I seem to be having problems with the appliances lately. Last week, the Sony LCD television we bought just last year has decided to go on the fritz. Weird horizontal lines started appearing in the image, as well as ghosting. And just a few days ago a small part of our Whirlpool dryer, also purchased last year, broke. The part is key in enabling the door to latch closed.

Luckily both are still under warranty, but just barely.

I was surprised how (somewhat) easy it was to get help with the Sony television. In Google, I put in “Sony television repair” which took me to Sony’s online support. I filled out the relevant questions and was given one of two choices: (1) have an authorized Sony repair person come out to service the set, or (2) receive a similar replacement via UPS. Sony’s site was pushing the latter option, so I took it. A refurbished replacement was sent and received - a Sony XBR9 versus the XBR7 it was replacing. It’s a nice television set.

But now I think it was a mistake to go this route.

I have to now box up the old television set, and lug it down to UPS to send back. I have a deadline of 15 days to do this in or I will be charged for the replacement set. It sounds like a good deal. But boxing up the old television wasn’t exactly easy. At least televisions nowadays don’t way 50 plus pounds like an old Sony set we have in another room.

Getting the dryer fixed was a straightforward service call. It wasn’t great being on hold for 10 minutes before anyone picked up the phone at Whirlpool. but at last we have a service call scheduled. The part looks small and simple to replace. I’m hoping it doesn’t turn into something more than it appears to be.

Of the two methods to receive service for a product purchased, I think I prefer online support than over the phone. Filling out an actually form, and being able to print out the results, made me feel more confident in getting proper service than actually calling someone. Plus, Sony offered a ticket number and a follow-up toll free number to call if I had further questions. Whirlpool’s support didn’t appear to be anything more than a poor ticketing service. I wasn’t so confident giving my details to the person on the other end, who repeatedly asked me to spell every bit of information I gave him.

AJ Giron @verbal