Thermador Cooktop - Defective out of the box, refuse to exchange.

chuckles32April 23, 2014

As part of our kitchen remodel, we purchased 36" Thermador induction cooktop with a mirror finish. Cooktop has touch controls. The cooktop was installed and one of the buttons is virtually impossible to press. Cooktop does work, but some buttons do not work unless they a pressed with excessive force.

I called Thermador, who sent a repair person (from a local company). The independent repair tech's diagnosis was a defective control board and that it should be replaced.

Essentially, the unit was defective out of the box. If I let the tech replace the control board, this will now be a refurbished cooktop that I paid full price to have installed. I didn't want to buy a refurbished cooktop at Thermador prices. We wanted a new cooktop.

I asked Thermador to exchange the cooktop with a new unit. I thought this was a reasonable request. I paid for a new working cooktop. Customer service rep had to bring my request to management. After a few days, management denied my request, but gratuitously offered to extend the warranty on the device an additional 6 months and fix the unit (as they are obligated to). Warranty is 2 years, so adding an extra 6 months would be a 25% increase in warranty and give me a 2 1/2 year warranty.

I'm looking for feedback from other GWers. I am frustrated. I didn't want to a refurbished cooktop. Also, this isn't like a refrigerator that was scratched and needs a new door skin. This is the control panel they are replacing on an induction cooktop. The brains behind the entire device. Clearly the appliance wasn't inspected or tested properly before it left the factory. It would be one thing if this was installed and broke after a month or so, however, the unit was defective out the box.

What are my options? What would you do? I have briefly talked with the dealer who sold it to me, but they knew that I was working with Thermador. I can go back to them.

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You bought a new cooktop with warranty.

A part was faulty and they replaced it with brand new part as per the warranty.

That fulfills Thermador's obligation.

Extending warranty is a bonus.

I would start/continue cooking with the cooktop.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:51PM
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I would give them a chance to fix it.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 9:02PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The warranty is for repair, not replacement. That's standard. The only way replacement comes into the picture is if there are numerous repairs for the same problem, and even then that is only offered under specific state consumer protection lemon laws. In states without those laws, you might not even get that without camping out with a sign.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 12:24AM
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I would ask the dealer to do a buy back and replace it with another brand. This is an expensive appliance and should work properly and not need repair right away.

Additionally, folks in kitchens have had excellent luck getting proper results by posting on the manufacturer's Facebook page. I'd include pix if relevant. I'd try to keep the post non-inflammatory -- just state facts and explain what you want.

Additionally, if you paid with a credit card you have recourse.

I'm not in the appliance business. But it's only logical that if you pay for a new item it should be new and work properly. Their own tech said it was defective. It's one thing with a $200 phone. But this is a company that wants to promote its product as high end. If so, they need to stand behind them the way the high end companies like Wolf do. Business 101.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:23AM
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My perspective is that if they replace it, there's no guarantee it will be perfect. At least their proposal leaves you with a new control board and an extended warranty.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 9:54AM
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I really do feel for you and would be terribly annoyed myself if it happened, but realistically, if they had tested it the day before they shipped it, and the control board didn't work, they would have replaced it, shipped it and you would have been none the wiser. It's just "perception" that this is a worse situation. I think you should take the replacement control board and extended warranty and a few days after you start using it, you'll be so happy with it you'll forget it wasn't working when it arrived.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:33AM
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"Additionally, if you paid with a credit card you have recourse. "

um, don't count on that !

I believe there is a thread around here discussing this topic, but basically boils down to: if it's permanently attached to your house, then no coverage !

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 9:02PM
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I don't get it. How is your cooktop lesser if they swap out a board at your house rather than during factory testing? It's not like they're filling it with Bondo. I don't see how it's "refurbished" just from having a part switched out. It's opening the box that makes it no longer "new in the box", which you've done whether or not the control board is replaced.

Yes, you could pull money out of their pockets by insisting that they take it back, but how is that the right thing to do? They're giving you a new part, right? So that your new cooktop will be even newer with a new part? You seem to want money just for opening the box. Yes, you've been put to a bother, and perhaps that's worth more than the addition to your warranty. They could give you a pot or something to sweeten it. By performing the warrantied work, however, I think they've lived up to their obligation.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:29PM
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xedos - you're confusing 2 different credit card issue. The permanently attached issue deals with extended warranties from the credit card company. The issue that the poster is referring to is your ability to dispute the charge with credit card company over receiving defective merchandise. Nonetheless, in this case it seems like the manufacturer is stepping up to repair the item under their warranty.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:40PM
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sjhockeyfan nailed it. The condition the item is in is like new since it was fixed by removing and replacing a component. It doesn't have filler in a scratch or a dent somewhere. IMO they shouldn't need to replace the entire item.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 7:22AM
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Any electronic device has what the industry calls "infant mortality" ... the bulk of the failures come in the first few days or weeks of use. If they did a long enough test cycle to catch these before shipping, you couldn't afford the components.

That board could have tested perfectly at the factory and something failed when the current activated it at your house.

They are honoring the warranty by replacing the board. You might not like it, but that's the extent of their obligation to you.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 8:00AM
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As an engineer this is the most illogical thought I've heard.

The appliance is made of physical parts. Seperate parts, made in different factories. There are no 'virgin' cooktops :)

What do you do when your car needs repair? Demand a new car?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:50AM
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