This is our new stove. Isn’t it beautiful? It is a stainless steel Frigidaire Professional 30” Freestanding Electric range. On Frigidaire’s official website, this stove retails for $1,349.00, but I got it for $5.01. That is why it is the most beautiful stove I have ever owned. This is how Big Daddy Jeff and I picked this up for almost nothing.
Our old 16 year old economy model stove blew two bottom heating elements within a few months of each other. After the second time, BDJ pulled the stove away from the wall and unplugged it so he could do more than a cursory inspection to figure out what was going on. When he started to plug the stove cord back into the electrical outlet, there was a hissing and then a popping sound and sparks shot out of the back of the stove. We left that thing unplugged.
We had a home warranty with American Home Shield. We’ve had one on this house and the previous one; all in all, we’ve had policies for about 15 years with AHS. The warranty has helped us out on occasion, but for the past few years our deductible has completely covered almost every service repair technician who came out to the house. (It turns out that while stink bugs get into everything and mess it up, they’re easy to clean out if you know they’re the problem). Thus we’ve given serious consideration to canceling the warranty because we haven’t needed it. I have better things to spend $500 a year on.
We put in a claim for the stove with AHS online and got assigned to a repair shop. I won’t mention the shop’s name because this is a happy article. The technician called and told me that it would be ten days before he could come take a look at our stove. We knew from experience that he would not have any needed parts on him so there would be a further delay. Grilling out every night gets old fast, especially when it’s chilly and raining. The same goes with the electric skillet.
So we decided to cancel our AHS warranty and get a check for a pro-rata refund. I figured it would be about $300 because our contract had recently been renewed. That is the budget I sent BDJ shopping with. (He’s the chef, so he gets the right of choice; I’m just a short-order cook on a good day.) He planned to hit every store in the area and ask about scratch-and-dents because we had heard from my sister whose level of thriftiness even beats mine (sometimes).
BDJ did well. He found this particular range with a dent on the side and two in the back. It was a floor model at hhgregg. It is also missing a foot and one of the attachments that pull the bottom shelf in the oven when the door opens. I think we’ll be able to get by without it. It has two very large dents in the back where no one will ever see them. He haggled with the saleswoman for an hour, left the store, went back and haggled some more and even met the store manager. He talked the price down to $580, including delivery. He also got some paperwork to submit for a rebate on delivery charges of $69.99. I was thrilled with his negotiating, but worried because it really was out of our expected budget. BDJ gets a little carried away sometimes.
This was bought on a Sunday, so I had to wait until the following morning to speak with someone in American Home Shield’s finance department about terminating our warranty and receiving a refund. I finally got through to a woman named Michelle and told her what I wanted to do. She interrupted me a couple of times (politely) but I told her that there was no way she was going to talk me out of canceling; I had no other way to pay for this stove. When I got tired of talking, she said “listen to me and you will be happy”. I listened.
Michelle explained that it was unacceptable for her service technician to make me wait 10 days to have my stove looked at; if I would fax her a copy of the receipt for the stove, she would reimburse me the whole amount minus my $75.00 deductible. There would be a check for $505.00 coming to me. My warranty with American Home Shield would not be cancelled. I was speechless. I think I cried a little bit. Michelle pretended not to notice.
Here’s the math: $580 cost minus $505 refund minus $69.99 delivery rebate = $5.01 total cost of new Frigidaire Professional Electric Range. I got the check in 12 days.
The first two things we did the next morning was fax that receipt to Michelle and put the delivery rebate paperwork in the mail. Big Daddy Jeff and I learned so many things from this experience: that scratch-and-dent deals are not a myth that my sister made up; that we are now huge hhgregg fans, that perhaps home warranties are a good idea, and that good things can come to those who shut their fat mouths and listen for a change (me).