Whirlpool and A&E Factory Service
Duet Steam Whirlpool Front-Loading Automatic Washer - Complaint
Have happily used GE products in my house since 1988. A consumer magazine reported that Whirlpool washer had a great repair record so I went with Whirlpool. Soon after warranty was up, washer stopped in middle of wash and gave a code of F71. Called Whirlpool number supplied with product info. They referred me to A&E Factory Service. Appointment made for 9/2/2010. Charge would be $129.00 plus parts; labor charge supposedly would cover a 90 day period in case related visits were necessary. Tech came and diagnosed problem ("Part Failure: Needs Interface") and gave me an estimated bill for $129 (Labor performed - Control motor) and $304 (for "Parts Required-1 Sub Kit."). If I agreed to pay this amount, the tech would have ordered the part(s) and installed it at the next appointment with no new labor charge. The decision not to resulted in a number of events none of which has resulted in anything being done to repair my broken washer.
First, I called Whirlpool and they kindly agreed to authorize payment for the part but not the labor I'd already paid. That was the only good news as of this date, 9/13/2010. Next I called A&E to give them the authorization code but they told me the tech had not filed his report and allow 24 hours. Later that week I tried unsuccessfully to call Whirlpool to have them connect me to A&E. I kept getting tied up with their computer answering/questioning device. On 9/7, I finally made contact with A&E and again tried to give them the authorization number and arrange for a follow-up service visit. The A&E person said that was out of the norm as Whirlpool has to enter the authorization code from their end into A&E's computer system and A&E wouldn't take the word of a customer on the authorization. I asked her for the part number I needed to give to Whirlpool and she couldn't find anything listed for me. I told her I had a 9/2 receipt that listed a part but no number and then she was able to locate the part number (W10300044). I called Whirlpool on 9/7 and they told me I had the wrong part number; they figured it out and said I had one too many zeros (when the second tech came on 9/13 he showed me his computer and the number had three zeros as A&E had told me earlier so who is right and are customers getting the correct parts???).They told me the part purchase was now authorized in the system and to call A&E back for an appointment. I told them I didn't have great confidence in the person at A&E as they couldn't find me in their system at first. She volunteered to make the appointment. She came back online and told me the part was being delivered directly to my house and the appointment for service was being scheduled for one week from now to allow the part to arrive. She twice instructed me that if the part arrived sooner, I should call and ask A&E to come sooner. This Whirlpool young lady actually wanted to do something to help move the situation along. This was the last Whirlpool person to actually try to do anything to help the customer. After one week and no part arriving at my house, it was time for the A&E tech to arrive. I called Whirlpool to get a tracking number on the part and to see if we should reschedule and this is when the real fun began. First the customer service representative called A&E and told me the part was never ordered and A&E was going to charge me for a second labor visit to diagnose the problem all over again. Then they'll decide whether or not to order the part!!!!!!! I asked to speak to the Whirlpool supervisor and she put me on the phone with A&E and we had a three way. A&E claimed that my only communication with them was on 9/2 and I declined the part estimate so no part was ever ordered. When I said that was old news and there were communications with A&E recently on 9/7 they claimed there were none. The Whirlpool supervisor then began to close ranks with the A&E person and told me I was probably mistaken about the whole matter; Whirlpool never orders or arranges for parts to be ordered (the second tech told me he thought they did), there were no 9/7 communications, etc. When I asked the A&E person how the 9/13 appointment got set up she said it was from the first visit. I reminded her that her own tech's receipts show I declined further work at that time. I then asked the Whirlpool supervisor if they were recording this call for training purposes as it was beginning to get interesting. I asked A&E if they thought God had set up the 9/13 return visit on my behalf in their system. After repeating this absurd possibility twice A&E acquiesced and admitted there were communications on 9/7. They could now name the Whirlpool person, the date, etc. They still claimed the part wasn't ordered in spite of what Whirlpool had told me back then. A&E also reiterated that the tech visiting today was still supposed to charge me for a visit and start the whole diagnostic procedure all over again. It would be at a reduced rate and the tech could decide not to charge (he thankfully did not charge). The tech came and said he also expected to find the part and install it. Now that the part wasn't there and A&E was starting the process all over again, he read the codes buried in the washers memory and found F71 (3-4 times) and a new one for me, F61. He told me he now needed to see for himself the washer not working. I told him it was incapacitated (we couldn't clear the F71 code from the interface) since my call to Whirlpool on 9/7 but last night we turned the circuit breaker of and then on in the basement and the Washer codes cleared and we were able to do a wash. He tried twice to get the code to appear in the middle of a cycle and it didn't so he called the Whirlpool tech service and they and his office (A&E) refused to give him permission to order the part (they also dispute the part ordered by the first tech and wold start with a more expensive part first).
So to sum it up, I have computer diagnostic codes (F61 and F71), an A&E diagnosis paid by me from 9/2 that is being ignored (part failure; needs interface), I have a part number recommended at that time (based on A&E's interpretation of the tech's report) which Whirlpool has graciously given me permission to buy at their cost, the part number is different at Whirlpool and A&E, a second tech recommends a totally different part, and the second tech would change the Control motor first but can't order it as he couldn't duplicate the problem which incapacitated my washer three - four times recently and for more than one whole week from 9/6-9/12. Now we are back to square one and will have to wait until the problems occurs for the fifth time and ask for a third visit by A&E and hope that when they get here and see F71 that will be good enough.