Here's a warning to anyone purchasing appliances from a local home improvement store.

Last week our family decided to take advantage of the Black Friday sales and finally replaced our 30-year-old clothes dryer. After fixing the belt several times, repainting the rusty door, and putting up with a broken buzzer, it was finally time to say goodbye to our old friend.

Luckily, a newer version of the same model was on sale and in stock, so we ordered it and scheduled delivery for Saturday. After upgrading the outdated electrical box with a "new" four-prong outlet, we waited for the crew to arrive with the dryer and haul away our old one for an extra $30 fee.

Two pleasant delivery men showed up just when they promised they would and muscled the 30-year-old dryer out of the basement before quickly installing the new one. After the protective plastic was removed, we fired it up for a test drive and immediately realized something was wrong. A loud "thump, thump, thump" was accompanied by wild rocking and jumping from the dryer.

"Looks like the drum is warped," the delivery guy said. He immediately unhooked the dryer and loaded it back onto the truck. "So will you be back with a new one?" I naively asked. The driver just looked at me and shook his head. He suggested I call up the company and talk to them. After tipping the delivery crew, they drove away leaving me without a dryer.

The confirmation email for my order had a number of the local home improvement store listed for any problems with my delivery. So I called up to figure out what happens next. After being kept on hold for 10 minutes, I hung up and tried again. I know that the Thanksgiving weekend is a busy time but surely, I thought, someone must eventually answer the phone.

After what seemed like hours, I finally reached a human and explained the issue. They sighed and said that I needed to refuse the order. I told her that the driver hauled it away and was bringing it back to the store. After sighing again, she told me that they'd have to inspect the unit, which usually takes a few days, and then we'd get a refund to our credit card a few days after that. Thinking she misunderstood, I explained that I didn't want my money back, I just wanted the dryer I ordered.


It appeared that I stumped the employee. "Hmmm," she said. We really can't help you with that. "I guess you can come down to the store and we can see if we have another dryer in stock." I stopped her and explained again that I ordered and paid for the dryer, it came damaged, and all I wanted was for them to send me one that worked. Again, that wasn't an option.

Now, I was thoroughly confused. Why would a company that already has my money rather refund the money back than send me the item I paid for? It really made no sense and was just terrible customer service. After I started to explain again, I realized the person on the other end of the phone was fed up with the conversation and wasn't able to help me any further. I politely thanked her for her time and hung up.

In the almost three decades I've lived in my house, I've had countless things delivered to my home that were damaged. I can't remember a time when customer service didn't apologize and then help me get a replacement. Not only did I not receive an apology or any sort of explanation, instead, the store expected me to come down in person to buy the same dryer all over again.

So instead of doing that, I just ordered a dryer from a different store that was delivered the next day. It arrived on schedule and worked perfectly. At least now I'll have dry clothes as I wait patiently for that promised refund from the uncooperative store that missed out on my sale.

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