Maytag Has Given Me 3 Weeks Of Dirty Clothing

Nick bought a Maytag washer, but it’s the ever-broken, un-repaired appliance that’s come to own him. He says he’s gone back and forth with the company and has been promised replacement parts and cash back to defray the cost of doing laundry, but has instead been put through the spin cycle.

Here’s a copy of the letter he wrote to the Better Business Bureau.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving our washing machine stopped mid-cycle and the lights on the display panel started blinking. Repeated attempts to restart the cycle ended. We had purchased the Sears Service Plan and so called them to come out and look at it. A technician came out 4 days later (Tues, Dec 1) and determined the problem was due to faulty parts and put an order in to Maytag to have them delivered to us. He said the parts should come within the week and when they do to call him and he would come back and install them.

A week went by without any parts being delivered and no information regarding their whereabouts from Maytag. We called Maytag directly on or about Mon, Dec 7, to inquire when the parts would be delivered. We spoke with a supervisor, named Evelyn, who seemed concerned and looked up their status. She informed us that we would need 2 parts and that one of them was on backorder. Furthermore, the backordered part should ship out Tuesday (Dec 8) or Wednesday (Dec 9). We told her we were dismayed with how this was being handled and that if those parts did not ship we felt they should just replace the washing machine altogether to end this whole situation. She agreed.

Early Friday morning (Dec 11) neither part had shown up and no effort to contact us regarding their whereabouts was made. We called Maytag and spoke with a different supervisor who assured us that the backordered part was being overnighted to us. In addition he stated he was sending us $100 for our troubles. Thinking we’d have all of our parts by Saturday (Dec 12) we made an appointment with the technician to come out in the afternoon.

That evening (Dec 11) one of the parts finally showed up.

We waited all day Saturday for the second—overnighted—part to arrive to no avail. We spoke with the tech late in the afternoon who said if the part wasn’t there by that point it wouldn’t be there at all. We canceled his appointment. This led to a call back to Maytag and another conversation with a supervisor. He informed us the part would arrive on Mon (Dec 14) despite it being overnighted on Fri (Dec 11). We made another call to the technician to come back out on Tues (Dec 15).

On Monday (Dec 14) the second part finally arrived.

The tech came out Tues (Dec 15) and replaced the parts. He left and a little while later we did a load of our daughter’s clothes. Halfway through the cycle the machine stopped and displayed the same flashing panel as it did two weeks prior.

We got on the phone again and spoke with another supervisor at Maytag. We voiced our displeasure with their product and their customer service. We stated that we had waited long enough and did not want to mess with any more parts or waiting and that we wanted a brand new washer to replace the faulty one. The supervisor understood our displeasure and said that in order to get a brand new washer he would have to submit our case to a review board. This review board would take 24 – 48 hours to determine if we were eligible for a replacement washing machine.

24 – 48 hours passed by with no word from Maytag. Thursday evening (Dec 17) we call again. This time the representative taking our call (Connie) did not connect us with a supervisor. She stated there was nothing anyone could do and that we’d have to wait for someone on the review board to contact us. It was at this point she felt the need to tell us that “even if the review board grants us a new washing machine, it would take a couple of weeks to arrive.” and that we should “take the $100 they gave us and go rent a washing machine while we wait.”

It is now Thursday, December 17 2009. We are going on our 4th weekend without a washing machine. In that span we have done bits and pieces of laundry in 4 or 5 different places all over town. We would do a load here and a load there wherever a friend, neighbor or relative allowed us, not because we knew it was going to take a few weeks to get the matter straightened out, but because we were constantly led to believe that a fix was just around the corner. Maytag’s Service Department never took up the matter for us. We were always the ones having to initiate the conversation. We understand that no product is perfect and sometimes they fail. But as a customer we expect to be treated with respect and in a manner that finds a prompt solution to the broken product. Neither has happened here.

All that we were asking for was an understanding and a little humility on their part to find a solution to this problem. We received none of that. Maytag makes products that people use every day. It should not have been hard for any of their customer service representatives to understand what it would be like to go without a washing machine for weeks on end. And what’s more, we were treated as if we should have expected our washer to break after two months and that we shouldn’t be surprised to have to mire through the bureaucratic muck in their Customer Service Department just to get some answers.

Nick has yet to receive the $100 he was promised. If anyone has some advice for him, please share.

Comments

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  1. seth_lerman says:

    I would be escalating this through Sears as it is them he bought the service plan through.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      That is definitely one avenue to pursue. I used to work at a service center for appliance repair. Extended warranties can simply replace a lemon unit. Also, I would push Sears to reach out to their Maytag people. Service center have regional reps they deal with on a regular basis. Some obviously are more active than others. The shop I worked at had the Whirlpool rep out once a month for a meeting, and he was available via phone or email for other cases we could use a little help with (such as overnighting parts, or swapping out a POS unit). If Sears won’t help, maybe you could get a different repair facility to give you a name. EIther way, I would start moving up both the chains at Maytag and Sears.

  2. Scamazon says:

    After going through the original Maytag Neptune debacle and the to your subsequent piece of garbage they replaced my defective washer with at my expense, I WILL NEVER buy a Maytag product ever again! They are like AT&T, just because you advertise you have quality appliances over and over dosent make it true. Maytag – Invest in R&D and Engineering and quit sending your beta crap to your end users…

    • tbax929 says:

      I agree. This isn’t helpful for the OP, but I will also never buy another Maytag product. The clever ad campaign convinced me they made the best washer/dryers. I should’ve visited some message boards before I bought a set. Ugh.

      I think he should escalate through Sears, since the service plan was purchased through them.

      • JonBoy470 says:

        As stated above, when Maytag was bought out by Whirlpool, most of the Maytag designed product was pitched in favor of badge-engineered Whirlpool products. If nothing else, Whirlpool makes a quality washer and dryer. Their run-of-the-mill top-loading stuff has been manufactured using the same design since the 80’s at least, and is pretty solid.

    • Pibbs says:

      They did invest in R&D. Whirlpool’s R&D.

      When Maytag was bought out a couple years ago, pretty much all of their original product was scrapped, and replaced with re-branded Whirlpool product.

  3. getthebubbles says:
  4. jsbaker_99 says:

    went through the same thing with an 8 month old Whirlpool duet front loader and A&E factory service just two months ago. Just in case you don’t know whirpool now owns maytag. Had to have the entire drive system replaced and it took a month to get it done due to parts that did not show up, 4 broken tubs that showed up and repeated cancelled appts. Every part A&E ordered showed up destroyed. Finally called whirpool and the frist one they sent showed up destroyed also. Tub #5 came packed exactly the same as the last 4 but was amazingly not broken. When you call A&E all you will get is lies, pushed off to Whirpool and then more lies. I can’t wait for these things to die totally so I can switch to Samsung or LG.

    My $75 check from Whirpool never showed up and a month after the completed repair the tub assembly is again wobbling like a drunk person. Now we just have to wait for the sound of rocks being run through the washer before we have to place another service call for the same thing and spend a month without a washer.

  5. Rachacha says:

    I had a similar problem with a Maytag dishwasher, and the problem was with Maytag’s Service technicians from A&E Factory Service (Google A&E Factory Service). Once I realized that they were babbling idiots, I started calling around to locally owened service shops. None of them would touch it after A&E had their hands on it. If A&E is your service provider, I would recommend filing a BBB complaint agains A&E (they honestly won’t care) and A&E’s Parent Company…wait for it…SEARS!

    Here is what I did in 2006-2007 (I don’t know if these names and numbers still work): About 5 days after submitting my complaint to the BBB I had the direct line to an Executive Service representative, and she was able to get things done (with a bit of persuasion). Call 1-269-923-5000 and ask for “Monica Berry”. When the BBB tries to close the complaint because Maytag has responded, don’t let them…keep it open (say that they contacted you, and you are awaiting for the repair or replacement) until you have a fully functional WM or a new replacement WM delivered and installed.

    I ultimately (after 8 months of ongoing “repairs” ) was able to convince Maytag to replace my dishwasher. 4 months of delays in getting the DW to me, and the installation company nearly started an electrical fire installing it.

    I wish you the best of luck, keep on the BBB complaint, keep detailed notes of the date and times you call them, as well as details on who exactly you speak with. That level of detail will prevent them from trying to place your word against theirs when you come back with detailed notes of every phone conversation

  6. pot_roast says:

    Since he purchased the extended warranty through Sears, shouldn’t they be helping out? I’d contact the manager of the store where the items were purchased and let them know that there have been serious problems with the repairs.

  7. Colonel Jack O'neill says:

    I don’t see how this is Maytag fault, you bought the service plan from Sears, so it should be taken up with them, being that it seems that they diagnosed it wrong, and didn’t fix the problem.

    • coren says:

      Well they bouilt a shitty product that isn’t repairable, apparently, so I’d say that’s their fault at least.

  8. quail says:

    I miss Maytag of yore, before Whirlpool bought the failing company. (It was Whirlpool I think.) My mom bought a Maytag washer and dryer when I was born. She still had it when I turned 32. All it ever needed was new washers and a hose 2 or 3 times in all of those years. I bought a Maytag washer and dryer right before they were sold to Whirlpool. It’s 12 years later and they are still going strong. My sister bought the washer and dryer a year after I did. Delivery guys dropped it off and commented that they weren’t as heavy as units sold earlier in the year. She had nothing but problems with them and got rid of them within 5 years.

    Whirlpool took a good product, cheapened it up, and is selling it on it’s former good name. When my machines die I won’t be replacing them with a Maytag.

    • MrEvil says:

      You’re right, Whirlpool bought out Maytag, closed Maytag’s plants and now sells Whirlpool appliances rebadged. Whirlpool is a good name for that company, watch your money slip down the whirlpool.

      My dad and I both have post buyout Maytag’s (only reason we got em was because they were cheap and we both desperately needed washers) and we’re crossing our fingers they don’t fail on us.

      • lincolnparadox says:

        Mr. Evil is right. I have friends in Newton that worked at the “Maytag” plant after the Whirlpool buyout. They stopped using Maytag parts for everything except the outer shell and decals. Then Whirlpool shut down the plant, even though the state of Iowa gave them a sweetheart deal to stay.

        Do yourself a favor and avoid any Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, KitchenAid, Estate, Gladiator, Insperience, Jenn-Air, Magic Chef or Roper appliance. It’s all the same crap.

      • Rhyss says:

        My mom gave me her old Maytag washer that we had when I was a kid when I moved out and it finally gave up just last year (I’m 35). It was too old to find parts for – that’s the really sad thing.

    • Pibbs says:

      Obviously you didn’t have a Maytag product just before the company was bought-out. From 2000-2007, Maytag did not make a quality product. Period. Everything they made was sub-standard. Anything with the name Neptune was absolute junk, their dishwashers failed at an extraordinarily high rate, and their Over-The-Range Microwaves wouldn’t make it past a year and a half. I sold appliances for over 6 years. The best thing to happen to Maytag was for them to be bought out and have their product replaced with Whirlpool.

      • MustyBuckets says:

        Agreed. Maytag took the same path before being bought out by whirlpool as Amana did before being bought out by maytag. While I don’t really like selling three brands of washing machines that are all the same, Whirlpool’s designs are pretty good, cheap to fix if something does break down, and all the parts are readily available.

        But, for the anti-whirlpoolers – add most kenmores to the list of stuff made by whirlpool. And good luck finding servicers for your cellphone manufacturer made washers and dryers.

      • quail says:

        In 1997 we bought the top loader. It was about a year before the Neptune front loader was offered. Guess it wasn’t really right before the buy out. And boy, didn’t know there were that many Whirlpool die hards out there.

  9. Bob Lu says:

    Somewhat related question:

    Where can you buy those fancy Japan washers in US?

    I grew up in Taiwan. When I was a kid we used to have a GE washer in our house but for some reason when I was in middle school we switched to Japan brands. And for nearly twenty years we NEVER want another US brand washer. Seriously, those Japan washers can do some crazy sh*t. They are small, energy efficient, reliable and quiet. They are even programmable. Yes, washers, PROGRAMMABLE!

    After I moved to US I never see those washers sold anywhere. Are they even available in US?

  10. AllanG54 says:

    First of all, a two month old machine is still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty so at this point Sears need not be involved. They only sold the OP an extended warranty. Second…Maytag has one of the worst reliability records around and the Maytag repairman is so lonely because people don’t buy the product, not because they don’t need repair. And third…Maytag is owned by Whirlpool I think. They’re not even an indepedent company any more.

  11. PicklePants says:

    Sounds like Nick could use some help from Heather Armstrong.

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/02/twitter-dooce-maytag-markets-equities-whirlpool.html

    • Kitteridge says:

      Nuts, I was going to say the same thing. That was quite a story she had.

    • Chumas says:

      man, I would not make that woman mad. she’s like a smaller more insane Oprah with legions of estrogen at her back. lol she did good with how it all turned out too.

  12. MaytagRepairman says:

    My parents have worked for Maytag. My aunt and uncle retired from Maytag. I don’t know what Whirlpool has done with Maytag, but Maytag was going downhill long before Whirlpool bought them. I don’t live there any more but I’m thankful my hometown of Newton, Iowa seems to be recovering well from Maytag being pulled out of town after decades of being the major employer.

    To play the other side of the coin, the appliance business is awful. The profit margin is horrible and the competition is fierce. Too many consumers shop by price which makes it difficult to justify building a higher quality product. Do your research and do not buy the cheapest model in a company’s product line no matter who makes it.

    • Pibbs says:

      Amen brother. You can’t buy cheap and expect it to last. Getting great reliability at the cheapest price just doesn’t happen.

  13. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Few white goods (washers, dryers, fridges, stoves, freezers) are made in North America. Our friends and neighbours no longer make these items. Instead they are sourced offshore (coughCHINAcough) and the driving force in those factories is Cheap and Fast.

    If you want a fantastic washer find a local company that still services older machines and ask if you could buy an older machine from them. When they install new machines they often are asked to remove the old one. Far too often the old ones work just fine (or need minor repair). The idea here being to get a machine made when white goods were still made to last a lifetime… battleship strong.

    Where I live there was a regular radio show that every month had an appliance repair expert answer questions and his advice was always don’t hesitate to fix the minor faults in well made older equipment and avoid buying new equipment that is crap.

    Actually talk to some of these shops before you buy. This is especially great if you already have a service relationship with them. Ask them what is the best possible machine you could buy, dependable, well constructed and easy to repair when something does go wrong. I regularly do this and just recently contacted my local small engine repair place to ask what I should buy to replace my ancient snowblower. They were more than willing to suggest two brands and more importantly ensure I avoided a couple of others.

    • Bohemian says:

      When we bought our house we needed to get a washer and dryer. We had a decent nest egg for such purchases and could have bought one of the cool shiny bright colored front loading sets with all the buttons and cool displays. We had already heard hints that some of them were proving to be unreliable.

      So instead of giving in to that “ooh shiny” impulse we went down to the used appliance store that also has a repair business. We found an older set of Whirlpool washer/dryer. Nothing fancy but in really good shape. We paid about $200 for the pair and saved the other $1500 for house repairs and furniture.

      The up side is they are simple enough units that I can do minor repairs myself. Major repairs all we have to do is call the guys we bought it from.

  14. fantomesq says:

    Check the verbiage on the warranty with Sears. They are probably not required to replace the washer until its had three repairs – maybe three identical repairs – so the OP will probably get a repair not a replacement at this point. I agree that he needs to file through Sears even if it is a warranty repair so that they will have record of it. Repairs directly through the manufacturer may not count towards lemon replacements.

    I would suspect a faulty diagnosis/repair if the same problem occurred after the re[air was completed. I also don’t understand a repair house that ships parts to the customers house and expects the customer to followup on issues – that’s the service providers job. That said, two weeks to repair a washer including dealing with backordered parts is not unreasonable. Find a good local laundromat as a backup – its not as dramatic as you make it out to be.

  15. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    This is so unlike the experience I had with Maytag. We moved into a house in 2004 that had a Maytag dishwasher. A year or so later, they let us know that a part inside was subject to corrosion and that they would replace it. A week or so later they called and said that the part was no longer made, so they’d replace the entire dishwasher. Two weeks later, we had a new dishwasher installed and under warranty. I couldn’t believe the courtesy and service we got from them.

  16. gamabunta says:

    His first mistake was buying an appliance at Sears. His second mistake was buying a Sears Service Plan.

  17. MustyBuckets says:

    As a person who works in an independent appliance shop, I can tell you a few things – first of all, either the customer calling whirlpool has spoken to the nicest handful of people there, or he is lying. Generally, Whirlpool will not replace a machine unless it has had two or three service attempts, and a second service company confirms the issue. To add to this, I have never, ever (in my 7 odd years here) heard of them offering money to offset not having the unit.

    Regardless of the truth, the customer is under his one year manufactures warranty, so he should call a shop knows what they are doing – I.E. Not Sears, and not A&E. It sounds like he has a front loader, from the description, and (as a person who is not a service tech) it sounds like a problem with the pump. Go online, check out your model and lights flashing, use the Google. Get an idea. Bad parts do happen, but not often – but sears techs get paid per trip out, not per appliance fixed. They have no incentive to fix everything the first time.

    If you are one of those people that feels he/she deserves a new machine, give another shop a shot at fixing it, if they fail, have a third confirm the issue. You are under warranty, it will cost you nothing.

  18. SyntaxError says:

    My mom bought a full Maytag kitchen (stove, fridge, and dishwasher), plus the Neptune washer and dryer several years ago. It all still works fine. We’ve only had 3 problems. The handle on the dishwasher broke, and Maytag replaced it for free, though I had to install it. No big deal.

    And on the stove, the electronics got fried in a power surge so the oven wouldn’t work. The oven came from Lowe’s but Mom called the store where she bought the washer and dryer, since they are a certified Maytag repair center. The guy came out, looked at it, told us what was wrong and ordered the part. A week later, he came back with the part in hand, installed it and it’s worked fine ever since. We put the stove on a surge protector after that, along with everything else.

    And the final issue was a broken drum belt in the dryer, which was ordered without problem and I installed it.

    All Mom’s Maytag appliances have been great. The only complaint is with the washer, as the door seal is badly designed and it holds water at the bottom and a heavy, black mold grows all around it. Regular treatment with bleach helps.

  19. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Now I know why that Maytag repair guy never has to do anything – they never have replacement parts!

  20. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Now I know why that Maytag repair guy never has to do anything – they never have replacement parts!

  21. Bohemian says:

    We need to buy new kitchen appliances. The main thing I want to know is the failure rate of various brand & model units. It seems like the implication of quality tied to price no longer exists. I have seen plenty of expensive appliances that are chronic repair problems.

    I wasted almost $2000 on a Lane sofa that ended up being a piece of crap. I don’t want to spend $2000 on a fridge to just have the same experience.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      They really don’t build them like they used to, and I noticed that the warranties are being cut down even further. When I worked at an appliance repair shop in college, items like washers and dryers would have a one year overall warranty and then a 3-5 year on parts like the electronic control board (stuff you don’t want to break…$$$). Fridges had a one year, and then up to a 10 year on the sealed system (compressor, evaporator..again stuff you don’t want to break). I was looking the other day at appliances, and noticed the warranties have been cut down to just “one year”. I read somewhere that the companies justify this by saying it “simplifies” things for the customer. Sounds like they don’t want to pay to fix their crap anymore.

  22. ThunderRoad says:

    Chargeback. Make them come get it. Get another brand.

  23. Aisley says:

    Oops, it is probably too late to say this, but I have read quite a few times that if you want to buy a decent appliance, Maytag is not the brand you want to purchase. I cannot agree or disagree to that statement because I have never had a Maytag appliance or know anybody who does…

  24. feckingmorons says:

    Advice, write shorter letters. The BBB is useless. Send a short letter to Maytag, spend the three bucks to get it certified. Set a deadline of 10 January. Get receipts from the laundry.

    If they fail to meet the deadline contact your county Alternative Dispute Resolution service or Clerk of the County Court for options. If it is not fixed by the 20th, sue them.

    • SyntaxError says:

      “The BBB is useless”

      Depends on the offending company you are dealing with I suppose. I filed a BBB complaint against my former ISP, Mediacom, years ago because they wouldn’t or couldn’t keep their services working.

      Someone from corporate contacted me to explain themselves and apologize profusely. Services were restored within a week of filing, and were actually better and more reliable than ever before. I also got a free month of service out of it. Mediacom didn’t even try to fight the complaint.

      After that, getting problems fixed was pretty easy, with one exception, and all it took to light a fire under someone’s backside was the mere threat of another BBB complaint.

  25. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i have a freezer i got that someone in my friend’s office building was throwing out because it quit working.
    lowe’s in house brand, holiday, which is manufactured by maytag under the lowe’s holiday label.
    no service technician i spoke with had any idea what to do with it.
    i tested the thermostat and found it faulty, went to try to order a replacement. maytag doesn’t support the brand and the repair guy i talked to said they won’t say which thermostat from their own labeled brands is compatible.
    completely unable to get parts or service, out of warranty, cash in hand, which is apparently why it was being disposed of in excellent condition with one minor electrical flaw.

    and i mean MINOR. i figured it for a total loss and dismantled the thermostat to see if i could learn anything from it – and found a loose spring that needed to have the end reseated.
    it’s worked quite well ever since.
    but i won’t be relying on their service, especially as they won’t even help someone who is paying up front and out of pocket. obviously their warranty service would be even more effort from them to avoid helping

  26. JonBoy470 says:

    My father-in-law is the facilities manager for an assisted living complex. The complex has laundry rooms on every floor for the residents’ use, and part of his job is tending to the washers and dryers there. When one breaks, he goes to Sam’s Club and buys whatever machines are in stock for ~$300 and writes the current date on the back with a Sharpie marker as he installs them.

    Apparently, given the duty cycle in this decidedly “commercial” setting, the “writing is on the wall,” as he puts it, at the one year mark, and his experience is that the machines rarely make it to the 18 month mark, let alone 2 years. Consequently, he checks the laundry rooms on a weekly basis, adding to his Sam’s Club shopping list replacements for any machines showing signs of failure (loose knobs, gear box leaking oil on the floor, etc.) He also proactively replaces any machine that’s more than a year old, regardless of condition. There is insufficient available storage space for on-site spare machines that could be put into service quickly, and any repair almost certainly exceeds the replacement cost.

    He buys the cheap-@$$ top-loading machines because the more expensive ones don’t last any longer. He also avoids all front-loaders (Duet, Neptune, etc.) because he has found they are prone to leaking wash-water all over the floor. The rubber door gasket is a particularly low reliability component, and the clean-up cost from the water damage exceeds the cost-savings from the decreased water usage.

    • quail says:

      Thanks for the information. I’ve heard the same thing from numerous quarters about the front loading washing machines, you shouldn’t buy them unless you’re looking to have some water damage at some point.

    • SyntaxError says:

      My Mom’s 7 year old Neptune washer has never leaked a drop.

  27. pdj79 says:

    My only issue with the OP was the expectation of the part arriving on Saturday just because it was overnighted on Friday. Even though it says Overnight, any Overnight package shipped on a Friday will be delivered on the next Business Day, which is Monday. You have to select Saturday Delivery to have it delivered on Saturday, which is an extra fee that ranges from $10-$25 depending on the package type. If the Maytag rep misrepresented this information and told them that it would be there on Saturday, it’s mainly because they have no clue how the Logistics side of business works. I worked in Logistics for 6 years and know first hand that unless that yellow Saturday Delivery sticker (FedEX) and accompanying information on the shipping label stating Saturday Delivery or the extra Saturday Delivery label (UPS) is affixed to the package, it is to be treated as “deliver by next business day”, no exception.

    Now, having said all that, Maytag severely dropped the ball here. But, in the end, I would be getting Sears involved. You purchased a service plan through them. You have allowed reasonable time for Maytag to resolve this issue. Maytag has failed on every aspect of this issue, so it’s time to go back to the ones you purchased it from and lean on them to make you whole. Explain the situation to them and your dissatisfaction with Maytag’s refusal to escalate the issue beyond their normal measures and actually telling you to rent a washer while you wait for their abysmally slow replacement process to complete with the money supposedly they gave you (not as a way to pay for said rental, but to make up for the inconvenience of not having a washer). Sears may not be obligated to assist if this was a mere extended warranty that doesn’t kick in until the manufacturer’s warranty lapses, but you never know unless you try. Just tell them what’s happened and what steps have been taken and that, in the end, your major appliance purchase has been anything but satisfactory.