And Then There Was Silence

documentation woes

We have a Bosch Series 4 washing machine. It’s a good one, I like it. Besides, there aren’t many washing machine models that would fit into our apartment, and as far as ultracompacts go, this one rocks. It’s spacious, has lots of programmes, has a quiet night mode — lovely. Has but one problem: it beeps when the washing is done, and the sound is shrill. And it beeps in the night mode, too, so you wake up anyway. And yes, I did read the manual; no way to switch that sound off…

I tend to read the manuals for appliances or at least have a look through them. Mainly so as not to discover with great surprise after three years of usage that my life during those three years could have been a lot more comfortable. And of course in this case, with the annoyance that could potentially be switched off, I studied the manual thoroughly. I even visited the Bosch website to read the FAQ. The website, by the way, had a lot of user reports along the lines of “an awesome appliance, I wish it wouldn’t have that annoying beep when it is done”. Perhaps I wasn’t alone with the complaint.

Today I needed to look up the particularities of the washing programmes I hadn’t used yet. Trying to find the manual in all the cupboards seemed like too much of a hassle, so I went to the website and downloaded it instead. And discovered with great surprise after three years of usage that the “washing complete” sound can be tuned in volume or even switched off completely. And my paper manual doesn’t mention it, while the new manual on the website does, on a whole separate page with pictures. Not that there was a firmware update, mind you, this thing is only connected to mains and plumbing. Not that it was the first week of sales when I bought it. Not that I was expected to figure out to press the “spinning speed” button for 5 seconds, then without releasing it turn the programme selector exactly two steps clockwise… They just happened to decide the user didn’t need that setting, and then they changed their minds.

I fiercely hated BSH Hausgeräte GmbH for this for about an hour and a half. Then I discovered that the “washing completed” beep in my Electrolux dishwasher could be switched off, too, and it isn’t mentioned in the paper manual, either. Discovered with great surprise, yes. After three years of usage.

What’s wrong with those people?!

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