It can’t be coincidence. There has to be a reason. I have spent literally every day for nearly a week on the phone with customer or technical support. Earlier, it was computers. The PC, iPad, Macbook Air.
I got through it. I am alive to tell the tale.
All computers are working except the PC which still won’t accept the download from Microsoft. They try a couple of times a day and it gets rejected each time. Eventually I’ll call and find out how it’s going on, but they said it might take a few weeks — not to worry. I’m not worried, at least not about the PC. It is working fine.
Today, Garry put the laundry in the machine and kindly offered to vacuum the rug. At some point, he stopped and I emptied the cup where the dirt goes (is there a name for that? and put the dirt thingie back in the machine. Which is what we’ve done dozens of times.
Pushed the on button. Nothing happened. No clogging choking sounds. No sounds at all. An utter silence where there ought to be something, at the very least, a sucking noise.
After accusing Garry of breaking another vacuum cleaner, which he instantly rejected as he hadn’t done anything except vacuum our 4 by 6 rug and a bit of the floor … which, he pointed out, was voluntary … and there I was accusing him … FALSELY … of malfeasance. In my own defense, Garry has slain more than a few vacuums so it wasn’t such a big leap.
This time, it just died — on its own.
I reviewed the machine. I checked the brushes. Put the plug in a different outlet. This machine isn’t rechargeable and has a 25 foot cord. I have heard, though, that other machines have this problem. Apparently something in the electrical box pulls apart during use. Easy to fix — if you can fix something electrical. Which I definitely can’t. I’m not even sure why electricity doesn’t come slithering out of the walls on its own.
I switched it on again. Nope.
Turned it off. Resisted the temptation to give it a whack with a hammer. Did it again and again because I couldn’t believe it would just stop working, for no reason, when there had been no previous problem.
Finally, I said: “Well, for once, I actually bought a warranty.”
Why? Because these little lightweight machines don’t hold up. I’ve never had one survive longer than a year. This one didn’t make it to six months. Five months, less three days, actually. The warranty cost only $10, so I said “You know what? I’ll buy it.”
I found the warranty and the website. They wanted information in formats I couldn’t provide, so finally I called them. The third time, I got a human on the phone. She said it was still under the manufacturer’s warranty, so they should take care of it. She called them as a three-way call.
Shark offered — IF I sent it back — to send me a new one for just $20 … plus tax on the full price ($8) — and I would have to buy the box. Which, considering this is a vacuum cleaner, would be another $30. But they’d pay for the shipping.
Wow. That’s real service.
Moral of the story? A limited warranty is worthless. In years of buying things with limited warranties, never has one of them paid for anything. Limited means “You’re kidding, right?” If it’s limited, it’s not a warranty.
Eventually, the SquareTrade representative said “Shark is giving you a ridiculously hard time, so we’ll just honor our warranty and refund your money. Let’s hear it for SquareTrade!
“And I won’t,” I commented, ” be buying another Shark.” But I don’t know what I’m going to buy. I can’t push a heavy machine and Garry’s getting tired too. Maybe an Oreck Commercial type.
They break too. I know. I owned one and the belt broke almost every time I used it. Of course, that was years ago, so maybe they have improved. I sure hope so.
Is it me? Do I have some kind of weird problem with service? Or do they do this to everyone? If this is how the world is turning, life is going to be a total bummer … even worse than it already is!
From start to finish, this event took almost four hours. Four more hours spent dealing with customer service and I didn’t shout at anyone, not even once. All for a $99.99 vacuum cleaner I bought last December that should still be working.
I used to earn that much every other hour I worked and now, I do this for free. It must be some bizarre karmic thing because nobody who isn’t working for customer service should spend this much time talking to them.
It was a pretty good machine — for its brief life of just under five months. I noticed that Amazon isn’t selling it anymore. Shocking.
I wonder why not?