Sunday, May 24, 2009

Purchase Experience

Everyone knows not to walk onto a car dealership lot without a gameplan (unless you want to pay over the odds for a car you don't really want). Sadly I should have used the same rules when shopping at Best Buy in Hyannis, MA. My family went to the store in July 2008 with the goal in mind of purchasing a dehumidifier (Whole different set of issues, don't even ask... that might be my next post!). No real desire to purchase a dishwasher though we had been looking.

Everything changed when the store had a Nintendo Wii on the shelf waiting to be purchased. Now that was something we were looking for! We decided that we would do one of those 18 month purchases on our best buy card (We budget for our best buy purchases so that we can take advantage of the free financing). So we decided that now would be a good idea to replace our ailing dishwasher - the one that came with our 1992-built house. We had no clue what model we wanted - just that we wanted something with buttons out of the way of our toddler son.

Our mistake was to immediately track down a sales person and let him do the talking. We told him we wanted a dishwasher with hidden controls to match our other stainless steel appliances. He immediately told us that he would highly recommend the Frigidaire FDBB4365 model. We never pressed him on why he recommended it, though he did say that he was convinced it was one that needed very little servicing.

Another red flag should have been when the store employee insisted that we needed to have a kill-switch installed at the same time as the dishwasher. We said that we did not think one was required in our town for a residential unit but he insisted it was required. When the town inspector came he told us that we were right and the store employee was wrong that we just wasted $80 because our dishwasher was wired into its own single-use circuit-breaker and that switching a faulty dishwasher off at the circuit breaker was much better than reaching around under the sink right next to the dishwasher to find the kill-switch.

So - when buying a dishwasher do not let the following things sway your opinion:
  • Store employee recommendation.
  • The number of different models a particular brand has on display (More floor models does not equal better quality).
  • The store employees knowledge or lack-thereof of local building code.
  • The shinyness of the door.
  • Nintendo Wii availability at time of purchase.


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