It’s Too Heavy, Unless You Sign This Waiver
Our decision to discontinue our business relationship with Canadian Appliance Source felt justified given their poor after sales support and failure to deliver.

If your washing machine breaks, how long could you go before having to head out to a laundromat? We found ourselves asking that question a few weeks ago as our nine-year-old LG washer stopped pumping water out. Obviously out of warranty, the question was how much would it cost to repair it and was it worth it? The cost of the pump was about $50 and professional labour averaged about $200. I determined that I could probably fix it myself and needed at least one full day to achieve that. After considering its age, the uncertainty of repair, and a few other issues it had, we decided it was time for a new purchase.


One of the challenges front-loader wash machines have been plagued with is the rubber tends to retain water and cause mould, unless you dry it and leave the door open after each use. While vigilant, after nine years, we were losing the battle on our current model. When our sales representative from Canadian Appliance Source pointed us to a GE model that has a new vented system in the front door designed to keep things dry, we were ready to take the plunge. Given our previous relationship with the salesperson and that we were on day 3 of isolation due to an in-house COVID-19 case, the product was ordered over the phone and a delivery date was set. We would have a washing machine within about 3 days. That would put us at about 6 days without a washing machine, which was inconvenient, but manageable.


Prior to delivery, I worked with the salesperson to ensure our home was prepared and that the notes for the delivery drivers reflected the location of installation. I had removed stair railings and doors to provide an easy path for delivery drivers. The delivery, however, was not to be.


On the day of delivery, one of the drivers opened the truck, while the other came to our door. “Where is this going,” were his first words as I greeted him. As I uttered the words, “to the laundry room,” he didn’t allow me to finish, interrupting, “well are you going to show me where that is?” Immediately uncomfortable with his aggressive nature, I proceeded to navigate him through our home hoping the exchange would not deteriorate further. As we walked to the laundry room he muttered, “no, this isn’t going to work. I can’t bring this in. It’s too heavy.” He pulled out his phone and started taking pictures of my home, as he turned around and walked outside. He looked at me from the steps, “This is a heavy machine. If you want me to bring it in, you have to sign a waiver that I am not responsible for damages.” My initial reaction of shock turned into an instant refusal to sign a waiver that would allow the delivery guys who just said the product was too heavy, to potentially damage the product or my home. Next, he made a phone call as he walked away. In parallel, I called my salesperson, who was not answering the phone and the general sales line only led to someone answering, transferring my call, and then being disconnected.


As I stood there frustrated, the delivery guy shouted from the driveway, “My manager says I don’t have to deliver it if you won’t sign the waiver.” Politely, I asked, “Would you sign it if you were me?” He shrugged his shoulders, “That’s not for me to decide today, that is up to you.” He began walking toward his truck, knowing that I was about to say, “I’m not signing a waiver that gives you permission to damage the product or my home.” He looked back, took another picture of the outside of my home and drove away.


Efforts to reach our salesperson continued to fail. One call landed someone in customer service at Canadian Appliance Source who first said that the delivery company is separate from them, followed by trying to convince me to sign the damage waiver. That discussion ended with a request to have them connect me with our salesperson, which did not materialize.


The salesperson did not return my phone call until almost 15 minutes before the store closing, roughly three hours after the delivery failure, citing he was busy with customers.  During our purchase, he was returning phone calls in less than fifteen minutes. After explaining the situation, he was not able to offer any immediate solutions and asked if he could follow up in the morning. Recognizing there really wasn’t anything else we could do, I asked to get a status by 10:00 a.m. the following day.


Shortly after 10:00 a.m. the salesperson called and said he hadn’t made any progress with the delivery company, but there was ongoing discussion. He sounded frustrated and in disbelief, but I didn’t hear any real apology or compensation for the negative experience. I extended my patience for a resolution to 12:00 p.m. At that time, there was still no progress. I offered the salesperson an alternate solution to send us a list of what other products he had available and that if by 3 p.m. he didn’t have an answer on re-delivery, that we might consider those, or he needed to provide a refund. The list he sent included products that didn’t work in our home, something he should have known from our previous discussion.


We never reached 3:00 p.m. as we decided to pull the plug on this experience. As we reflected, we realized that while the sales experience seemed positive, the post sales delivery and sales support didn’t afford us the trust we needed.


After filling in the post-experience survey, Canadian Appliance Source continued to insist and focus on the fact that they don’t own the delivery company and that the damage waiver is a standard form that customers would fill in to work with that third party company. At this time, there was no real apology, no alternate compensating solution, and no interest in the relationship part of the transaction. Our decision to discontinue our business relationship with Canadian Appliance Source felt justified given their poor after sales support and failure to deliver.



My Customer Experience Ratings are as follows:


Company Evaluation: Canadian Appliance Source


Sales Experience: B - Good response time. Good product knowledge. Bad delivery knowledge.


Price Experience: B - Comparable pricing to other box stores.


Delivery Experience: F - Disrespectful delivery driver. Failed to deliver the product.


Post Sales Experience: F - Difficult to connect with the salesperson. Difficult to reach someone to talk to. No escalation or management availability. Failed to take any accountability in the entire transaction. Failed to provide alternate products based on requirements we had previously established.


Overall Grade: F  - While the customer experience during the sales phase was positive, everything afterwards was a complete failure from engagement, communication, availability, and support. The competitive pricing isn’t enough to make up for the post-purchase frustration as valuable time was lost, while extending the inconvenience of not being able to do laundry at home for almost two weeks. Due to this experience, Canadian Appliance Source doesn’t even make the short list for future purchases.


This is an opinion article by Guido Piraino of  The Monthly Social Podcast. It may also be heard on The Path Radio Mix Online. You can read other opinion articles on the blog page.


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