It was a few years ago but I remember that day clearly. It was the week before Mother’s Day 2012, I was sitting at my desk working away and decided to check my personal email. There it was. The big CONGRATULATIONS email saying I had won a Maytag front loader washer and dryer. I couldn’t believe it! I had never known anyone who won those big ticket prizes. I kind of thought maybe they were a scam. But here was an email saying I was a winner. My first thought was it’s a scam. So I called my co-worker over to read the email. We did a little google research to make sure it was legit and then I filled out the paperwork and sent it back.
Boy was I excited! I’m a single mom and our current washer and dryer were close to 15 years old. They were on their last legs. At that point in time I was not in a position to purchase new ones. So that win came at the most perfect time ever. But it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The company I had won the set from was based in Indiana and did not have any store locally. But it was a nationwide sweepstakes so I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal. They thought it wouldn’t be a big deal either. But it was.
The third party contractor that was to deliver and install my win turned out to be a nightmare. And the coordination of the prize fulfillment was a disaster. I won the first week of May and took possession of my new washer and dryer the Friday before the 4th of July weekend. Why so long? Well, the first time we tried to set up delivery the wrong dryer had been ordered. But now the correct dryer was in stock and we were good to go! You’d think this would be pretty simple. Uninstall old washer and dryer and install new washer and dryer. Right? Happens everyday in homes all over America. But it wasn’t.
The crew that showed up to do the install was unaware they were installing them even though it clearly stated it on the slip. So there was no one on the crew certified to handle gas. After a few phone calls another man showed up to disconnect the gas. He lead me to believe he was certified. Well, after he broke the old dryer’s gas connection he informed me he was unable to hook up the new one. At that point in time he also informed me he did not posses the knowledge to finish the install and I would have to hire a plumber to finish the job. What? And that until the plumber came I would not have gas to my kitchen or laundry room (they share the output with only 1 shut off for both rooms). What?? It was 4th of July weekend and we were having people over! It was also late Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend. How was I going to get a plumber out here? Not to mention I have a 2 year old that is extremely messy and I have laundry coming out my ears. But the workmen didn’t care. In fact, they were extremely rude.
By the time they left I was very distraught. No one at the company I won them for would help. They said it was beyond the scope of the contest. What? The contest clearly said installation was included. Not that they would come to my home, break my gas line and leave me in a lurch. When I realized they were never going to help I ended up calling around and trying to find a plumber that could help me, on a Friday night, on a holiday weekend at the last minute. After several phone calls I found one that was willing to take on the job.
The plumber arrived and had it all fixed within an hour only to find out the dryer was broken! The sensors were bad and I would have to call in a repair ticket next week. But at least now I had a kitchen, the gas had been restored and all the appliances were hooked up. It took another 3 weeks to get the dryer repaired. And in the end the install ended up costing me a little over $500. So if you ask me if winning a large ticket item is worth it I’d still say yes. But be prepared to wait an extremely long time for the prize to be fulfilled, that there may be issues and there maybe some out of pocket cost. Needless to say with the poor handling of the situation I am no longer a fan nor supporter of the company that held the contest.