Does Living in Boondocks Affect Miele Service?

djdoggoneMay 8, 2013

Our 19-year-old KA fridge is getting louder so I am researching refrigerators.

After I factor in that I want a counter-depth refrigerator and there are just the 2 of us, the field seems to split into three camps. Fisher & Paykel / Liebherr (many complaints about customer service stonewalling); Samsung (which it seems knowingly produced refrigerators with condenser design flaw for years and still prone to sudden failure); and high-end Miele / Sub-Zero.

Refrigeration is critical in this household because it also houses extremely expensive drugs which must be maintained at narrow band of temperature.

I own a little Miele washer and dryer. Bought one of the first sold here. Built like a tank, never a problem (though it did cost me $200 to change the light bulb -- I know there's a joke in there somewhere -- because it is attached to the door harness). Absolutely love the thing. Gave me confidence to buy their vac when ours literally went up in flames.

Here's the rub. The "local" appliance place won't deal with Miele anymore. (That seems a bad sign. But I really dislike them, so maybe not.) According to the Miele website, there are no independent Miele installers in our state. So, if I need service for the uber engineered fridge or combi oven, which I'm eyeing, I'll be relying on service from a dealer a couple of hours from us. Is that asking for trouble?

Anyone in remote area using Miele service? Anyone in the Miele inner sanctum who understands if this will affect ability to fix things?

I think their products are high tech and therefore fraught with danger but I have experience with how beautiful they are when they work right and how solidly built (hopefully, still). And I do believe they try to stand behind their products. But maybe I'm delusional and don't know the real deal.

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almost 20 years on KA,, I can understand your desire for a new one, alto the "Loudness" "Might" be a simple fix?

At any rate, many reviews of KA Fridges here in Garden Web, and just about all are positive.

I have a Jenn-air circa 2005, (so it was made before Whirlpool bought them), and it has been trouble free, except I had to replace the ice maker after about 5 years, ($135) tons of them available, and took me 10 minutes to change it!
Light bulbs probably around a "buck" and easy to change, alto in the 7 years I've had it, it has never blown a bulb.

I'm sure service, (If needed), and parts availability would be much easier to procure with the Kitchenaids, that just about any other fridge.

I have a Miele DW, and like it, but I would not trade a Miele Fridge for my Jenn-air fridge.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:32AM
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As far as I know, Miele fridges are made by Liebherr.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:12AM
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I would call Miele service and speak to them about your situation. The fridges have some type of Wifi capacity that can assist service so that might be useful in terms of being sure medication is properly stored.

Someone here like xedos or deeageaux can explain where the fridges are now made. My recollection is not by Liebherr for some time.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:49PM
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This has been covered before but the Miele collumn refrigerator is built by BSH / Bosch in their Turkish factory.

Regarding service in the boondocks...
I would not recommend buying a product that does not have local service available.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 3:34PM
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Miele is squeezing dealer margins and making them not much more than order takers. That is why Ferguson as well as many small dealers are opting out of carrying Miele.

The Miele refrigerators sold in the USA are made by Bosch Siemens Home Appliance Group(BSH) in the their own factory in Turkey. They are distinguished from Bosch Thermador and Gaggenau products by their own proprietary electronics and drawers. I think these products are first rate. I own a 24" Gaggenau freezer.

Talking to the potential service company is always good advice. I would talk to them and if you still have some questions then come back and as the board.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 3:46PM
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I'm guessing the "service" company -- since there aren't any independents in our state -- would be the appliance dealer? There are 3, each 2 hours away in different directions of the compass.

Now I understand why it is getting harder and harder to find Miele products. At least we can travel to the Boston showroom to see the real item before deciding.

To have a conversation with "service" -- great suggestion -- do I call New Jersey? Boston showroom? "local dealers"?

Gary, while I agree that Kitchenaid would be easier to repair locally, I'm trying to find a counter-depth fridge that is 30 - 32" wide. Unfortunately the American manufacturers seem to only make counter-depth units in 36" wide and greater.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:36PM
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If you want a 30 inch you might see if there is a Bosch servicer in your area. Bosch has the same 30" bottom freezer ( B30BB830 ) as the Miele and it also comes in Thermador and Gaggenau

Here is a link that might be useful: B30BB830

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:03PM
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Thanks for that, djdoggone, I should have checked sizes.

When I designed our kitchen the Fridge was the first item I thought of, cause our old one was always crammed full.
We wanted built in, at first I thought 42" but after seeing the
48", we had to have it, and I didnt mind giving up the 6 inches in my design to do it.

Good luck with your hunt!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:54PM
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To call service call Miele USA and ask them who would service your refrigerator if you bought one and had a problem.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 2:01AM
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jakvis, thanks for the pointer. Nice looking fridge, though the accompanying 1 star review gives one pause. I discounted Bosch because of so many bad reviews with their other appliances. I know they used to be the darling of appliances when they first entered the US market, but not so much anymore -- except, maybe, dishwashers. Do you know about their refrigerators?

deeageaux, will do. Many thanks.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Two things I would recommend in your situation are a generator and a backup fridge. If you lose power, you'll need that gennie. And a backup fridge never goes amiss even from people who don't need to worry about keeping drugs optimum.

And for the main fridge, I'm with the others in suggesting to talk to your local appliance repair people and find out what they are comfortable repairing, and more importantly, who is their "go to" technician for the "off brands".

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:33AM
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We have had various high end appliances ( right now we have Viking and Miele). I'm an engineer - a handy one - and I've fixed all but one problem myself - including buying the parts from the internet.

IMO - an intelligent repair person should be able to fix most problems with any manufacturer's appliance.

I doubt high end appliances makeup more than 5% of the market - so you're never going to have a lot of choices for service.

An 'authorized' dealer may be nothing more than one who can sell the appliances.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 1:23PM
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The Miele, Bosch, Gaggenau, and Thermador, 30 inch ref's all come from the same assembly line and mechanically are identical. The electronic package is different on the Miele (touch control) and on the others regular buttons. Other than that they are the same.

Regarding reviews you always should look at the number of reviews along with the rating. I went back to the website to look and In this particular rating there was only 1 review. If there was 10 or 100 reviews and it was a 1 star I think you would have a point. If it was a 5 star and 1 review I would also be suspect.

This post was edited by jakvis on Thu, May 9, 13 at 17:04

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:02PM
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"Regarding service in the boondocks...
I would not recommend buying a product that does not have local service available."

I agree. I replaced an out of warranty Miele dw for this reason. I should have made sure I could get it serviced locally before I bought it. Closest service provider was 120 miles. Not worth getting the thing fixed.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:20AM
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Miele fired our local appliance store from repairing Miele. It was the best move. We now get a Miele trained rep.

Local repair place would come and look(visit1). They spent most of the visit talking to miele. Order parts to install(visit2). Realize wrong parts- another visit...

Miele listened to the problems and came with the parts- one visit and done. They didn't like my upper rack when they came(not the reason for the call) and sent me a replacement.

So, call Miele service on how you would get service. It might be an improvement over local service.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:02AM
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But, a problem arises if they are 120 miles away and you get charged for distance, service call, parts and oops...have to order part and come back.

If the machine is out of warranty, it can cost a small fortune.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:59AM
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When you live in the boondocks and have critical refrigeration needs, go with the most popular and ordinary refrigerator in your area backed up with standby power as others have mentioned. Once that is settled down and properly doing its thing out of sight, Get any unit you want for your kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:00PM
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The critical refrigeration requirement should be separated out and solved on its own as above. Another resource for that challenge is neighbors in the community. Have a plan.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:49PM
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I can't thank you all enough. I've gotten such good ideas and help from you. I'm implementing many suggestions. I think you people have seen things more clearly than we were; lost in the forest, I guess.

Here is the latest:

dan1888: That was also the suggestion of my local appliance store, who supplies the small local hospital with medical refrigerators. He figures he can find me a very small fridge and we can find a home ?somewhere? so I can stop obsessing about the reliability/parts issue of food fridge. And also, Hubby asked our pharmacist -- the beauty of living in a small town -- if he would be willing to house the drugs if we have a power outage and aren't yet equipped with a backup generator. (Thanks hollysprings for reminding us of the backup generator and the idea that maybe we take the 19-year-old Kitchenaid -- if it hasn't kicked the bucket -- and put it in the workshop.) laat2: you helped solidify the idea that we just need to make backup power a necessity rather than a nice-to-have. We've re-prioritized some things; sometimes it takes an outsider to see things clearly. Thanks for your clarity.

deeageaux: I spoke with USA Miele service and they will, indeed, send out a certified, authorized, anointed repair person if I need service. BUT the install has to come from the dealer. I'm focusing on a dealer that actually has a few Miele products in their showroom (a kitchen design place) because I'm guessing they have more invested than the other two appliance places that don't even carry any product.

BUT I think we'll save the Miele purchase for the combi oven and 3-burner cooktop because I just can't find anything comparable in a local appliance. We are going to follow the advice of those who voted for local repair person. And there we have a pleasant surprise.

jakvis: I called local appliance dealers and had conversations about your suggested Bosch fridge. Boy did I learn a lot. None, save one, do warranty work and most who say they repair them are not authorized to do so -- but sell me one they will, and then invalidate my warranty. Wow! But by asking those Bosch questions I have located an appliance dealer in the next town who is authorized to do warranty work on the Bosch and suggested I look at the Fisher & Paykel counter-depth 30" fridge if it would spare my husband a heart attack. He cautioned that F&P parts take a long time to come cross country, but that pressure isn't as critical with the idea that only food is affected.

So, we'll probably implement most everyone's advice. It is with a big sigh of relief that I go shopping. It has been good "talking" with you, and a BIG help. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:51PM
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