The Holloways bought a Hitachi washing machine from Best Denki at Ngee Ann City last week after the brand was recommended to them by a friend. However, when it was installed on Monday (June 14), the woman of the house, Anne, was totally disappointed.
She wrote a complaint to Hitachi's Customer Service Centre while at the same time
emailed a copy to me for posting on my blog. Here is her letter:
"Dear Hitachi Customer Service Centre,
"My GE washing machine breathed its last on Friday, June 11.
"In desperation, I emailed and called around and a friend who had bought a Hitachi 12 kg capacity washing machine recommended me to Hitachi.
"On Saturday morning I called Best Denki (Great World and then Ngee Ann City), Audio House and Harvey Norman. Of the three, Best Denki at Ngee Ann could offer me delivery on Monday. The others said Tuesday at the earliest.
"My husband and I walked from home to Ngee Ann City on Saturday afternoon and met a very knowledgeable and helpful sales lady called Ann and bought a Hitachi SF-160KJS from her. I was promised delivery between 3pm and 6pm on Monday, June 14.
"Unfortunately when the delivery was made, we were at NUH Cancer Center because my husband was starting his course of chemotherapy. However our very capable helper was at home, waiting for the delivery and installation.
"The men and the washing machine arrived just before 6pm.
"I received a call from one of the delivery men. First off he told me that they could not use our drain outlet as it is too high at 30" above the floor.
"As I had discussed this with Ann at Best Denki I had bought three extension hoses and they were in a Takashimaya bag waiting for the delivery and installation. So I asked the delivery man to connect the hoses up and drain the washing machine into the bathroom adjacent to the utility area.
"My eagle-eyed helper spotted a floor drain which had been concealed by our ancient Kenmore dryer (still going strong!). She told the men about this and they put the drain hose into this drain hole.
"Next, the delivery men discovered that there was nowhere to plug in the machine! Our previous machine had been hard-wired to a 20 amp electrical box of some kind (I do not know the technical name).
"So of course, they got back onto the phone with me and announced that as I did not have an electrical outlet for them to plug in the machine, they were unable to start the machine. And they were going to leave!
"I asked for my helper to whom I spoke. Subsequently she produced an extension cord for them to plug the machine into and enabled them to check that it was in working order!
"When I returned home, I found that in removing the old machine the Hitachi delivery men had cut the electrical cord instead of undoing it at the grey switch box.
"And it was only when I had an electrician come up today to fix up a new socket for the machine that I was informed how very dangerous it was for the Hitachi delivery men to do what they did - because the part of the wire that they had left dangling was 'live'!
"Just to make matters worse, another thing I noticed was that the see-through window of the machine was already scratched and scuffed. I was most surprised and disappointed; I asked my helper and she said the machine was already uncrated when it was brought into the apartment.
"Anyway, I managed to find my way through the more complicated than necessary Japanese 'English' manual and do a few loads last night. But I could see that the machine was not level (there is a helpful 'bubble' to indicate the level).
"So, today, when my helper arrived, I tried to balance the machine with her help.
"All that I succeeded in doing was to make my tiled floor black with the soft rubber 'foot' from the right front leg of the machine. It did not help that when I tried to get the two spare 'feet' onto the non-adjustable legs, they would not stay on.
"Moreover, I had a shower courtesy of the washing machine because in moving the machine, we moved the hose and the assembly came apart - spraying us with water.
"I have taken some photos of this and hope you will find them informative. They are at:
"I drive a small Lexus and the service and after care is excellent - as have my previous experiences with Japanese products and Japanese companies. But the washing machine and service from Hitachi has been a letdown.
"A copy of this email is going to my friends (some of whom have the new Hitachi washing machines. Others are contemplating new washing machines this year) and also to a blog:
"I do not have your chief executive's name so I will ask you to ensure that he reads my email and views the photographs.