The Maytag Repairman

Lonely, my ass.

So, you all may have heard me rave about how bleedin’ woooonderful my Maytag Neptune washer and dryer set are. Well, I take it back. I take it all back.

The washer is a front-loader. It’s all eco-friendly and nice to my clothes and all. Well, the damn thing started stalling in the middle of the cycle. And stalls again and again. So we called the Maytag repair hotline. We were told that a service call would be 99 bucks. 99 bucks? The damn thing is less than 3 years old! But it’s out of warranty. Okay fine. It happens.

So we try to schedule an appointment. We can have one in a few days. Great! What time? They can’t tell me that. They say that we will be called at 9 pm the night before the appointment with the time. But we have work. Well, you can have an appointment with the time set in advance, but you might have to wait longer. How long? 3 weeks. Grand. So, we agree to the call-the-night-before thing. The night before, the phone rings. There is a long pause and then a computerized voice starts. Telemarketer! So I hang up. And we don’t get the call to tell us what time the appointment is. So we call the hotline, and we are told that the they use a computerized voice to tell us of the appointment time. Just terrific. What if my (proverbial) 6-year-old had picked up the phone? They could have warned us that it would be an automated voice. But they are able to tell us the time of the appointment. Fine.

So, the Maytag repairman shows up. We’ll call him Kevin. (that’s his name) He asks me the symptoms. I tell him. He tells me there is nothing wrong with the washer. Why does it stall? It’s not stalling now, he says. But we haven’t been able to complete a load of wash in weeks. He says something that strongly implies that I must be imagining things. I firmly tell him that I am not imagining things.

So, he suggests that the door locking mechanism may be flawed. Fine, replace it. So he does, and charges me $70 for the part. He assures me it’s working fine, so I pay him and he leaves. I notice after he leaves that he has left all the parts and junk in my slop sink.

So, my husband calls the hotline and yells at them. They agree to cover the cost of the part as a “concession” for the guy eing a slob. Okay fine.

So, we go to do a load of wash, and the damn thing stalls again! And again! So we call the hotline and ask what they’re gonna do about it. Well, we can have another service call. Will we have to pay? Yes. I think not. Okay, no. When can we have this service call. 5 days. But we haven’t had clean clothes in weeks! 5 days. Can you tell me what time? No. You’ll be called the night before. But your guy didn’t fix it the first time! Nothing we can do. And can we have a different service guy, because Kevin didn’t know how to fix it. No, we have to have Kevin, because he “knows the history of the machine.” Oy vey.

So, we try to coax a load through the machine, and miracle of miracles, it works! And it works for the next load too. So we cancel the appointment. The next day, it stalls.

So we call the hotline again and make another appointment. This time, my husband manages to convince them to send another guy.

We go through the rigamarole of the “call the night before” thing yet again. Ezra shows up. He asks me the symptoms. I tell him. He spends some time with the machine, and determines that the motor is completely whacked. And why is that? Because the motherboard is fucked, and it managed to kill the motor. I said, how did you know? He said that he suspected that the motor was the problem when I told him the symptoms, and upon investigation of the motor, he found the computer problem. Yay! He spends several hours replacing everything, and it now works. Terrific. He leaves.

An hour or so later, he calls me from the road to tell me that he had forgotten to tell me that they now have a way to fix a minor ongoing problem with that model of washer–water left in the wash barrel. They will come out at no charge and install the fix. Great! And I can schedule it at my convenience. Maybe there is some up-side to this ordeal.

So we got to enjoy our wonderful working washer for all of a week, when we notice something odd–the dryer is not turning itself off. It has a “moisture sensor,” so it will turn itself off when the clothes are dry and not dry them longer than necessary. Saves money and is better for the clothes. But apparently, it’s broken. Fabulous. But there is still the regular timer. So I put a down comforter in there and turn on the timer. 6 hours later, I happen downstairs, and discover the dryer is still on. Shit. The comforter was fine and all, but we were rather unpleased to see that the whole timer was shot.

So, we spent a couple of weeks with an un-timed dryer, because we were so loath to call the hotline again. We turned on a kitchen timer to remind us to manually turn off the dryer. Finally, my husband got too sick of this, and called the hotline again. They said they’d send someone out, but it would cost 99 dollars. So, my husband basically told them that their dryer was a fire hazard, so they’d better send someone out at their own cost. Okay, they’d do it for free. WTF? (The lesson, here, kids, is that you can easily get out of paying the 99 dollars…so you’re a sucker if you pay. A great way to do business.) So, we go through the whole appointment thing again.

We asked if they could do the fix on the washer at the same time. They said no, that has to be done on it’s own, separate appointment, because it’s a “concession.” Another wonderful day of waiting for the Maytag Repairman.

The van pulls in at 1 today…and who gets out but Kevin, the guy who doesn’t know his motherboard from his locking mechanism. Greeeat. I tell him what the problem is and leave him alone with the dryer. 5 minutes later, he tells me that the thing has no problem–it is advancing. I say that it is most certainly not advancing. He, again, says, something that strongly implies that it must be my imagination. I said to him, “this is the second time you’ve been here and failed to fix the problem.” He said “yeah, how often does it happen?” I said “at least a dozen times.” He looked at me as if I were nuts, and I realized that he was asking me how many times he’d been there, not how many times we’d observed the timer not working. So I said, “this is the second time you’ve been here. We have seen the timer not work at least a dozen times.” His response? “Well, it’s working now.”

I suggest that he try with some clothes in it, and I just happened to have a wet load in the washer. So, he agrees to that. I put the load in the dryer–a load which includes some polartec fleece and a couple of bras. In other words, stuff that should not be dried on “high.” So I turn it down to medium and turn it to the timer option and turn it on. 5 minutes later he says it is working.

Then he says he could replace the timer anyway, as he has the part. I asked if there would be any charge. He said no, as it was a “concession.” I said to replace the part. 10 minutes later, he says he is done, and just needs my signature. I go to sign, and he tells me that he replaced the part at his own cost. I said, I thought it was a concession. He said that it comes out of his own pocket. I really wanted to say, “are you trying to make me feel guilty, you condescending jerk?” But I just wanted to be done with him, so I signed and sent him on his way.

A few minutes later, I went back downstairs to check on things…and found the fucker had turned the dryer BACK UP TO HIGH! :mad: And it was on the “timer” option, not the motion sensor option, so it’s not like he had any vested interest in getting the clothes dry faster. What an asshole. It’s time to write a letter to the company.

Fucking Maytag repairman. No wonder he’s lonely. He’s a jerk.

Hi Green Bean.

Mrs. Moto and I bought our house in May and had to buy a new washer and dryer for it. Out came the trusty Sears card and we bought a nice washer/dryer set. So far, no complaints - except for the idiots that came to install them.

When I went to run the washer for the first time, it made godawful noises, bucause a plastic strip holding cotter pins had been left in. This despite a big label warning that they had to be removed.

Also, the vent hose on the dryer was inadequately attached, and leaked beaucoup air. This I fixed for all of $2.50 for new hose clamps that should have been put on in the first place.

I admit. my problems aren’t as bad, but we both got a good look at incompetent service people. At least, from your description, your guys both spoke English.

Front-loading washers are finicky machines that nobody in the U.S. , where they are a novelty,can fully understand.

Front -loading washers are finicky machines that nobody in the U.K., where they are commonplace, can fully understand.

My source of the latter observation is Mrs. Zenith, who lived in England for four years while married to her ex-husband, a now-retired U.S. airman. The prospect of the U.S. government’s mandating a clearly inferior product in the name of energy and water conservation disturbs her.

The idiots who believed that low-flow toilets that need three or four 2-gallon flushes to get rid of what goes down a 5 gpf “old-fashioned” toilet the first time are now stating that a dinky-drummed machine that doesn’t agitate the clothes well enough to clean things right the first time is superior to a big washer that can clean twice the clothes per load right the first time.

And we trust these clowns to keep us safe from terrorism!!!
BTW, I have long suspected that Maytag was overpriced and over-rated and your experience confirms this suspicion. During those times in my life when I depended on laundromats, the ones with Maytags seemed to have more “out-of-order” machines in them.

I own a 5-year-old Frigidaire top-loader, the machine that Consumer Reports says is vastly inferior to Maytag. Its price was half that of a comparably-equipped Maytag, and I haven’t had any troubles yet.

Of course, I also own a couple of vehicles on CR’s “not recommended” list, a Caravan and a Pontiac 6000, that are giving me good service; as did the Plymouth Voyager, Buick Skylark, and Dodge Omni they also said I shouldn’t have bought.

Getting back to the OP’s rant, I’d say that the next time his washer or dryer needs repaired, he should find an independent shop. They can’t do any worse than Maytag’s Finest and will probably be prompter and cheaper.

BTW, the only two times I ever needed warranty work on a major appliance they (a refrigerator and a microwave oven) were both Hotpoint- brand appliances that the factory-authorized repairman fixed the day of my complaint and on the first try. Hotpoint is made by GE, so I’d expect that GE service is also this good.

Consumer Reports (online or at almost EVERY library in the U.S.)
gives repair histories for washers and dryers. Maytag has one of the best records for top-loaders, but not any better than Whirlpool, Kenmore, or a few others. (That is, 3% differences aren’t statistically significant.)

BUT, that’s for top-loaders. CU found that Maytag front-loaders were among the less reliable for all brands (much less reliable than its top-loaders.) So, while statistical evidence only goes back to 1997, what there is says a Maytag front-loader is one of the most-likely-to-break-down washers you can buy. Anecdotal evidence concurs (this isn’t the first spirited rant against a Maytag front-loader I’ve encoutered.) In fact, front-loaders in general have sad repair records compared to most top loaders.

We have a Kenmore stackable washer/dryer that stopped working. The dryer would run with no heat, and wouldn’t turn off by itself; and the washer would fill, but not complete a cycle. We emailed an online parts place that advertised free help, and got an email answer the next day. They were right! (Lucky for us, their advice was “check the main power to the machine as it sounds like half the voltage is missing” This caused some marital discord, as my husband had already checked the fuse box; as it turned out, he’d checked the wrong box! These stackables have a couple linked fuses, and one is more susceptible to blowing. It apparently happens a lot. But, I digress.)

I’m including the link, because I think it was pretty friendly of them not to try to push any unnecessary parts on us, not to mention telling us how to fix the thing for free:

I’m not saying all these online appliance parts places are cool; quite a few are obvious rip-offs (always triple-check prices, to avoid paying $160 for a $60 part.) But I can say from experience, replacing an old Whirlpool washer water pump yourself is a lot easier than you might think; we got five more years and counting out of that washer (yes, we do presently own two washing machines.) Another tip; if the motor is fried and it’s not under warranty, you’re usually better off buying new.
Also, if it’s something that hooks up to a printed circuit board, I’d make sure that was also tested or replaced. It’s incredibly annoying to pay for a part and have it fail in short order because its controller is whacko.

We discovered this morning that the Maytag Repairman had neglected to put the rear panel back on the dryer. :rolleyes:

Sorry to hear about all the problems you’re having, Green Bean, but this is good info for me. I have been lusting after the Maytag front-loaders, intending to get one when we move. You may have saved me from a huge mistake. Thanks!

I have a neptune set.
I have had them for about 4 years now.
No problems, yet.

I guess its another case of YMMV.

It was better in the old days, when the women would wend their way down to the river and beat the clothes on the rocks. Low tech, but it worked.

Then some ditz invented the washboard. And to compound the felony, some crank dreamed up the hand cranked wringer.

This country has been going downhill ever since.