I purchased a Whirlpool water heater from Lowe's in November 2005. I should've known it was going to be trouble when it took hours to get the pilot light to light. It would catch but wouldn't remain lit.
In October 2007, I had the same issue again; however, this time I was unsuccessful in getting the pilot light to stay lit. As I purchased an extended warranty through Lowe's I called them first. Guess what?!?! I had to call the manufacturer for service, it you can call it that. Customer Service said there were problems with the thermocouple installed in the unit, and they would send me another one, but I had to pay postage. They also said that "just about anyone could install the replacement".
I paid extra for overnight shipping and the part arrived 3 days later. Tried to get a refund, no dice. When the part arrived, it looked like something from the space shuttle, but not to worry. For the price of a service call, they would send someone out to install it. Three weeks, numerous phone calls, frustration amongst all finally resulted in hot water. All was well.........UNTIL
yesterday, May 3, 2009, when the fun started again. No pilot light, three calls to customer service (all to INDIA!!!!!!!), before I finally spoke to someone in the good old United States of America. I must admit that I was not politically correct in the way I handled the situation or spoke to "tech support" thousands of miles away, but I wanted a shower.
Now comes the fun part....tech support first had me push the reset button...try to light pilot again. Nope!! Then unhook two white wires, clip them together with a paper clip!?!?!?! (where do they get this stuff????), and try, try again. Still no....onward and upward.
They would be happy to assist with repairs......Again for the cost of freight for the part and for...you guessed it ....the infamous service call. I heard the same thing from all three people, no matter how much I ranted, raved or cajoled. I was having gret difficulty wrapping my arms around the fact that they couldn't bend the ruls and pay the $20 freight and $??? service call, even with a < three year old appliance.
BUT, are you ready for this????? They were kind enough to provide me with the name of two service providers in my area and an authorization number so the part (not the labor...that would've been all mine...could be charged directly to whirlpool This was to be sure the service company had the part(s) on his truck.
By now, I am angry enough to spit nails, but there wern't any to be found. I swallow my pride, accept the fact that I will have to pay for the service call, no happy...resigned. After all, I STILL wanted a shower.
So I call the service compan(ies). There is no answer at one, but if I leave a message, she'll be glad to return my call. I get a human at the second company, and we're all scheduled...right????? NOT!! Now the service company tells me I have to get back on the phone, sit on hold, and speak to tech support in INDIA again, because Nope, they don't schedule service calls until I have the thermocouple in hand, and, of course, pay the FREIGHT for the part.
How, I asked, are you smart enough to telepathically determine what is wrong with the water heater. And the answer.............BECAUSE THAT'S USUALLY THE PROBLEM!! But can I get a service person to confirm??? Final Answer: Nope...I'm stuck...where I started at square 1.
No way in He** am I going to do that. I purchased a brand new one, and if I have the guts (probably not), this defective piece of garbage will be on the Lowe's parking lot.
Moral of the nightmare: NEVER.... if it means I have to use a scrub board, hang clothes outside on a clothesline (really not a bad idea), buy Igloos ice chests, and cook on a hot plate..............PURCHASE WHIRLPOOL APPLIANCES
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