I don’t think our washing machine has been working properly for some time. A couple of months ago, it began to bang about when spinning, especially if there were heavy towels or something in there. But you know how it is, if you actually stop and watch it working, it does all sorts of funny things that it surely never used to do at all…and yet…
It got worse and worse till finally we called an engineer. Our appliances are all insured so it wasn’t a Miele specialist who came, but a general technician who we have met before and who is generally pretty good. We explained the problem, he took a look at it and agreed that perhaps it was the balance. He set it going and as frequently happens, it purred away nicely to him until he left…and then it banged about again!
And then it developed a leak. We came downstairs to a puddle and having mopped it up, we watched as it carried on dripping. We called the service number again and Alan returned to take another look. He decided to order some replacement parts - brushes for the motor, shock absorbers for the drum (?) - general bits and pieces that would do no harm and might well cure whatever it was that was creating the trouble. When he opened up the machine to get the details, he noted the date of manufacture.
July 7th 1999.
Not only the same birthday as my hero, but our washing machine was twenty years old!
The replacement parts were fitted, the machine switched on and working (though empty) and we waved Alan goodbye again. As soon as a load of washing was put in it however…
Oh dear. Something wasn’t right.
Over the next few hours we both mulled the situation over. Seemed to me that we had choices: persevere with the (insured) repairs to our 20 year old machine in the hope that Alan could repair it satisfactorily, ring Miele and book a specialist engineer to visit and advise or just go out and buy a new machine. It turned out to be a no brainer: a call to Miele informed us that the cost of an engineer’s visit would be deducted from the price of a new machine if he found the machine to be unrepairable.
He came yesterday.
The new machine arrives on Wednesday.