Ever heard of Dick Van Dyke Appliance World? If you live in east central Illinois, you have. They have this catchy little jingle that they litter the airwaves with.. If you buy from us, you get the whole store! And, it’s the home of the $25 service call!

Last Thursday evening, the refrigerator at one my homes started making abnormal clicking noises every few minutes, and this continued throughout the night. It sounded kinda like a cricket, to be honest. The next morning, Friday, my resident that lives in that home emailed me to tell me about it, and I dropped by before work to look things over. My knowledge of appliance repair can basically be summed up on a sheet of notebook paper, and I didn’t have a clue what might be wrong, since all of the exterior things looked approximately normal (except for the dripping water from the melting ice in the freezer).

So I called up Dick Van Dyke a bit after 9am, explained the situation to them, let them know that this was for a resident and not for me, and that they needed to do their best to get this taken care of as soon as possible. They let me know that, even though all of their trucks say $25 service call, that it is actually $28 dollars, as of February 14. Strike 2. (Where’s strike 1, you ask? See down at the bottom)

You’d think that maybe they would be saying to themselves: ‘Hmm.. This guy might be responsible for a fair amount of business for ourselves. We should try hard to not screw this up.’ Apparently Dick Van Dyke Appliance World doesn’t think the way that you and I do.

They got ahold of my resident to set up a time, and said that they would be by as soon as possible. This was a bit after 10am.

Fast forward all the way to 4:30pm later that day, Friday. I get a phone call from Stan the repairman. He apparently finally made it there, at 4:30pm on a Friday (Strike 3) and diagnosed the problem as being a Relay Overload Switch. For whatever reason, he didn’t have this part available (Strike 4) and they would have to order it.

Buuuuuuuuuut, they couldn’t order it that day (Strike 5) and wouldn’t be able to order it until MONDAY, arriving on Tuesday.

So, I’ve now got a situation where I have a resident living in a place without a fridge.. not for a few hours, but for something closer to 5 days. (Strikes.. let’s say.. 6, and 7) I discussed this with my resident, and he very graciously said that they had managed to store food with the neighbors and would forge ahead and do the best they could.

I impressed upon Stan the repairman that this was a great inconvenience for my resident, and he needed to MAKE SURE that this was given priority status and that they get this fixed AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

So, let’s fast forward to today. I’ve spent the entire weekend thinking about the situation and how annoying it had turned out, and feeling bad about the whole deal.

I get this email from my resident a few minutes ago. It’s currently 4pm on Tuesday.

We called the appliance repair company this morning after we hadn’t heard anything from them all morning. They had forgotten about the part and went to see where it was at. We called back in the afternoon and they said it wouldn’t be in until tomorrow. We are frustrated because we had to reach out to them to see what was going on when they promised the part would be in today and be installed.

We are not frustrated with you just bad business on their part. One would think that a company would communicate well about something like a refrigerator since it is pretty essential.

We just wanted to keep you in the loop. We know that it is as frustrating to you as it is to us.

What!!!!??!!?? Strikes 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 , 13, 14, and 15!!!!!

Once they put this part in tomorrow, they won’t be getting any more of my business, and I would suggest that you join me in making the world a better place and boycott them yourselves as well.

Strike 1, you ask? Well, I’ve used Dick Van Dyke Appliance World a couple of times in the past. They just seem a bit… shady. Every appliance technician that I’ve talked to has offered their own personal phone number to me as a way to get work done ‘on the cheap’. The techs there don’t really seem to have a lot of company loyalty. This is something that is minorly disconcerting, but not a huge deal, if things happen. In the past I had needed a part for a fridge that I ended up replacing myself via repairclinic.com, but my problem is that I am very bad at actually diagnosing what the problem is. Once I know that part X needs replaced, I can often do the work, but in the situation this week, I needed the part fixed, and now!

Hopefully you’ve made it this far. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions on who I should use for appliance repair around here? I need to find someone good that will have a reasonable collection of parts available either on-the-truck or local.

Frustrated in Champaign

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