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Mayner and Cochran, Thanks For Fixing My Washing Machine!

By joepublic - 6 February 2010 52

I’d like to thank the outstanding job Mayner and Cochran (Fyshwick) did on my $750 Samsung washing machine.

A couple of months after purchasing our wm brand-new from The Good Guys (Fyshwick), the machine started making a loud, repetitive knocking sound.

As it was under warranty, we booked it in to the authorised repairer (Mayner and Cochran).

After only two months of waiting, I phoned to discover that our machine was fixed and ready to be delivered at a convenient time between 9am and 5pm the following Tuesday! As I only work from 9am to 5pm on week days, this was great news!

The big day came and I waited. Sure enough, at exactly some time between 9am and 5pm, the Mayner and Cochran van and two crewmen pulled up my drive way.

They opened the big doors at the back and spent almost 3 seconds searching the empty van.

It was only an hour and half later that they returned for the second time, this time with my washing machine. Outstanding work lads.

Mind you, when delivering a washing machine 30km away, you always want to check that it’s in the van before you get there (just an idea).

After work, we put a load of washing on and we were so happy that the washing machine stopped mid-cycle. Hilarious!

The friendly people at Mayner and Cochran were so happy to hear from us again that they raced around the next day to plug back in the heating element that one of the lads had left un-plugged (silly billy!).

And we were quite in hysterics when only a few weeks after that, the knocking sound returned and the heating element failed again. Outstanding!

Mayner and Cochran – You are the Best!

What’s Your opinion?


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Mayner and Cochran, Thanks For Fixing My Washing Machine!
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Deref 8:19 am 03 Dec 11

Silentforce said :

In my opinion, as a long time Canberran who has owned a few appliances over the years, (some good, some not) the appliance industry, government policy – local and federal and owners of Canberra’s appliance repair companies past and present are responsible for the current state of affairs.

Here’s my take. It’s a shotgun approach but bear with it:

Good luck.

Post of the year. Knowledgeable and informative – well done, Silentforce!

The state of trades training in Canberra, and probably Australia, is a disgrace. I was talking to a builder last night and he said exactly the same of the building trades. It’s exacerbated in this case by M&C’s monopoly – with no competition they have no reason to provide competent service. Why not make it the same as the motor trade – you don’t have to take your car to the dealer for service, just to a qualified mechanic.

Silentforce 11:08 pm 02 Dec 11

In my opinion, as a long time Canberran who has owned a few appliances over the years, (some good, some not) the appliance industry, government policy – local and federal and owners of Canberra’s appliance repair companies past and present are responsible for the current state of affairs.

Here’s my take. It’s a shotgun approach but bear with it:

For those of you with long memories, back in the day, most Tech’ courses were free with the exception of the Student Guild fee and some materials charges. After self government, course fees were introduced and continually rise. Apprentices could not afford to pay for these themselves, so these added to an employers costs on top of apprentices wages when they were both working and studying; workers compensation insurance, public liability insurance; holiday pay; sick leave, etc. At the end of the apprenticeship, the former apprentice could leave anytime before the employer/sponsor could recoup the value of these expenses and they would have to start all over again with a new apprentice. Many employers could not afford this. So as a result, fewer apprentices were engaged over a period of many years and there are less qualified tradesmen around. Because of this, it is now a tradies market when it comes to labour charges.

The secret to a successful repair is a successful diagnosis.

It may surprise some consumers to know that the person who shows up at the door to repair your appliance may not be a fully indentured refrigeration mechanic, electrician or gasfitter. These days, there are so called ‘Mickey Mouse’ (my words) or limited qualifications available that allow certified persons to conduct limited work at a premises but not everything. For example, a person with a restricted qualification may be able to service some components of your electric oven, but if they have to disconnect it from the hard wiring or find that the fault is at your meter box, you may have to pay another call fee and time for a licensed electrician to fix it. As a consumer, you get what you pay for. It pays to think ahead and ask questions when you speak to a service company.

In the late 50’s and 60,s there were 20 or so different manufacturers trading in their own right; Malleys, Whirpool, Crosby, Kelvinator, Metters, Frigidaire, Hoover, GE, Chef and so on. As Canberra was smaller then, there were only a few manufacturers’ agents and a handful of independent repairers. The reputation of all was generally high as there was good service and liaison. They all knew each other. Due to its size, Canberra then was a captive market but if they didn’t provide good service, their name was mud very quickly.

Notable at the time Waltons and JB Young stores had their own service divisions. Frank Reynolds (Malleys/Whirlpool). Premier Appliance Service (GE & Hitachi) owned by the Boyds, a husband and wife team with a young family; Premier was later sold to staff and folded. Mayner & Cochran (Hoover) started by Bill Cochran and Al Maenner (later changed to Mayner by the company) and later sold to the Crudens, also a husband and wife team with a young family; M&C was later sold to staff; and Email Ltd’s (Westinghouse) company operated service centre which later closed.

In the 80’s and 90’s, the brand names were gobbled up by two major groups whose core business was not home appliance manufacturing and this was the beginning of the end for solid well built reliable home appliances made in Australia. These groups were Email Ltd and Southcorp Appliances, a subsidiary of South Australia Brewing Holdings Ltd- Southcorp (the wine people). So in effect, there were only two appliance ‘manufacturers’ in Australia. The NZ outsider, Fisher and Paykel was slowly and successfully chipping away at the market in the background. This meant there was less competition in sales and restricted spare part sourcing which in most cases resulted in higher prices.

To cut a long story short, Southcorp sold out to Email and the government allowed Email to sell the farm to Electrolux which all but monopolized the industry in Australia. Overseas markets saw opportunities to exploit this and retailers imported the all-plastic, low cost appliances we enjoy today. There is a lot more to this if you care to spend hours mining the Internet.

Anyway, as Canberra got bigger, business owners got older. Those whose reputations were built on service and customer loyalty either retired or moved on. Businesses were sold or closed down and the baton was taken up by others who did not follow the ethic that with good service and customer relations, the dollars automatically followed and a good living could be made. The new attitude was that “the old owners were too soft” and “I can do better”. “Stick to the words of the warranty and gouge them if it’s a day over”. This was also the Alan Bond/Christopher Skase era. Gordon Gecko’s character appealed to some who saw it for the first time. Just like film sequels, new management is not always as good as the original.

Returning to focus, in the end, the Law of the Jungle applies. Some repair business have gone bankrupt, and deservedly so. Some have been absorbed, bought out or both and some just closed the door. Mayner & Cochran has survived and consumers of the brands they are sole authorized service agents for must accept this until another lion takes over.

Commonsense would be to choose your household appliances as you would choose a new car. Look beyond the cost price. Research the reputation and reliability of the brand; cost and availability of spare parts and ask who the authorised repairer is. What is their reputation and how much do they charge for service? Is the work guaranteed; how long? If out of warranty, is a non-authorised (unrecommended) repairer a more viable option? Good luck.

astrojax 8:26 pm 02 Dec 11

A couple of months after purchasing our wm brand-new from The Good Guys (Fyshwick), the machine started making a loud, repetitive knocking sound.

perhaps it just wanted to come in?

I-filed 6:04 pm 02 Dec 11

I last had my Maytag washing machine repaired by Mayner and Cochrane about seven years – they were fine, prompt, friendly, reasonable charge, and no problems since (15-year-old machine). Howzabout not reviving a 2005 post unless you’re the OP-er with an update?

qbngeek 4:21 pm 02 Dec 11

Mysteryman said :

JC said :

Have never liked or trusted Korean electronics, hence why I would never ever buy anything from Samsung or more to the point LG. Maybe they have lifted their game and are now ok, but my memory goes back to when the Korean brands started appearing in Australia en-mass, back then they were cheap and unreliable and of course had the effect of forcing Australian brands out with their cheaper labour costs.

The same thing happened with Japanese brands after WW2. They were pretty average but over time they improved and now they are quite reputable (generally speaking). It takes time to create a good product. Korean electronics are among the best in the world now.

More specifically Samsung are considered one of the best tech companies in the world. They are reliable, well-priced and research/produce some awesome new tech.

Mumbucks 4:09 pm 02 Dec 11

What is their business plan? Mayhem
What is their way of being competitive? Forget that. These knobs have been yanking theirs for so long no one else can get a look in. Get an Asko and go with a repairer starting with’D’

Mysteryman 3:52 pm 02 Dec 11

JC said :

Have never liked or trusted Korean electronics, hence why I would never ever buy anything from Samsung or more to the point LG. Maybe they have lifted their game and are now ok, but my memory goes back to when the Korean brands started appearing in Australia en-mass, back then they were cheap and unreliable and of course had the effect of forcing Australian brands out with their cheaper labour costs.

The same thing happened with Japanese brands after WW2. They were pretty average but over time they improved and now they are quite reputable (generally speaking). It takes time to create a good product. Korean electronics are among the best in the world now.

Clive 3:27 pm 02 Dec 11

Yes Mayner and Cochran are indeed a beacon of light for Canberrans who have no choice but to use them for many appliances. I asked them to look at our fridge which occasionally stopped freezing. For a service call of $116, a service man came out, glanced briefly at the fridge and suggested a new power board was required. Fine. A week later he comes out with the part, has a better look and informs us that the condenser has gone and we need a new fridge. Hang on… most of the time the fridge works fine, surely it can be fixed? End result, a new fridge when we are still unsure if we needed one. Is this what service and repair has come to? Take me back 20 years please; or at least show me a half competent repairer who knows what he is doing. You wont find one an M&C.

SickOfBadService 5:52 pm 28 Jan 11

I can’t believe what these Mayner & Cochran guys get away with, charge through the teeth, lie through the teeth and all the big names still use them to service the ACT. When I hear their name I run a mile the other way.

joepublic 8:28 pm 17 Jun 10

Joe Public sympathises with your experience, Bergamot. Mayner and Cochran, like the equipment they sometimes bring to their jobs, are tools.

It seems, Internet research into prospective products is not enough. Trawling through online product reviews is insufficient. What happens if the product breaks down?

Buyers requiring higher levels of purchase confidence need to obtain the product’s warranty details to identify the local authorised repairer and then research that company before making a decision. Phew!

Had Bergamot found this blog pre-purchase, they may have saved some time and money.

However, Mayner and Cochran may have a monopoly on white good warranty repairs in Canberra, as some have posted above. They certainly do have a monopoly on not quite grasping the concept of delivery.

What brand was the machine? I’m guessing Samsung, LG or something else from South Korea.

What are warranty’s for? A warranty is a manufacturer’s peace of mind that anything wrong with their product will be argued over between the authorised repairer and the customer, and not them.

bergamot 3:11 pm 07 Jun 10

Oooh may I bump this and share my story? I had simply googled “mayner and cochran” and it came up as a recent story so I figure, why not?

We bought a new washing machine late April, also from Good Guys Fysh. We had scarce done 10 loads in the machine and it stopped working, power wasn’t getting to it.

Called the warranty guys over, but then the machine decided to switch itself on so he just waked away. 2 days later the same thing happened again – I was praying it would stay broken so they could see we weren’t mad, and would fix it. The guy came, took the top off the machine, banged around in there with his screwdriver and decided yes, it was a loose electrican connection, and ordered a part to replace the “control panel” or something.

A week later. Part arrives, girl calls and says he will come and fit the part. Guy turns up, asks, “has it been working since I left?”. “Yes.” Guy walks away and says, oh well it must be fixed.

One week later. Broken again. This time, mid cycle, full of dirty water. I have to work out how to drain the machine and get the dripping wet, soaking, dirty clothes out to the line and hope they dry, and hope they are not stained!

I email and state my disappointment in the level of service and expect priority service to replace the part. They do not get back to me. I phone to follow up. I am pleasant to receptionist as I realise it is not her fault. They cannot get someone here today. I become unpleasant. How long will the job take, I ask. She says she doesn’t know. I say, well the technician should know because he ordered the part and decided not to put it in!!!! Surely a loose electrical connection was going to become loose again, I suggest, given the guys aid it was not soldered properly in the first place.

Tell me intelligent people – what is a warranty for? I am sure if I was paying for the part and service out of my pocket it would be fixed by now!!!! Glad we didn’t pay to get the extra warranty period. I will be going elsewhere.

Roger_Duck 9:28 pm 17 Feb 10

KB1971 said :

The two month delay would more than likely be waiting for parts for an imported product (a cross we all have to bear as we have very little manufactureing in OZ anymore)

I’m surprised at the seemingly lack of care in obtaining a part. With the expansive white goods spare parts suppliers within the country, surely initiative would have been on the job description for any M&C staff. However, modern day commonsense in modern society is declining rapidly.

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