An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Containing a capital letter or two

Let me just set the stage by saying that the longest stretch of sleep I’ve had in the last twelve weeks was that one Wednesday night when Marlo forgot who she was for a second and slept for a solid four hours. That’s it. Since then it’s been two hours here, thirty minutes there, just enough to want to walk outside and play hopscotch in the middle of I-80.

And this is not an excuse, it’s just context. And you know what? I’m going to take you on a tour of what I go through when I sit down to write. I’m sorry there’s no train to take you on this trip, but there are animatronic monkeys and the person sitting next to you is probably wearing socks with his sandals and smells like a giant garlic burp. WELCOME TO MY MIND.

Someone is going to read that first paragraph and send me an email telling me that Marlo should be sleeping through the night already and that I’m doing it all wrong. And I’m going to want to say, hey you, you the person who is so itchy to give me that unsolicited advice about my baby? Some people think that I’m a bully, and today I’m going to make their day because: SHUT UP. Go outside and smoke a cigarette before you come back to your keyboard. Except, I can’t write that. You know why? Because 1) BULLY! and 2) someone will read that and send me an outraged email that I have encouraged someone to engage in such dangerous behavior, don’t you know their uncle died of lung cancer? THEY WILL NEVER READ ME AGAIN.

It happens every single time I write something. Every. Single. Time. I am so in tune with human nature now that I’ve been dealing with it for eight and a half years that I can predict what someone will send me in an email in response to a word or sentence or paragraph that I’ve written that is totally and completely innocuous. At times I feel like an accidental puppeteer.

And the email inevitably ends with one of the following:





5) Do you have any naked pictures of yourself?

That huge tangent to say: I am sleep deprived. A lot. Because I live with an infant. An infant who does not yet sleep in large chunks of time. But you know what she does do? You’ll never guess. Except you probably will because guess whose website you’re reading? Yeah, that woman. So let’s just get this over with shall we? Are you ready? Yes? Okay, here goes:

Marlo is an Olympic Pooper.

There is no more skilled or dextrous or prolific pooper in the world. In fact, there is no diaper or piece of clothing or blanket that can contain her. Once or twice every single day she poops so magnificently that she soils first: her diaper; second: whatever she is wearing; third: the person or object upon which she is lying. Meaning that a large portion of our day is dedicated to cleaning up that poop. I do not mind this at all because I like to encourage the talents of my children in any way I can.

I am not complaining about the sleep deprivation or the pooping. In fact, that’s why I got pregnant. I wanted to live through it again, and since I’m feeling so much better this time around I’m crazy enough to admit that I’m loving it. Yeah, I don’t get a lot of sleep. It can make me cranky from time to time, but in the middle of the night when it is happening it doesn’t bother me much because she is so soft and cuddly and smells like the farts of unicorns drunk on happiness and Sprite.

However, we did a lot to prepare for the way in which Marlo was going to disrupt our lives. One of those things was to invest in a new washing machine because the one that’d we’d had for the last six years, a Kenmore Elite HE3 frontloader, was an absolute piece of crap. CAH-RAP. It once flooded the basement in our old house, and we had to get it fixed. And then seven other times, SEVEN, onetwothreefourfivesixSEVEN, SEVEN OTHER TIMES, we had to get it fixed. And then it would still randomly fill up with water. Just because. I had my theories as to why, maybe because of all those naughty thoughts I had about David Smith in high school and the way my girl parts felt when he kissed me for the first time, and I felt so bad about it I told my mom and she LAUGHED AT ME. But I don’t think God has ever forgiven me for that teenage weakness. And he likes to fuck with people through their appliances. OH YOU KNOW HE DOES.

So we did some research, and we saved some money. Because I wanted to buy a washing machine that I didn’t have to worry about, a machine I didn’t have to think about, because I knew that having an infant meant that we’d be living underneath a mountain of laundry. Jon spent many nights reading reviews and forums and consumer sites, and we eventually settled on a Maytag Performance Series 4.4 Cu. Ft. IEC Capacity Front Load Steam Washer that retails for $1,599. Our local Dan’s Maytag store was running a sale, so we got ours for $1,300 and then splurged on the 10-yr warranty. OK LET ME RANT FOR A SECOND:

This is where some of you are all, WTF? You spent how much on a washing machine? Don’t you know that some of us don’t even have washing machines? Don’t you know that some of us have to drag our five loads of laundry AND our three kids down to the laundromat every week? HOW DARE YOU EVEN WRITE AND/OR COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PRECIOUS LITTLE WASHING MACHINE.

And you can give me a goddamn break. It’s not like we said, you know what? Let’s just go spend fourteen hundred dollars today! It’ll be fun! Where can we go? An appliance store! Hurry, let me change into my diamond-studded panties and climb into our golden chariot! Have the local police shut down traffic so that we don’t have to maneuver around the little people! Also, where is Clive Owen and that blow job I paid for?

You know what we did do? We had a washing machine fund. Where we put a little money here and there, and we waited until we had enough in it to make such a purchase. Because I was raised by a man who taught me the value of doing that kind of thing. Thank you, Michael Hamilton.

Also, I paid $1,300 for an appliance. And bought the 10-yr warranty. That damn thing better work, so help me god. Why? BECAUSE I PAID $1,300 FOR IT. AND IT’S BRAND NEW. That’s $1,300 I could have spent elsewhere, because we live in America, and that’s how this economy works. So when I get upset about A BRAND NEW $1,300 APPLIANCE NOT WORKING, it’s not like I’m getting upset about the fact that my butler has bad breath.

Are there other, more important issues in this world? Of course there are. There is always something more important. Period. But if you’re going to tell me not to complain that my brand new appliance THAT COST ME $1,300 DOESN’T WORK then you aren’t ever allowed to complain about anything whatsoever. Do you have a headache? SHUT UP. HOW DARE YOU. Some kid in war-torn Iraq DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A HEAD.

Oooh, that last one is going to get me some great email. I’VE CROSSED THE LINE NOW! UNFOLLOW!

(Also, I’ve just upset my headless readers.)

So, yeah. The damn thing broke a week after it was delivered. Started giving us this error reading and wouldn’t fill up with water. Which was the exact opposite problem we had with the previous washer. SEE. GOD’S ANGRY.

So we called, complained, and they sent out a repairman. He shows up three days later and is all, yeah, gonna have to order parts. That’s going to take another seven to ten days.

So that’s three days plus seven to ten days equals LOTS OF DAYS.

In the meantime, if we wanted to get a load of laundry done, we had to jury-rig the thing, reach our hand up and inside a certain compartment and jiggle a part. And then maybe it might work. Or not. We never knew. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it did not. And so one load of laundry took us THREE DAYS to get done.

WE HAD TO JURY-RIG A $1,300 BRAND NEW WASHING MACHINE. Please tell me you’re shaking your head. Right? RIGHT?

I’ve got a pile of milk-stained shirts sitting in a corner, SPOILING, because that’s what milk does, IT SPOILS, CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE THE SMELL. And an Olympic Baby Pooper. Onesie after onesie after onesie stacking up in the washroom, six pairs of Jon’s pants stained, several pairs of my shorts, a rug, seven towels…. it goes on and on. And every time we start a load of laundry we’d gather around in prayer, going, please, oh please, don’t give us the error, please, just this time, please—ERROR, ERROR, ERROR.

Ten days later the repairman shows up to fix the machine because the part has been delivered, and oops! Guess he didn’t order all the parts he needed! Going to have to order more parts! Another seven to ten days!

Okay. Breathe. Maybe throw some darts. At squirrels.

(I’ve just upset the squirrel people.)

That’s three days plus ten days plus another seven to ten days equals YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME.

So I’ve got at least eight candles burning in the house at all times to combat the smell of spoiled milk and baby poop, and someone is manning the machine at all times to see if it is going to magically fill with water. And nine times out of ten it doesn’t. But that tenth time when it does? Oh, sweet and delicious tenth time? We took turns having sex with the washing machine. There I said it. Sometimes naked. Sometimes fully clothed. And we forgave each other for the adultery BECAUSE IT WAS JUST SO GOOD.

So. Here’s where things start to heat up, because that repairman calls on the morning that we have Marlo’s two-month doctor’s visit scheduled. Jon tells him we have to be at the clinic at 11:30 AM to have her immunized, we don’t know how long we’ll be there, we don’t expect any delays, but you know how doctor’s visits can go…

(I’ve just upset the vaccination people.)

Repairman says he’s got a slot from 12 to 2 open.

So. Okay. You guys. Let’s not even talk about the part where my pediatrician lets me know that he’s found my website and knows who I am, or about how the German nurse comes in, asks what my book is about, and when I tell her it’s about pregnancy and postpartum depression she goes, “Vell, some of sees veh-mon, seys goes VACKO!”

(I’ve just upset the Germans.)

And Marlo is smiling and giggling, and I’m purposefully not near her, but there I go, I can’t help myself, and when the nurse jabs her leg with the first needle I peek over her shoulder at Marlo’s face, AND HOW HAVE YOU PEOPLE BEEN DOING THIS? You people who have kids that look like you? It was like I was looking in the mirror and there I am SCREAMING. She has never cried or screamed so hard in the short time she’s been alive, and she looked just like me when she did it. So disturbing and heartbreaking and there I am just bawling along with her. TWILIGHT ZONE WEIRD.

And while all of this is going on my assistant is texting me frantically that the repairman has shown up, and because Jon isn’t there to help him move the dryer to get to the washing machine, he’s going to leave.

He. Is. Going. To. Leave.


And I give her my permission to sit on top of him, grab him, head butt him, whatever she has to do to get him to stay, and she can do it in my name, I will take the blame, because I am not going another day with a broken $1,300 washing machine. And that’s what had to happen, she had to physically grab his arm and say, please, they’re in the car on the way here, it’s only been twenty minutes, please.

Please. She begged him. She begged him. And I am going to feel bad about putting her in that position for quite some time. She had to grab the arm of a strange man and beg him to stay. Katey, I am so so sorry I put you in that position.

Dude had to wait TWENTY MINUTES and was pissed and rude, and you know what? I HAD NO SYMPATHY. He’s the one who didn’t order the right parts in the first place and here I’ve gone HOW MANY DAYS? Three plus ten plus ten plus TOO MANY DAYS TO COUNT WITH A BROKEN $1,300 WASHING MACHINE.

Okay, remember. I’m sleep deprived. CONTEXT.

So we get home, Jon runs downstairs, helps the dude move the dryer, and we get our washing machine fixed, right? RIGHT?



If I could speak seventeen different languages I would type the word WRONG in those seventeen languages right here for you right now BECAUSE THAT’S HOW WRONG.

He didn’t fix it. Dude did not fix our machine. Because we go to do a load of laundry and guess what? ERROR. SAME FUCKING ERROR.

And that is it. I am done. I am so done. And because I have worked with the public before, because I have been on the other side of the phone, I take a walk around the block, have a large glass of water and then sit calmly on my couch. And then I pick up the phone and I make a phone call.

First I call the place where we bought the machine. And he cannot help me, I have to call their service department. So I call the service department, explain in great detail what has happened, and she says that Maytag has a policy that they will not replace a brand new machine unless it is documented that someone has tried to fix it at least three times. WHA?? WHA-HAAA? And I tell her that someone has been out to my house three times, and she says, yeah, but he’s only tried to fix it once.

Oh my Lord God IN HEAVEN. SHUT UP. You’re kidding me, right? The three times he’s been out here do not count? No. And the fact that this machine has not worked for two months? THAT doesn’t count? No. And the fact that we bought the 10-yr-warranty? ALL OF THESE THINGS? DO YOU SEE THESE THINGS?


So what you’re telling me is that I have to make an appointment to have it looked at again? And the earliest someone can come look at it is in three to five days? And in the meantime, how am I supposed to get my laundry done? With a rock in a bucket outside.

(I’ve just upset the Mormon pioneers.)

So I call Maytag. The Maytag. The Mothership. And the agent I get after working through a five-minute maze of PRESS THIS and SAY THIS and PLEASE HOLD is the snootiest customer service person I have ever talked to in my life. And I let her know the entire story, front to back, and that while I’m really upset and sleep deprived, I’m not mad at her because I know it’s not her fault. And she keeps saying, yeah, can’t really help you, you’re going to have to call and have the history faxed over, and then we’ll take a look, and even then we’ll schedule someone to come take a look, maybe in three to five days?

Why can you not give me a working washing machine in the meantime while you figure out what is wrong with the brand new one that is sitting there broken in my laundry room? Why? I’ll take any machine. Any working machine. Give me a machine that works while you figure out why THAT BRAND NEW ONE DOESN’T WORK.


Okay then, I say, almost begging at this point, almost to the point of tears, is there anyone I can talk to who might see what I’ve been through and understand? And here’s where I say, do you know what Twitter is? Because I have over a million followers on Twitter. If I say something about my terrible experience on Twitter do you think someone will help me? And she says in the most condescending tone and hiss ever uttered, “Yes, I know what Twitter is. And no, that will not matter.”

That is what she said to me.

So I asked if I could please speak to her supervisor. And I am not even kidding she goes, “Uggh. Fine. Hold, then.”

She UGGGH’ed me.

(I’ve just upset the Cro-Magnons.)

And then I spend the next fifteen minutes giving my story to her supervisor, pleading for someone to fix my washing machine today or at least give me a working machine in the meantime, and he says no, but maybe we’ll schedule someone to come take a look, maybe in three to five days?

Okay then. I hang up the phone, calmly walk over to my computer, pull up a browser and write this twitter:

And then I wrote this one:

And then another:

And another:

And then finally:


Have I mentioned the part where I’m sleep deprived?

And oh dear, did I stir up some waves. Because I guess calling out a huge corporation on their shitty service is somehow being a bully. Being angry, CAPITAL LETTER ANGRY, that they will not make good on my purchase is somehow an abuse of my power. How dare I use Twitter this way.

Some say that I was calling for an all out boycott, and that I was disregarding the responsibility of my power. I give my readers a little more credit than that, and I think most of my readers are gracious enough to give me the benefit of the doubt, willing to believe that I was angry and ranting, and that I would eventually give them the whole story. Which I continued to do on Twitter as it unfolded (and continues to unfold as I write this).

I say, we should ALL use Twitter or whatever means is available to us this way. Not just me, but you and you and you. Until they stop treating us this way. It is not okay. If this is what it takes to get my BRAND NEW $1,300 WASHING MACHINE FIXED? Holy God! Seriously! This is capitalism, y’all. This is how it works. I AM NOT SATISFIED. I DEMAND BETTER SERVICE. PERIOD. So what if I’m on a list that includes Oprah and Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer. Would they scream about crappy service this way? IF NOT, THEY TOTALLY SHOULD! Come on, Katie! SCREAM! LET IT OUT! But the thing is, Katie didn’t make it on that list because she would scream like that. I am on that list SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE I WILL.

And to think, our health care system is left to the same devices. Thank god it’s just my washing machine AND NOT MY FUCKING KIDNEY.

Within hours I am contacted by several big name appliance stores on Twitter offering their services, except none of them can really help because I’m trying to work with Maytag directly. And then a few hours after that I get a message from @WhirlpoolCorp who I guess own Maytag, and I send them my phone number and I wait. And wait. And wait.

And then the following morning I get a phone call from Jeff Piraino, manager of the executive offices of Whirlpool Corporation in Michigan.


That, my friends, is service.

And he is incredibly nice, very apologetic, very helpful, and like any good therapist listens to why I am so upset. And the kicker: HE UNDERSTANDS WHY. So then he himself calls a different repair company and has a guy come out within the hour to look at the machine. And so I go put on a nursing bra to look presentable.

That guy assesses immediately that three parts need to be replaced, and he and Jeff at the headquarters in Michigan work it out that the parts will be overnighted and he can come back today and fix it. (currently waiting for him… UPDATE: he is here… waiting… waiting…FIXED! He FIXED IT! He FIXED IT! RAIN CAME BACK! RAIN CAME BACK!)

Oh my God, this is all I ever wanted. Seriously. Thank you Maytag. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jeff Piraino. My $1,300 washing machine is now working, and I can finally shut up about it. THE INTERNET THANKS YOU.


You’re not going to believe this. You guys, even though I’m wearing really dirty clothes and the house smells like poop, I have been BEAMING, literally shining light, there are vibrant yellow rays shooting out of the windows of the house because of what I’m about to tell you.


I’m sitting here yesterday getting yelled at on Twitter — BULLY! DOUCHEBAG! — when I get an email from a guy named Jason Avila who works for Bosch. Yes, THAT Bosch. And they want to give me a free washing machine of my choice. OF MY CHOICE. Who WOULDN’T take up that offer. Except, I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right. My brain just wouldn’t let me feel okay about it. And I mention on Twitter that I’m being offered free appliances when a woman with the handle @MommyMelee (here is her website) suggests that this might be a good opportunity for me to hook up a shelter with a free washing machine. And I give her full credit for this idea, and I feel like crap that I didn’t think of it in the first place. I blame the smell of poop rotting out half of my skull but will go forward with an eye to end every dispute in as charitable a manner.

So I talk to the guy at Bosch, tell him that since I can afford the $1,300 I spent on that washer I’d love it if they’d be willing to donate a free machine to a local Salt Lake City shelter instead, and he doesn’t see why not. So I do some looking around, find a place called the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake, make a call, and DO THEY EVER NEED THE HELP. I almost started bawling right there on the phone. All that stress and name-calling and pacing the floor yesterday…

You guys, Bosch is donating a brand new washer AND DRYER to the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake. GO @BOSCHAPPLIANCES!!!!

That is the power of Twitter.

You go right ahead and call me a bully, and you may totally disagree with the way I handled this, and you go right ahead and UNFOLLOW! But having this be the end to the story, well I’ll gladly let that be what the B. stands for in Heather B. Armstrong.

  • Anonymous

    ugh. you showed WAY more restraint than I would have. and i get plenty of sleep. good for you for finally calling them out publicly. you gave them PLENTY of chances to fix the problem and they absolutely DESERVED to be called out on their super-crappy customer service. it sucks that most people don’t have your power, but everyone, including you, should use whatever pull they’ve got.

  • Kyre

    Thank you for using your power as number 26 for good! And you should feel great that you used it to help yourself, your family and that shelter.

    If only everyone else on that list used their powers for good, too! Instead of, you know, to design a fragrance or to tell me how to vote.

    And this is truly your funniest post ever, and that is saying a whole helluva lot.

    Much love to you and yours!

  • Heather, I think you handled this wonderfully. You did not rush to “abuse your power” by ranting immediately on the Internet about your experience, but waited until you had exhausted all possible options before taking to Twitter. I can’t tell you what a good thing you did by arranging to have Bosch donate the brand new washer and dryer to a local shelter. Kudos to both you and @MommyMelee for that one!

  • Anonymous

    I think crappy companies should be called out. That was horrible customer service that would likely not have been fixed for the average person. We had a similar experience with SEARS, WHICH SUCKS! with our new fridge which incidentally is also hard to live without for extended periods.

    The funny thing is, while I think it ludicrous for people to be upset that you complained about something “trivial,” I tend to get annoyed when widely read people complain about the complaints. 😉 I love ya, but I just think that with such an enormous audience and reimbursement, that is likely part of the game. Have you talked to columnists about this? I’m guessing they learn to take it in stride. I’m sure it’s not easy, especially when the writing topic is so personal.

  • EMM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We paid $1,600 for a Maytag refrigerator–after saving for a year and thinking that we were investing in a product that wouldn’t have to be replaced for at least fifteen years– that broke three times in two years. The Maytag repairman who had been fixing Maytag appliances for 25 years told us that ever since the big Whirlpool/Maytag/Jenn-Air/Amana merger, Maytag appliances had taken a huge dive in their quality and reliability. He told us, without malice, but with a true desire to help us, that we should get rid of the fridge and buy a different brand. The next time the fridge broke (six months after the previous time!), we did. Maytag was completely uninterested in hearing from us, save for sending us the same form letter three times that basically said, Oh, we’re so sorry you don’t like our product.

    I am seething with jealousy that no one offered to send us a new fridge, but I am truly glad to hear that Maytag actually helped you out. We were not so lucky.

  • Stephanie

    Let me just say Heather – and I know I’m just some reader who usually lurks and rarely comments – but that you are totally in the right here. It’s sad that in this day in age it takes huge corporations being kicked in the balls through twitter (which is essentially technology’s version of word of mouth)for them to so much as ask to fix the problem that they created in the first place. Since when is it right for brand new shit NOT to work? Isn’t the whole beauty of buying a new product so that it DOES WORK?! I think that you doing this was actually a positive thing and using your power to stand up for us, the little guys, the ones that don’t have 1 million followers on twitter or their blog or whatever. Kudos to the (literal) balls you have my friend for your actions. I truly understand (along with I’m sure almost every other person in North America) the frustrations that go along with customer service departments in corporations. I also find it sad that it has to escalate to this level in order for the company to do something. When is corporate America going to realize that we’ve had enough? Ok I’ve begun a rant of my own hehe. Anyways again I cannot tell you enough – thank you thank you thank you from all us little guys ( or girls 🙂 ) out there that do not think you’re a bully and who truly appreciate the pile of shit (literally haha) you had to wade through to get this washing machine issue fixed. Ignore the haters – they’re just jealous you have a million followers 😀

  • Yo, 26, let me add my name to the pile of names piling up telling you to rock out w/r/t yr bad self.

    People are silly and there anger is often misguided, deflected from its proper course or just straight projected offa’ demselves onto others.

    I stumbled upon that whole exchange the other day as I was puttering around twitter, and was all ‘what’s up with all the hating on dooce because (it seems to me) she’s a popular blogger and twitterer that people read and follow?’ I mean, I do get that, but I don’t get that.

    Keep on with yr bad self running

  • What’s sad is that if you didn’t have a million followers on twitter, you’d still be waiting for a washing machine.

    Which is on Maytag, not you.

    Also? Twitter is a free service. We live in a free country. You can bitch about whatever the hell you want to on Twitter. And honestly? Yeah, I’d certainly think twice about buying a Maytag now. Because I don’t have a million followers, and I’d still be sitting here washerless. So thanks! Reading about your experience qualifies as research.

    People need to fucking chill. Nowhere did I see a tweet from you soliciting a free washer. Besides, were it not for your “bullying” on twitter in the first place, that shelter wouldn’t have a new washer right now.

    Glad it all turned out okay, and I wish you many error-less loads for the future!

  • Jilian

    If this isn’t what Twitter is for, then why are Maytag, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, etc making a name for themselves by using it to respond to problems and work on a social dialogue with their customers? If we know that’s what they are using it for, why shouldn’t it be what we use it for? Isn’t that what they are encouraging? YES.

    The suckiest part of this story is that you (or Katey or Jon) has six weeks worth of laundry to do! Hope Leta likes to fold!

  • Am I the only one who finds it totally bizarre that people are freaking out about you for using social media… in a way that many, many people use it? What, being popular means you can’t use the power of public opinion to get shit done?

    People post their stories to The Consumerist to get results like this. Good job — you have enough fame that you can get results on your own while leaving the precious real estate on The Consumerist for people who DON’T have that ability.

    I mean honestly, people have been using the power of “Posting your story publicly” to get companies to -do their jobs- since the internet got popular enough to handle it. Why the hell is Dooce being vilified for it?

  • scottish penguin

    You go girl!!

    I don’t think you were being a bully- I think you were just desperate. We’ve all done similar things, just not had as much punch as you!

    Let them all un-twit you. Who cares?


  • Rita

    WELL, I think you are jinxed when it comes to washing machines and must keep that in mind from now on. BUT, this jinxed-ness has TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY BENEFITED A VERY WORTHY PLACE. And that is awesome – I’m beaming now, too 🙂

  • Awesome, pure and simple. If that’s what it takes to get decent customer service then maybe they need to rethink how everything is handled before it makes it to a corporate level. At least those guys seem to understand!

  • Annie From Vancouver

    The worst is being treated badly on the phone by snotty customer service reps. Did you tell her supervisor that she was a horrible rep? There are so many good reps out there, I’m sure they could fire her and hire a new one who smiles and doesn’t say ugh to a customer.

    I’m glad it all worked out. Having been one of those people who had to drag laundry up hill to the laundrymat, I hug my insuite washer and dryer on a regular basis… I don’t hump it though… the neighbours might talk.

  • megan

    I really enjoyed the writing about this occurance on these two blogs. What a weird and wonderful thing for you two (and maybe more, i dunno) to make me think about.

  • Kristi

    I’m laughing, imagining the shit-storm you must have created at Maytag headquarters after your Twitter update. Awesome.

    I think all of us have experienced horrible customer service and if a charity gets a free washer/dryer out of it, it may not make all of our headaches worth it, but it does make me feel a little bit better.

    All hail the new (Internets) world we live in.

    p.s. I will NEVER understand why people have to tell you why they aren’t going to read you anymore. If their opinions were so important, perhaps they too would have an extremely popular blog. But oh wait, they don’t.

  • Anonymous

    Even in this economy businesses still don’t get that CUSTOMERS are the most important thing! It’s amazing. I agree that this is America, and you have every right to use whatever means necessary to get your concerns taken care of. Way to go!

  • Amy Jo

    #26 my ass, you’re #1!

  • Anne Lindenfeld

    You rock!

    Thank you SO MUCH for that last posting and also for sticking with it to get your washer fixed. There is no more customer service anymore. In fact, the store where I bought my dishwasher and oven only has a repairman working ONE DAY A WEEK. And I don’t live in East-West Jesus, I live in Washington, DC, land of complaining lobbyists and people who demand things. Like service.

    Anyway, I think you are just great. Ignore the ignoramuses.

    Oh, and BTW, you have two gorgeous little girls!


  • julie

    Great job!!!I think what you did was great, and you’ve made it easier for others who may have had the same issue a way(twitter it) to get resolution. This is not bullying, it is standing up for yourself. julie

  • At the risk of sounding like a mindless stan, I will simply tell you that you are awesome and that I love you and HELL YES. I wanna be a bully just like you when I grow up. 🙂

  • u r so rude & sarcastik 2 mk fun of yr readers tht way. i don’t know why yr such a BULLY yeah i sed it. u make fun of mormons and pioneers thats not nice how you u like it god is watching everything u do


    how do you like that lady?

  • Guinnevere

    Heather. Dood. Let me just tell you- you TOTALLY did the right thing. And I think it’s a damned shame, like you said, that a BRAND NEW MACHINE needed parts replaced. I personally would’ve taken that Bosch machine & said FU to Maytag BUT I’m glad it went somewhere it could use it ^_^

    HUgs n puppies n all things beautiful because you were so strong in this struggle & I think you did the right thing. Corporations should have to own up for their shoddy products & shitty customer service.


  • Anonymous

    You are amazing!

  • I had a similar experience with Comcast. Their customer service is usually shittastic, but one twitter (from me, with a whole 14 followers) and I had 2 people from corporate trying to help me. And they did.

    I love Twitter. And I love the power of the customer’s dollar. MY DOLLAR.

  • MIchele

    ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love the fact that you didn’t back down.

  • Lori W

    Heather thank you for being so honest that it makes other people uncomfortable. Being 42 I remember when I was as much of a spitfire as you.

    You are loved, your family is loved and I will make sure to REALLY do my homework when I buy my $1500 washing machine next winter. Thankfully I only have to wash for 2 anymore.

  • Holly


  • I’m TOTALLY with you on this one. If I PAY good money (MY money, that I EARN) on a product (washing machine, dishwasher, laptop computer, whatever) AND pay for a freaking 10-year warranty, I DESERVE to a) have the damn thing work and b) get good customer service when it doesn’t. The end.

    Maybe, just maybe, social media will lead the big ass corporation to learn that WE are the reason they are PROFITABLE. Us. Here. With the money we give them. And don’t we deserve good service when we give them our money?!

    Why yes, we do.

    And on the healthcare?! Thank goodness I live in Canada 🙂 Because, honestly, while I realize our system isn’t perfect (I had to spend 4 nights in a hospital to wait for them to surgically fix a broken arm because there weren’t enough nurses, doctors or OR’s) it’s better than most. And would I move to the US? Well, I’ve considered it, but only if I get to keep my Canadian healthcare, or the US fixes theirs.

    The end.

    PS – Dooce, I <3 you 🙂

  • The ending of that story just about made my day.

    We bought a Bosch when we moved into our house and needed a washing machine. We’ve loved it. It works great. I won’t go into how much I love the extra sanitary cycle. I’ll just say that it has seen us through more than one round of norovirus.

    I hope the rescue mission loves their new machine, too.

    I’ll bet Maytag gets some new policies out of this one.

  • Becky

    If I didn’t think those emoticon “hug” things were so ridiculously awkward, well, I might just see the benefit of using one in this comment. I have a two year-old and a five month-old and when I went to do my laundry yesterday, my wash machine wouldn’t drain on the first load. I did everything in my human power to fix it (short of moving the machine, because, DUH, full of water!) Because I am a busy mom and had waited too long, I had loads to do, piles and piles of poo-stained, milk-moistened clothing such as you described, and I was pissed at the universe. I even unloaded most of the heavy, water-laden clothes into a tupperware so I could feel around and lighten the load. At the end of the evening, I lifted up that extremely heavy tupperware to throw it on top of my stupid wash machine, and something clicked and the thing started to drain! It drained! And now it works!

    I completely understand your joy at having a working wash machine. And my ordeal only lasted 13 hours. I say, poo and spit up stains on anyone who calls you a bully. For goodness’ sake, people, just don’t read things if they cause you so much emotional strain.

  • Shannon

    Not fair to add new stuff when I’m trying to catch up.

    That is so cool that they donated that washer. Good use of the power woman.

  • Kathy

    Hi Heather, I was following all this on Twitter, and admittedly my first thought was “Don’t buy Maytag,” however, tweeting about your issue produced results, and I am happy that the corporate office finally helped you. Maybe Maytag will not be crossed off my list of potential appliances when, joy of all joys, I have my own washing machine. Also, I am impressed with how well you deal with angry people!

  • Heather,

    You’re not a bully if you’re standing up for yourself.


    Someone who has read and admired you since before there was a Leta (!)

  • Anonymous

    You are amazing and awesome and I really wish that people would be nicer to you.

  • First off, I want to say that I think you did EVERYTHING RIGHT. I think that BECAUSE of your influence, maybe HOPEFULLY Maytag will take another look at the way they handle these things, which will HELP OTHER PEOPLE in the future. And look! A woman’s shelter got a BRAND NEW washer AND dryer! I say that’s pretty freaking awesome.

    I hate that there is so much hate on the internet. I’m so sorry that you had to deal with this (the internet crap and the broken washer crap) and believe that you are COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED in what you wrote/did and it was completely NOT RIGHT how the company handled your situation for the most part – until the end when that dude FINALLY got your washer fixed.

    ps. I’m in the first couple chapters of your book and I LOVE IT. I love the way you write and I love your character and the way it comes through in your writing. You are one talented lady. Who now has a working washing machine.

  • Unless “they” can provide an accurate and definitive description of how to effectively use Twitter to the full extent of it’s abilities, they should zip it.

    Good on you for the donation.

  • You are seriously my new hero! Thank you for sticking to your ground and finally getting the service you deserve…that we all deserve.

    And I don’t think I could ever stop following someone for voicing their opinions. And if someone feels that way, I wouldn’t want them following me!

    Keep saying it exactly the way it is. You don’t have a million followers for nothing!

  • conz

    Next time try the laundromat maybe? You kind of overreacted but I can’t say I would not do the same. But of course I am a German, headless, squirrel person who is now terrified to buy a new washer. Great rant in any case.

  • David

    I absolutely agree that this is what we should all use Twitter for. That’s why we have a free market and free speech, y’all. So that when huge corporations who sell expensive, defective products and provide shitty service, they get hugely, publicly embarrassed for it. And maybe next time, someone with only 100 Twitter followers will get better service.

    Bravo, bravo, well done.

  • Great story! And I have much sympathy for you with an infant who doesn’t sleep. I had one of my own. But some points are taken away as you have a supportive husband who helps. 😉

    Did you know that Whirpool also makes appliances for Sears? Probably not as you might not have then bought a Maytag who is also made by Whirpool. Whirpool is hit or miss with appliances. Then again, most things are these days and it sucks.

    And good for you for getting the washer donated to someone who needs it. You go Heather!

  • Amy

    Heather, you are officially my hero =)

  • Dana

    you are so talented, i love this blog so much

  • It almost makes me believe in the internet. *tear*

  • dizzy

    it is not unreasonable to want your (very) expensive appliance to work within mere months of purchase.

    i may not have the broad and immediate reach that you do, but i would certainly share my dissatisfaction with anyone i could.

    kudos for getting what you should have gotten from the beginning, and for providing something to those who need it.

    separate but related: excellent writing. i love when an ending has punch.


  • Karin

    I would have reacted the exact same way as you Heather! You’re not a bully in my books for what it’s worth!


    (Note: That is the Slow Clap. Not sarcasm.)

    (For serious.)

  • Kristen

    I <3 you. I shudder to think what 3+ weeks of regular+baby laundry even looks like, never mind the smell.

    Adam Savage (@donttrythis) from Mythbusters had a similar incident in June with AT&T, twittered about it, and suddenly AT&T were bending over backwards and Adam had articles you can find on Google written about it.

    I say if you’ve got pull, use it. More companies need to realize the damage social networks can do to their brands, whether the complainer is a big name or not.

  • I only noticed your drama yesterday on Twitter when one of the people I follow called you a bully. Paying a shitload of money for a new washer should mean it works, and if not that it should be properly repaired or replaced on the first trip. Isn’t Maytag the one with the commercial that claims their repairmen have no work cause the machines work so well?
    Anyway, that’s awesome that Bosch is donating a set to the local shelter, if anything it means the next time I buy an appliance it will be from Bosch.
    Now, you wanna bully Comcast for me? I’ve got 2 toddlers on summer break and the cable they installed 4 days ago doesn’t work!!! My life is hell without spongebob!

  • Tim

    Absolutely this is called for. Companies HAD good customer service, but then the decided it wasn’t worth the cost. So they knowingly got rid of their customer service departments (or outsource them or what not). It’s not that we the customers have unreasonable demands. It’s that they decided it wasn’t worth it to make us happy. They got out cost-benefit flow charts and decided that we wouldn’t mind talking to someone less competent then the people they had currently. Then they saw the cost savings and decided that those people were too competent and looked for someone less competent. And they got the reports that said their customers hated them and they said screw our customers. Profits are all that matters.

    Well screw them. Let’s all take to twitter and show them the new cost-benefit analysis.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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