On Friday the 29th of June,2001 a new Whirlpool dryer, a Roper electric was delivered and installed at my home. Fully payed for to include installation and hook up of vent hose and haul off of old dryer for an additional charge of 39.00 to deliver, install and haul off the old dryer.
When my wife purchased the dryer 2 days before ahe was asked to sign a document and innitial a space marked No to Metal vent installation* and the asteric indicated an additional charge which the salesman quoted verbally to be an additional $99.00.
Dean, her salesperson informed her that she could have it installed with a flexable vent hose. My wife opted to have the flexable hose.
After delivery and set up to include installing the Whirlpool "Roper" electric dryer and installing the "Foil" vent hose, as the delivery personnel were taking away the old dryer my wife began to read the owners manual. On page 6 of the owners manual she read where the manufacturer said, do not intall using a plaxtic or foil vent hose. By the time she found this information the delivery personnel were already gone.
My wife then called the store and questioned Dean, her sales person, as to why HH Gregg had installed the new dryer using a foil hose that the manufacturer plainly stated in the owners manual, not to use? He told her that she had innitialed a refusal form to not use the metal vent installation and agreed to have the foil hose installed instead, releasing HH Gregg of there liability. She disagreed with the salesman, but it more or less became a stand-off and she ended that phone call. Then she called me at my place of work.
I wrote down all the details to that point. I then called the HH Gregg store where she made her purchase located at 2886 Wilma Rudolph Blvd. here in Clarksville, Tn. I asked to speak to the manager, was informed he was not in. I asked to speak to whomever was in charge and was told that Mr. Bobby Williams the assistant manager would be with me shortly. I told Mr. Williams that I had a situation, created by him and his service staff that was not acceptable and his company, like mine, had people paid to take care of these situations and i fully expected him to take care of the situation at hand. I reinterated the senario that had taken place up to that point in time and asked him why did they have a policy to install an appliance in a consumers home in a manner which the manufacturer absolutely instructed the consumer not to do. He again reinterated the the liability was released from HH Gregg when my wife signed the Delivery Service form. I told him I did not agree and asked him to give me the 1-800 number for Whirlpool. He gave me their number and i told him I was going to call the manufacturer and see if there were any other options to resolve the situation. He said to me the easiest way to do that would be for me to put in an order for HH Gregg to come out and install the metal pipe. He said it really wasn't that big a deal. I informed him of my wifes fear of being in a house fire was much greater than he would ever know and he insisted i had nothing to worry about, that he had installed the exact same foil vent hose system on a dryer in his own mothers house and that HH Greg had probably installed 25,000 of them through out the country. He said he had only installed maybe 2 of the metal pipe exhaust hoses and that all the rest had been installed with the foil vent hose. I told him
I would let him know what whirlpool had to say and he said he really would be interested to hear what they said.
I then called Whirlpool and then the fire marshals office for Clarksville. Whirlpool representative named Doris at 1-800-253-1301 informed me that there is a flexable metal exhause vent hose, readily available at either "Lowes" or "Home Depot" and for me to please go and purchase one and remove the foil hose that HH Greg had installed. The use of the flexable metal hose was recommended by Whirlpool and they definitely do not want the consumer to use the Roper dryer, installed with either the plastic or foil vent hose. I asked why would they allow someone to sell their product when the seller as a regular practice were installing it in a manner not acceptable to the instructions of the manufacturer and in fact was in violation of a warning not to do so by Whirlpool. Doris said she wished HH Greg had not done what they had done but in the interest of my wifes and my safety she wished that i would get the proper hose and fix it myself.
When I called the fire marshall's office with my concerns he said that by all means to do what the manufacturer said and not to go with what the installer had done. I asked if he had ever inspected a fire in this area that had been cause d by a dryer vent hose and he said he could not swear it but that he might have seen one or two, but either way no matter. Do as the manufacturer had instructed.
After the Whirlpool representative's and the fire marshall's instructions, I decided to do exactly what they both said and purchased the proper hose at Lowe's for ten dollars vs. letting HH Gregg come out and cut another hole in my utility room wall and charge an additional $50.00 for something that was not necessary to properly install the new dryer.
Since I was in the area of the HH Gregg store I decide to go by and get a copy of the Delivery Service form that my wife had signed, supposedly agreeing to have it installed with the foil vent hose. She indeed had signed it and it was marked foil vent hose, but she doesn't remember any conversation using the words foil vent hose and her innetials were only by the space where "No" was marked and not next to the line marked foil vent hose and clamps. Mr, williams was hesitant to give me a copy of this signed form at first and was more interested in letting me know that in his words, he had "squared the situation with my wife by reinbursing her for the materials that i had just purchased at Lowes". He wanted to know if i had spoken to her since he and i had spoken the first time on the phone. I said no! I also informed him that we were not square because i had a problem with HH Gregg installing electrical dryers in the consumers home with a hose that the manufacturer said definitely not to use. Then having you the consumer unknowlingly sign away your warenty rights by innetialing a form that said you were agreeing to have it installed with the foil vent hose and saying no to the "Metal vent installation", which would either cost you $99.00 as per Mr. Dean Wilson the sales person, or $50.00 as per the form and the assistant manaqger. Nothing on this form by the way mentions anything about Whirlpool warning the consumer not to install the dryer in this manner. I pointed that out to Mr. Williams and he again wanted to be sure I saw the copy of the reinbursement he had given my wife for the "Pig Tail". I said excuse me, we are not talking about the pig tail, we are talking about the vent hose.
He gave me a copy of the cash back receipt. Then I asked him for a copy of the Delivery Service form my wife had signed and he said he would have to make a phone call to get permission to release a copy to me. I reminded him while he was on the phone with another HH Gregg employee, I presume, that I felt as though I had a right to a copy of anything HH Greg had my wife sign. The party on the other end of the phone presumably gave his/her permission for Mr. Williams to give me a copy of the form my wife had signed. He asked me why I wanted it and I said again that I thought they should give a copy of everything that the consumer has to sign to the consumer.
When Mr. Williams brought out the copy of the Delivery service form, he again said to me that we were completely square now, and wasn't I happy and I again told him that as far as I was concerned he was simply doing his job and that i had no beef with him. My concern about the company policy was with HH Gregg in general and nor him or the local store policy if it indeed was the company policy nationally. I said good bye and left.
I am not seeking any money for their decision to improperly install my dryer. The $39.00 service and delivery charge was warrented by their delivery of the new dryer to my home and the pick up and disposal of the old dryer. What I am trying to accomplish is the avoidance of any other consumer having to suffer the totally thoughtless decision on the part of HH Gregg in general to ignore a warning label installed on the back of the dryers they are installing. The act of relieving them selves of the liability of potentially one life being lost due to a fire caused by their total arrogance in this regard is totally deplorable. My wife, in HH Gregg's openion gave up our right to a safe envitonment in our own home with a simple signature and innitials. I cannot believe that on this same form it is noted that H.H. Gregg CANNOT be responsible for any damage to property during removal of old products. By this statement it appears to me that they are more conserned with damage to inadimant objects than they are conserned with the safety and welfare of the consumers who purchase their products.
The next morning i got up and went down to remove the foil vent hose and to install the flexable metal hose purchased by myself the night before at Lowes. Upon stepping behind my new dryer purchased from HH Gregg, the first thing i noticed was a sticker approximately 2 by 5-6 inches that read: Warning do not install with plastic or foil vent hose. May cause death or fire. I was in total shock. Right there before my eyes was a warning from Whirlpool telling me in the form of a warning, what not to do and this is exactly what HH Gregg has done in as many as 25,000 homes, knowingly against the recommendations of the manufacturer.