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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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