Sharp Loves Us (2007-05-14)

When we first came to Tokyo in 1999, we thought we'd be here for two years only so we lived the minimalist life style when it came to furnishing our apartment and bought the cheapest appliances.  One of the appliances was a small and simple Sharp washing machine.  If my memory serves me correctly, it was on sale for about US$250--inexpensive in Tokyo's standard.

In 2001 there were incidents of a faulty part in some washing machines of the same model and Sharp put out an extensive advertising campaign to urge owners to call them for a free check-up.  I did that and they promptly sent out a technician who changed the questionable component for me even though ours was not faulty at all. 

Last month we received a notice in the mail followed by a phone call from a Sharp operator who politely asked if they could check our washing machine again.  The lady I spoke to even had the date and the technician's name who came to our apartment six years ago on record.  I don't see why I should decline the request although our washing machine has had no trouble all these years so I said yes.

The technician came the day following the phone call and spent an hour quietly and efficiently working on the machine.  He had to go back to his van several times to get more gear and a NEW MOTOR.  After an hour our washing machine got a brand new motor although there's nothing wrong with the old one.  He did that because there's ONE incident where a faulty motor in another washing machine of the same model caused some problem for the owner. 

I can't believe our little washing machine--the cheapest model from the Sharp line--got so much love from the company.  How many people in Japan own the same machine?  The cost Sharp spends on checking and fixing every single one must be enormous.  This is the best "after service" I've ever encountered.

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