Friday was the BIG DAY, and I was looking forward to it. Our new dishwasher, washing machine, AND refrigerator were to be delivered between noon and 1:00, Sears said. Mike had already cleaned behind the washer and dryer, but that still left plenty of work for today.
First, I helped Mike clean the old dishwasher and move it out of the kitchen. Then I started on the refrigerator, packing food into boxes, crates, the chest freezer, and a cooler. I was ready by noon, but the delivery guy called to say it would be “more like 2:00.”
|Kenmore side-by-side, c. 1997|
In reality, the delivery hour was more like 3:00. They apprised us of continued delays by phone, but it was still irksome considering that we paid a handsome delivery fee for the resulting inconvenience. When they finally arrived – after having zoomed past the house at least twice – the guys measured my refrigerator hole and broke the sad news. No way would the new one fit. I was very angry – perhaps irrationally so -- at Sears sales, Sears delivery, the folks who built this manufactured home, and most of all at myself for just not thinking of it. All other appliances are standard, the delivery guy told me, but not refrigerators. I cannot have a refrigerator wider than 34 nor taller than 68 inches. That narrows my options to about two low-end models.
On top of that, I fear that I will not find a model that takes advantage of the space I have. My research seems to show that small refrigerators are about 30 inches wide with the next increment being 35 inches. And of course, I do see this as a huge limitation imposed by the home manufacturer. According to the dealer from whom we purchased this house, they now build the houses with huge fridge holes, but this wasn't so ten years ago.
“Time for that kitchen remodel,” advises daughter Hallie. Hmmm. That never occurred to me – and isn’t really something I want to do. However, I'm exploring options.
So, at 3:30, Mike began to install the dishwasher, and if you know Mike, you know that he will not put off till tomorrow what can be done today, whatever that means. He made two trips to the hardware store for the needful and took a short break for a light supper. At 9:30 we loaded our supper dishes into the dishwasher, turned it on, and were soon in bed. KW
Mike and Ken left to scout for wood this morning, and I took myself to Sears. The same sales rep helped me find a fridge that would fit my space – a nice French door model, 24 cu. ft., 33 inches wide. It was a little tall, but she showed me that the hinge was included in that measurement. It actually measures 67 inches, which is within our parameters.
I’d forgotten to take my Sears card, or I would have ordered it on the spot. The rep wrote the model number on a card and suggested I look at it online. She quoted the price as $2639.99 and added that the delivery charge would be waived.
Back at the house, I checked online and was surprised to note the price on this very model was $1999.99. So, after lunch I took the Sears card and went back to the store. (I invited Mike to go with me, but he said I was doing fine by myself.)
At the store, I mentioned to the rep that the price online was considerably less. She replied that “they” would not let her match those prices. Well, in this case, the difference to me, the consumer, was $640! Would there be an exorbitant delivery charge, I asked. She said she couldn’t say. She also added that the delivery manager would not allow her to waive the $80 delivery charge. “I won’t be ordering today,” I said.
So, I returned home, and Mike and I sat down at my laptop and ordered the model the rep had shown me. The purchase price was $1999.99. Delivery is free, and we got 5% back for using our new Sears credit card ($100). Bottom line with tax: $2046.29, a substantial savings over the store price. Frankly, without the rep’s help, I wouldn’t have had the knowledge or confidence to order this model, so I’m sorry about her commission. Maybe her commission is part of the problem.
Delivery date is May 6. Stay tuned . . .