They Just Don’t Make ’em Like They Used To

My self-cleaning oven broke a couple of days ago after I ran the self-cleaning cycle.  Both the baking and broiling elements refused to heat.  So I called the store that sells them and ordered a repair appointment.

The repairman that came was a nice older guy (older than me by a bit but not much -hehe).  He was quiet but didn’t mind my plying him with questions as he was working away.  After all, I’m in the business too, and I like to hear the perspective of other pros also.  The fact that he is in a different area made it more intriguing and his seeming long-time experience made it all the more so.

He mentioned to me that he had actually been here before for the very same thing for the previous homeowners.  It seems there is a design issue with my built-in single electric oven.  There’s a thermostat that shuts it down when the heat reaches the back wall of the oven.  They’d replaced the thermostat before.  This time he just re-set it.  Apparently I can expect the same thing to happen if I run the self-cleaning program at the highest level –which of course I won’t be doing.

We had an interesting discussion about products.  I asked him about his thoughts on induction cooktops.  “They tried bringing ’em out in the ’80’s but they didn’t fly.” He’s worked on a few he said.  “They’re expensive and so are the repairs. Gas is still the best.” he said, and I agree –for cook tops anyway.  I told him I liked the electric oven.  This is the first I’ve had and I like the way it heats up so fast.  “I like gas best,” he replied.

“No charge,” he announced.  He printed out my receipt along with the next scheduled appointment in a couple of weeks to replace a piece of plastic trim that snapped when he took the door off of the oven.  There was no charge because I purchased a service agreement that was darn near the same price as the repair appointment.

“Yeah, I know,” I said.  “There was a time when I would never have purchased a service agreement.  They were designed never to be used.  Just a scare tactic.  Now they actually pay off sometimes.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “Now there’s too many people with their hands in the process.  The government puts pressure on the manufacturer to be energy efficient so they make the motors smaller to use less energy.  Then they make the rest of the parts cheaper to make them affordable.  They just don’t make ’em like they used to!”

So I saw the genteel repairman out the door.  As I was waving him off, I wondered about the past homeowners.  Had they purchased a service agreement too?  I’m the third owner of a six-year-old house.  “Somebody’s making some money on service agreements,” I chuckled to myself!

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One response to “They Just Don’t Make ’em Like They Used To

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