Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Buying New White Goods

I have been looking for a new washing machine and tumble dryer since the day we moved in.  We negotiated all of the appliances into the cost of the house to save us the upfront cost of all necessary white goods, at a time when we were already flat broke.  But the appliances were terrible.  The only good thing, touch wood, is the fridge freezer which works just fine.  The dishwasher was broken when we arrived - a bit cheeky really, so we had to replace this as soon as we arrived.  But whilst the washing machine and tumble dryer functioned, they were less than perfect.  They were SOOOOO loud!  The bearings on the washing machine were going, and there seemed to be so much crud build up in the washing machine, that no matter what I tried to do (soda crystals, special washing machine cleaners...), nothing seemed to get the crud out.  And then the crud just ended up on the clothes, that clothes seemed to come out dirtier than they went in!

I've been keen to get appliances with a good guarantee, and I am happy to pay for quality if it means a long life.  I had a look at some of the Samsung appliances which came with 5 year guarantees and are pretty nice looking too.  But at £500 a pop respectively for a washing machine and a tumble dryer, they ain't cheap!  I also looked into AEG appliances too as these come with a good guarantee (2-5years depending on appliance), and I'm 99% sure that John Lewis use AEG appliances for their own brand appliances but put their badge on them.

I've been looking and looking, waiting for the right deal.  And then, Black Friday happened.  I didn't mean to get sucked in by the hype, but it was a really good deal.  I've been tracking prices and models for months and months, so I knew it was a genuine good deal and not an artificial good deal.

I just so happened to go on ao.com (Appliances Online) that day and I saw them.  I had to go to work though, so in fear of them selling out, I had bought a washing machine and tumble drier all before 7am!  The hubby wasn't so impressed at me waking him up so early to discuss the pros and cons of a large house purchase - he got the sales pitch...

So, I went for AEG in the end as they had the best deal on.  Each appliance came with £100 cashback from AEG, off sale prices of £499 and £469 for the washing machine and tumble dryer respectively, plus a further £20 cashback from ao.com for purchasing more than one appliance.  So a saving of approximately 25%.  The sale prices were also cheaper than the RRPs. They were both high spec machines too - my mum has always told me to go for a 1600 spin washing machine as it means the clothes come out dryer, so whilst you shell out more for the machine, you save money on drying. And long guarantees in the grand scale of white goods guarantees.

I could have got them delivered the next day but there would have been a £9.99 charge.  The first day that offered free delivery that I could do was the following Sunday, so just over a week away.  As both of the existing appliances were working this was no problem, and free delivery on a Sunday too - fab!

On the Sunday, I got a call at 8am to say they would be with me between 8.30-9am - which they were. AO had used 'Expert' delivery services for the delivery and they were good and prompt.  They were great and carrying the appliances into the house (the communication between the two guys was amazing meaning no scrapes on my new hallway walls!).  I signed for them and off they went.  

But as I started unwrapping them, I noticed the washing machine was dented :( Like really dented. And really obvious.  The packing had been fine so I was quite surprised.

You can see the whole of the left side has been pushed in, and because the metal has needed somewhere to go, it's all pushed out at the front.  The detergent drawer shows where the machine should line up - but it's way off, especially in the far right hand side of the photo.

I got straight on the phone to AO, who took my call at 9.20am on a Sunday morning - no queues either!  The woman on the phone was very good.  She understood the problem, as was very keen to make sure I was happy.  She offered me £50 to keep the machine as it was, but when I said I just wanted a new one, she was very keen to oblige.  She said she could have a new one with me the following day, i.e. the Monday.  Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to be in, so I scheduled the replacement to be delivered on the Wednesday, and the old one to also be taken away then too.

I thought that was pretty good of them.  A lot of places would have argued that because I had signed for the goods, that I should have checked the condition before signing for them.  So it was refreshing to not have that argument thrown in my face.

On the Wednesday, the AO delivery people turned up.  I noted it was an AO van this time and not an Expert one.  The guys were lovely and came in to see the damaged one.  They said this was likely damaged in the warehouse with a grappler and took it away.  They bought the new one and unwrapped it there and then to make sure the new one was fine, and they even took the packaging away for free too (a service they usually charge £2.99 for).

I was meant to receive a form to claim my £20 cashback from AO.com (the £200 cashback was from AEG direct, which I have applied for separately online), but this never arrived.  I didn't know if because I technically had my new appliances delivered on separate dates whether that had messed up the automated service, so I sent them a quick e-mail inquiring about the form. Within 24 hours I had a lovely e-mail back from them. Basically apologising for the damaged washing machine, and not to worry about the claim form - upon receiving my e-mail they instantly refunded the payment card with £20. Great!

I will cover the installation in a separate blog post later in the week (which didn't go quite to plan - obviously! When does anything ever go to plan?!), but I wanted to sing my praises of AO.  I'm not being paid to say nice things, but when a company genuinely provides such good service, I think it deserves to get talked about.  I'll definitely be using them again.

Did you get any fab Black Friday deals?


  1. I can totally relate to the cruddy washing machine! Ours makes an awful crunchy sound, I'm surprised every time I go to empty the washer to see that it survived yet another wash, ha!
    I haven't bought from AO before, but shall certainly be keeping an eye out for some good deals in the new year! I saw heaps of great black Friday deals, but my bank account said No. :( The woes of a Renovation-Life eh? ;) X

    1. lol, yes I hear you about the woes of renovation life :) I just felt a bit silly when I spoke to my friends about black friday afterwards and they were discussing how they had picked up a great pair of shoes and a dress... Just a washing machine for me thanks! Doh! x