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Buying Locally from Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico

When we first bought our house in Chula Vista in 2000 we needed to upgrade the stove that came with the house as it was very old and had to be lit manually. This did not thrill me as I was not used to gas and still was a little afraid of lighting the oven pilot light.

At that time my husband volunteered to go to Sear in Guadalajara to purchase said stove as we had always trusted them (Sears) in Canada.

Our stove lasted for some time but getting it serviced was always a challenge as everything had to be done in Spanish (I was far from fluent in 2000) and we had to wait sometimes weeks for a service call.

Finally, we took to having local electricians fix our stove for us, when needed, and when we were told it was no longer fixable we decided to buy a new stove locally.

We bought a Whirlpool stove in April of 2009 from Tio Sam which is located on the Libramiento Chapala-Ajijic # 132-9. Their phone # is 766-5664 and their email address is:

From the beginning we had nothing but problems with this stove. First getting it to fit into the space allotted for a stove in our kitchen was a challenge but we were able to deal with that by removing two side pieces that were of no apparent use according to the installer.

Secondly, the knobs fell off. We had this dealt with too. Service calls from Tio Sam are available Tuesday and Thursdays.

We also had problems with the movable racks in the oven which were designed to make life easier as they came out when you opened the oven door. This was not quite the case, however. We did not know that you were supposed to insert a small pole into a even smaller hole to make the unit secure. I am still haunted by my husbands screams as his freshly baked cherry pie was sliding out of the oven onto the floor.

The next thing that went wrong was the oven thermometer seemed to have no relation whatever to the temperature you had chosen on the oven dial. I found this out when it took me almost 4 hours to roast a chicken.

Now you might say “Why not adjust the oven to a higher temperature?” I did this and that worked swell for a while until all of a sudden the oven decided that it would respect the temperature I had selected and, subsequently, burned everything.

During this period we had multiple service calls to try and fix this temperature problem.

We tried an exterior oven thermometer. We got a new gas hose which was flexible and, therefore, not cutting off the flow of gas when it was bent behind the stove.

I was becoming close personal friends with the repairmen as I tried to follow all of their helpful suggestions.

I won’t even get into my husband trying to cook a brined (three day process) turkey for Thanksgiving. The legs were dry as dust but the rest was raw. Needless to say he was far from happy.

It was at that low point that my husband said “Let’s get them to replace this piece of …..!”

We called the person we had been dealing with at Tio Sam whose name was Claudia and began the long process of getting a new stove. Several repairmen came to assess the situation and at last it was agreed that we did indeed warrant a replacement. I was gleeful as I thought we would have our new unit before Christmas. Silly me!

I am very happy to say now, however, thanks to the dogged persistence of myself, all of my Spanish speaking children and Claudia at Tio Sam we now have a beautiful new stove.

Although this, to some might be perceived as a tedious process we achieved the desired outcome and I am not sure if we would have been so lucky had we not bought right here in Ajjic, Lake Chapala.

We will continue to shop for appliances at Tio Sam and will continue to deal with Claudia who was a saint throughout the entire process and was always on our side.

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