bad experience with AJMadison.com
I purchased a new Frigidaire counter-depth French Door refrigerator from a salesman named Jacob at AJMadison.com on 2nd of July. It was delivered yesterday on July 12 by AM Home Delivery. It has been an ordeal. Perhaps it was partly because I have gotten older and it has been 20 years since we shopped for a refrigerator. Times have changed, I know.
DH and I had visited appliance showrooms here in Houston, Blue Pacific (adjacent to Best Buy) and Lowes and Home Depot. Found only one counterdepth on the showroom at Best Buy. I was looking for a particular model as a result of reading Consumer Reports. Forget the model, Lowes, Best Buy or Home Depot had no Frigidaire refrigerators on display in their showroom. Lowes had no cost information on their counterdepth models - finding a salesperson on Saturdays without having to go to the counter up front and ask for special attention (and then waiting a considerable time) was pretty much impossible. Anyway, I could go on but the shopping experience was rather unpleasant compared to being able to browse online from your home and find exactly the model you are looking for and easily pull up the specs for that model, etc. etc.
I had heard good things about ajmadison.com - people on the gardenweb forum praising the salespeople at ajmadison. This was not my experience. Though Jacob was certainly polite, I felt he didn't tell me in advance about the delivery options, and removal of my frigerator options. It wasn't until after I paid and after I hung up that I learned from the invoice sent via email that removal would have a cost. I also hadn't been explained about the differences between "in home delivery", "white glove delivery" and standard. I still don't know. After calling customer services at ajmadison (since Jacob didn't return my phone call - I actually think he did call back but hung up after one ring probably so he could be given credit for calling me but so that he didn't actually have to talk to me - just my speculation.)
So I called ajmadison customer service asked about the delivery. I learned for the first time that the delivery I had paid for only included the drivers dropping off the refrigerator on my sidewalk fully crated. For $200, they would bring it into the house. She said on the phone that they would uncrate it but the description for "in home delivery" on their website specifically says they will not uncrate it. I was confused but at this point, since I know for sure they wouldn't be giving me my money back, I decided that I could tolerate this ordeal, paid the money which I knew would actually get the frigerator up our three steps into our house and waited for the delivery company to call me to tell me when they could deliver. This was after I had already talked to them and they were clear that removal of my old refrigerator would cost something. I still don't know what that would be since I balked and because they had to change my appt time and told me because of the inconvenience, they would pick up my old refrigerator for free. I can also speculate that my old refrigerator had value for them so if they couldn't get more money from me for removal, it was still worth it to them to pick up for free.
Anyway, there was a mixup about when they were supposed to show up - I won't go into that except to say that the guys I had asked to wait with me and to help me during this ordeal of a delivery, helping me to uncrate if it turned out I had to, or helping me to examine the fridge for dents and damages had to leave before the delivery guy showed up. I talked to the delivery guy at 11:00am and he said at that time that he would/could be at our house by 1:00am (time when guys helping me had to leave.) Delivery guys showed up at 2:30pm. To get my old refrigerator out the door, he had to remove my front door off its hinges. He borrowed my hammer and screwdriver - he had none (or maybe they were in the truck and he didn't feel like going back out and getting them.) He was doing it wrong, thank goodness his buddy who had been in the truck came inside to help with the hinges on the door, otherwise, I was afraid the hinges were going to be ripped off the door frame.
Don't think I mentioned it above, they did uncrate the new fridge in my front yard and left the stack of trash on my curb. Didn't see it until after the delivery guys left.
Our trash pickup will never pick this up, even for heavy trash (which only happens every other month) so I need to somehow get this trash put into our trash though some of the cardboard can go to our recycle place a couple miles away. The styrofoam will fill up our garbage can. We are limited to one can full per week so this will have to be stored temporarily in our back yard for two weeks. Maybe not the worst thing to happen but this is just something else which left me feeling like I was a second class citizen who deserved to have trash thrown in her yard and who didn't deserve having a delivery appointment that they could meet without going through several contortions.
Bottom line, I have a refrigerator that seems to be working (though it set off an alarm 20 minutes after the delivery guys were gone). Because it was a good price, I guess I shouldn't complain too much. But wanted to report here that I may still buy other large appliances on the web and I have quite a few more to purchase but I definitely won't be buying them from ajmadison.com. The only good thing I can say is that Michelle in customer service was polite and had patience with me, someone who was an irate customer and who she seemed to wish she could help.
I did have an electronic error message for "high temperature" that I wanted to know how to get rid of. Oh, did I say I did not get any customer guide regarding the electronics at time of delivery? I searched the web and tried to download the manual but it was taking hours. So I couldn't troubleshoot. I called AJmadison and was given a better link to download a manual and given the phone number for Frigidaire (after downloading the manual which didn't tell how to fix the problem). After calling the 800 number given to me by Michelle for Frigidaire, the options for technical support were that I had to call area code 706 which meant I had to make a long distance call. I did and the Frigidaire person helped me. In the meantime while troubleshooting this with Frigidaire, I noticed another 800 number inside the fridge that according the the Frigidaire spokesman said would not have required me to make a toll call. Well at least it was explained to me how to get rid of the error code. The manual after download is not very useful. After 1 year, I don't think Frigidaire will answer my problem calls for me. Warranty will be up. That isn't AJMadison's fault - guess I should write Consumer Reports who gave this fridge the only recommendation given for a counter-depth refrigerator and tell them that the Owner's guide is very very weak on troubleshooting information.
I plan to try build.com next with my appliance purchases next time. I may try one of the local stores again if I can get my husband to the store on a weekday when it isn't so hectic. Maybe I could even make an appointment for a salesman. Will have to look into that. There has got to be an easier way to buy local. I'll file a report on that experience, good or bad if and when I make that purchase whether locally or online, maybe in a couple months.