaps most stores, the days of quality, reliable help are gone forever. The young guys at Best Buy are nice and somewhat knowledgeable about their products.
The worst thing is the turnover at big box stores. You never get the same person twice even if you return the next day. So, the sales people are not there long enough to develop any real expertise.
So, I have learned and accepted that even the best planned purchases can go awry.
Caveat emptor indeed.