Who will fix my appliances?

November 5 2008 by Ellen Roseman

I bought a new refrigerator a couple of years ago, replacing my 20-year old energy hog with a more efficient model. But the LG I chose (because it was recommended by a salesperson) had a problem. The freezer door did not seal properly when closed.

I had the fridge fixed under warranty, but now I can’t get free repairs. And the door seal is still acting up.

This is the dirty secret I discovered when doing a column about buying major appliances. The manufacturers give warranties as short as one year and wash their hands of problems that appear later on.

The reaction from readers made me sad. Many are living with serious quality issues that the manufacturers refuse to address. Some people are throwing away their expensive new appliances that just don’t run properly. So much for energy efficiency.

What about the omnipresent computer chips inside the new fridges, stoves, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers? Do they make appliances run better? And is it at the cost of making them harder to fix?

I think the appliance repair system is in need of repairs. I spoke to Miele Canada, a German maker of vacuum cleaners and other machines, which has redesigned its business model to keep in closer touch with customers.

When you buy a Miele appliance at one of our authorized Chartered Agents, your transaction is actually directly with us. From payment to delivery to installation to service, we’ll make sure you’re well taken care of.

Our records are kept current with your exact models and service plans, as well as your preferences for contact information. We also have a large, dedicated customer care centre located at our headquarters in Vaughan, Ontario, where our expert staff will handle your needs. We believe that all our customers deserve the very best in service.

I’m posting some readers’ laments below, so you can see why they’re so upset with appliances that break down and stay broken.

92 comments

  1. Nicolas

    Nov 5 2008

    BestBuy and Future Shop are being sued in class actions in Quebec in relation to extended warranties.

    Under the Quebec Consumer Protection Act, goods forming the object of a contract must be durable in normal use for a reasonable length time, having regard to their price, the terms of the contract and the conditions of their use (Section 38).

    This being said, should an appliance fail after a limited amount of time which fails to meet the standard of the Act, a legal warranty applies even if the manufacturer’s warranty is expired.

    This is great in theory but two issues remain:

    1, People are unaware of this (as I am for other provinces) and

    2, you might have to go to court to have this right respected.

    I would strongly suggest individuals contact the different consumer unions they know when something like this happens.

  2. Jamie

    Nov 6 2008

    The declining length of manufacturer warranty has been driven by the retailers who want to sell sell sell their outrageously marked up third party warranties. If a manufacturer wants to sell a product with a longer warranty they will find their competitors product pushed over theirs, or even not carried by the relatively few dominant retailers.

    In Europe the same product often carries a longer manufacturer warranty, thank our virtually non existent consumer protection laws for that.

  3. Quetzal

    Nov 6 2008

    OMG, BM! You’ve the patience of a saint!

    I’d be inviting some of those repair technicians to the balcony to discuss human flight [I Kid, but you know…]
    .
    BTW, GE today [greed electric as described by a repair website] is not the same company it was 10/15/20 years ago.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    EZ, those front load washers require waaay less detergent than stated on the detergent’s packaging, I’ve read. In fact, one should use 1/4 the amount stated on the packaging!

    I’m currently purchasing a dishwasher, washer and dryer — thank you, I’ll be purchasing Miele, 5 year warranty on dishwashers and 10 year warranty washer/dryers. Sure they may cost me 1/3 more, but they’ll last 5 times as long, easily.

    I’ve read enough horror stories and will never deal with Sears or large box stores, a dealer I found [nope, not Capl..], that a phone call discussion was informative, covered all the bases and I had no questions to ask afterwards.

    Sure, I’ll be paying for installation, but I’d rather have an expert do it once and they’ll take away the old appliances. They also won’t give you a quote till they’ve been to the site! WooHoo.

    Thanks. Ellen, and contributors here. Much appreciated.

  4. Jim E

    Nov 7 2008

    Wow, Ellen, looks like you’ve stuck a nerve with this article. Comments about this topic may rival complaints about Bell & Rogers.

    Keep up the great work.

  5. Gerry Taylor

    Nov 7 2008

    I find myself contrasting the service or lack of it that consumers receive here in Canada with real service outside of Canada.

    Elsewhere, products must be “fit” for the service they were sold for. If they are not fit for that service, whether it be a washing machine or a microwave oven, then the end-user has recourse through various government agencies.

    In Canada, it seems that if you do not get satisfaction with a personal approach to the vendor (i.e. Sears or whoever..) your main avenue seems to be with the credit card company you used to buy the item. What is wrong with that picture ? Well for one thing, answering my own question, that’s why credit card rates are at 20%± and there is a large annual fee…

    How come there is a lack of consumer protection laws and regulations here ? and a supportive voice at a consumer protection line to assist you ? It seems to me that all any agency does is to parrot the guarantee you yourself tell them about, instead of advising you that the product is not fit for the purpose for which it was sold….

    Is this yet another example of “Welcome to Canada” ?

  6. Riscario Insider

    Nov 10 2008

    Yikes! The problems reported here are alarming, especially since appliances are getting more elaborate and expensive. Price does not seem to correlate with quality.

    Before purchasing an appliance, we do research online. This has worked well. Only one appliance has needed servicing: our Kenmore washing machine (about 8 years old). We called Sears but were unwilling to wait four days for a technician. So we found an appliance handyman through a neighbour. He found the problem and devised a workaround until we got the part replaced. Total cost: $125.

    We make purchases with a credit card that doubles the manufacturer’s warranty. We’ve had no claims. We only purchased an extended warranty once, when we bought a 56″ Panasonic HDTV in 2000. No repairs required.

    Maybe we’re lucky. Maybe research pays off.

  7. LP

    Nov 10 2008

    We purchased a Samsung 32-inch LCD Television (model LN-T3242H) in 2007 that cost nearly $1,200. We ordered it August 23 and took delivery August 29.

    On October 20, 2007, the TV broke for no apparent reason. We looked through the paperwork we got at time of purchase, and noticed Samsung offered a 3 month warranty extension if we registered online, so we registered online.

    We are not sure if we registered earlier as we have changed email addresses.

    We contacted Sears in Lindsay, where we bought the TV, and were advised to contact Samsung. We contacted Samsung by phone and were told variously:

    a. they do not offer an extended warranty

    b. the extended warranty only applies in the US

    c. they cannot explain why there was an extended warranty pamphlet in the box that came from a Sears store in Lindsay, Ontario, or why it specifically refers to Canadian residents on the reverse

    d. they would honour a one month only extended warranty

    e. they had no proof we registered online (we provided them with a copy of their confirmation email)

    f. the warranty extension was only applicable if you registered online within 30 days of purchase (the pamphlet does not state this)

    g. the warranty extension was only applicable if you registered online within 10 days of purchase

    h. the warranty commenced August 23, the day the TV was ordered, not August 29th, the day we took delivery

    i. the person on the phone was the only person we could talk to, they had no boss and there was absolutely no one higher to escalate our complaint to

    j. we could take the TV to Easyhome in Lindsay and pay for the repairs. Easyhome does not do repairs, they are a furniture and electronics rental store.

    Since we were completely stonewalled by Samsung, we spoke to the Sears dealer in Lindsay again. She gave us the phone number to Sears Customer Service and advised us to call them.

    We did so, and got the same runaround with Sears Customer Service, i.e. there is no one higher you can talk to, the agent had no boss and was the only one you could speak with. We were completely stonewalled.

    They further went on to say it did not matter to them whether we spent a little or a lot at Sears (we spend thousands of dollars there because in the past they have always been good to deal with).

    They said that if they did anything to help us with this out-of-warranty product, they would be out of business. They no longer have a “Satisfaction Guaranteed” policy because they have been ripped off by so many customers (implying that we were trying to rip them off).

    We took the broken TV to Peterborough (a 2-hour round trip) and left it with the authorized Samsung repair company. They were also unable to help us.

    They said the TV had a broken inverter that would cost $483 to repair, and likely a broken panel that would cost $900 + $240 labour + taxes, in all a total of about $1,800.

    They recommended we buy another TV, the cheapest we could find because they only last 3 – 5 years (or less), and we pay for extended warranty. We made a second 2-hour round trip to pick up the broken TV and paid the repair shop $40.

    I am retired and my husband is on disability now. We do not have the funds to spend $1,200 on a new TV every year. We think this new “customer service” world, where there are no bosses and there is no way to escalate a problem, is outrageous.

    It is ridiculous that such an expensive item barely made it out of the manufacturer’s original warranty before it broke, and that the company would struggle so hard not to honour their own warranty extension. And we are very annoyed with Sears and their lack of interest or concern for us.

    We used to have a family policy of buying everything from Sears, but there is no point in having that loyalty any more.

    It is a very enlightening experience (we found too late) to google “Samsung complaints” and read the pages and pages of complaints about this company, particularly about them not honouring their warranties. We mistakenly thought they were a reputable firm.

    All we wanted was for Samsung to honour their own extended warranty and repair the TV for us, since an item this costly
    should last longer than 13 months. They do not care.

    We thought you would be interested in our situation. Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon one.

    Please keep writing your interesting and informative articles as we look forward to them every week.

  8. RB again

    Nov 10 2008

    Just wanted to let you know that I had a call from GE, as well as one from Direct Energy.

    We went through a number of things over the phone and we have determined that the heating element in my dryer is probably not working properly.

    Now as to whether I am going to get it fixed or not, I am not sure. I am used to putting stuff on the drying rack and it makes me feel good to think I am saving energy both from an environmental point of view as well as saving $$$ on my hydro bill.

    The dryer still gets warm, and it is enough to get the wrinkles out and that is what is important to me, no ironing!

    Thanks for your help and intervention regarding my problem with my GE dryer. Lets hope GE or Direct Energy takes the hint and sets up a hot line where someone can call and ask questions about home appliances.

  9. Joanna Alpajaro

    Nov 10 2008

    I have written on Ellen’s site before about the problems we have had with appliances from Sears.

    We’ve had 10 breakdowns on our super expensive 3-year old top-of-the-line Kenmore Elite stainless steel TurboZone Super Quiet dishwasher – thank goodness 10 of them were covered by the extended warranty that we had purchased through Sears.

    We fought for them to offer us a free couple of years of warranty – they offered us 1 year only but we were still grateful.

    But there was still a cost with each breakdown – I had to take one day off work to wait for the service guy to show up, then another day to actually fix the problem, since for some bizarre reason they never seem to have even the smallest, most common parts in the big cargo vans they drive around!

    I was on the verge of getting fired from work for taking too much time off – for our DISHWASHER. It was crazy. Each breakdown meant more than a month of non-operation of our appliance since they took so long to come, and then there was always the second visit with the part.

    I found a clause in our warranty that said that they will replace appliances that have had the same component fail three times within a calendar year. We had the same component fail four times. When we brought it to their attention, they said it referred to a “Major” component, and the component that kept breaking and rendering our dishwasher completely unusable was not considered “Major” as far as they were concerned.

    Even if they would replace it, they would charge us a “usage” fee. That was the biggest joke. They would charge US for use of a dishwasher that was almost constantly broken and cost us so much in lost time and money.

    We’ve had no breakdowns now in a month and a half and we are truly AMAZED (knock on wood). We would replace it but from what I’ve read, what brand is better, and what retailer offers better guarantees/service?

  10. Lior

    Nov 11 2008

    I sympathize with you guys. Thank you for sharing your stories.

    Sears and Direct Energy definitely won’t be on my list when it comes to purchasing appliances. These two companies are continuously being brought up in conversations here. One has to wonder whether they know what the hell they’re doing to begin with.

    Don’t be surprised if you’ll find their spokespoodles coming here and offering excuses left and right for their company’s incompetence.

  11. bm

    Nov 13 2008

    Soon the world will know. Modern appliances are all junk.

    I work on repairing these things and I will not buy any new appliances. I fix my old ones. It’s cheaper and more energy efficient in the long run.

    The life of new appliances is 3 to 5 years, depending on what you are willing to pay to keep them going. They are now disposable. It’s all about volume. You cannot make money on something that last 25 years.

    Do not be surprised to see warranties completely disappear, only to have a customer option with extended warranties. They trick you into what appears to be an appliance and then the real cost shows up after a year.

    Some day, someone will make a big stink about all this crap going to landfills and the energy saving myth.

    How much energy does it take to manufacture these things, transport to Sears, transport to your house, have service people drive to your house several times during warranty, ship parts all over the place, then transport the thing to a landfill, push and crush it with big machines and then start all over again every 3 to 5 years?

    Let’s not forget about the massive cost and energy of finding and digging a new landfill farther away than the last one, which will require more energy to get everything else to it.

    People need to start saying no to these companies and their electronic controls. They are garbage, but like a new car with a fancy new stereo, stupid consumers just have to have it. Well, in the long run it’s going to cost.

  12. Tony P.

    Nov 13 2008

    I was appalled to learn in a recent issue of Consumer Reports that, in general, the repair/replace decision point for most major household appliances occurs at the 4 year point and the replace timeline is about 6 years. My own experience with a GE fridge (major repair at the 2 year point; replace after 5 years) and a Maytag dryer (major repair at 4 years) aligns with these numbers.

    Perhaps one of the benefits that will accrue as a result of the current financial maelstrom is that manufacturers of household appliances will focus on durability and value for money rather than rapid rotation through households.

  13. IH

    Nov 15 2008

    I purchased a few appliances (including a GE refrigerator) from Best Buy when I moved into my new house in 2003. A few months after, the fridge did not work. All foods went bad.

    I was told by the repairman that the heater was gone. And luckily I purchased a warranty, otherwise it would cause me $220.

    OK, I thought that should be fine for a few years. No, that was not true. The ice cube maker went wrong. The crusher did not work properly and only released crushed ice but not ice cubes. I called the company (it was Camco, then changed to Mabe, and then Direct Energy). One unscrewed the panel, took out the part, ran the ice-covered part under hot tap water and put it back. The others came and went.

    A total of 9 services placed. I told them I would call them and make sure my fridge is fixed before the warranty expires.

    Finally, they ordered a part and my fridge is fine.

    Not just appliances. It happens to cars too. Our new car had minor issues. We reported to the dealer when changing oil, but they DID NOT record the issues. Only when the warranty expires, they will fix the problem with charges.

    Very sad.

  14. GK

    Dec 1 2008

    This is an easy problem to solve, Ellen, for your fridge door seal. Take your hair dryer, open your door and blow hot air on the rubber seal. The seal will loosen, flex and expand as it warms.

    If parts of the seal don’t expand, then gently pull out with your fingers. Close the door and check the seal. If there are any problem areas, open the door and focus your hair dryer on that seal area. Then close the door and let the seal cool. It should keep its position.

    You might have to do this a second time the next day for touch-ups.

  15. FrustratedConsumer

    Dec 29 2008

    I bought a brand new Frigidaire freestanding range and a new Kenmore top-bottom refrigerator when we bought our house 7 years ago. Let me also preface that my husband and I both work and we don’t do any entertaining – the house is too small for that. So the stove probably only gets used in the evening.

    The oven hasn’t worked in the range for the last 3 years; we’ve purchased a large toaster oven and smaller baking dishes to compensate. If we have to make anything larger, such as a turkey or roast, we either come up with a stove top or crockpot recipe, or go over to my mother’s to bake it.

    The cheap plastic brackets that hold up the storage drawer broke off after the first year and they discontinued the parts. So now, it basically sits on the floor.

    As for the fridge….The molded plastic ‘rails’ that jut out from the interior to hold up the rolling drawer rack in our freezer unit has long chipped away and now you can see that it was made of a remarkably thin layer of plastic.

    Again, our purchases are only 7 years old now but most of these things occurred within the first 4 years of minimal daily usage.

    Before buying the current oven – in our apartment – we had this porcelain beast of a gas range made in the early ’30s. Despite the fact it was a little scary when the oven kicked on, every part of it worked and it made wonderful cookies! It had a side storage unit that fit all of our baking sheets. They just don’t make things that last these days, I guess.

    In our basement is an old ’40s Kelvinator fridge, complete with the metal ice trays. Yes! The first manufacturer of refrigerators! I bet if I plugged it in, I’d find that it still works!

    (I just got a call from Sears while writing this response. We finally bit the bullet and purchased a new gas range. They’ll be delivering my new Kenmore tomorrow. Want to make a bet this stove won’t last more than 7 years?)

  16. Dan Nicotera

    Dec 30 2008

    The GE Profile side by side refrigerators with bottom freezer, stainless steel, are junk!!

    With my fridge, a year and half old, the display stopped working and the compressor seemed to be running quite often. I called the repair and it only had a 1 year warranty. I had to pay for a repair guy to come out and replace a whole motherboard on the back.

    I argued with the people at MABE and they ended up sending me back the cost of the board, but I had to pay for the service call. These are known faults.

    Now the right clip on the top of the door has broken off!! It seems to be part of the plastic sleeve inside the door. Just a thin piece of plastic, just junk, not made to last.

    I hope I can get at least 10 years out of this fridge, then never buy anything from GE again!!

  17. BC servicer

    Jan 1 2009

    Yes, most of the warranties have been cut back to a year. Higher priced appliances will sometimes come with a longer warranty.

    The reason for the shorter warranties, as explained, was “to provide our customers with better service”. HUH?

    Also, the warranty on replacement parts was cut back from one year to 90 days.

    I am an all brand servicer for most if not all manufacturers and YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!!!!

    I expect customer service to get worse, not “better.” Soon, Canada will treat its customers like the Americans do. The day that comes, I shall QUIT!!!!

  18. ET

    Aug 9 2009

    In January 2008, our built-in stove circuits blew when a little water from the counter seeped under the stove top. The stove was gone and needed replacement.

    Since our house is small and old, we needed a smaller stovetop and built in oven than ordinary. We searched and found it difficult to find exactly what would fit.

    Finally going onto the internet, we discovered Madison Appliances in Brooklyn NY, which had the size we needed, and the manufacturer was Bosch.

    We checked prices in Toronto, which were around $2,700 to $2,800 for both stovetop and built in oven. However, all stores had to order them in, as it was not a popular size.

    We then discovered ApplianceWarehouseDirect.com, which could order it in for the same US price, $2,338, since the Canadian $ was almost at par with the US $. So we ordered, received it, installed it.

    First problem was the clock would go from 11:59 am to 1 pm, then 1:59 to 1 pm again. We called and Bosch arranged to have their service company replace it.

    The first repair circuit was doing exactly the same. Bosch admitted they knew the clock had a defect and sent out the part anyways. Well, the second circuit worked fine but we had to wait over a month for the part.

    Then we discovered that the large burner would not hold a boil after reaching the boiling point. The temperature sensor would cut out too early.

    We complained and were told by two separate service companies that our pots were not exactly straight. Never heard of that before and that was the end of the matter.

    Nothing could be done, except to learn how to cook pasta, and perogies a little differently because the boil would stop till the temp sensor kicked back in.

    So we’re happy we got it cheaper, but are very disappointed in Bosch in knowingly selling defective equipment. We leaned to Bosch, because their prices were higher than other brands and had a good name. But now the name is not so good.

    For what it’s worth, I just thought to share this with you, as I’m sure others may also want to send in their experiences with you.

  19. J Birck

    Aug 31 2009

    We have had our share of appliance horror stories. We have had only one really good experience, and I think this is worth throwing into the mix.

    We bought a Panasonic Viera Plasma TV. As Murphy would have it, the TV recently died, a few months *after* the warranty had already expired. When we contacted Panasonic by e-mail, they responded within a few hours. They sent a technician out the same night to assess the problem.

    My husband talked with Panasonic the next day and expressed disappointment that the TV would break down so soon, presumably because of a known issue. Panasonic offered to pay the entire cost of the expensive part we required, as long as we paid the labour cost for the service. We did not even request that they do this. The repairs were done within a few days.

    Because of their great customer service, we will be buying Panasonic again, and recommending their products. I don’t know why more companies don’t understand the basics of good customer service. What goes around comes around.

  20. Tax Guy

    Sep 9 2009

    We bought a washer from Sears when we moved to our new home. After 1 year, the machine died and the cost to fix was more than a new machine.

    I was told these machines are now only made with a 5 year life span – I bought a new one and the extended warranty.

  21. SJ

    Sep 22 2009

    I have a Frigidaire Front Loading Washing Machine. I noticed water on the floor one day and removed the kick to see what was going on. Water was dripping from the seam where the front and back outer shell joined. This occurred when it was on spin cycle. I had subscribed to an appliance repair forum when I had a dishwasher problem, so I thought I would look there.

    Turns out these machines are notorious for this problem. The machines can go by the brand name Frigidaire or Kenmore.

    My options were: 1. Buy a new machine (cost of $600-$800), 2. Have it repaired by a service technician (cost of $250-$300), or 3. Try and repair it myself (cost parts only). I found out the seal (or what they call O-Ring) was only $22.00, so I figured I would give it a go.

    I found instructions on an appliance forum website and went to work. First thing I discovered was that one of the shock absorbers was broken. Another call made to find out whether part was available. It was, but it cost twice as much here in Canada for it than it would have in the States. ($70.00). Strange how the price of the seal was the same in the US and Canada but the shock absorber was double. I continued to disassemble the machine to make sure I would not have to buy anything else. Once I made repairs, I reassembled the machine and ran a test load. No leaks from seal, however it was now leaking at the drain boot. #)*#$&#*&. Looks like a couple pinholes. I sealed with silicone sealant, but will have to purchase a new drain boot.

    Be forewarned. These machines are plagued with problems. The leaking seal is one. The rear bearing is another. The spider (which is like the back frame of the steel drum) corrodes and breaks. The controller board has been known to go. The problem I had was the cheapest one to have. If the bearing goes, you end up replacing the rear shell for close to $200.00. If the spider is broken, you end up replacing the whole drum for over $200.00.

    I picked up the drain boot. It was listed as $36.00 US and I only paid $24.00 Canadian. There seems to be no consistency with the pricing on these parts. A pen went through the wash a month later and part of it lodged in the pump. I replaced the drain boot when I fished the pen out of the pump.

    A month later I noticed that the washer had started cycle and was just sitting there not doing anything. I restarted washer and as soon as it started to fill, water came out the front. Great.

    Took clothes out and noticed front seal had come away from drum. Very odd. Took top of unit and found out why…one of the support springs broke and the drum had dropped, pulling the seal off. I also caught a whiff of burning electrical something.

    Took back off unit to see if motor was damaged, did not appear to be. Put meter on motor but was getting no voltage. Fortunately there were schematics in an envelope inside the machine, and the was a trouble shooting section at bottom. Turns out the motor speed control board is fried. Online price $160.00. Spring 22.00. Now the big decision. Should I get these part and add that to the close to $200 I spent a couple months ago? If I replace the motor speed control, I am not sure it will even work. There also could be problems with the timer or even the motor. And then there is the inevitable bearing that will undoubtedly break.

    Time to cut my losses. Out the door it goes.

    Cost to buy a new front loader one model up in size is around $800.00. Because of the problems I have had with this one, I would definitely buy extended warranty. That will add another $200 to the price. But wait…the extended warranty is good for 5 years. My machine stopped at just over 6 years.

    Or, I could buy a top loader for $450.00 and forget the extended warranty. I have had a top loader before and they don’t often break. They do use more water, but when you look at the big picture, is spending close to $600.00 more for the front loader and warranty equivalent to the money you would save over the life of the machine? I doubt it, considering you might not get more than 5 or 6 years out of a front loader.

    So I went to Sears to buy a top loader. This particular Sears is a Dealer Store that mainly sells appliances and other big ticket items. The owner is local and I have dealt with them before.

    He saw us checking out the top loaders and said we should really consider a front loader. I told him I had one that died and I wasn’t about to make the same mistake again. He told me that the one I had was one of the “original” models and they are build so much better now. I told him I was on the internet the previous day and saw horror stories from people that had front loaders that were only one or two years old.

    In the end we bought a top loader for about ½ of what I would have spent on a front loader with extended warranty.

    As an aside…his comment about them being built so much better now? The dishwasher I bought 4 years ago quit working after 2 years. I had to replace a valve and controller board. I seriously doubt that front loading washer I could have bought today is any better than the one I bought 7 years ago. I expect my top loader will last 15-20 years.

    Considering the fact that we are supposed to be more ecologically minded now and save resources, I fail to see how it is better for me to trash a washing machine that is less than 10 years old, than it is for me to use more water. If the government were more concerned with the environment, they would have stricter rules in place about the life span of anything that is supposed to “help” the environment.

  22. Jenifter

    Dec 7 2009

    My recent experience with Sears customer service has certainly left a bad taste in my mouth.

    We are currently doing a home renovation and purchased 3 appliances from Sears over $4,000 in goods. We went to install the wall oven and found the mounting brackets missing from the package.

    Sears said they would take 2 weeks before we could get more. My husband phoned back to say this was unacceptable and was shuffled from operator to operator in the Philippines, despite asking for a supervisor repeatedly.

    After 40 minutes, he was transferred to a customer service rep in Belleville, Ont., and despite the rep saying she also felt this was not acceptable and she would have someone call the next day, we have heard from no one from Sears.

    I have sent 2 e-mails to their customer service, which also promise a response in 24 hours and have not heard back either.

    It is hard to believe 2 small pieces of metal could be so difficult to obtain. Without an oven…

  23. ross g

    Dec 7 2009

    I have fixed small appliances for years (something I’m good at). The sad thing is stuff they make nowadays isn’t worth the plastic it’s made on.

    At one time you could get something fixed, but the repair shops are closing up shop. And it costs more to ship parts than the crap they are trying to sell.

    Heck I still have my Philips coffee maker (less switch), ha-ha.

    Nice article you have. (I forwarded it to my friends.)

  24. Joren

    Jan 17 2010

    After reading through all the comments two things come to mind:

    1. I’m not going to give into the front-load washer porn that arrives every week in flyers to my house. I am going to keep the inefficient, energy hogging, environmentally unfriendly TANK of a washer and dryer I have until they have to take it out of my house on a stretcher.

    2. My brother was right. Sears sucks. He bought appliances from them several years back and had to have them replaced 3 times before he even installed them because they couldn’t deliver something that hadn’t been banged/bashed around and had dents in it.

    Kenmore is just another name for crap these days and Sears has become a joke. A friend of mine who works for them in repairs won’t even buy there – what does THAT tell you?

  25. Bonita McCarthy

    Feb 26 2010

    I bought a new central vac (Electrolux Brand) after Christmas and paid for an extended warranty.

    Had it installed 4 weeks ago… neither the power head nor the powered tube work and they won’t replace the parts with a new set.

    It has been one month of calls and visits to the store. Now their repair subcontractor says I have to wait yet another month (or more) for parts.

    It is crazy that for a brand new (defective) item, they won’t just exchange it. I even said I would take one of the store display models.

    They say it is “Store Policy” that they only repair, never replace. I have already dragged it into the store twice and to their repair subcontractor once.

    The rep who called me today said I have to take it to yet another of their subcontractors and he added “You know they don’t make things to last like they used to”. Pretty feeble, considering it has never worked.

    I have been dragging this thing back and forth the highway between three cities and my floors are not getting any cleaner.

    Do you have any suggestions?

  26. Bonita McCarthy

    Feb 26 2010

    I should have added the name of the store to the information I just sent…I had purchased the central vac unit at Goeman’s / Goemans Appliances.
    Thank you.

  27. Richard Lerner

    May 21 2010

    Like so many people I have been frustrated by new appliances. The most interesting twist I’ve had is with Sears.

    Several years ago we bought a Kitchen Aid appliance from Sears, but because of issues that we have had with their service, we decided to have Whirlpool (who manufactures Kitchen Aid) repair the appliance. We have had them repair other appliances (that were not bought at Sears).

    Whirlpool told us that we would have to go back to Sears for service, We were not asking for warranty service. When pressed, the person at Whirlpool said they had an agreement with Sears. Between myself and my wife, we were told this three times.

    I had a long and frustrating series of email with Sears, which kept saying that I could arrange service with Whirlpool, but of course Whirlpool kept on saying “but we have an agreement” and would not schedule the service call. Even though I pointed this out to Sears, they refused to deal with it.

    My take away is that if you buy a Kitchen Aid appliance from Sears, then you cannot go back to the manufacturer for help. I feel that the appliance was misrepresented.

    It seems like a strange way to run a business by both Whirlpool and Sears and has left me with a bad taste.

    Very strange.

  28. Alok Chadha

    Jun 12 2010

    I purchased the following Kitchen Appliances from Bad Boy’s Mississauga store on Friday, April 9, 2010: refrigerator; dishwasher; and stove. The delivery was received on Wednesday, April 14.

    A dent was found on the stove on delivery. We told Customer Service immediately and they offered us a rebate for $75, which we accepted. We were told to collect the same from the Mississauga Store.

    We were initially told by the front desk, after consulting with the Store Manager, to come back in couple of days since the system is showing no refund. Within next 10 minutes the amount was returned and paid when the Customer Service Supervisor called to ask about the same. To make things worse, instead of showing remorse for acting smart, the Store person complained that I called Head Office.
     Why was the refund for dent not given gracefully?

    In the meantime, we discovered that two burners (left) on the stove are not working. This caused a lot of inconvenience, slowing down the whole kitchen work, while stuck with only two working burners. We asked why it was not ensured that appliances are working when delivered. The rough reply given was that this was a Store Model and Bad Boy DO NOT check the appliances before delivery.
     Why should a customer pay up front and then wait to find out if the appliances purchased are working or needs to be fixed?

    Further, we called some contractor to install our dishwasher on Sunday, April 18, and were stumped to find that we are missing the ‘drain hose’ for the same. Since the warehouse was closed, we called the Mississauga Store to enquire and were told that this model doesn’t come with any ‘drain hose’?
     Why instead of your being helpful for the unsupplied Dishwasher’s Drain Hose, I was told that it is not part of the package and needs to be purchased separately? I was even given number of a shop selling the appliance parts. How come when I personally walked into the store with the Dishwasher Manual that part was made available to me?

    Last but not least, I told the Sales Person when finalizing the Refrigerator that the space available under the kitchen cabinet for my Refrigerator is only 69 Inches. I made it crystal clear that I am banking on his professional advice on this and were convinced that the Refrigerator shall fit-in easily. The length of the Refrigerator from front with the design over the top-mount door comes to 68 Inches. Our kitchen cabinet is wasted and it cannot be opened due to the upper refrigerator door as well as hinges on the Refrigerator top.
     Why I was not given a genuine and correct advice? I could have still purchased a Refrigerator but one that would have fit properly.

    After repetitive persuasion, I finally got the call from the General Manager, Mississauga Store on 28th April 2010, Wednesday. I was tried to be swayed that these were isolated incidents that happened unfortunately with me in continuation. I was offered some Store Credit in lieu of the harassment and poor service, which I swiftly & politely refused. How can I even think of making another purchase from a Store after going through this horrifying experience of disgust and insult? Ultimately, I was assured that I shall be hearing again from the Head Office or the Mississauga Store about my demands. I never got any call back…

    All the above instances clearly put light on the malicious nature in which this whole transaction was completed. At every step, the buyer was tried to be befooled and cheated. Is there any end to our painful experience?

    As it stands today, it is obvious that “Bad Boy” Management is not ready to hear and improve the flaws in their Sales & Service. They don’t want to take responsibility for the devious practices being followed and painful service experiences being thumbed upon the unsuspecting customers.

    However, I am determined to keep my crusade against them keep going; consumers certainly need to know about “Un-Canadian” ethics being practiced by retailers like “Bad Boy”.

    Dazed, disturbed & humiliated,

  29. CW

    Jul 19 2010

    I also bought a LG fridge a few years ago. The freezer door has the similar problem of not able to close and seal tightly.

    Since it already passed the short warranty period, I have to put a child-proof lock on the freezer door to ensure it doesn’t open on its own.

    Now the fan on the fridge makes loud noises. The authorized dealer told me that it was very difficult to get replacement parts from LG. Also the cost for repairing may not be that much cheaper than getting a new one.

    It is so ridiciulous to replace a fridge for just around 5 years old. I totally agree that nowadays many big and small appliances have serious quality flaws.

    Most of the time, 99% of the inside and outside of the appliances still work and look perfect. But when a small part breaks, it is almost impossible to find good repair services.

    No matter you go back to the dealers or manufacturers, spending lots of money and time, no one just shows interest to fix the appliances.

    I think appliances sold 10+ years ago actually are more durable than the current ones.

  30. Jay – jfjunior

    Aug 28 2010

    Every appliance I purchased from Sears in the last 5 years had problems: Three fridges and two stoves. The ice dispenser in my last fridge, purchased only 2 years ago, stopped working just a few weeks after the warrant expired. The repair would cost about $300.00, so I went out and bought a few ice trays instead.

    I’ve heard from people in the business not to buy appliances from Sears. Apparently their management has a policy of pushing the manufactures to produce very low quality and cheap appliances so they can sell it more affordable than other retailers out there. The result is that a GE fridge from Sears is not the same quality than a GE fridge sold by other retail store. Obviously I cannot verify this, however it seems plausible to me. Consumers should take special care if they are thinking about purchasing the infamous “Keymore” Sears brand. They are basically junk made by several different manufactures for Sears.

    So no more Sears appliances for me.

  31. dlb3

    Aug 30 2010

    Sears is holding my vacuum cleaner for ransom:

    I sent my vacuum in for the same problem 3 times. The third time was off warranty, so they now want $180 to fix what they did not the first two times.

    They refuse to return the vacuum (un-repaired) without another $50 charge. This is blackmail in my opinion.

    Can I or should I take them to small claims court? What is your opinion?

  32. SRotondo

    Apr 1 2011

    Kitchen Aid – Buyer Beware ! Save yourself the aggravation!
    Kitchen Aid does not stand behind their products and have left me with no other alternative but to communicate this to all consumers, considering to purchase appliances, who will listen.
    My retired parents scaled down their home and purchased all new appliances in hopes of a fresh start to a new chapter in their lives. They purchased the Kitchen Aid brand for all their appliances. One of their purchases was a 36″ Hood Island Fan ($1,700) from Appliance Canada in Woodbridge Ontario. As luck would have it, the warranty expired and shortly thereafter the motor on the fan just stopped working. My parents went back to where they purchased all their new appliances at Appliance Canada, Woodbridge but their was no interest on their part in resolving the issue for them. The sale was already made. At my parents request I called Kitchen Aid customer service directly today. They said that they stand behind the quality of their products as long as it is under warranty! There is nothing they will do other then set up an appointment with a repair man to make an assessment and recommend the parts required for the repair. All this, will all be at my parents expense. (estimated at approx. $600-800 !!).This is disconcerting. I just don’t understand how corporations continue to sell garbage to hard working consumers. Seniors against large corporations have no chance of being heard! Moral of the story… Buyer Beware Of Kitchen Aid Appliances!
    Frustrated in Woodbridge, Ontario

  33. MH

    Nov 13 2011

    I have just written a nice rant to the Government of Canada Office of Energy Efficency, as I too have had a 6 year old fridge break down, with no warranty.

    The appliance guy says cost to repair more than the cost of a new fridge. He said few appliances will last longer than 5 or 6 years and only some very costly ones might last 10 years and one day.

    I have had many friends who have had similar experiences and have been told the same thing: if you get 7 years out of an appliance, you are lucky.

    An earlier post above from bm (Nov. 13, 2008) said it all. This is not environmentally responsible when appliances are not made to last and they are all ending up in the landfills.

    Something needs to be done. Consumers and the environment are being ripped off

  34. DaveS

    Jan 22 2012

    My understanding is that the computer boards and sensors inside these appliances are key to the energy efficiencies they achieve.

    A frost free freezer at one stage used a timer which simply counted the days until the next defrost cycle. In a modern frost free freezer a microchip and various sensors calculate the optimum time to run a defrost cycle based on how often the door was opened and for how long etc. This does save energy BUT the extreme environments within appliances (eg heat and humidity) do not mix well with these electronic components. The end result is modern energy star appliances fail early and most repairs involve an expensive electronic part which usually drives the owner to repurchase.

    The government should look at the energy star rating not in terms of the energy saved in operating the appliance but in terms of the total energy cost of ownership, which would take account of appliance life as well as power consumption. I suspect the energy savings we enjoy from these new appliances are more than offset by the cost of such frequent replacement, in both financial and environmental terms.

  35. TN

    Apr 8 2013

    I want to share my bad experience with Brault and Martineau, even though it may not be the right place here.

    I bought a leather loveseat last month, but when it got delivered it was not of good quality. The arms on both sides were not fully filled.

    We went to the store on the same day and the manager said that it takes 3 to 4 days for the leather to be normal.

    We also noticed from the label at the bottom that it was made in China and not in Canada, as the salesperson told us (we had 2 salespersons who served us).

    When we told the manager about this, he said it was the first salesperson who said it incorrectly, but the second salesperson did not say it. The manager said they will send a technician and then will see what to do.

    A technician came to inspect it and said that we are just unlucky. He made a report and said that I should call back if no answer.

    I had to call the store back and they said it was a manufacturing problem and they could do nothing about it!

    If I knew about their no return policy and bad quality products beforehand, I would never have bought from this store.

  36. Marvin L. Zinn

    Sep 18 2013

    I am writing a college report on the subject of real inflation.

    I have not been able to find a report to cite, but I remember a large appliance, like refrigerator, used to come with a 10-year warranty and now comes with just one year, unless you can pay extra for a longer time.

    This means the price with CPI (used for inflation calculation) is less because you buy less, or lower quality. It is also lower price due to parts being made in places like China, where the laborers are treated like slaves.

    But the average American just wants things cheap, without regard to the real higher cost. I know from experience that REAL inflation is three times what our government calculates.

  37. Jennifer

    Feb 24 2015

    I had same problem. My warranty expired and I could not fix it.

    My fridge was quite old – they don’t sell them in stores anymore – so that was an issue as well. Nobody knew what to do with it. Luckily, I found http://www.fixitappliances.ca/ on the Internet. They fixed my fridge at very low cost.

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