When Stuff Breaks - Live Work Travel USA|Live Work Travel USA

When Stuff Breaks

Aaaaah, convenience… that’s what I LOVE about America! I’ve just had the best experience with Lowe’s after having a semi-urgent emergency the other day – our washing machine broke after doing a decent job for over 6 years.  Let me start from the beginning…

Our Whirlpool Cabrio top loader (in short: washing machine) started to make some noise between cycles a few weeks ago, so we knew something was about to happen until it finally gave up with a full load of clothes a few days ago. The pressure was on, because our laundry started to pile up already and the wife was in a state of alert, ready to buy a new one immediately. “Not so fast!” as every man would say. I was once again challenged to prove my manhood and ability to fix stuff myself, saving the family a chunk of money. Unfortunately my history of being able to fix things is not the best. But hey, at least I’m trying.

So I started looking into some Do It Yourself videos on YouTube and forum posts, after successfully identifying what might be wrong with our washer. I found a website that told me what’s behind each of the error codes that the washer spit out, plus another site where I could order parts myself. It didn’t take long to find a forum post that exactly described what I was experiencing with our machine and the cost for the parts would have been about $300 without a guarantee that this would even fix the problem.

I kinda liked our washer, because it wasn’t one of these nasty top loaders with the death spiral in it, that totally destroys your laundry. No, it was a top loader without a spiral, but I never really thought the laundry would get as clean as in one of the front loaders as I knew them from Germany. I could see my clothes moving in circles with water sprinkled on top of them every few minutes, but it didn’t really look like it was washing it. More like soaking, rinsing, spinning and doing some shaking in between. And that a few times in a row.

Anyhow, seeing the estimated cost of a repair and the chance of succeeding, I gave in very quickly this time and gave my wife the go-ahead to start looking for a good replacement with awesome ratings for very little money. She came back with a pretty good deal on an LG washer (front loader, finally!) on Lowes.com, that had nearly perfect ratings from about 200 reviewers and just went on sale with a nice 33% off for a total of 600 bucks. Free Shipping on top of that, but I couldn’t find information whether it’s going to be installed too or just delivered. So I mentally prepared on finding another YouTube DIY video and do the install myself.

The Nitty Gritty of our Buying Decision (for Travel Hacking Minds)

ebatesAfter slowly adjusting our brains to a travel hacking mindset (See other post), we were already thinking about how to save even more money on top of that 33% and maybe earn some frequent flyer miles with it. With the credit cards that we had, we would get up to 4 points per dollar if we would click through the credit cards shopping malls. Then we started looking into affiliate links for Lowe’s to squeeze out some more cash back.

Ebates.com was the solution for us and here’s how it all worked out for us:
We already had an account with Ebates, so we just clicked through their link to the Lowe’s website. That was earning us 4% from Ebates and paying with credit card was good for another 1%, totalling 5%. In the end we took off another 5% of the price that was already discounted 33% at lowes.com, just by doing a little research and some creative spending techniques.

A Painless Experience

Hope you’re still with me, because here comes the convenient part as mentioned in the beginning of this article.
After spending a few minutes to figure out how to save the most money, we finally put in the order online at Lowe’s at 9 o’clock in the evening, expecting a delivery in about 2 weeks, because our local store didn’t have the washer in stock.

The next morning I was about to get ready for work when I heard the loud humming of a truck parking in front of our house. It was the Lowe’s truck and two guys were ready to deliver our new washing machine. My wife even got a heads up from them via phone half an hour before they pulled up at my place. To my surprise they did not only deliver our new washer within 12 hours at no charge, they also installed it in a matter of minutes and took the old machine with them so that I won’t have to worry about it anymore. On top of that they gave me a quick overview about its features and even checked if my detergent was recommended by the manufacturer, because otherwise they might not honor their warranty. First I was going to try selling the old washing machine on Craigslist for a few bucks, but in the end I was just happy that it’s gone and not eating up space in my garage.
The Lowe’s delivery guys were in and out in less than 30 minutes and my wife is super happy with her new washer.

C-O-N-V-E-N-I-E-N-C-E, that’s what I really started to appreciate in America! I saved enough money on the buying end and probably left some money by not selling the old machine on Craigslist. But overall, a pretty painless experience and a big shout out to Lowe’s and their team! They were so fast and out the door that I didn’t even have a chance to tip them for their great service. That’s very impressive!

On a Side Note

As always in life, when you think you got a great deal, there’s an even better one the very next day. Home Depot just started offering the same 33% deal on our LG washing machine and we could have saved another 15% on top of that through Discover Mall, if we would have waited one more day. Oh well…


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