17 July 2016


(Signe Wilkinson's Editorial Cartoons
You’ll laugh when I tell you about a recent bout of text messaging from Hotpoint, the company who made the broken-down washing machine. It seems that phones are out of fashion except for cell phones - and computers that can send and receive text messages.

Still waiting for repair. The latest upset with the washing machine has been handled by text messaging, particularly when appointments are made.

You’re going to like this!

Text message to say when engineer is calling.
Engineer will call Wednesday 06 July
(Story was that the required part had been in stock all along)

Another text received to say parts now available for the repair. It went on like this:
‘We now require a visit date (as 4 digit day+month 0807) and our computer system will check and respond. At this moment Friday 08-JUL onward is free. Text CANCEL if repair no longer required.

I sent return text:
Have had date given to me for Wednesday 6 July. In fact I had two messages to that effect. Was told parts were available. Suggest you check it out.

Sorry, our automated system could not understand your response. Friday 8 July is first available appointment date. Text us your preferred date (in format DDMM e.g.’0807) and we will try to schedule it. Text CANCEL and we’ll cancel this order.


Well, it looked as if the other date had been pushed out of the picture so I texted back Friday 0807 agreed,

From Hotpoint
Sorry, our automated system ……

Engineer did visit on 6 July, minus the part. It was what he called ‘first visit’ to assess what was wrong with the machine.

We already knew what was wrong…. concrete slabs used to stabilise machine had been broken into small bits and were annoying the spin dryer no end. You could tell it was upset by the noise it made. This guy had the sense to tell Hotpoint. I know this because someone woke up at Hotpoint and phoned me. Actually used a phone, which I thought was amazing. How nice actually to speak to someone. She said they only operate on texts that give dates as 0806 or whatever. We sorted it out but she had no idea how I came to get the first appointment since it wasn’t on her computer. Perhaps a real person used real English words instead of text code!

It has only taken since 6 June but the great day is nigh. I had a text telling me that and apparently they’re going to send another text to tell me what time.

And then came an actual phone call from a young man who not only apologised for the upset but gave me the date of delivery of a NEW machine. Tuesday sometime but of course I will get a text to give the actual time.

Dashing off to prepare … tra la la!

Friend Judy warned me not to get too excited … er, just in case! Just what I needed to calm me down.


  1. OMG Valerie, as I was reading this I found myself getting so agitated by the confusion in the texts! I bet it was as frustrating as it is when you call customer service for an issue with say, Internet or phone service, and then get transferred to a NON-English speaking representative and can't understand them - ugh!

    Hope all goes well on Tuesday and that the NEW machine is delivered without any glitches.

    Have a lovely Sunday, my friend! X

    P.S. I love the cartoon graphic you used at the head of this post. HILARIOUS!

  2. I thought you should have received a new washer back in part 1. Computer generate customer friendly.

  3. Ron, you know how I felt/feel with all this. I just had to blog about it to get some of the tension out of me and onto the computer. I'm on pins today waiting for the text that will announce a time tomorrow. Wouldn't be surprised if there's a delay! If that happens you might hear the explosion!!!

  4. Katie, so did I. I guess they were too busy fobbing people off.

  5. Thanks, Joeh. It's good to share, don't you think?

  6. I hope your part 3 has much better news!

  7. kden, so do I. I'm jumping up and down with excitement because today is supposed to be THE day when a new machine is delivered.

  8. haha. oh my. i really do not like the automated machines that answer the phone or send messages. They always give me fits. I do hope that it will all get worked out with you soon enough.

    And I hope you are well. Smiles.

  9. Hey Brian, great to see you here again. You have been missed. Yes, I'm beginning to hate text messages, although the last one received was to tell me what time the new machine would arrive.

  10. What a nightmare. And all this automation is supposed to be "progress." NOT!

  11. Hope the new machine arrives soon and you are done with the text messages with this company. Good grief. I thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier? Take care Val.

  12. I do think that sooner or later governments will have to start giving tax breaks to companies that employ real people. Using a real person would have been not only nicer for you and given someone a job but it would also have been more efficient. Maybe they'll start doing it when unemployment starts rising. Anyway I hope your machine arrives soon! :)

  13. Very hilarious post. It only makes us realize how our lives have changed over a period of years. Machines are taking over everything. Perhaps after a few years a robot will come to repair your washing machine. In the meanwhile we have to put up with many headaches like this due to automated machines.


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