Thursday, June 11, 2009

Next step robot repair technicans

What would break on a new refrigerator before the summer months? Of course, the ice maker.

We noticed for a couple of days there was less and less ice in the maker. I thought we were just using a lot. But then came the day the glass under the shuddering spout remained empty. It was not spitting out a single ice cube.

The call to the 800 service number was, not surprisingly, answered by an automated voice system.

If you are calling for a repair, press 1.
If you are calling from the number where the appliance is located press 2.
If your address is ------------- press 1.
If you are calling for blah, blah, blah, blah, press 1,2,3,4, a refrigerator, press 5 (Oh, thank God. Have I mentioned I have trouble using phones and dealing with frustration?)
If you are calling for the repair of an ice maker press 1 - (hmm, ice makers must go out the most).
We can schedule a technician to come. Press 1 for Monday; 2 for Tuesday; etc.
I press 2. OK, on Tuesday we have available appointment between 8-noon (press 1) or 1:00 to 5:00 press 2. Again, I press 2. Thank you, a technician will be out on TUESDAY between 1PM and 5P M. To confirm this appointment press 1 - Finally!

Monday night we get an automated call. This is the service center, we have an appointment scheduled for you between 1PM and 5PM. TUESDAY. If this is correct press 1. To cancel this appointment, press 2; to reschedule this appointment, press 3.

Tuesday afternoon another automated call. Our service technician is leaving the prior call, his anticipated arrival will be in 30 minutes. If someone is home and this is okay, press 1. To cancel press 2; to reschedule press 3.

I was expecting R2D2 to appear at the door. But the technician was friendly and most important, human. In less than 15 minutes he had diagnosed the problem and replaced the ice maker. He carried a rugged laptop with an antenna, and a five inch printer attached. He pressed keys on the laptop explaining he was going to order a 'mother board' in case we had trouble with the new ice maker after the warranty expired. It would be delivered to our house.

My unfiltered brain wanted to ask him what the hell we were suppose to do with the MOTHER- - but I have been working on filtering thoughts from my brain -so they don't just pop out of my mouth, and I was sucessful in holding my tongue - this time.

The tech then completes a few more keystrokes and our service order and receipt are printed. The last thing he did was tap a key which started the automated voice mail calling the next customer.

I know computers and many electronics now diagnose problems and walk the humans through the repairs, so I have to wonder, how long before we have service robots show up at the door? Or will we go straight to replacing our own mother boards?


  1. I'm kinda shocked that your fridge has a mobo. But I guess it's probably a very smart fridge. Does it tell you when you're about to run out of milk or eggs? ~Kevin

  2. A mobo huh? That is the not the word I was thinking but it it fits too.. Darn mobo.... yeah, I like the sound of itt.

    It doesn't have the grocery list, DVD, etc. I just wanted a basic fridge with ice and water dispenser in the door.
    So far it had demonstrated it is none to smart.

  3. yeah, I figured. Mobo is officially short for motherboard... i suppose we could come up with alternatives.

    I just wonder what it needs what amounts to a computer for. Refrigeration isn't exactly rocket science, nor is icemaking come right down to it.

  4. I really like mobo, you can use it around children.
    Years ago, some bozo tried to tell me I needed water in my radiator on my VW BUG. Maybe it was the same with the mobo. However, there is an electronic panel that lights for ice water and bells that ding if the door is opened.

  5. Glad you are back in business. We haven't needed much ice lately as it has been all thunderstorms.