Hot on the heals of our ridiculously expensive car service (new gaskets, alternator, fan, xenon headlamp, tyre pressure valves and more...) on our return trip home our washing machine became 'en panne' basically the pump had given up the ghost. We searched the internet for the error message and it was clear that paying 60 euro call out plus a new pump on a machine nearly 10 years old when living in an area of extreme hard water was pointless. So last week we decided to order a new machine.
I searched on the internet Pixmania, Amazon and looked up prices on Boulangere, Darty and But as well as various price comparison sites and found a couple of Bosch lave linge models I liked the look of. The problem was most of the internet prices whilst cheaper than the big stores charged a fortune for delivery or would deliver it to some random warehouse for me to collect - not that easy when you don't own a, van, hatch back or a trailer. Those which would deliver then wanted a small fortune to install the machine & take away the old machine too. The installation whilst simple wasn't my main concern. I didn't want to be stuck with a heavy leaky washing machine in the garage (which whilst large is now getting full of dead christmas trees, spare double beds & furniture & old appliances which might one day be useful?!)
With 3 children under 3 I do approximately 3 loads of washing a day and being without a machine is a real pain. Luckily I have a great neighbour who volunteered to be a laundry for me, popping up each morning to take away my washing and bringing it back freshly laundered. Bless her!
I told her of my dilemma about the cost of delivery and she told me to call Surplus Habitat in Pezenas and ask them. It turns out they can order most appliances from a central warehouse and in the end was able to get the Bosch machine I wanted for roughly uthe same price including delivery & taking away the old machine as it would have been on any of the sites on the internet. I ordered a new machine Bosch Avantixx 7 Ecoperformance A*** and it was delivered within 3 days (whereas most of the sites would charge extra for express delivery less than 8-10 days).
Being somewhat of an internet queen I was surprised that my local little Electromenager store could match the prices of the internet - the reason why though was because their delivery/installation/takeaway price was only 15 euro not the 50-90 euro the big online sites were charging. I am happy, I got my machine quickly and I was able to use a local provider which makes me feel better about the purchase. Sometimes it's not all about price. The service from using a local shop was excellent and I'll definitely use them again.
I'll always check the internet first as I like to compare models, features etc - it's part of my nature to understand the detail. I can't stand going into a big store and getting a sales assistant who knows nothing about the product. For me it's either internet or expert...this time I'm glad I got the expert because the same week my oven started burning everything - and it wasn't because I'd been on the vin rouge... the expert came out that same day the washing machine was delivered and diagnosed the thermostat had broken. He's going to come back and fix it next week.
Finally my beloved Dualit coffee machine gave up the ghost again - damned hard water I think. The expert couldn't help with this one so I'm bringing it back to the UK and returning it to Dualit who will look at it for me - I do hope I can fix it.
I also hope that's the end of the problems - it's been an expensive week but on a positive note my eldest daughter turned 3 on Sunday. That's one 3 to be happy about :)