The Suitcase Lady


November 10, 2020, 1:18 pm

We had a little explosion here a few weeks ago. I was standing beside my stove making dinner when there was a huge pop followed by smoke. The repairman was called, but we had to wait a week for his arrival. His diagnosis was not good: “This stove might kill you if you try to use it.”

So I found myself completely stressed out not only by the election but also by a range that wanted to electrocute me. Things got worse when the repairman explained he could replace the burned-out parts in the oven to the tune of $450, but that might not fix the problem. He could plug it back in after the repairs only to have it short out and explode again, taking our $450 with it. Note that this is the advantage of having a repair person who does not work for a store that sells appliances. He was not trying to sell us a new stove; he was simply telling us the truth.

In less than 24 hours we managed to check out product reviews online and visit all the appliance stores within a 30 mile radius of our house. Here is what we learned:

Stoves are in short supply at the moment. Some are back ordered  for as much as five months.

Almost all flat-topped stove elements are manufactured by one supplier and are thus identical no matter how much the range costs.

Stoves have a short life span. I learned this when complaining to a salesperson that my stove was a mere ten years old at the time of its demise. “You actually got lucky,” he said, “they are designed to last seven years.”

And, finally, here is something I learned when I bought my previous electric range ten years ago. None of them come with electric cords. If you want to plug your stove in, the store will sell you a power cord for $30 extra.

Our new stove is arriving this week. I am feeling lucky that we are able to afford this unexpected purchase and I’m not waiting five months to get it. But I’m not feeling so lucky that I will be out buying another new range again in seven years.

My mother had a stove that lasted her entire married life…almost sixty years. These are rip-off times that we live in.

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