Take My Washing Machine, Please?

My gran's old washing machine.
Image by elvis_payne via Flickr

I am the not so proud owner of a set of Whirlpool Cabrio washer and dryer.  I’ve had the units for about 18 months.  I can say without a doubt that this is a purchase I wish I had never made.  Laundry is a pretty important daily chore in the Senne household.  We have two young children, and we go through quite a bit of laundry.  We probably go through too much laundry, but we’ll resolve that when we’re contestants on some “get green” realty show.

Let me take you back to the time when we purchased these lovely units.  We had outgrown the “beginner” models we had previously.  Our dryer went out, and rather than repair, we decided it was time to make a long-term investment in a more robust washer and dryer set.  We were interested in purchasing some of the HE or high efficiency units to save water, detergent, and electricity.  That was the backdrop for our purchase.  We started looking at models, and here was our consensus:  many of the HE models seemed to be built very flimsy.  The doors on the front loading machines in our price range all felt like they could break with the slightest wear.  Remember, we were looking for something to last us long-term, so perceived stability was important.

After much research, we decided on the Whirlpool Cabrio series.  The interesting thing about the Cabrio was that they were top-loading HE units.  They had a very solid feel to them, and the features we needed.  The washer and dryer were large enough to support many pairs of jeans, and even a large comforter.  Finally, we were proud owners of a new washer and dryer.  And that’s when the fun began…  There is something unique about this washing machine.  Even though the Cabrio is an upright washer, it has no agitator.  So what, you ask?  That’s what I thought.  The absence of an agitator in an upright machine means all of your clothes bunch up and wrinkle in the washer.  It means you have to wash small loads, which negates the “large” capacity feature.  It means the Cabrio is a piece of junk.

Which leads me to the last six weeks.  The Cabrio has started its spin into the scrap metal afterlife.  Six weeks ago, the drain pump went out.  While the tech was out in a reasonable three days, the part was on backorder.  That meant two weeks without a washing machine.  That also inspired a post from me on a trip to a disgusting laundromat.  We’ve been up and running about 3 weeks, and what happened?  We’ve now lost some kind of sensor.  The tech who was out today will also be replacing the “board” because it commonly goes on on these machines.

The only good thing about this is that I actually purchased an extended warranty.  Best Buy has provided me with good support (which is not usually the case).  I found out the Best Buy warranty policy is to replace the “lemon” on the fourth repair.  At that point, they will cut you a gift card for the value of a replacement machine.  I am confident I’ll be seeing that gift card sometime soon.

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