New Kenmore appliances can talk to tech support -- on the phone

If you've ever had to take a day off of work to wait for an appliance repairman to show up -- 25 minutes late -- just to learn the problem could have been solved by pushing a few buttons while on the phone with tech support, you'll appreciate Kenmore Connect. With the new feature on select Kenmore washers and dryers, a customer can call tech support when an appliance is behaving badly, then put the appliance on the phone so it can tell the support team exactly what's wrong.

Kenmore Connect is free to use for the life of the product and works with standard home phones. When the washer or dryer acts up, you simply call a service number, push a button on the offending appliance, and hold the phone up to the power button. The machine will then start making sounds reminiscent of the days of dial up Internet access. When it's done, tech support should have a clearer picture the problem than most customers could provide on their own.