My dishwasher recently took a dump on me, leaving my family of two adults and two infants without the perks of machine-powered dish cleaning.

And, don’t give me that “We used to wash every dish by hand” crap. If you want to go that route, by all means, go ahead. But, after plunging elbow-deep into murky, soapy water these last three weeks, I’m over it. Who knew our small family produced so many dirty dishes?!

The deceased dishwasher was manufactured in 1996. It’s time had come.

Our search for a replacement unit led us (my wife and I) to three department stores, several websites, and numerous review sites (my wife is a bit obsessive…). After viewing what seemed like every dishwasher ever built, we had finally settled on a replacement. So, we purchased it and scheduled a technician out to the house for installation.

However, after a bit of detailed inspection, we discovered that this wasn’t going to be as easy as we thought. The previous homeowners had placed the dishwasher on the subfloor and built a hardwood floor approximately 3 inches above and in front of the existing machine. The countertop above the dishwasher is covered in granite. Our dishwasher — much like my family — was stuck.

While we relayed our concerns to the dispatcher who scheduled the oncoming installer, we were assured that the unit was on its way, and, if things didn’t work out as planned, we’d be promptly refunded the full price.

The technician arrived in an unmarked jacket and jeans. Shortly after parking his truck (which also lacked identification), he began unloading the machine. We flagged him down and cautioned him about the situation. He begrudgingly adhered, entering our home without a handshake or greeting, with his shoes on, tracking the April showers with him.

With little conversation, he examined the situation and immediately assured us we were up the creek without a paddle, so to say. Without an opportunistic tip or suggestion, off he went, leaving only his muddy footprints. He spent less than three minutes inside our home.

Two weeks later, we still have not been refunded for the machine, as the department store is stating the machine needs to be restocked in Arizona — mind you I live in Michigan — before we can receive our credit. We were told that this could take six weeks.

So, just to clarify, the dishwasher can be delivered and “installed” in two days, but the refund takes 42 days?!

How is your refund process structured? When things go awry, are you offering customers a reasonable rate of return? Perhaps most importantly, are you informing customers of your return procedures up front? I’ll attest, as a consumer, this sort of surprise is plenty to transform me into a former customer. In fact, it's enough to motivate me to share such a story on the Internet in hopes of preventing prospective customers from making the same mistake I did.