Supporting family-owned businesses is important to me. After all, I run a family business. So when our Maytag washing machine took its final spin after 14 years of service, I decided to shop at a local family-owned appliance store. Grand Appliances. They have several locations in Chicago, and one is in my neck of the woods. Please bear with me as I repeat the store name ad nauseam throughout this post. I am stalking the search engine gods for attention.
The Grand Appliance salesperson sold me on the benefits of an Electrolux washer. Consumer report gave the machine a strong rating. The saleswomen assured me it was a tough machine made for heavy use. Hair from my furs? No problem. Sold and delivered.
In December, six months after purchasing the washing machine it stopped working. They don’t make things like they use to. Or service them like they use to either. There are three places in Chicago authorized to service Electrolux machines. Electrolux schedules warranty appointments. Calling Electrolux means hold times that can last up to 45 minutes. And then they take you through a series of troubleshooting questions. Is your washer plugged in? If the machine is still not working after you do a plug check, they schedule service. It would take five days before a service provider would contact me to set up an appointment to look at my washer. The Grand Appliance store I bought the machine from did not return my phone calls.
Eight days later the first repairman arrived without a flashlight or tools. He borrowed my flashlight and checked the plug. Next, he looked behind and under the machine. Then he inquired if he could see my manual. After turning to the troubleshooting section, he diagnosed the machine. I was locking the washer and preventing it from starting. He had no idea how I was locking it. And he could not unlock the machine that I locked. I kid you not. He left, my washing machine still did not work. The second repair person arrived five days later. He walked through my house in his muddy boots reeking of cigarette smoke. He then refused to look at the washer because the plug was not grounded to specification. Repairman number three fixed the washer. He determined the door handle was not turning into the correct position. After replacing the handle, he suggested that I not hang or lean on it in the future. I promised and was ready to spin into 2018 leaving my washer problems behind. Wrong.
My New Year kicked off with an Electrolux washer that would not drain. Rinse and repeat— same service issues. But this time around I decided to track someone down at Grand Appliance Corporate. It took some time, but I was finally on the phone with Chris Larson, customer service terrorist. A man so bad at his job that at one point I thought I was part of someone’s joke. He would not tell me the name of the president of Grand Appliance; he refused to call me back. Insisting that it is the customer’s responsibility to follow up with him. He accused me of abusing my washing machine. Attila La Larson customer service philosophy is, “you bought it sucker, you’re stuck with it.” Back to Electrolux corporate to schedule another service call.
Practice makes perfect. I am now an expert at multi-tasking while waiting on hold to speak to an Electrolux customer service representative. I place the phone on speaker/headphones and drive to the laundromat. And then hauling my overflowing laundry baskets I trudged through the snow to do laundry. Fifty-seven minutes, and several wash loads later I am speaking with someone from Electrolux. A service repair call is scheduled. Again. Seven days later, the repair person arrived. Muttered around and shared that it would cost $785.00 to fix my washing machine.
Oh, you thought the machine was under warranty? Me to. My problem was not covered since they found hair in the drain. When I wasn’t swinging on the washer door, I was clogging the drain with hair! I was not going to pay more to fix a washer than it would cost to buy a new one. Enough is Enough.
ABT Appliances delivered my new Maytag three days later. The family-owned store I should have gone to in the first place. Most of Chicago shops ABT because of their legendary customer service. You have a problem; they fix it. I should have, could of, and will forever more make my appliance purchases from ABT.
Furious with Grand Appliances lack of customer service, Electrolux’s voided warranty, and the expense of buying two new washing machines in less than a year I am engaging social media. My friends on Facebook consoled me (time, and time, again) by pledging to never buy anything from Grand Appliance. They also promised to share my story far and wide. I left a one-star review on Yelp (no stars is not an option). I’m not the only dissatisfied customer. Those $19,00 background checks you can buy online are informative. Below is is a bit of information my research turned up about Grand Appliance. I can share more on request.
My new Maytag is terrific. I shower it with appreciation every day. Buy only the finest HE approved detergent. Measure out the detergent to the exact amount. No oversudings for my machine. The door is open when it is not in use. I’m not even tempted to swing on the door handle.
Grand Appliance and Electrolux took me to the Laundromat, hopefully, I can save someone else the trip, expense, and angst.
Feel free to add Poor dear Kb to your comment and share your customer service troubles.
Mike’s food of the day is Ravioli
Odd Loves Company,
Grand Appliance claims to be a local IL company. However, they moved their headquarters/warehouse to Sturtevant Wisconsin. “Southeast Wisconsin provides an ideal location that supports Grand Appliance and TV’s growth plans,” said Mark Reckling, company president.
Corporate number: 1-746-6000
Home address listed in Wadsworth, IL.
Condo- listed in Bradenton, FL
Corporate Customer Service –
Chris Larson, Customer Service Terrorist
(don’t waste your time)
Store in Forrest Park
7440 W. Madison
Forest Park, IL 60130
Phone: (708) 771-4763
Check Yelp for reviews
Check their FB page for reviews
Buyer Beware: If you buy Electrolux anything in the Chicagoland area there are 3 places that can service the appliance. My experience with all three is dismal. Long wait times for service. The service providers that do show up are not prepared to fix the appliance.
Electrolux has an awful track record of honoring warranties and supplying parts to their service dealers. ABT will service the brand through their store. So if you want to buy an Electrolux buy it from ABT.
Another poor me picture: