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LG Adds Laundry Diagnostics Tool

8/30/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. — LG Electronics USA has introduced
a self-diagnosis tool for clothes washers and dryers
that allows customer service reps to troubleshoot mechanical
issues over the phone.

The new technology, dubbed SmartDiagnosis, allows consumers
to press select buttons on the laundry unit to trigger
a series of diagnostic tones. Each tone corresponds with a
specific potential maintenance need that can be identified
by service technicians over
the phone.

The service is also available
on select Sears Kenmore
laundry models under the
name Kenmore Connect.

LG said the tool can help
service staffers quickly and efficiently
troubleshoot mechanical
issues over the phone, limiting
costly, inconvenient service
calls and in-home visits. In those instances where a service visit
is required, the field technician can come prepared with the
correct parts, enabling the repair to be resolved in one visit, the
company said.

SmartDiagnosis is now available on steam-washer
models WM3875 and WM3885, which also feature LG’s
new six-motion drum technology, and the WT5101 and
WT500, the company’s first top-load Wave
series washers, as well as on their companion
dryers.

Kenmore models include top- and front-load
Kenmore and Kenmore Elite washers and dryers.

With both services, the customer is asked to place the
mouthpiece of the phone close to the appropriate button on
the appliance (“Wash/Rinse” for washers and “Temp” for
dryers), and to press and hold that button. After three audible
beeps, the customer releases the button while keeping the
phone in place. The customer will hear transmission sounds
as the numbers on the display count down and the diagnostic
information is transmitted.

Sears said the technology allows servicers to effectively
monitor more than 100 different data points to diagnose and
assess a solution, including:

• cycle and option settings;

• operational information such as air/water temperature,
estimated load size, spin speeds, fill/drain times and unbalanced
load issues;

• details on the factors that contribute to the cycle time,
status of certain electrical and mechanical sub-systems, and;
• the mechanical issues associated with each error code.
In a statement, Peter Reiner, LG’s senior marketing VP
said, “SmartDiagnosis technology is another example of
LG’s commitment to offering
smart appliance innovations
that deliver new levels of interactivity,
convenience and reliability,
ultimately offering consumers
something better.”

In a separate statement,
Betsy Owens, Sear’s Kenmore
brand VP, said, “The
genius of Kenmore Connect
is that it provides a unique
benefit to our customers who are seeking service solutions.
The majority of service calls during the first year of ownership
can be rectified by educating new owners over the phone
once we have a deep understanding of the question at hand
thanks to the information being sent from their Kenmore appliance
directly to our experts via the phone.”

Sears said it conducted extensive field testing earlier this
year, and initial results showed a significant
reduction in the need for in-home visits for
customers who used Kenmore Connect.
There is no cost to use the current Kenmore
Connect service for the life of the appliance, and the service
is available seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
CT by calling (800) 4-MY-HOME.

The LG washers feature LG’s direct-drive motor, which has
fewer moving parts than conventional motors, and a 10-year
warranty. The direct-drive motor enables innovations such as
six-motion technology, which allows the washer drum to tailor
each laundry load with a combination of rolling, stepping,
swinging, scrubbing, filtration and tumbling motions.

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