Baffled by technology


There was something happening this week which I find quite amazing in hindsight.

So, on Tuesday I briefly left the office to go to the Electrolux Service Center. I was picking up a replacement for our broken steam iron that had been still under warranty (Didn’t really want to talk about that, but I find it characteristic for the generally poor customer protection laws in Singapore that the allegedly new iron I took home is only under warranty till the end date of the warranty of the previous iron – why would that make sense?! Is this the same in Europe?).

While being there, I asked for someone to come to our place to fix the dishwasher, which had also broken down just a few days after the steam iron (yep, Electrolux is apparently the brand to choose from if you like things to break down quickly).

Now, the iron was annoying, but I can live 2 weeks without pressed clothes.

But the dishwasher?
Dude! – that’s pissing all of us off!

After totally telling the lady in the service center that Electrolux is ruining the life of my family, she promised a colleague would give me a call later to make the appointment (naturally the dishwasher was not under warranty anymore).

I was back in the office when the guy called, asked a few questions and then wanted to know the serial number of the machine, so they would be able to bring the right spare parts.
Well, I had that on the registration documents that I dropped at the service center. But no: apparently two digits of the number were missing on the document (I later recalled that these two digits were missing because the Electrolux online registration does not allow enough characters to fit the full serial number…).

Anyway: there I was in my office, far away from the dishwasher. Normally I would have had to call the guy back in the evening or the next day, which would have likely meant that they would come a day or two later for the repair.

But then I had an epiphany: there was a foggy, distant memory of me snapping a photo of the serial number on the machine when I registered it online. While I had him waiting for a few seconds on the phone I quickly browsed my iPhone photo collection from the time of the purchase of the dishwasher and… Man! I did not really believe it, but yes: *BAM* – there it was!
I told the guy the missing two digits, he was happy and I had my appointment.

Now, it took me a while to realize this, but think about it: today’s technology enabled me not only to have a very good photo of that dishwasher serial number still on my phone. It took only seconds for me to also find that very photo within the collection of more than 3000 photos that I have on my iPhone.

In today’s context, that’s not so special. But if you take a step back, this is actually bloody amazing!
Only a few years ago this would have hardly been possible…

Edit February 10:
Dishwasher repair man came today and fixed the machine. Nice.
And you can put a price on happiness: a cool 285 SGD.

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