Monday, March 15, 2010

Customer service rant: LG Dryer

I received a shiny new LG DLE1310w front load dryer as a Christmas gift - I know nice gift huh? My old kenmore dryer (about 6 years old) had died and it wasn't worth repairing. I suffered through life without a clothes dryer waiting for the appliance cash for clunkers program - upgrade to energy efficient and get a big government rebate while upgrading the dryer. I've got clothesline in the basement, it really wasn't too big of a deal not having a dryer - except for the towels - I missed the soft towels. But the appliance clunker program has been delayed time after time - incredibly annoying actually. But now I can use the program (whenever it actually takes effect) to replace the really old dishwasher that was OLD when I bought this house 10 years ago.
The brand new shiny LG front load dryer was delivered at the end of January - amazing how "in stock" really means "we'll actually get it there in 15 days - and we'll call you to move the delivery out another 4 days" - I'm not sure if that was an LG created hassle or a Home Depot hassle. In the end, my LG Dryer was actually delivered by a GE installation and delivery team but that's not my point.

So dryer is installed, the installers tell me to run it a few times empty to "burn in the lubricants". I did and it reeked. My whole house smelled like burning tires. It seems like if I were an appliance company I'd either use lubricants that don't burn and smoke or - even better - I'd burn the appliances in at the factory. There's nothing like watching your basement fill with smoke to inspire confidence in a new big-ticket appliance purchase.

That night I did an inaugural load of laundry, excited for the energy efficiency of the new dryer - and it should be much faster than the old one too! I went downstairs the next morning to find the laundry in the dryer still soggy - of course all of the clothes I had planned to wear that day were in the dryer. Interesting. Maybe that was some weird fluke? Sensor dry, cotton, yep - go. An hour later, clothes less soggy, but still damp. THREE hours later laundry is finally dry.

So off to home depot I go to replace the dryer exhaust tubing. The one that was there was fine - no buildup, but a bit of crackle around the edges. I figured I might as well replace the vent tubing to go with the fancy new LG dryer. Once that's taken care of I had really high hopes...but alas, it still takes 3-4 hours to dry my laundry. Somehow when you factor in three and four cycles this fancy shiny new energy efficient dryer is not so energy efficient.

So I call LG and get an off-shore customer service agent that I can't understand (as described below) and the conversation goes something like this:

Me: I have a brand new LG Dryer, model number DLE1310W. It takes 3-plus hours to dry a load of clothes on the manual setting and 4 cycles to dry clothes on the dryer's sensor setting.

LG: Um-hmmm. I understand that you do have dryer that not dry clothes well. Have you cleaned the lint tray?

Me: Ummmm, yeah.

LG: Are you do use using dryer sheets?

Me: Yes. (and I'm thinking: yes as a matter of fact I do use using)

LG: That's be your problem. Using da dryer sheets change da hum-hid-itty inside the dryer and make the dryer sensor not work properly. If you use dryer sheets the dryer won't dry clothes.

Me: Are you kidding me?

LG: Dryer sheets are very bad.

Me: Seriously?

LG: Yes. No more dryer sheets.

Me:  {{Silence}} pick jaw off floor.

LG: Have you checked the lint tray?

Me: It's not dryer sheets, it's not the lint tray. This is a brand new dryer that has never worked properly. I need you to open a service call on this dryer right now and dispatch a technician. If you cannot authorize the dispatch of a technician or can't open that service call you need to transfer me to a manager who can open a service call.

LG: {{Silence}}

Me: Hello?

LG: Yes M'aam. I'm placing a service call.

Flash forward a week...I did actually try a couple of dryer loads without dryer sheets and the result was exactly the same. The LG repair technician was supposed to come out this afternoon - LG scheduled me for the first available service opening - that typical 1pm-5pm window - particularly helpful. But the option was "next Monday" or "three weeks from the following Friday".

I waited from 12:30 until 6:30pm - no service call. So I had to place yet another call to LG Customer service - yet another off-shore customer service representative that I can't understand, who can't tell me why no one showed up for the appointment - but can schedule another one for next week. They finally conference me in with the local repair service who claims that they never got the dispatch order for a service call.

It was an incredibly frustrating afternoon - I'm annoyed with LG, I'm annoyed with Home Depot and I honestly don't believe that the local service vendor didn't get the service dispatch. This is a brand new, reasonably expensive dryer that doesn't work and not only do they not care that the appliance doesn't work, they weren't even slightly apologetic for wasting my time and my afternoon.

There are very few things that annoy me as much as bad and disrespectful customer service and that's exactly what I've received from LG and their vendors with this dryer. There's absolutely no reason to have phone operators that are equipped to read from a script and nothing else. What is the point of scheduling a service call if the ticket doesn't actually make it into a vendor's system? And how about a genuine "we give a damn" apology for a bad product, a missed service call and wasting my time? I didn't get that either.

In case you were wondering, my review of the LG DLE1310W dryer is as follows - one star (out of five).
Pros: Looks pretty. Doesn't seem to be affected by anti-gravity rays. Doesn't glow in the dark. Plays a cute little beep-beep song when the cycle finishes.
Cons: Takes several hours to dry a load of laundry; customer service is non-existent; good luck scheduling service.

And I can't help but wonder...all of the folks out there running around with soft towels and comfy jeans - are ya'll using dryer sheets?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've had similar problems with LG with a new $700.00 dishwasher & a new $2,00.0.00 Fridge. However, Home Depot will replace the product for you within their 30 day time limit, no questions asked. LG phone banks who take your service calls get PAID $20.00 for each service call they handle on the phone!!! Yes, they do. It costs too MUCH MONEY to send out a technician to fix your new appliances, SO they allow idiots without any training handle your calls. They are under-staffed and under educated phone answering boards. They even wanted me to fax to them my original receipt to LG office before they would even consider talking to me!!! I gave them the serial number (HD already sent them notice I bought it) but they wanted me to jump through hoops because I was frustrated with a new 2K fridge. The LG phone rep. lost her $20.00 bonus/tip. LG sent out a guy the next day and it's all fixed. He too was upset they wanted me to FAX over my original receipt from Home Depot. HD is very upset and offered to replace my new dishwasher & Fridge the same day when I did not have the correct receipt. Work with Home Depot, they love their customers and HD is an upscale company that will got to bat for you. You can trust Home Depot if you are nice to them, try getting more with honey than vinegar with Home Depot, I rely upon their hourly workers for all knowledge.