I am seriously behind with my correspondence and I am very much aware that there are emails unanswered after more than a week, including one where I had intended to make a home visit but events overtook things. in the past year about - I lost count - 350 Bexley residents have written to me with comments and suggestions, some of them dozens of times, and I think all have been answered eventually. But it might take time, quite a lot of it.
The situation has not been helped by family commitments taking up three consecutive weekends which is usually my ‘catch up’ time - and then there was the broken fridge freezer. Here I am going to go into rant mode and wildly off topic, but I bought a top of the range Siemens fridge freezer the price of which is currently into four figures. It broke down six weeks after its guarantee expired.
From observations and advice from a dealer I concluded that the auto-defrost unit had failed leading to an ice build up which fouled some fan blades which then burned out the fan motor and the ice eventually burst the plastic housing with a loud bang.
The fan and plastic was replaced at a cost of £184 but not before a week went by because the Siemens engineer arrived the first time without a replacement plastic box and the new fan was dead on arrival. He did not replace the defrost unit which may have been the first domino that fell down and all was well for three months. Then the fridge section failed to cool again because the fan had stalled once more.
I let it defrost naturally for a while after which the fan turned making a ratchet noise as it rubbed against the ice. At least it hadn't burned out this time. I called Siemens on their premium rate phone line only to be greeted by the same message as three months earlier. ‘Lines are not open until 8 a.m.’ and each time it was mid-morning or later. I negotiated their website and made an on line booking for a service visit and the first available was for nine days hence - on a £1,000 fridge - so I took up the ‘we’ll call you’ option to let them know what I thought of them.
No call came through so I found and used an email address and they replied to the effect I had confirmed the booking which I had not.
I’ve not been without a fridge since the 1940s when I lived in a prefab (which were equipped with fridges as standard) following an argument with the Luftwaffe. Since then I have seen Frigidaires, Coldrators, Prestcolds and later on Hotpoints come and go to be replaced only when they didn’t suit a new kitchen. The things just went on for ever. But not £1,000 Siemens. So fed up with the thing and not caring if I permanently broke it, it has been in bits on my kitchen floor while blogs are written upstairs and the milk goes off down. I found the defrost unit wasn’t even connected to its power socket and now don’t know if it is broken, hence failure 1, or merely not put back together properly, hence failure 2. But I got it back together OK and it is now working fine, no thanks to Siemens - the same company to whom Bexley has entrusted its CCTV system.
I told Siemens by email that I was going to tell all my friends about it and then they rang to dissuade me, but stuff them!
The moral of the story is don’t buy an expensive Siemens, Bosch or Neff appliance or any other German crud because the company offers zero service. Just get a cheapo from Italy and throw it away and get a new one if it breaks.
And now I am even further behind with the blogging!