Week 33, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

The Saga of my Dishwasher. What a palaver this has been. So after two years of saying ‘let’s get a dishwasher’ while stood at the kitchen sink passing plates to the tea towel holding mrs e, we finally decided to do it. Our kitchen’s pretty small, so we needed a slimline one, which oddly are more expensive than full size ones. I tried all the usual places, Curry’s, Comet, but eventually went with Sainsbury’s Kitchen Appliances as they were all the same price give or take a quid and we’d also get some nectar points – woo. We go for the Hotpoint model. So I ring up, order it from ‘Jason’ , haggle on the delivery charge which he takes off, and later they send through a three page letter and T&C telling me it’s going to be delivered on August 2nd.

They day dawns and I’ve arranged to work from home as helpfully the delivery time is something like 12-4. 3:45pm Psssssh, I hear a big van pull up outside. I go downstairs and watch them unload it. It looks a little big.. Me:”that’s a slimline one right?” Guy:”Umm, no”. Hotpoint in their wisdom called there full sized mid range model the FDW-60, probably for Fullsize Dish Washer. Have a guess what their slimline one’s called? That’s right, SDW-60. S sounds a lot like F doesn’t it? Well it sure did to ‘Jason’. Bugger. The guys take it back down the stairs and onto the van, moaning the whole way. I’m on the phone straight away to the company who actually do the job, Me: “you’ve delivered the wrong one, can I get the right one please” Girl:”We need 48 hours to investigate” Me: “you’ve got till teatime, get a jog on”.

I then think, well I’ll just cancel this, get a refund and just go to one of the stores in Croydon and buy one. But no, you cannot walk into a shop and buy a dishwasher anymore. Curry’s had no slimline dishwashers of any brand in any store in the South East!

A bit later ‘Kath’ calls, the one we wanted isn’t in stock and will take four weeks to get. Right, So considering they’ve taken payment on the 27th July and I’ve been messed about, and they’ve made the mistake (which is easy to make) I ask for the SDW-80, the next model up, at no extra charge. And I’m still not paying delivery. “that’s fine” says Kath. Another afternoon off work as this time the slot is 2-6 and I’m the proud owner of a dishwasher. I spend all Saturday plumbing it in. And that night me and mrs e are using plates with gay abandon! Sunday dawns, and the door latch breaks.. bugger x2. I call Hotpoint. Girl: ” I can get a engineer to you tomorrow between 12-5pm or August the 25th?” Me:”can you do weekend?” “no” “Ok, I’ll take tomorrow, here’s my phone number, can the engineer call me when he’s about an hour away and I’ll set off from work then?” Girl:”no sorry, the engineers can’t make calls”. “sigh, ok”. Luckly a friend of mine is between jobs and so can house sit to let the engineer in. (There’s more to this story involving lost keys, being locked out and having to stay in a hotel costing £100, but let’s not go into that now.)

See the thing is, a centralised distribution is great for the companies, but crap for consumers. It involves taking days of work. In fact I wonder if there’s statistics somewhere about ‘lost work days’ waiting in for workmen, along with ‘sickies, and ‘commuting’. What happened to walking into a shop and buying something? Still I got a £260 dishwasher for £220.

The good news. My 360º pan media project is officially in development! Other people are working on it RIGHT NOW. I’ve another meeting with the Commissioner next week. Fingers crossed. If it gets commissioned I’ll tell you all about it.

1 Response to “Week 33, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

  1. 1 Andrew August 18, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    Not too long ago, Dell’s 3rd party delivery “experts” messed up a delivery for me.

    They said they’d redeliver it the next day between 6pm and 9pm. I said, politely but firmly, that I’d only be able to do from 7pm.

    They agreed straight away without arguement. To say I was astounded was an understatement. But it shows it is possible. Although I’m not hoping for more poor service in a hurry, I’m certainly going to try it again in the future.

    And don’t forget, you get all manner of lovely bargaining chips when you buy by credit card (if you did!)

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I've left it here for historical purposes. Please visit my new blog at www.foodjournalist.co.uk


These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
August 2006

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