Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vacuum repair and faith in humanity

About two weeks after I raved about all our great finds on Craigslist, including our Dyson vacuum cleaner, it stopped working, right as Matt was tidying up before his book club meeting at our house. (Yes, both Matt and I participate in book clubs...separate book clubs....separate all-female book clubs, with Matt being the exceptional male member.)

The Dyson was making a horrible noise and generally not doing its one job as a vacuum cleaner. It sucked, or rather, it stopped sucking.



Matt got on the phone with Dyson, grabbed some tools and dismantled the vacuum, while the person at Dyson walked him through the repair process. Mid-call Matt asked me to come downstairs to see if my tiny hands could get to some tiny vacuum-cleaner parts. I failed, and we scratched our heads as we felt like we could not follow simple directions, and the guy on the phone kept saying, "All you have to do is...it should be right in front of you." We should just return all our college degrees.

So Matt called back and got a different Dyson whiz. This is always a good rule to follow when dealing with any form of customer service in which you are not getting your way. And, true to form, by dealing with another person we got another set of answers. Turns out our Dyson model (DC-17 Allergen originally purchased in May 2008) had been recalled because of a problem with the belt, the same problem we were having, and the reason why we were unable to do the repair ourselves (this also made us feel less dumb).

The reason we didn't know about the recall? We weren't contacted because we aren't the vacuum cleaner's original owners. Enter problem number 2.

The lady on the phone told us we could take the vacuum to a repair shop and have it fixed free of charge because it's under the five-year warranty. But the warranty is nontransferable and she said they wouldn't take it. She said, "You could see if the original owner is willing to get it repaired." Then she probably chuckled to herself, "Good luck with that." This did not stop us.

Matt archives everything he gets in Gmail. He archived his emails with the guy who sold us our Dyson on Craigslist, lovely Howard. So Matt calls Howard. Shockingly, Howard returns Matt's voicemail. Then even more shockingly, lovely Howard is nice enough to agree to call Dyson himself, complain of the problem, and put the gears in motion for the repair.

Yesterday while Matt was out running errands he picked up our Dyson from the repair shop, and I am pleased to report the vacuum cleaner is functioning even better than it did before. Now, intense vacuuming is about to commence.

Lovely Howard, you are a rare gem of Craigslist. May you be blessed with many perfectly functioning appliances for the rest of your life.

If that doesn't restore your faith in humanity, I don't know what will.

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