I love being invited to exclusive events. It makes me feel special.
So you can imagine my excitement when I received an invitation to participate in a class action lawsuit. No one has ever asked me to a class action before. And I missed my last high school reunion.
I wonder what I should wear? I don’t even own a lawsuit.
It was a formal invitation to attend a Fairness Hearing on October 15th at 1:30 PM in Kalamazoo, Michigan hosted by the US District Court.
I quickly checked my calendar. Regrettably I have a dentist appointment at 5:00 PM that day. I don’t know if I can get back from Kalamazoo in time. There are no direct flights. And I certainly don’t want to cancel my appointment, I booked it months ago. My dentist is quite popular.
I read further to see why I was being selected for this honor.
If you purchased or acquired a KitchenAid-brand dishwasher manufactured by Whirlpool between October 2010 and the present, you may be entitled to benefits from this Class Action Settlement.
Benefits? Suddenly I feel like a lotto winner! I have a KitchenAid dishwasher which I purchased in October 2010! What are the odds?
As it turns out, I am a qualified member of a select group known hereafter as Class Dishwasher. Although I am a little underwhelmed by the designation, I assume it is somewhere in status between Class Clown and Class President. Regardless, I feel extremely gratified to finally have some class.
OK, let me put this reverie in context. You see, I have a very special relationship with heavy appliances. Under my tutelage, they routinely break.
Exhibit A. The plastic knob on my washing machine cracked recently and fell off. Now I start the washer with a pair of needle nose pliers.
Exhibit B. My subzero refrigerator leaks water every time an internal drain freezes. The drain is located in the freezer.
Exhibit C. A room air conditioner I own has been rendered inoperable after the remote, the only means of turning the unit on, broke. Replacement remotes are no longer available from the manufacturer.
Exhibit D. My rugged electric blender is without its glass container. Is something that is used to make Margaritas considered a heavy appliance?
Fortunately there is a healthy market of obscure appliance parts on the Internet. For example, if you conduct a Google search on W10350376 you will instantly find a dozen or more sites that sell something called a Whirlpool Upper Rack Adjuster alongside several links to amateur YouTube self help videos on how to replace a Whirlpool Upper Rack Adjuster.
You can guess how I know this.
It turns out that the enticingly named Whirlpool Upper Rack Adjuster is a hard, brittle plastic part with track wheels that allow the upper dishwasher rack to slide in and out. When the part gets hot, the wheels snap off and the rack falls down breaking cups and plates and glass blender containers.
Under normal conditions, say when the dishwasher is off, this is not a problem. But when the dishwasher is very hot, say when it is running, it seems that brittle plastic parts with track wheels don’t fare so well.
The good news is that a two-pack W10350376 is only $14 on Amazon. The bad news is that the W10350376 is also a hard, brittle plastic part with track wheels that don’t fare so well in hot dishwashers.
I purchased and replaced four until I grew frustrated and finally rigged my own solution by sewing coat buttons onto the rack with a guitar string. It fixed the problem but my guitar doesn’t sound great.
But that is why I am so excited to be invited to a class action lawsuit where I have the potential to recoup the $28 I spent on Amazon or receive a 10% discount on another KitchenAid blender which now I also must buy.
But this is nothing compared to the elation I feel that I am not alone. That there are other frustrated soles like me who have had to wash dishes by hand over and over again while they wait for their latest order of W10350376 to arrive in two days with Amazon Prime.
That maybe my prolonged dishwasher problem is more than just bad karma with big metal things.
That maybe, just maybe, when I spend upwards of $1000 on a dishwasher I have a right to expect quality parts and warranty coverage and fixes for product deficiencies. That maybe I shouldn’t have to be watching YouTube videos on how to replace a Whirlpool Upper Rack Adjuster. Maybe I shouldn’t even have to know what a Whirlpool Upper Rack Adjuster is at all.
I am Class Dishwasher. Hear me roar. Press cancel to drain.