A&E Factory Service = no service

During the remodeling of our condo in 2000, we purchased appliances from Maytag, Whirlpool, and GE. With factory warranty expiring, we purchased service contracts through Sears. For a number of years, this has been outsourced by Sears to A&E Factory Service. Service since then has been completely abysmal.

Week before last, the heating element in our Maytag Gemini oven went out. It sparked for a number of minutes even after I had turned the oven off. I had the fire extinguisher ready and aiming at the heating element, ready to fire. I paused, and turned off the breaker switch, and the sparking finally stopped.

A call to A&E consists of three or more rounds of …. “what is your name, address, and telephone number, what is the problem..what is the appliance…oh, you have a service contract, let me transfer you”. Seriously, three rounds of repeating the same information–you’d think this was a government office that was transferring you around the world…why can’t the information flow smoothly from one customer service rep to another? This is the age of computers…that shit is possible.

Talking to someone who can setup an appointment is a pain. Finally, the appointment is set, over a week out, on a Thursday. So I “work from home” that afternoon (yesterday). I leave the office around noon, drive home (40 minutes), and wait and wait. Finally, at 2:30 a call comes in from the service tech: “what is the problem? ok, I’ll be finishing up here and be on my way”. An hour later, “what is the problem again? ok, top heating element, let me check stock and call you back”. About 30 minutes later…”oh, don’t have that in stock, I’ll order it…it’ll be about 5 days, so I’ll set you up another appointment for next Thursday”. WTF!!!!!

So, I spent the afternoon at home from work, waiting a service technician who had NO CLUE what the appliance problem was, even though I covered it at least THREE times on the phone with the company, just to make another appointment for a week later.

Is it really too much to expect that all the troubleshooting that was done on the phone to obtain the initial appointment would have been a clue to the company to check stock of the most part I would most likely need and order the damn thing so it would be available for the appointment time?

I’m not a fan of extended warranties. We have gotten our money’s worth of parts and labor over the past years, but the bullshit that we have to deal with is insanely frustrating. We will NOT be renewing our contracts when they expire next year, and I sincerely hope that we don’t need any more service from them.

A word to the wise…if you deal with A&E Factory Service, be prepared for hours of frustration. Avoid them. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.