When we shop together, Hannah and I can be impatient, not with each other, but with the process of shopping; and not just for the little stuff – I’m talking houses and cars! We know we should do more research, but… we wouldn’t argue with ones who think that we jump to purchasing decisions way too quickly without a whole lot of forethought. Even so, that impulsive strategy can work. Case in point.
We looked at one house when we moved to New England from Arizona in 1982. We got lucky as we are still loving our home with all its quirks 36 years later.
Point two. Just planning to look to see what my 100K mile Hyundai Elantra could get in trade, two hours later, we had bought a shiny new Toyota Prius. It remains a sweet ride two years later.
On the other hand, one spring Sunday we were checking out State Street Discount for a refrigerator. A gleaming silver model Maytag with a five-year protection plan caught our eye and blinded us. Within 45 minutes, it was ours. It hasn’t been great. Sure, our milk and beer are cold and the peas stay frozen, but we have dealt with four repairs in five years, fortunately covered by that warranty; all luck that we didn’t deserve.
Lately, our LG high-end, bought-without-much-thought washing machine is giving us trouble. With its high tech digital display, it electronically counts down from the auto-sensing to the final spin. But with eight minutes left, the digital display rebounds to 15 minutes in an endless rinse and spin cycle. As a stop gap measure, we turn off both the machine and the water coming through the hoses. Then we punch in spin only and our wash becomes passably dry. It’s not exactly what we paid the big bucks for.
Unfortunately, we did not buy the protection plan for what is now only a three-year-old washing machine! With no choice, we call our reliable Mr. Appliance repair guy, who has previously done warranty work on our sad refrigerator.
It turns out the technology is not the issue; the washer drum is out of balance and the repair is north of $500. Even so, it turns out the $95 service call is money well-spent.
Of course, the technician advises us not to put any money into this old machine. And second, he suggests we buy a basic machine and get rid out of it when it dies, which in this day and age often means just five to eight years, or sometimes three!
Breaking our usual big box store shopping routine (Best Buy, Lowe’s, Target, and Home Depot are in our Seacoast area), we are now 21st century shoppers. Never leaving the house, I go online looking for a basic name-brand washing machine. It turns out Best Buy and Home Depot have the same Amana machine for just under $300. We can get a five-year protection plan for either $75 (Best Buy) or $99 (Home Depot). We pass on the $30 installation fee since all we have to do is hook up the hoses. Both places will cart our old machine away for $15 American. We opt for Best Buy since they won’t charge a delivery fee and the Geek Squad will deal with any problems.
As promised, four days later a 24’ truck arrives in the four-hour afternoon window with two men of muscle. Angel comes in to see how tight the passage is to our laundry room. We have already taken the bolts out of the door hinges and also removed the door itself to our laundry room nook.
Then Angel returns with his compadre, to lift the old machine up easily with heavy canvas straps as if it were a toaster, and cart it to the waiting truck. Using the same straps, they bring in the new machine with no digital readouts but dials from the 1950s; this retro look delights me no end.
In less than 15 minutes, the machine is in place for us to hook up the hoses when Angel says, since you have been so nice, I’ll hook up the hoses for you.
Is that a line? I like to think not. If we are honest with ourselves, we are typically decent and appreciative to the people we meet. We subscribe to the belief that what goes around comes around. We are, indeed, grateful for the good that comes into our lives and we often show it.
Angel assesses us correctly and takes an extra sixty seconds to help us out by tightening the hoses to our new washer. Sending him and his buddy off with Hannah’s Monster cookies, we thank Angel for being, well, an angel.