I purchased a front-loading washing machine (brand Electrolux) from the Gain City fair at EXPO on 1st November 2013. The order number was SORCS-80050274.
The salesman, Gary Kee, from the Elextrolux booth was very approachable and with the information given, we chose the brand despite there were quite a number of cheaper alternatives for the same basic specifications.
My family was in need of a washing machine badly to replace our spoiled one and thus we got the earliest delivery appointment, which happened to be on 5th November 2013 in between 4-7pm. The old washing machine had caused quite a big dispute among my family. The urgency was the reason why my mum and I had rushed down to the fair on its very first day.
On the delivery day itself, the delivery-man (phone number 93847140) called me at 12.19pm and said that he would reach my place at 1.30pm, which was a few hours earlier than the scheduled time (4-7pm). I thought it would be good for my side since we could use the machine earlier to clear the days of unwashed clothes and I gladly agreed. I changed my personal plan in order to receive them at the amended timing.
Two Malay men arrived at around 1.30pm to clear my old washing machine and fixed up the new one fast. Since I thought Gain City was a big company and that Electrolux was an old brand, I did not do thorough checking. Besides I was also not familiar with washing machine since I had not even used my old one. I played a good host to the two gentlemen and even offered them packet drinks before they left.
Earlier on during the purchasing day, despite repeated prompts from us, the salesman insisted the wasted water release hose that was routed upwards and clipped on the top corner could not be detached. Since we had been using top-loading washing machine all along, we were totally clueless about the system of front-loaders. We were shocked but glad when the delivery-men detached the hose from the corner of the new washing machine, such that the hose was long enough to be dragged into my bathroom, which also meant that my mum had wasted her effort and money to purchase a hose extender. It seemed that the salesman had given us a silly wrong information (he was right actually – read on to find out why).
The nightmare came right after the delivery-men left. We tried using the new washing machine by pouring detergent in and we realised the compartment could not be closed fully. We were told by the salesman that water would be splashed into the compartment to load the detergent into the main compartment, and logically thinking, the detergent compartment had to be closed fully if we did not want any water to spill out.
We tried calling Gain City but nobody picked up the phone. After some trying, I decided to contact the delivery-man who called me earlier instead. It was 2pm and just less than half an hour upon the delivery time. The man told me he was already at Bukit Merah – my location was Tanjong Pagar. I told him the problem of the detergent compartment and he insisted the washing machine was designed this way. As I insisted, the delivery-man promised to return.
My family (mum, sister-in-law and I) waited at home for the delivery-men until 6pm. Then, we called Gain City directly again and managed to get through. The staff helped us to arrange with the same delivery-men to return at around 7.30pm, which they did. After some reasoning with the delivery-men, they finally admitted it was a defect. One of them made a phone call (probably back to his office) and he claimed the product was perfect during delivery just because I had signed the paper to verify that I had received it. He also told the person over the phone that we had contacted him over the defect an hour later (it was definitely less than half an hour, inclusive of the time we had tried to contact Gain City directly).
Logically and obviously, the product arrived with the detergent compartment not able to be closed completely and the delivery-men had initially claimed it was designed to be that way. By insisting that the washing machine was built that way (“spoiled”) as it arrived, the delivery-men had indirectly admitted that it arrived as a defected product. It was stupid for them to point fingers at us just to get away with it.
I received a call from Electrolux (phone number 65078699) on the next morning (Wednesday) and was informed that the technician could only drop by my place on the next day. This means that if it happened that the defected washing machine had to be replaced (which we hoped), it would take more days for the new one to come.
Gain City could have replaced the new washing machine and settled the defected product with Electrolux directly. Eventually, the problem was pushed to Electrolux and we had to wait for Electrolux’s technician, who happened to be so busy that we had to wait until the third day.
If you were the consumer who had to waste so much time in order to get a proper washing machine, such that your household laundry could not be done for days, how would you feel?
These were the initial conclusions I had drawn from the entire incident:
- Gain City’s salesmen did not know their products well (I was wrong)
- Gain City’s delivery-men did not know their products well
- Gain City’s staffs would try all ways to push away their responsibility, inclusive of insisting defected products were designed the way
- Electrolux’s products were not as great as I had heard, such that their technicians were overloaded with servicing of their customers’ problems with the products
I was furious when I realised I had to wait for another day for the technician to come over. The thought of the blaming game forced me to email both Gain City and Electrolux to get advice whether there was any way I could get my new washing machine ready/fixed sooner than the next (third) day and if Gain City or Electrolux would send manpower down to hand-wash my clothes before the new machine was settled (sarcasm of course!).
I attached four images:
1. Phone log from my phone. The delivery-man arrived at around 1.30pm and I managed to contact them in less than half an hour upon they left, inclusive of the time I tried to contact Gain City directly. It was never as claimed by them that I contacted them about the defect after more than an hour.
2. The back of the washing machine. The salesman gave us the wrong information that the hose could not be detached from the back where there’s a screw (top left of photo). If the hose has to be routed from bottom to the screw part, it would not be long enough to be pulled to the bathroom to release the dirty water, and thus my mum had bought an extender.
3. Side view of the washing machine. This is the main problem. The detergent compartment cannot be closed completely and the delivery-men initially insisted it was meant to be like that.
4. Front view of the washing machine. Obviously, no designer would design the compartment to be not aligned with the main body when closed.
Gain City ignored my email but a gentleman from Electrolux called me directly to assure me that his technician would fix all the problems. Furthermore, he told me that the delivery-men from Gain City should not have detached the hose behind – the salesman was right after all.
Electrolux’s technician arrived as scheduled. He was a very friendly man around my age who helped to entertain my mum while he worked. He opened up the washing machine and hammered something inside to loosen the detergent compartment. He said one possible cause was that the washing machine was knocked during delivery. Then, he also attached the hose at the back, telling us that the water might flow out continuously if the hose was not placed at a higher place. He brought along a very hard hose to extend the existing one for us. Things were sweetened by the gentleman.
A week later, my mum noticed that the pail she placed besides the washing machine was filled with water. There was a few times when the floor was wet as well. It happened that all of us had used the washing machine during that period of time. We were all wondering if one of us had been forgetting to place the end of the hose to the bathroom while using it. After some inspections, we realised the hose attached to the tap was not properly joined by the Gain City delivery-men and thus some water was dripping.
Eventually, I could only conclude that the Gain City’s delivery-men knew nothing about their products. After sales service was disgustingly terrible. They did not even care to apologise for the problem they had caused.
My advice for all customers of Gain City is to make the delivery-men stay behind during the delivery to make sure the process of washing the clothes by the new washing machine is completed without any problem before signing any document to acknowledge receiving the product before “releasing” them.