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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When Things Go Wrong...And They Will

Okay, so most people traveling the globe will be reluctant to tell you about the down side. The unexpected illness from food you're not used to, the miscommunications due to lack of linguistic skills, stores not having the things you are desperate for, wearing the same clothes for days on end as you try and get to where ever you're going. I guess you get the drift.
Disasters happen...get used to it
Things do go wrong. We know this, but we keep it on the down low, at least most of the time. The people we keep it from know that we do, but don't ask. They're as infatuated with the fairy tale as we are.

So what do you do when things go wrong while you're abroad? The first thing to do is take a deep breath. Case in point: our oven.

We have an oven that we bought in Canada, specifically for our apartment here. We uncrated it at the end of January, which makes it about 10 months old now. It's a self-cleaning oven, so one would think that it know...self-clean. We ran the cleaning cycle for the first time at the end of August in preparation for our home exchange. Well, the thing hadn't even run the full cycle when the display went black and the "safety" lock seized up and nothing could be done. We did a bit of internet research (what did we do before the internet?) and discovered that this isn't unusual for modern ovens. (Surprise, surprise!) We did as was recommended and replaced the thermal fuse. The door unlocked, the display came up, the interior fan ran...we were in business. Thinking that all was well, we headed back home for a nice long visit.

On our return, I went to bake some heat. There were still lights, displays, the fan was still running, but not a lick of heat. Sigh...the mother board was fried.(Special note: there is a board to run the display panel and a main control board.) Whirlpool would not do anything as our warranty was void because we'd taken the unit out of the country. (That's a whole other story, unto itself, but know that Whirlpool will not take responsibility for design flaws, known or otherwise.)

So what do you do? The part cost us $280 (including shipping within Canada). Then we had to get it here... that's another $190. We'll see how long it actually takes, but it was sent from Vancouver on the 3rd of November and is supposedly going to arrive on the 11th. (Yup, that's right...$290 for a delivery that takes more than a week. Oh, and we'll likely need to pay duty on the part as well. Working over? Priceless. Don't mistake me there was plenty of blue language between the discovery, Whirlpool's inability to admit that there was a problem with the design and actually ordering the part.

What's the lesson in this? Obviously, if you're abroad, things can be more expensive...anything that involves something back home can cost dearly, so you have to be prepared for it. A contingency fund is a necessary thing, so is a good sense of humour and patience...patience...patience. (Did I mention patience?) 

No road is completely smooth, there are pot holes, construction zones, dead ends and just getting lost. You can try and be as prepared as possible, but nothing is perfect, so paste on a smile and take care of business.

We're still waiting on the part and have confirmed that there is $25USD in duty outstanding. Fingers crossed that all goes well. Stay tuned.

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