The laundry machine is broken. It happened about three months ago. Fortunately, just before that we purchased The First American Home Warranty insurance.
I called them up, and they sent a repairman from a reputable company - the Sears. He spent 5 minutes with the machine and an hour - trying to order parts for it. His English was poor, so when he told me, he couldn't reach the parts' department, and I'll have to do it now, I didn't understand him.
How do I know, what he meant? In about a week I called the insurance again, thinking that by then my parts arrived. Two men came out this time. They said, they had no parts and no notes from the previous person, so they'd have to take the machine apart. Didn't find a leak, but looking at MY receipt from the last repairman, those two told me a cockamamie story about how the dial is broken, and the washer keeps filling with water and doesn't know, when to stop, so they need to order a new dial. Even I knew, it couldn't be right!
One more week passed. A box with the new dial arrived. A repairman, for whom I waited for four hours, didn't.
Now hysterical, I called the company and yelled at everyone, unfortunate enough to talk to me.
The guy, who came the first time, showed up at my door. I didn't recognize him, because he was wearing a little mask. He told me, he was allergic to cats.
He didn't understand, how a new dial would solve a leaking problem, but opened the box with the new part anyway.
"Is broken!" - he declared, shaking the box to let me hear the rattling inside. "Can't do anything with it!"
And I thought, it couldn't get any worse!
I called the company once more to inform them, I wasn't going to pay for this kind of service. They reassured me, they understood, and promised to take care of the problem, but I had to buy some new parts.
Before the next visit I received a letter with a refund for $65, even though I didn't pay anything yet. Who is running that company, anyway?
It was a different man, who came to repair my machine this time. Chewing on my frustration, I took him to the laundry room, but a few minutes later he was out, saying, he'll order me a replacement washer.
The point of this long story?
I don't know, who is running the insurance company or the repair shop with whom they have a contract, but things in this country are getting worse. Maybe I was lucky until now, but I was always impressed about the ease, with which the American businesses take care of their customers. These days my head is spinning from the un-business-like behavior I encounter everywhere! For example, when I tried to get Roberta her "free" phone, the web of mistakes and bureaucratic run around I was subjected to, left me with the PTSD!
Are we getting too big to manage the precise handling of our responsibilities? It seems like, the right hand doesn't know, what the left one is doing!
What's there left for us, the clients and the customers, to do, but to breathe deeply (in through the nose and out through the mouth) and pray? For now it helps.
By the way, we are still waiting for the new washer!