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.