The cost of bad copywriting

Recently, my dishwasher broke, which is a pain for three reasons. The first being I had to hand wash dishes (shudder.) Secondly, apparently, integrated dishwashers are hard to fix and it’d be cheaper to buy a new one (sorry planet.) Lastly, I’d have to research and buy a new dishwasher. 

Reader, I’ll say it. I don’t know a lot about dishwashers. To be honest, I’d be shocked to find out that anyone knows anything about them. Other than the fact they’re convenient, I have very little idea of what I’m looking for. 

My criteria for a successful purchase are clean dishes, and a price that will allow me to continue to occasionally go out to eat, giving my reasonably priced dishwasher a break. In marketing speak, I’m a primed and impressionable buyer. 

I bought a Beko DIN15R20 Fully Integrated Standard Dishwasher. It has a silver control panel with a fixed door fixing kit thrown in for good measure. Yeah, you know the one now! The process was a headache from start to finish. Partly because the world seems to be a bin fire right now – but also because of bad copywriting. 

Why? I’m so glad you asked (spoiler alert, it’s a long and boring story – but you’ve made it this far!) 

Here are all the steps I took buying my dishwasher (and all of the bad UX copy that got in the way.) 

  1. I called the appliance repairman who had the best ratings on Google. He had a website which made me think he could probably fix a dishwasher. The only problem was when we spoke on the phone – he let me know that he doesn’t fix dishwashers, despite the copy on his website. 
  2. I searched the make of my current dishwasher to find out how much it would cost me to repair. 
  3. I learned that dishwashers have very long, very complex names.
  4. I wondered to myself if this was necessary – the marketer in me wanted them to have user friendly names but perhaps that was just my neuroses. 
  5. I saw the dishwasher I wanted was in stock at Curry’s – I decided to go there in person as they were in stock locally (the website said so.)
  6. Learned they couldn’t deliver until way into the new year and they’re more expensive than other online retailers.
  7. I also learned that lots of people buy new dishwashers (out of choice) at this time of year?
  8. I headed home and searched for more dishwashers. I was pretty bored of learning about dishwashers by now…
  9. I saw a chic, black, freestanding dishwasher in my budget on
  10. I began to think I could live with having the dishwasher on show if it meant I could fix it more easily when it broke again. 
  11. I read the features of the dishwasher – it seemed great. 
  12. I decided it would probably do and I could have it before Christmas.
  13. I bought the dishwasher and read the delivery Ts & Cs.
  14. I decided to go for the ‘premium disconnection and recycling’ option. 
  15. I explained to my Mum (just to make sure) that this seemed like a good idea. The dishwasher seemed great and the company would take away my old one and recycle it as per the info on the website. 
  16. I hand washed all of my dishes for a week.
  17. My partner rewashed all of the dishes I washed for a week.
  18. On delivery day, I welcomed two dishwasher experts into my house who began to look very confused. 
  19. I learned that you can’t easily swap an integrated dishwasher for a freestanding dishwasher. 
  20. I learned that you can, but the guys weren’t insured to do so. 
  21. I felt like a massive idiot.
  22. I learned that this happens all the time, especially with fridges and washing machines (and every appliance that has a built in and freestanding option.)
  23. I learned that the dishwasher guys were sick of this happening.
  24. I promised the guys I wasn’t trying to be cheap or save money by getting them to complete a more complex job by booking them to do a quick switcheroo.
  25. They believed me and once again assured me that it happens all the time.
  26. My new dishwasher stayed in the van while I called customer services to swap my freestanding dishwasher for another integrated one.
  27. I said, ‘I’d like the BEKO DIN15R20 please’ and felt like an idiot because it’s a silly name for a dishwasher.
  28. The customer service said they couldn’t find the BEKO DIN15R20 and asked me if I meant the BEKO DIN15322, or maybe the BEKO DIN16430, or perhaps even the BEKO DIN590420D?
  29. I repeated that I’d like the BEKO DIN15R20.
  30. I began to consider making my life’s work remarketing dishwashers.
  31. The customer service rep finally found the BEKO DIN15R20.
  32. I apologised again, and explained that perhaps they should have a section on their website that flashes, screams and states; ‘are you changing from an integrated to a freestanding appliance?’
  33. I paid an extra £60 for my trouble.
  34. The customer service agent apologised and assured me the new dishwasher would fit and be installed without a hitch. 
  35. I bored everyone with the story about how a simple paragraph of copy, flashing banner or pop up could have avoided this whole problem. 

You get the picture. 

I’ll admit that I’m biassed – but there are not many things in life that can’t be made better with clear copywriting. When it comes to websites especially, you have to think of the user experience – and accommodate for stupidity. Like people who think you can swap an integrated for a freestanding dishwasher.


Love talking copy? Are you in charge of naming dishwasher models?  Hit us up and we’ll write copy that won’t confuse your customers. 

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