Dumb Things We Do!

Last Friday I paid a Service Technician from Sears $117 to tell me that our dishwasher at home was DOA.

In his compassion he offered that for a mere $436 he could revive it and guarantee it’s resurrection for 90 days.  At our house that is at best 25 runs.

I declined his offer to enjoy a mechanical resurrection, while awaiting another consumption and Death Notice.

It was only afterwards that I realized that it impossible to buy a respected and functioning dishwasher loved by Consumer Report and consumers themselves for less than the devaluation of my IRA in the 3rd quarter of 2011.  The $435 offer was a deal missed. However, having set my course, I began The Hunt for a new dishwasher.

I fondly remember our second dishwasher when I grew up back in the dark ages.

Our first dishwasher was 6 sets of hands.  They say many hands make light work.  This is probably why every self-respecting family in America with 1.3 children owns a dishwasher, not enough hands exist in many homes today to make the work light.  Some homes have the hands, but they also have provisions which do not allow children to put hands in dishwater.

Our second dishwasher was a Kitchen Aid portable.  It was a work horse.  I believe it lasted for 20 years.  Load it, pour in powder detergent, connect it to the sink, turn the dial to wash, and in a mere 45 minutes you had clean and dried dishes.

I wish I could get my hand on one of those old work horses.

Today’s dishwashers can only use high end power balls of detergent and rinse aid and need up to 120 minutes to wet and hang dry your dishes.

Today’s dishwashers have digital control boards, electronic sensors, and 14 buttons controlling 38 features all designed to wash your dishes worse than that 20 year old Kitchen Aid.  These are the same electronics which died and burned out the motor on our 6 year old dishwasher.

On a scale of 1-to-100, Consumer Report does not rate any dishwasher above 81, most score less than 60.  Consumer Reviews on the internet are worse. No one likes their dishwasher. None of them consistently clean and dry dishes.

Despite their miserable success and our dissatisfaction, manufactures still build, stores still sell, and consumers still buy dishwashers.  Of course, anyone in their right mind who buys a dishwasher must buy an extended warranty because, as all the reviews report, those $400 electronic controls only last somewhere between 24 days and 24 months.

If this is not enough to convince you to have more kids or to live with dishpan hands, I should warn you that those high end German and Japanese dishwashers, hold 2 plates, 1 bowl, and 4 glasses.  I took a sampling of our dishes to the appliance store to test load them in the gleaming dishwasher we had settled upon.  After loading 5 different dishwashers, I learned that the only ones which would actually hold a few days of dirty dishes were those with racks that were unimaginably boring, simple, and featureless.

Anyway, last Sunday, I purchased our new dishwasher. It was not tested by Consumer Report, however 74 Consumer Reviews gave it 4 stars out of 5.  This was the highest rating I found for any dishwasher.

I did everything I could to save as much money possible.  I chose a discontinued close-out model, discounted $200. Why would a manufacture stop making a dishwasher that consumers loved?

Furthermore, I used 3 different coupons which discounted it another 27%, and chose to have the store install it to save paying Illinois’ 10% sales tax and to prevent the manufacture and store from blaming all future breakdowns on improper consumer installation.

Of course the cost of the Extended Warranty and delivery and installation wiped out all of these discounts and savings.

Here’s the kicker, our old dishwasher died months ago, but we did not realize it was broken because we always wash our dishes clean before putting them in the dishwasher.  The only reason we noticed the dishwasher was not working was because of the dried streaks of high end dishwasher soap we’d periodically found on the dishes.

So if we already hand wash all of our dishes, why am I spending the equivalent of roundtrip airfare for two to Florida, a weeks’ rental car fee, and the cost of 4 lunches at O’Steens (home of the best fried shrimp in the world) to essentially partially hang dry my pre-cleaned dishes in a stainless steel electronic gizmo that will require further hand drying before storing the dishes in the cabinet?

Hmmm …. dare I call and cancel the order today before the installer come tomorrow?

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