Why does Maytag quality become so pitiful?

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We live in a time where we buy more and enjoy it less. It is a fact of a very competitive world. Price trumps quality in today's marketplace (excludes cars). My mother's 31 year old Kenmore Washer and Dryer was just replaced. I told her she might get 10 years out of the replaced units, if she is lucky.
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I'm dealing with Maytag repair on a washing machine. My appliance repair guy came the day after I called, checked the machine and said the transmission was shot, that it was probably under warranty and that I should call Maytag.
Maytag sent a guy a week after I called. He checked, it was the transmission, it was under warranty (not labor), had to order a part, collected the check for the flat rate labor and left.
A week later another Maytag man shows up with the part, and no warning that he's coming (I'm out), checks the machine and says there's nothing wrong with it. Believe me, there's something wrong with it! The guy _refused_ to repair the machine with the part that was ordered by the other Maytag guy.
Even after it was pointed out that his company had diagnosed the problem, ordered the part, and been paid, he still refused. When I returned home, I found that he had put (I am not exaggerating) two T-shirts and one pair of pants in a machine on the biggest load setting. What load? The machine was spinning water. Of course a transmission doesn't work hard when there's no load. Sheesh.
It seems the acquisition and litigation have caused quality and service problems as well as financial difficulties. It's a shame - they used to have such long-lasting, trouble-free machines.
R
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