Saturday, December 15, 2007

Frugal snow removal: the ongoing saga

Today, we received another 3 inches of snow in my area. It seems to be the light fluffy stuff so I am hoping me and my shovel can handle it without difficulty tomorrow morning. However, my electric snowthrower is still not repaired. My interpretation of the situation: the repair shop did not really understand or want to deal with the snowthrower. I was told the problem (needs a new assembly) was not covered under warranty as I had "jammed ice" into the snowthrower.

As a refresher, I had purchased the Toro PowerCurve 1800 snowthrower in February 2007, never used it and finally brought it out a few weeks ago and it stopped working after less than two mintues. At my father's suggestion, I looked in the owner's manual (I keep them and read them!) There are warnings not to electrocute yourself or not to stick your arm into the moving parts but no warning that heavy snow or ice are incompatible with using the machine. When I informed the Toro-authorized repair shop manager of this, he indicated Toro warranty only covers manufacturing defects. After I asked, he said that gas-powered snowthrowers with this same repair would also not be covered and that he had fixed four other [gas-powered] snowthowers with this same "jammed it into ice and broke it" problem.

Then the power in my snowthrower was denegrated (electric does not have any power) and I finally just said reassemble the snowthrower and I will pick it up. This was the third phone call to the place, I had difficulty finding someone to talk to and I felt so dissatisfied by the treatment in trying to get answers. I did not jam my machine into the ice--I was moving heavy snow. How can a machine be considered free of manufacturing defects when it stops functioning after only two minutes? I have an electric lawnmower that has worked flawlessly for two years. As my dad pointed out, if the electric snowthrower was so under powered, how did it break? I intend on trying another Toro-authorized repair shop and hope my experience is more satisfying than the one in my city.

Until the snowthrower is repaired, my secondhand shovel and I will be putting in more hours.

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