Maytag Repairmen Goes on a House Call

Nov 07, 2003

By George Anderson

Maytag, the manufacturer known for repairmen with nothing to do because it makes its home appliances so well, has finally found a job for them. Fix other manufacturers’ machines.

The company has created a repair division, Maytag Services, which will put it in direct competition with Sears and other retailers that sell and service appliances.

“We had seen indications that the historical service base was eroding,” said Steve Benton, general manager of Maytag Services told the Associated Press. “Technicians were
aging and leaving the industry and there wasn’t sufficient activity in the industry to bring new talent in.”

The appliance manufacturer is hoping the reputation it has built over the years for creating products that run well and don’t break down will give it the credibility it needs
for consumers to call it when something needs fixing.

Susan Podgorski, a consumer interviewed by the AP, offered the following insight into what Maytag will have to address if it wants to be sure its new repair technicians don’t
suffer the same fate as the company’s lonely television spokesman. “Sears I think of as an overall place with all different types,” she said. “For Maytag it’s one brand name fixing
another brand. That would be my question — would they know the other products?”

Moderator’s Comment: Will Maytag Services be successful? Will the company’s repair service impair its relationship with retailers such as Sears?

We can’t imagine Alan Lacy or anyone else at Sears being happy about this.

Of course, after selling its credit card division to concentrate on its core retailing business perhaps it will do the same with its home appliance repair
unit. Nah!
Anderson – Moderator

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