Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Yesterday, Maytag announced that it was recalling 1.6 million refrigerators due to a fire hazard.  There have been 41 reported "incidents" with 16 resulting in damage ranging from smoke damage to major kitchen damage.  Just to show you how lucky I am, I am one of those 16.....out of 1.6 million.
We bought our Maytag refrigerator in 2003, when we moved into our new house.  In September 2007, we returned home from an outing while my parents were in town to our house filled with smoke, and my dog trembling and cowering near the door we would return through.  At first we weren't sure what was going on.  We had no idea where the smoke was coming from, but we quickly called the fire department.  After much hoopla, and fortunately no need for water to be sprayed anywhere, it was determined that there was an explosion of sorts from the refrigerator (evident by the soot all over the cabinets surrounding the appliance, and all over the wall), and an electrical fire had begun.  The fire chief told us we were lucky we had come home when we had, or things could have "progressed" quickly.  
I found this very upsetting.  What if this had happened at night?  Our bedrooms are all upstairs, and we have two young children.  Would we have heard the "explosion"?  When would the smoke detectors have gone off (they were not sounding when we got home)?  And my parents were staying with us.  My dad suffered a stroke 2 years prior to this event and uses a cane.  Stairs are a major procedure for him.  If he had been stuck upstairs at night....I can't even bear to think what could've happened.  
After contacting Maytag the next morning, they informed us that they would send out a technician to look at the refrigerator in a few days.  After some balking, we managed to be able to have someone come the next morning.  The technician was shocked at the damage and told us that all of the major working parts would need to be replaced.  Replaced?  As in new parts put in what was left of the burned fridge?  Yes, that's probably what Maytag will do.  Unacceptable to us, DH and I both spent almost 2 weeks calling Maytag and arguing with them over this.  The appliance was burned!  How could we comfortably ever plug it in again?  Even with new guts......
After a week, they agreed to give us a pro-rated replacement amount.  That sounded ok, until they explained it.  They average the life expectancy of a refrigerator to be 13 years.... and we had already gotten about 3 1/2 years out of it.  So, if we provided them with our original receipt, they would take the price we paid and basically pay us for the "unused years".  Except, at that point, I couldn't put my hand on the receipt.  So, what I knew we paid $1500 -$1600 for, they will then use the lowest price it ever sold for to do the calculations....which was only $999!  In the end, they offered to send us a check for $300!!  What kind of a replacement were we supposed to get for $300?  
It took us another week of phone calls and arguing (again my mom was somewhere rolling her eyes) to finally tire of us and agree to buy back the burned refrigerator for our full price (I found the receipt in the end!).  Our blood pressure had probably skyrocketed during that time, and not to mention the huge inconvenience of not having a refrigerator in a household with, at the time, a 2 year old and a 6 year old.  But the moral here is that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.  If we had taken their first offer, we would have had to shell  out a lot more money out of our pocket....that we had just done 3 years prior!  Persistence paid off....and look, we weren't alone!  There truly was a legitimate issue and it's taken them this long to announce it.  
DH and I have vowed not to buy a Maytag appliance again.  The difficult part is that they also make Whirlpool, Jenn-Air, Amana, and other brands!  It makes it very hard to take your business elsewhere when they're all owned by the same company! 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ah, The Things They Say....

A short, funny, kid story that I had to share...mostly because I will probably forget that it happened by next week and I've been saying forever that "I should really write this stuff down".
This morning, we were in the car, driving DS to school.  He was chatting away about something and DD started talking over him.  (She does this a lot, and I've been trying to teach her not to interrupt....I'm not succeeding.)  DS immediately yelled at her to be quiet.  I tried my normal approach, again, and said, "You are interrupting again."  She quickly retorted, "Why do you keep saying that Mommy?  I am not a volcano!"
I'm going to assume that I don't need to explain anything further.  DS and I couldn't help but laugh.  It made my morning!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

We've stepped in it again!

I've realized that I talk about poo a lot.  I don't mean to, but it finds me....I swear.
Take today, for instance.  DH is on an almost 2 week long business trip.  We're half way in, and doing just fine, but a weekend day with no plans makes us all feel his absence.  So, I decided to take the kids on a day trip.  We ventured to a children's museum that took me a little more than an hour to get to.  It was wonderful, the kids were wonderful, and I was feeling like Super Mom.  We left the museum for a late lunch, and I quickly realized that McDonald's was the only recognizable restaurant in the middle of Amish Country.  As we ate, I was thinking to myself that this is the dirtiest McD's I've ever seen.  The soda/condiment bar was sticky, drippy, and yucky.  Little did I know, that was nothing.
Seeing as how it was 70 degrees out today, after we ate, the kids went to play on the outdoor playset.  Up they scampered to the top, and DS was first out of the twisty slide.  He came running over to me to ask what was on his shoe.  One look and I knew.  But, oh, how I prayed it was chocolate.  So I sniffed it to be sure.  Nope, certified diarrhea.  On the top and toe part of my son's meshy fabric Nikes.  Needless to say, I freaked.  
I ran inside and told one of the cashiers that apparently there was diarrhea inside of the playset and my son's shoe was covered in it.  Then (and this is the good part) she turned to a fellow cashier and told her, "Hey, that kid that had the accident in the playset before....well now it's on this kid's shoe."  YOU KNEW IT WAS THERE???  Now I was not only freaked out, but furious to boot.  I asked if they had something I could use to clean off DS's shoe.  They gave me damp napkins.  DAMP NAPKINS!!  For germ infested diarrhea from a stranger!!  Get me the manager.  
So, I complained.  My mom would have you believe I am a chronic complainer...but seriously....wouldn't you?  The manager had the nerve to tell me that there wasn't anything he could do for me, he can't be held responsible for negligent parents who don't inform him of their children having an accident inside of the playset, and....he really couldn't be sure that DS would need new sneakers anyway.  Are you kidding me?  It's mesh....and coated in poo!!  And your cashiers obviously knew about the offending child, so don't tell me you didn't know!!  And could I please have something stronger than a damp napkin???  My blood was boiling!
On my way out of there, one of the cashiers asked me if there was anything else she could do for me.  I think I snorted out loud at that point, but I asked her where the outlets were (one of my friends had told me I'd be near them)....and apparently she wasn't clear on what outlets were.  And no, she wasn't Amish.  I told her I clearly needed to buy new sneakers.  She couldn't think of one athletic shoe type place to direct me to.  The best she came up with was the supermarket....she thought they sold Crocs there.  Why would I spend $30 on Crocs when DS was going to need new sneakers?  
So I got in my car, and started to drive.  It took me a half an hour of  dairy farms to come across a shopping center with a sporting goods store.....and much gagging in the car as it started to stink of diarrhea.  (The only reason I didn't toss them at McD's was because I thought he'd need some type of shoe to walk into a store to buy new ones.)  I did eventually get him new sneakers, and we threw the dirty ones out at the store, but seriously....trouble found me again!  Just my luck.