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Washing Machine Crisis in Lockdown

My washing machine started making ominous noises last week on the spin cycle. It really sounded quite unwell. But given that the U.K. public is not allowed to have house calls at the moment, I didn’t see how I’d be able to get it fixed. I was just hoping that it would hang on in there until the current Coronavirus restrictions are over when I could get a repairman in to replace the bearings.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be. It completely gave up the ghost on Saturday afternoon, inevitably with a full load of sodden towels inside it. Then it was a case of how on earth do I get a replacement during Lockdown. The government might not consider white goods to be “essential shopping”, so all the local retailers are closed, but I really didn’t want to spend the next however many weeks doing my laundry in the bath! I checked online, and I could buy a new washing machine over the internet or by phone from several of the larger outlets, but they had limited delivery slots before Easter, and in general would leave it on my drive so I’d have to plumb it in myself and dispose of the old one.

This morning, more out of hope than anything concrete, I phoned the electrical retailers in Ledbury that I’ve used for the past few years. Their shop was indeed closed to customers, but they were answering the phone. The good news was that warehouse was still working, and they had a limited number of washing machines in stock. Better still, they were able to arrange to deliver one today! Even better, provided that social distancing was observed (i.e. I kept at 2m distance), the driver would be able to install the new one and take away the broken one!

The range of machines they had in stock wasn’t huge, but I was more bothered about getting a replacement quickly. I did a quick search online to confirm that the model they proposed fitted my requirements, and that the price was acceptable, and phoned them straight back with my credit card details. I really can’t fault the service at all. I phoned them at 10:20 this morning, before my first telecon of the day, and by lunchtime I had a new washing machine installed and working. I told the driver that, if it wasn’t for social distancing, I’d give him a hug for getting me sorted out so quickly and efficiently!

Right now, I think it’s more important than ever to try to support local businesses, though that’s admittedly hard under the current conditions. The driver said, from a government-mandated safe distance, that they had been extremely busy just before lockdown with people buying freezers. But since then business has virtually dried up. I do hope that they are able to keep going and come out the other side of the economic turmoil, as I have been very impressed with their service over the past few years.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. pauld | 8 April 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    best to deal with small retailers than big chains. Our cooker broke, couldnt find one correct size for hole at currys so went into local electrical shop, told the old bloke the problem and he said “I’ll send me lad round later to re-wire it, he can bypass it and get it working again”, His “lad” came round and was about my age. Fixed it, saved us a lot.

  2. SallyB | 14 April 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Just had a shower hose malfunction. Then I remembered it happening years ago when my husband was in hospital, and I bought a new hose at Argos. Then we had a replacement shower and, as with all things still functional, I kept the old hose – so we’re in business again!