What's a gal to do when she moves to a new town with her 10-year old washing machine, and it conks out on her right as she starts a new job? Learning who is reliable in a new town can be a difficult chore, but here in Abilene, I found a great answer in Don's Appliance Service.
Perhaps banging around in a borrowed farm trailer for six hours on the move from Brenham to Abilene had something to do with it, or perhaps the key factor was reaching its tenth birthday, but, at any rate, my washing machine did not work recently, right after I had filled my black Kenmore Ultra Fabric Care with a load of darks and hit "No" (I have had to hit "No" after "Start" to make the built-in computer bypass the detergent dispenser ever since some type of computer glitch struck six years ago; finding that bypass spared me from having to replace the entire motherboard). The machine filled as usual, but the moment agitation began, Holy Moly! It made a hideous grinding noise, as if it were chewing on rocks. I turned it off pronto.
I decided that a repair service was in order. My husband agreed. Since the machine is a Kenmore, we started with Sears. After waiting about four minutes on hold, I took the pre-recorded voice's suggestion to check out the Sears website. To do this, I had to register with the site. Once in, I learned that there would be a minimum $65 service fee. I worried that they might get here, find the problem, and have to make a second trip with the proper parts. Further, although I could schedule the date online, I had no control over the time of day. This was a serious problem for me, since I had just started a new job and could not take time off. Disenchanted, I decided to do further research.
I first called West Texas Appliance Parts and Service. Their fee for a service call was less ($58.95), and the hourly rate was $60. The person on the phone warned me that if the repairman needed to return with parts, there would be a minimum cost of $30 in labor for the second trip. I decided to check on some others.
The next number I called was for a service no longer in business. I had an informative dialog with the former business owner, Joe, and he referred me to Don's Appliance Service. Don was on another job, but he called me back within ten minutes. His estimate was much less, and he came over immediately. He found that the problem was the drive coupling, as he had suspected from our conversation. He offered me a choice of a $12.95 part or a heavy-duty one costing about twenty-five bucks. Curious, I asked him which was more appropriate. He asked me if I had ever had trouble with the machine before. When I told him no, he explained, "Well, you see, some folks constantly overload their machines with comforters, or too many towels and jeans at once, and after they've broken the coupling several times, I offer them the heavy-duty one. Too heavy a load will still break the coupler, but it takes longer." I was impressed by his honesty with me.
The repair was done in a flash, it was successful, and my total bill for parts, labor, and tax was $78.97. (Joe had predicted $125.) Don charged me $60 for the service call, but he listened to me on the phone first, and made only one trip. I do not know what the other companies would have charged for the part, but I could have started with $90 in labor for two trips due to not having the proper part (though, to be fair, the necessary part was so common that they would most likely have had it with them). What I really liked was that Don was there on the very same day that I called, within an hour. I did not have to make any arrangements with someone else to be there, nor ask for any time off. I was very pleased to make the acquaintance of Mr. Don Warren.
A caveat, though: he doesn't work on the computer parts. Avowing that a washing machine needs no more than three buttons, he prefers old-fashioned models, not the computerized plethora of cycles and controls afforded by computerized models. So if the problem could be with the motherboard, you should call someone else. But when you know you have a purely mechanical problem or a simple electrical one (like replacing the electrical harness or a lid switch), Don's your man. As an added bonus, Don claims to be the only repairman left in Abilene who still rebuilds motors. In some cases, rebuilding a motor might cost a customer far less than buying a new one--and on an older model it might not be worth replacing the motor with a new one, anyway.
Don's Appliance Service is located at 2234 Poplar in Abilene. His number is 325-675-8421. Don also repairs dryers and and other appliances.
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