Virtual money provides quick solution

The laundry machine started making such loud banging noises that it seemed like it might explode. I still ran another load or two, trying to pretend I didn’t hear it.

Finally I called a repairman, who came yesterday. He didn’t even turn it on. He reached in and pressed against the drum and apologetically said it was time to say goodbye to the 12-year-old machine. Replacing the multiple parts it needed would cost twice as much as a new one.

My husband and I researched washers online, reading descriptions and reviews and even “Consumer Reports” ratings. We called two local appliance stores, where helpful employees talked us through the pros and cons of the options they had in stock in our price range.

Without even setting foot out of our house, we solved the laundry quandary. We selected a new machine (from a locally owned business), provided our credit card number and scheduled delivery for today. The new machine was installed and in use before lunchtime.

Bonus: We moved both the washer and dryer, thoroughly cleaned the laundry room floor and installed those self-stick vinyl tiles we’d been meaning to put down for months. (Yup, another hot Friday night date!)

The magic numbers on that little plastic card can be a real problem solver.

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