9/13/08 (Sat). Discovered our 3 year old Maytag Fridge died overnight. Fun. Called Maytag's 800 # and spoke with a very kind and empathetic agent who arranged a service appointment with A&E Factory Service for somewhere between 8-5 on Monday, 9/15. I asked her how much this would cost us out of pocket. She said $65 if the problem is covered under the limited 2-5th year warranty. She also kindly provided other companies I could try calling to see if anyone would come over the weekend, or if I could find a better deal. I called around, found nobody who could see me before Monday, and all the prices were $65.
9/15/08 (Mon). Technician Paul pays us a visit and immediately opens his laptop to secure payment. He tells us that it's $131+tax! We explain that it was supposed to be $65. He points out the last sentence in the warranty paragraph in our manual and proclaims that they can tack on whatever trip, mileage, time, diagnostic charge they want. He popped open the back of the fridge and announced the compressor was bad. He said he didn't have the part and then went through the motions of trying to find one in town. He said there wasn't one and it had to be placed on "emergency order" from the factory, but he'd waive the $30 emergency fee for us (how kind). He said it was too late that day for the part to go out, but it would ship Tuesday, we should have it Wednesday, and he'd schedule us for Thursday 8-noon. I asked him how much I owed him for the day and he said $70.63. I just assumed that was the $65 + tax.
After he told us the price, I called the A&E number and was transferred to the CIT department. I spoke with Nancy who confirmed the $65 charge, which Paul still disputed. Nancy asked to speak to Paul. I could hear her arguing with him. He told her to speak to his manager, Chris. I don't know what happened with that.
9/16/08 (Tue). Our friendly UPS man arrives with the part! Huh??? Wow! That was quick! I call A&E to let them know the part arrived early and asked if they could squeeze us in earlier than Thursday since we'd been without a fridge since Saturday. Nope. Nothin' doin'. Wait 'til Thursday - confirmed an 8-12 appointment.
Called CIT to follow-up with Nancy. Didn't get to speak to Nancy - I spoke to Vanessa. I explained the events of the previous day and she said she would check into it . I explained that Nancy might know something and maybe they could chat. Vanessa promised to call me back.
9/17/08 (Wed). Dear husband takes a look at the package the part is in. The package was sent via UPS 3rd Day Air Saver all the way from...wait, this can't be...naw...it's gotta be wrong - but lo and behold - the return address is Winter Park, FL. Approximately 11 miles from our house. I would have gone and gotten that damn part myself!!!
No call from Vanessa.
9/18/08 (Thu). Appointment day! No call from Vanessa. I called CIT and spoke with yet another time, this time with Ron. I told him I wanted to be sure I was informed correctly before the tech showed up. Ron told me that actually, I shouldn't be charged anything at all. Ok. But if the tech asked for the $65, I'd still be willing to pay it. Ron said that if the tech has a problem with this, to have him call CIT. While in this conversation, I told Ron that I already paid $70.63. He said I shouldn't have paid anything - he studied my account and told me that I had purchased a "Protection Agreement". A what???? A protection agreement. I told him I didn't want a protection agreement. I realized Paul the technician had squirmed that in and when I asked, what do I owe you? He said $70.63. That was it. Weasel. Ron arranged for the agreement to be canceled and my money refunded.
Noon comes and goes...
Tech shows up at 5:50pm. This time it's Rick. He comes in, pops open his laptop and gets ready to secure payment. He says $131 + tax. I told him I'm not paying that. I was told $65 (even though earlier I'd been told FREE). I had him call CIT. I couldn't hear the conversation because I assume they told him he can't tack on miscellaneous charges - as I heard Nancy tell Paul on Monday. I guess Rick didn't like what CIT had to say so he went outside to speak to his manager, Chris. Rick came back in and said Chris says it's $131 + tax. My husband told Rick to leave. Rick wanted to take the part, my husband informed him we'd be keeping the part - Rick said he wasn't going to argue, but we'd be hearing from their legal department. As Rick walked out the front door, I was walking out the back door hitting the "send" button to call Maytag.
I spoke with Doug (love him!) at Maytag. I explained the entire mess. He repeated the entire mess back to me. (Impressive). He got on the phone with A&E's CIT department. They confirmed the $65 charge and that the techs cannot be adding to it. Seems Tech Manager Chris and crew have a nice little scam going on and now they are caught. Doug said he would be following up to make sure the techs and Chris are reported. A&E is a nationwide company with a nationwide policy and they are not following it. We don't want A&E coming out - but we'll have to pay for the part if they aren't the ones to do the work. Whatever. Doug promises a senior tech will do the job and we will not be charged one red cent, one penny, nada, nothin', no cash. Doug gets to work at 9:30 tomorrow and will try to get us squeezed in - we have a 3rd birthday party to host on Sunday and it would be nice to have a fridge and freezer. Doug promises to follow up on this and he is processing a formal complaint and report. I believe him.
So, the saga continues...