Lexington, Missouri
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This is an E-mail I sent to A&E after three months of ineffective repairs to my washing machine, under an extended warranty programme.

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After five repair trips of parts totaling $3,200 for a washing machine that cost $2,200, my washing machine is not yet repaired.

My complaint however, is not that I have waited three months to get my washing machine repaired with an endless array of parts. My complaints are two:

A) your telephone service. Why does your company use an outsourcing firm, none of the callers seemingly able to comprehend English?

On all five repair appointments, the automated system tells me that an appointment for repair is scheduled. I call back to inform them I do not have the parts. The operators have never understood that "UPS does not ship to our house except when they feel like it" because we live sixty miles from UPS.

They do not understand "Let me call you when we get the part, please stop waking me up to set appointments I have to cancel because we do not have the parts."

Your operators insist on setting an appointment for me, despite my telling them we do not yet have the parts.

This relates to the second problem:

B) Your company is saving no money by using UPS when you send parts to my house. UPS delivers here when they want, not when they say they will. No matter how many times or how much I plead for your company to ship parts by the US Postal Service (located two blocks from my house), your company refuses.

On one of the parts shipped, it was shipped by UPS Next Day Air (asked for by the repair tech in desperation), which took a week to get after it was shipped.

I am on a first-name basis with your repair tech, and even my dog knows her now.

On my current repair appointment (the sixth), I have been called three times in the last twenty-four hours to set an appointment, and I cannot get through to your non-English speaking staff that we do not have the parts, and UPS claiming on its Website they will deliver them by tomorrow is a fantasy.

Do not contact me in response to this message unless it is by a person who speaks English as a native language, preferably an American or Canadian.

It is not that I am a bigot. It is your telephone operators do not understand the simple phrase "I do not have the parts" and repeatedly insist on setting appointments for me which I repeatedly have had to cancel on all five previous repairs.

And I do not want any more parts shipped to me by UPS. I would prefer at this point a new washing machine (as it is covered under the extended warranty) but fear that would be shipped by UPS as well.

I have also written over the past months about this odyssey on a Mensa mail list over the incredible waste of money your company has expended both in parts and in UPS charges for delivery service we do not get, and the incredible waste of my time, which is gathering quite a following of amused and sympathetic readers.

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The overseas call centre received my complaint E-mail, not someone in the USA. They called back to insist that United Parcel Service provides good service, and that they understand English. The caller's English was so accented I could barely understand her. I had to ask her to repeat herself throughout the conversation.

As in the previous repair orders, she insisted they will mark my account to only use the United States Postal Service (I did not use abbreviations). I asked her why they continue to lie about marking my account thus, since they continue to send parts by United Parcel Service.

I told her I will no longer call to tell them I do not have parts. I will let their technician drive sixty miles one-way to find out for herself.

And then she made an appointment. She claims she read my E-mail. Despite my rant in that E-mail over canceling the appointment three times in the last twenty-four hours, she made another one. When she said she was making an appointment, I blew my rape whistle into the phone and hung up on her.

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