Sunday 28 December 2008

Z is Going Shopping

Today is the obligatory quiet day when all the clearing up gets done. I said, more than a year ago, that I needed to buy a new dishwasher and intended to do so before Christmas. I didn't and it has kept going valiantly. Now, however - that is, over the last week - it is washing markedly less well, and everything has to be rinsed before going in. It's done very well but the time has come and the Sage and I will troop into Norwich tomorrow and inspect new dishwashers.

I'm doing a bit of online research beforehand. Some people enjoy this. I don't. I find it extremely boring. Like buying a car, there are certain features I want and some I don't, but otherwise I don't much care. I am inclined towards Siemens (which I think Blue Witch recommended) or Bosch (which I have). My present one has done well mechanically, but the interior fittings have not done so well and I'd want to be sure that they're durable now. However, they seem to have good reports for reliability. Looking at the descriptions, there seems to be little to differentiate between them, whatever the price. I assume that the cheaper ones are noisier and are not built to last so well.

Then there's the matter of whether to buy from a shop or online? I want to see the interior fittings before I choose, so I need to visit a shop, and it's morally unsound to use a shop and then not buy there. But there is a financial point at which one can feel ripped off, which can send one towards the internet. But then, what if there's something the matter with it? One knows one can trust John Lewis to put it right quickly.

Any recommendations gratefully received. I'm happy to balance service given against money spent; I don't want to be responsible for more shops going to the wall. But if I'm to deal with them, they have to be worth saving. Likewise the manufacturers.

Which reminds me, if the government has been trying to force us to buy smaller and more economical cars, why are they now contemplating financially baling out Jaguars and Range Rovers?


Dave said...

I'm going in to Norwich tomorrow too. I got a Waterstones voucher for Christmas, so want to spend it, just in case they go bust before the end of the week.

Also I want a blind for my bathroom. And a new toilet seat. Not sure if Waterstones sell them too.

Z said...

Are you going to John Lewis, Dave? If so, I might bump into you there. I think you might do better for your blind than in Waterstones.

Which of your lovely toilet seats are you replacing?

Dave said...

The see-through one with blue flowers. Although if there's a buy-one-get-one free offer I'll replace the 60's one too.

Did you want one of them?

Z said...

Sadly, it wouldn't go with my Edwardian wash basin. Though thank you very much for the offer.

A bogof seems a very suitable offer for loo seats.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your shopping. Hope you found a good dishwasher.
I researched washing machines before buying one. It had great reviews but has broken down twice in 12 months. . . . . . .

Anonymous said...

The Witch Guide to Dishwasher Purchase

Divide price by number of years warranty to work out cost per year (these days, appliances aren't made to last or, even, be economically repaired).

Siemens sometimes have 5 year warranty included in the price. It's a rolling promotion and your dealer should know when they're going to do it again, if they're not currently.

Bosch and Siemens are now part of the same company I believe. The Bosch are the lower end of the market (and nowhere near what they were even 5 or 6 years ago), and made in Eastern Europe, the Siemens are still made in Germany (or were last time I bought one).

Ask about the dB level. It's the easy way to discriminate the well padded form the not-so-well-padded.

JL aren't what they were for honouring promises either. I've had 2 run-ins with them in the past 3 or 4 years and really couldn't recommend anyone buy from there on assumption of the service.

Anyway, short of it going wrong in the first 10 days, for a dishwasher, you're always going to be dealing with the manufacturer's support people. Check out if it's a geographic or a premium rate ()870-) number as you could be on hold a long time if it goes wrong...

Realistically, you're probably only ever going to use a couple of programmes on a dishwasher - so don't buy one with any more than you'll use!

When looking at prices, watch out for delivery costs, connection costs and takeaway of old appliance costs. Personally, I negototiate my price. Then pause, suck my teeth (they do) and say, "You've got a deal, if you throw in free delivery, connection and removal of my old one." They can only say no, then it's their loss, not yours.

In the current market, it's turnover not margin that is driving businesses. Therefore plenty of deals to be had.

If you lived even 20 miles nearer, I'd recommend you went to Small Local Town independent. They are wonderful. Possibly my best retailer ever.

I am still delighted with my Siemens dishwasher - the best I've ever had, and I'd buy Siemens again every time. I've never heard anyone have a problem with one. The farmhouse in Northumberland that we rent every autumn have Miele appliances. Our Siemens dishwasher washes miles better than their Miele - and that often gets clogged arms with odd bits of food (I don't believe one should have to rinse plates before dishwashing).

Whatever you decide - avoid Zanussi at all costs. I don't know anyone who has got one beyond 18 months reccently. My first one lasted 14 years. My second 13 months. Then I bought a Siemens and more than 4 years later it's still as good as new.

Z said...

Yes, there are some free 5 year warranties on Siemens washers. JL don't charge for delivery or getting rid of the old appliance, but there's a local tip that doesn't charge either so it's no big deal. Weeza and Phil's new fridge freezer was faulty and JL sent one immediately to tide them over until they could send a replacement.

Actually, I've just been remembering how long I've had this one. I think I'll write a little tribute.

Anonymous said...

How about you tell the salesman at the shop that you'd prefer to buy from them, but the internet price is XXX. Then ask if they can they match the price, because it would be ever so lovely to be able to buy from their fine establishment, rather than the Internet. If he agrees, then you both win. If he disagrees, then you have tried your best, and can spend your money online without guilt.

Good luck!

Z said...

Well, John Lewis's slogan is 'never knowingly undersold' and they do match any other price you can find, but they exclude online prices from that. However, if they'd install it, that could well make the difference.

Z said...

I may have misled you with the word 'shopping', Irene. This is not a commercial site so it doesn't matter what its ranking is. But I appreciate your message with its clear explanation, which didn't pretend to be something it wasn't. Indeed, I might even take a look at the website.