Yet another miserable day in the saga of the dishwasher.
So we decided to get the integrated dishwasher replaced with one with a nice stainless steel door. I called up the retailer and requested this, choosing an equivalent model with a steel front panel, for the same price. They said there was a fee (about $300) for exchanging the dishwasher. I figured it was my bad assumption that the front panel would be a standard size and didn’t check to be sure, so I felt obliged to cop this fee, and agreed. They said they’d arrange delivery of a different model dishwasher in exchange for the one currently in our home.
Then yesterday I received an emailed receipt, saying they’d charged my credit card $550. So today I phoned them to query why this charge was some $250 greater than what I’d been quoted. The operator I spoke to said it was an installation fee, since I’d requested installation in my original order the new dishwasher would need to be installed, plus some other fee imposed by the manufacturer for an exchange.
I said that I wasn’t told about these fees when I accepted the quoted fee of $300 for the exchange, and I wasn’t going to pay them. There was some resistance and eventually I had to ask to speak to a supervisor or manager. I explained that I had been quoted an exchange fee of $300, and neither of these additional installation or exchange fees were mentioned to me when I accepted.
The manager I was speaking to actually said to me, “You should have known there’d be an installation fee, and now you’re just trying to get out of paying it.” I kid you not.
He was absolutely adamant that I had to pay the extra $250, despite me repeatedly pointing out that I was never told about this extra $250, and was quoted a total price of $300 for the exchange, and that that was the quote I accepted. His attitude was, “Well of course there was always going to be another installation fee – you’re getting it installed right?” I said I’d paid for installation of a dishwasher with the original order, and I expected at the end of the process to have an installed dishwasher – why on earth would I come to the conclusion that I’d have to pay another installation fee? Especially when it was never mentioned when I accepted the $300 fee to exchange dishwashers.
He wouldn’t budge, until I threatened to contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over them not honouring a verbal agreement on a quoted price, and attempting to charge me for fees that were never mentioned to me. This eventually got him to agree to “look into it” and promise to call me back. When he did, about an hour later, he said that the extra fees had been refunded. (And I’ve received emailed confirmation.) But not a word of apology for accusing me of deliberately attempting to defraud them.
You can bet that once the replacement dishwasher is safely delivered and installed, I’ll be sending the retailer a letter of complaint.