General brand guidance, please.

msl511April 8, 2013

I'm about to start getting serious looking at appliances for a kitchen renovation. I've been reading here for months and industriously clipping useful threads to my Evernote file and I do have brands narrowed down a tiny bit (not doing super high end, no interest in a SubZero, things like that). But it's still overwhelming. So many brands! So many lines! So many models!

If there are brands I should just be avoiding in general, that's good info to start with.

In general, I want brands that make a high quality, reliable product. However, even the best quality brand can occasionally have a problem and I also think it's important to buy a brand with good customer service, a brand that really stands behind its products.

Last month there were threads here and in the kitchen forum discussing a New York Times Haggler article about abysmal customer service from Whirlpool. Several people said that they were also responsible for the cs for their subs, which include Maytag, KA and Jenn-Air.

So, can I get any kind of consensus here? Would you avoid all those brands based on likely lousy support if there's a problem, even if they generally make a quality product? Or do you think that's an over reaction?

A related question: Where do you like to look for appliance reviews? Here, of course. Off the top of my head, I'll also look at AJ Madison, Amazon, Sears, Best Buy. Anywhere else you like?

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Most importantly, right here in Gardenweb, also Chowhound.

Go to the main appliance page (One page back from here), In the search box at the bottom of the page,

Just put in the manufacturer and the appliance,
(IE Electrolux Oven), (Miele Dishwasher) (etc)

Good luck for your "Quest for the Best"!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Your question is good - when to worry about CS and when to just get the product anyway.

When Kitchenaid ovens had a problem a few years ago with blowing out circuits or fuses or something when they self cleaned, apparently the company didn't step up. Similarly, they've made this clicking induction cooktop, and when you call them, they just say that's how it sounds. (In fairness, the woman I talked to did commiserate and say she was sorry.) So I would avoid KA if I were concerned about customer service. Their DWs might still be pretty good though, so I wouldn't just rule out a DW because of the customer service issue.

Elux, when they had a problem with their wall ovens and self cleaning, fixed the problem and announced they had done so. So I'd be more inclined to trust their customer service in general.

If the GW search doesn't work for you, google gardenweb and the brand and type of appliance, and old threads will come up. I use those sites you mentioned also, but I gave most credence to the GW and Chowhound posts, as Gary suggests.

You're approaching this in a very thoughtful way. I think you'll be able to make good decisions.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:27PM
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"so I wouldn't just rule out a DW because of the customer service issue. "

But then again - K. Aid has a measurable number of dishwashers that are catching on fire or leaking. And guess what ? Corp. has a "we have no idea what you are talking about" stance. So, I might write them off for that.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:56PM
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Wow, xedos, the DW's too? I agree, in that case it might be safer to write off KA entirely. It's too bad. Decades ago, KA was a great DW.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:30AM
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WOW would you "write off" Miele to for never admitting to an oven temp problem or letting folks know about the "Suppossed software fix" for it?

In fact one poster even posted the "said software fix" fixed theirs, but unfortunately did not let anybody know how and where they got that software fix, so as far as we know the other posters with the same problem are still "Living with that Problem"!

Also there have been posts (about your Favorite), xedos, where some folks had the "Copper Problem" with the SZ fridges, and they said
"They" ( the customers) had to pay for the repairs cause SZ Wolf did not tell them about the problem.

I will be the first to acknowledge that Kitchenaid handled the self cleaning oven very poorly, but unfortunately they are not alone in poor handling of customers.

Look at the recent posts on NXR, Liebherr, Blue Star, Capital, and examples of their "Poor Service" YouU name it!!!! You will find such examples!


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:14AM
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We had new jenn-air appliances installed a year ago (electric cooktop, oven, fridge, dishwasher, micro/convection) . I think they are beautiful and a joy to use. We have an odd glitch with a couple of the microwave functions ... When I reported it (under warranty) jenn air was very quick to send out a technician. He has been back twice with new electronic parts and although I cannot say the issue has yet been solved, I can say that they are trying. Customer service calls to check up after each service call.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:50PM
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