Is it really a free warranty if it is reflected in the price? This is the question I have to ask the Springfield, IL Dick Van Dyke Appliance World. My household had our dryer start acting up on us last week. The dryer and washer have both had previous work done to them. Both of these items were purchased from Dick Van Dyke on April 9, 1993 when the store was located on North Grand Ave East in Springfield. Last Sunday we decided to go out to do some comparing of products and to get an idea of pricing for different models. We had somewhat of an idea of what we were wanting. By the time we got out to window shop. Only a limited amount of stores were still open. On a Sunday choices are limited any way. After much discussion back and forth we have finally made our choice of what we want to purchase. But this is where the problem begins. Dick Van Dyke Appliance World doesn't want to compete on price.
Is not haggling over a $70 price difference really worth losing a customer? I realize margins may be tight. I'm more than aware that our salesperson is probably on commission. This is how I'm suppose to make my living. If your not buying anything from the affiliates on this site. My rent and bills aren't getting paid by me. So I'm the last person to want to screw someone out of a paycheck. But I have a problem with being told by signs all over the store that Dick Van Dyke offers a free 5/10 year warranty. When in fact the cost of that warranty is already factored into the price of the products they sell. Most people make purchase decisions based on price and features. If they feel they are getting those same features for less somewhere else they will buy from that place. It's that simple. To me it makes more sense to just offer the warranty as an extra at a reasonable price. That way your advertised product price is competing with the big box stores and other competition. Dick Van Dyke however would rather compete supposedly in regards to service. Lets analyze that a few different ways. Is it quality service to hide the service charge for the free warranty within the price of the product? To me that says your trying to hide something. This makes me think – here is another company trying to pull another fast one on the consumer. Hiding the true cost and marketing things as if they are giving you something because they value your business.
It's not like this was a surprise to me though. I highly doubted that Dick Van Dyke was going to eat the cost of providing the better warranty. In most cases you will lucky to find a 2 year warranty. I think the standard for most washer and dryers is one year. This may in fact not even be a full service warranty. On big ticket items it is my opinion that purchasing the best warranty you can afford is a good idea. Is some regards extended warranties are a rip off. Just a nice way for the sales person to get a higher commission. Yet I have personally seen cases where buying the best warranty is worth it. What comes to mind is our car in this regard. Recently without the extended warranty we would have paid more for the recent repairs and service.
I'm debating the fact that Dick Van Dyke may offer the better quality service. I can't say for sure since I've only dealt with an employee of this company once before. I'm almost sure we called them once for a repair to one of our units at the old house. The same washer and dryer units we are now trying to say good bye to. My problem is hiding the warranty cost within the price of the merchandise. Dick Van Dyke would have a sale today. No financing – no fuss – drop the credit card down – purchase made. If only they would compete on price. Yes I'm sure this would hurt the commission of the salesperson. I'd tend to bet that this opens up the company to some risk as well. My thought is this. If the products your selling are as good as they should be. Then you shouldn't have to service them within the first five years. So how much of a financial risk are you really taking? Do to the fact that the extended warranty shouldn't even have to come into play if in fact the product is solid.
Is not wanting to drop the price $70 a way of telling me you know your risk is high on these units? That your aware that this washer and dryer brand has had a lot of calls for service? So you know you need the extra money to cover your warranty cost. Honestly I'm not sure and it's not like someone will be honest and tell me the truth. Some people would say – if you know the service is most likely better why not just pay the $70 difference. It's the principal of the matter. That $70 has been acknowledged by the sales person over the phone as non negotiable do to warranty cost. Dick Van Dyke would rather lose a no risk guaranteed sale than lower their price to that of what the competition sells this same washer and dryer for. The company can get away with this because an informed local consumer will have the impression that the service is better at Dick Van Dyke. So you have to pay a little more. Marketing has been effective in this regard. I think the perception is they offer better service. That service however must not be in the sales department in my opinion.
But here is the kicker. I'm going to have to pay $35 for that quality service any way. I'd have to pay for the setup process at Lowe's as well. Now keep in mind I feel I would get more for my money at Dick Van Dyke. They will shut off and cap the case line for the above price. With Lowe's this would be extra or we would have to find someone to do it for us. Cheryl never properly compensated her friends husband for doing the gas setup for us in the first place. So asking him to do it is out of the question. What it comes down to is the extra $70 is there to cover an extended warranty. Not the original delivery and setup. Delivery is free within 25 miles of the store. And you pay an extra fee for the level of setup your in need of. There supposedly is some type of rebate of the $35 fee at this time. Why they are rebating a service they offer is beyond me. Just knock some money off the purchase price and lets get the deal done.
My question is. Would you lose a customer over $70? Each customer has friends and family. These people will be told of the experience you had at a retailer. This will in fact effect their image of that company. You can have all the great marketing and PR in the world. It can't match word of mouth. Should a company really risk negative word of mouth over $70?
Well from what I've seen so far Dick Van Dyke will in fact do just that. Not surprising really. They aren't exactly a forward thinking company in my opinion. The company doesn't have any of it's merchandise on it's website. They do have their product offerings setup on site not controlled by them. The site is StepUp. Basically a blanket service that supposedly does things for you. This clearly shows Dick Van Dyke undervalues the importance of having a true web presence under their name. I think market research clearly shows that this is a big mistake. Especially when the competition has everything listed online with full details. I can cost and price compare online before coming in or oh my gosh actually make the full purchase online.
Coming into your store last night almost had me walking out. Although we clearly told your sales person we were just looking. She kept on with the full court press. Even though my body language and demeanor was telling her to back off for a bit. This is one major reason I make a good majority of purchases online. No pushy sales people. This lady wouldn't have lost my sale. If I was needing information or wanting her help I would have made sure she was who handled things. I read online where someone stated they were ignored at Dick Van Dyke and this turned them off. The sales woman last night was handling another customer before us. So it took her a bit to get to us. Which was fine – I understood the situation. It was late in the evening as well. What I hate is when a sales person won't back off. And to be honest she really is lucky today she even got the call asking if she would lower the price. Now because of the way things were handled last night and today. There most likely will be no sale from Dick Van Dyke.
Keep in mind that the free protection plan that is mentioned all over their store with painted signs and labels on the products is in fact only available on certain merchandise. Also keep in mind that as I've said above. What is supposedly free is in fact factored into the cost of the merchandise. So is this really truly free? I can see several things on there why by here list that aren't exactly truthful.
Lets not forget that none of the products they offer are featured on the website. Only links to the manufacturers websites. And not even that exist in all cases. How anyone can in fact think that doing business without a website is smart in this day and age is beyond me. Come to think of it should your employees be recommending customers to use websites for product reviews that could in fact take sales away from your company? Considering sites like mySimon offer advertising and ways to make the purchase from their site. Not to mention the reviews on the mySimon site ( a CNET property ) weren't exactly plentiful let alone helpful in regards to feedback on the appliances we were wanting to purchase.
In the end Dick Van Dyke didn't get our money. The sale went to Sam's Best Brands Plus located in the Parkway Pointe shopping area. Right next door to Blue Cross Blue Shield and across the street from the Parkway Pointe 8 movie theater. One big negative about Sam's Best Brands is I can't find an internet presence for them. There isn't a URL on our bill either.
Dick Van Dyke probably won't miss our money. They probably won't understand that they just lost a very easy sale. If things had just been handle a bit different it would have been Dick Van Dyke getting our money this evening. Instead the competition just a bit down the road got the sale. Did we get a 5 year warranty? No. Did we get a 10 year warranty on the motor? Yes. Does Fisher Paykel have less moving parts? It does. So the chance of major component failure is minimized. Making it less likely to have a warranty related problem. Did we in fact pay about $8 less than the Lowe's price before tax and fees? Yes we did. In the end did we get a better deal? Only time will tell. What I can tell you is the buying experience was better at Sam's Best Brands. When is the last time you had a laugh or two when you bought a major appliance?
All this should be a prime example of how your companies policies and employees can be the difference between a sale and a – I'm walking out the door and not coming back experience. Maybe our total $1,532.13 won't be missed by Dick Van Dyke. And this is part of the problem with how business is done. Our money should be missed by this appliance seller. The fact that an easy sale with no financing walked out the door should in fact bother the owners. In reality it won't. If my delivery and setup experience goes smoothly with Sam's Best Brands. I know who I will be telling friends and family to spend their money with for appliances. It sure won't be Dick Van Dyke. I've always made a habit of thanking those who make my life easier here. While letting everyone know those who haven't. My hope is always that this will help others to avoid the aggravations I've seen.
Sorry Peggy Dyson the hard court press didn't work. Didn't help that yourself or your employer weren't flexible on price. Heck you didn't even make a solid effort to try and keep our business. Not even a can we meet somewhere in the middle. Or any offer to make us feel the extra price was worth the money. Because yourself and Dick Van Dyke didn't give the customer options. You lost a sale that would have been a done deal today. This sales person didn't even offer us the $25 off internet coupon. Even though this is good on a purchase of washer and dryer together. This is even after Cheryl specifically asked if Dick Van Dyke offered deals in regards to the purchasing a washer and dryer atthe same time. Yet over the phone this morning no mention was made of any such coupon being available online. This wasn't even mentioned the night before when she had been told we were doing online research. She ( the salesperson ) couldn't shut up about mySimon though.
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For those of you who feel the written word online has no power. Or that the opinion of the little people will never be heard.
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