It was one year and one week ago.
We’d already dealt with a shitstorm of stupid that week: our refrigerator decided to call it quits the same day an ice dam pulled a gutter off the back of our house.
Appliance Center to the rescue (at least for the refrigerator part), right? They’d been our go-to retailer for large appliances for years — decent selection, competitive prices, free delivery.
So, I took a day off of work, and spent the morning transferring the contents of the refrigerator into cardboard boxes in the chilly garage.
Once my night-shift husband was up and about, the whole family schlepped twenty minutes south to the Appliance Center Home Store in Maumee, Ohio. Armed with the measurements of the refrigerator recess area in our kitchen, along with a helpful salesperson and complimentary popcorn to keep our then-three-year-old son occupied, we finally found one that would fit the available space and that had ice and water dispensers. One, as in, we took the floor model.
We wished we’d had more options, but we have an oddly-shaped space for our fridge, and we weren’t willing to take out cabinetry just to have a different fridge. Plus, hey, we’ve got the setup for an ice dispenser, so why not use it? So, the Bosch model it was. We paid for our purchase and scheduled delivery for the next day — a Saturday, in the afternoon.
The delivery guys showed up near the beginning of their 2pm – 5pm delivery window. Our son miraculously napped through the entire delivery process: opening the front double-doors in the dead of winter, removing interior doors, dollies coming in and out, all of it.
With the preparations complete, the Appliance Center guys went back out to the truck to start moving things.
Inside, my husband and I waited… and waited… and waited. Finally, we looked out the kitchen window, out the back, and saw the truck half in the turnaround with the delivery guys staring at it. One of them was on his cell phone.
My husband went out to investigate.
The rookie delivery truck driver had opted to pull forward into our long driveway, rather than backing in as his supervisor had suggested. So, when the time came to do some actual fridge-moving, the driver and his sidekick decided they’d pull into the turnaround behind the house and turn the giant delivery truck around to face out.
As is obvious to anyone except the Appliance Center delivery guys, there is insufficient space in our turnaround to turn a 26-foot delivery truck. When the driver attempted to do so anyway, the truck scraped against the side of the garage and completely flattened our gutter.
We were livid. Positively livid.
YOU HAD ONE JOB, APPLIANCE CENTER.
My husband spent some time on the delivery guys’ cell phone, talking to their manager, exchanging information and expressing our extreme displeasure at the situation.
They still had our new fridge in the truck, though, ready to deliver. We all worked through the awkwardness and dagger-stares from both sides that followed while they removed our old dead fridge and brought in the new fridge in stages: main chassis, doors, shelves, and drawers.
Imagine our surprise when the delivery guys said they “noticed” the crisper drawers were cracked — we’d bought the floor model, after all, and the drawers had been fine the day before. It was obvious from the scuffs and the soggy owner’s manual what had happened: they’d dropped the crisper drawers in the driveway, and didn’t want to own up to it, after having hit our house with the truck already.
We didn’t press them on it; we just requested new crisper drawers.
Finally, FINALLY, our new fridge was set up, our son had awakened from his epic nap, all the doors were put back in place and tools put away, and the delivery guys backed slowly out of our long driveway — with careful supervision from my husband, of course, to make sure they didn’t hit anything else. As it was, the tires left gouges in our yard here and there where the driver couldn’t seem to stay on the driveway.
We then spent the next several weeks dealing with Appliance Center’s insurance, getting estimates and trying to figure out how a gutter could experience depreciation in monetary value. Once we got the insurance runwround worked out, the same company that fixed our unrelated ice dam gutter problem was also able to fix the delivery truck gutter damage while they were on-site.
We also spent a goodly amount of time getting Appliance Center to deliver our new crisper drawers. They got accidentally stored in the stockroom at least once, as I recall. We’re actually stuck with the scuffed trim, as that particular part isn’t replaced with the drawer itself, but at least we have actual crisper drawers that are whole and uncracked.
Appliance Center tried to make nice and send us a gift certificate for our troubles.
No. Not only are we never shopping at Appliance Center ever again (and we had been repeat customers — chest freezer, washer, and dryer), but we’re also making sure to tell all our friends to avoid Appliance Center, as well. We actually refused delivery of the gift certificate, since we could see what was in the envelope, and returned it to sender.
On top of all that, the refrigerator water line that comes up from the basement was jury-rigged by the previous homeowner, and doesn’t have enough water pressure for either the icemaker or the water dispenser, so we don’t use them. The freezer-on-bottom setup doesn’t work well for my husband, either, and the design of the fridge in general just makes him stabby. So, we spent money and time and frustration on a fridge we don’t even like.
Thanks, Appliance Center!