Like Laundramats? Buy a Miele.

jsfoxApril 7, 2011

Our T9820 dryer conked out last night (blower is working, machine sounds like it's working, but drum doesn't turn).

This is at least the 7th time we've had to call for service for this or our W4840 washer and will make at least the 13th time I've had to arrange my schedule to meet a service person. In just about 2 years of ownership.

My dealer is saying that it will be next Wed, a week away, before they can come look at it. Then of course is the likely wait on parts and a second trip out (and rearrangement of my schedule) to install the part.

Quite the deal for the most expensive W&D out there.

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Kind of reminds me of my tales of owning Mercedes Benzes and BMWs during my years living in Germany. I got to know the 6 closest mechanics so well I knew their kids on a first-name basis.

Sorry for your woes jsfox, but I think a lot of folks forget the whole "German engineering" thing was invented (and pushed) by VW to sell cars. It's widely regarded as one of the most successful ad campaigns ever, if for no other reason than that most people now simply accept the plug line as fact.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 10:51AM
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Actually I've had my Miele W4842 for a year and haven't had a single issue. The washer and dryer work wonderfully. A dryer drum that won't spin is most likely a broken drive belt. Seven service calls in two years is pretty high - what were those service calls for?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 12:00PM
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No problems with our Miele washer either, plus we have owned our BMW M3 for 14 years without a single problem!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 7:13PM
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We've owned 20+ Mercedes-Benzes and 14+ BMWs over the years, and the vast majority have been phenomenal.

German engineering is not "something" created by VW. Mercedes was the FIRST car maker in the WORLD. Mercedes quality set the international standards for motor cars. Many of the saftey and advanced automotive features we take for granted in our cars, were due to the relentless research from Mercedes.

And if it were not for the robust and amazing build quality of my BMW...I would be dead (horrible accident). I am on my 4th BMW in a row over the last few years...and each one has been better.

Also, our Miele appliances are amazing. Friends with other brands, are ALWAYS having issues and repairs. Besides from one bad Miele washer I had (that Miele replaced graciously)...our Miele appliances have been flawless!!!!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 1:18AM
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People who haven't been to Germany can't appreciate the level of quality in their domestic products. "German engineering" is not something invented by Volkswagen - it's a concept that's been around for a long time. Volkswagen just popularized the idea and spread the word. That just goes to show the power of marketing, since the vast majority of Volkswagen vehicles sold in the US are made in Mexico. German engineering =/= Mexican manufacturing. Your product is only as good as its weakest link,. I will never buy another Volkswagen product. They may be engineered well, but they're built like crap.

So far my Miele is working better and with fewer issues than my Asko. My Asko dryer belt snapped in the first 6 months of use. The fuse blew constantly and had to get Asko's "fuse bypass" field repair. Then the washer motor was replaced by Asko 2-3 years into ownership as part of a "field upgrade", which in my lingo = silent recall. That's the only work those units needed in the 7-8 years that I owned them. I never considered any of those service calls to be concerning. All manufacturers' products contain components that can fail over the course of everyday use.

So I would still like to know from the OP what all of the service calls were for. Will we ever get a follow-up to the sensational headline, or should we let this thread die?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 1:55PM
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While this is not the correct format for a debate on engineering, SPC or automobiles, I will make a quick comment since there seem to be a lot of misconceptions here.

larsi, the fact that M-B was the "first" car maker of course means nothing. Yes, Gottlieb Daimler had a motorized cart on the road a few months before anyone else, but what relevance this has to quality is of course "none whatsoever."

Statistically, that is by reported problems/defects by owners, M-B, BMW, etc. are all well below average, and have been for decades. This is not my opinion, nor is it from talking to people I know, nor is it just my experience. This is statistical fact gathered over tens of thousands of owners by the companies that do so for a living. In fact, the only European make that scores well here is Porsche - period.

M-B did get the dubious honor of being voted the "fastest deteriorating car" available for purchase a few years back for the E class. That is, it looked the best on the showroom floor but degraded to the highest problem level of any vehicle after 3 years. This was also by the same information services companies.

A favorite reminder of the above was one of my engineering periodicals from a few years back. On the cover was a picture of a brand new S-class M-B (price around $100k) and a used Lexus ES300 (price under $20k). The title was "Why is this 7-year old Lexus more reliable than this brand new Mercedes-Benz?" The cover article was an in-depth examination of hundreds of millions of data points gathered over a decade examining the different SPC methods and why the Euro nameplates struggle so mightily with quality control and long term durability. Sounds boring, but yes, it was by engineers and for engineers.

And sshrivastava, I thought you might be interested to know that "people who haven't been to Germany" is a little off: I lived in Germany, for years. And no, I was not in the military, I worked for German companies, as an engineer, working with German engineers (also French, Dutch, Italian, etc. as I did a lot of work with other companies, even though my employers were German). I think I have a pretty good idea about what "German engineering" is.

Also, my washer/dryer set has been working flawlessly for 7+ years. Does that make it better than your Miele?

Feel free to discuss about what you "feel" is better or what you prefer, but again, some of the items I've stated above are simple facts, not debatable opinions.

I'll bow out now, so please, carry on! :-)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 9:13AM
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I will agree that BMW and Mercedes has had their fair share of problems. But, since I have several "deep" contacts with several people at both companies, and I even worked for BMW for a while...a HUGE percentage of the statistical complaints from tens of thousands of owners is pure hogwash!! So many of the complaints, that these "consumer based" reviews collect, are complaints that are NOT the car's fault and are NOT problems with the cars. A large percentage of "these tens of thousands" of complaints against BMW and Mercedes by owners are for things like:

-"the wheels turn black with brake dust too easily"

-"the air conditioning and other buttons have too many symbols", not words like American cars painfully spell everything out (including window up, window down).

-"I don't understand the navigation system"

Does a Lexus retain it's value longer & better? Most likely! But being German, my family is still there and my spouse is from Sweden....I know a thing about living in Europe also. I also know their are hundreds of thousands of mainly Mercedes and BMW taxis in Germany. Not Lexus, not Toyota, not Hyundai, not Ford, not Kia, not Honda, etc, etc... The German cars might not re-sale for as much as a Toyota or Lexus 8 years down the road...but the Mercedes and BMW are built like tanks. Again, look at the taxis is Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Denmark....They are almost entirely E-Class models W124 (1986-1995), W210 (1996-2002), W212 (2003-2009)...and they are still going strong. I have been in taxis recently in Germany, that were Mercedes E-Class model W124 (probably a 1991 or 1992) model...and it drove like new, and the interior looked shockingly great. Longevity!!!

Ok, Larsi has stepped off his soapbox!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 10:45AM
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Keep in mind Larsi the vast majority of taxi companies around the world use domestic (for their location) vehicles, at least where the country in question HAS a domestic industry. So, that a German car is used by a German taxi company does not surprise anyone any more than that 98% of U.S. taxi fleets are Fords (and now some Dodges), 98% of Japanese taxi fleets are Toyotas, 98% of Italian taxi fleets are Fiats, etc. etc. Yeah, and I've been in Fords, Fiats, Toyotas, etc. taxis with 600k+ miles that look great also, but again, no surprise. Have you ever been to a taxi depot? Entire warehouses full of spare everything, ready to be replaced at a moment's notice.

The only exceptions to the "looking like new" I've seen are the odd taxi companies (mostly in the U.S.) where the driver leases or buys their own vehicle, so they have no incentive to spend their own money to fix anything - till they absolutely have to. To my knowledge this arrangement is unique to the U.S.

I understand what you're saying about the generic consumer complaints, but in engineering circles this is also well known (RE: my reference to the SPC and quality article in my eng. periodicals).

P.S. Even though I no longer work for the European companies, a side benefit of my extended stay there is that I did meet my lovely wife while living in Europe. So, with more than half my family still "across the pond" I am also returning there all...the...time, and this is on top of my frequent overseas business trips. :)


    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 11:25AM
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I suppose I don't understand the point of this debate. Perception is 90% of reality. I believe Dell computers are crap and Apple Macs are the best thing since sliced bread... until I talk with a satisfied Dell customer who feels exactly the opposite. It all comes down to our perceptions of the companies who make the products we buy. Miele has aligned itself with quality and being "better", and as a result naturally attracts buyers who identify with the same concept. Brands like Miele, Apple, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, etc. tend to have fiercely loyal customers who will defend their brand is if were their right arm. I can't say the same for Dell, HP, Hyundai, Kia, Maytag, or Whirlpool.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 3:45PM
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Hey, I love my Dell laptop and my Hyundai Veracruz ;)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 3:59PM
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sshrivastava, actually I think you got the point perfectly!

I would add though that I bet that for any brand, viewpoint, etc. you could find plenty of folks who would defend it "as if it were their right arm."

Being the engineer type I tend to be far more pragmatic, calculating and fact-based in my approaches. Unfortunately, that puts me at odds with most people. :-)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 5:00PM
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"It all comes down to our perceptions of the companies who make the products we buy. Miele has aligned itself with quality and being "better", and as a result naturally attracts buyers who identify with the same concept."

Which companies are aligning themselves with inferiority and being "worse"? And if you turn out to own something manufactured by one of them have you just assassinated your own character?

To re-phrase it might just as easily be said: that Miele has aligned itself with a socio-economic elite and being "exclusive", and as a result naturally attracts buyers who are exclusionary. Less flattering, depending on your perspective, and probably no more accurate a generalization about Miele consumers than your own. Personally I wouldn't invest a great deal in assuming the characteristics (good or bad) of consumers in relation to the brands they buy other than that we make our choices from what is made available to us based on our beliefs, needs\wants and circumstances.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 9:07PM
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That's a very good point caryscott. I was in a bit of a hurry and meant to agree with sshrivastava's [correct] summary that most people's purchases and beliefs are driven by perception, and not data. Unfortunately, perception is also heavily driven by price: people naturally assume that since they pay more for something it will be "better," but that is often not the case.

Daimler AG (i.e. Mercedes-Benz) and BMW both have some of the highest per-vehicle profit margins in the auto industry, but their own research has rightly shown that lowering the prices of their cars hurts their prestige/status among consumers, so why on Earth would they?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 9:25AM
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Actually, among prestige brands, Mercedes and BMW have pretty low per-vehicle profit margins. But yes, research has shown that if Mercedes or BMW offers a "cheap" model, consumers do assume something is wrong & that the "snob appeal" is tarnished. A few years back, Mercedes offered the C230 and C320 hatchback. Fail. American consumers turned their noses to a lower priced Mercedes. Same when BMW tried to sell the 318i hatchback here in the stats. 4 cylinder + hatchback + lower priced= fail.

Porsche has the highest profit margins. Toyota and Lexus are high as well.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 10:21AM
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@Caryscott:To re-phrase it might just as easily be said: that Miele has aligned itself with a socio-economic elite and being "exclusive", and as a result naturally attracts buyers who are exclusionary.You are making value judgments in this statement using words such as "exclusive", "elite", and "exclusionary". You use words with such negative connotations when all I said was that Miele and its customers align themselves with quality. I didn't speak to price or anyone's socio-economic status. I don't believe you need to be a snob, rich, or "elite" in order to want and appreciate quality.

Other companies certainly don't advertise themselves as being low quality or substandard, they just don't make any claims in the quality category. Ford has always trumpeted quality, but does that make them a high quality brand? No, because user experiences trumped the marketing pitch. I don't think you can say the same thing with Miele. Most Miele owners are happy, satisfied, and feel they bought a product of superior quality. The situation would be different if those were Ford customers, despite Ford's "quality is job 1" motto for years.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:26PM
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I'm sorry I don't think either "quality" or "better" are value neutral judgements\chacteristics. In my opinion my observation is a logical extension of yours (the difference is yours was intended to be flattering to Miele and its' customers and mine are less so). Just because mine is less flattering doesn't mean it is less true (I'm not convinced that there is much truth in either of our observations).

What makes you think Whirlpool or Samsung customers are less interested in "quality" or that those brands are do not want to be "better"?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 1:32AM
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I know someone in the appliance industry who sells all brands. He has been to Germany to see Miele manufactured first hand and told me NO one builds them like Miele.

He said if they would have a Miele and another brand opened up on the floor so people could see what's under the hood - those that could afford Miele would chose it.

There are components of Miele that far surpass the competition. I think that is just a fact.

Miele uses materials no one else does. It stands to reason that these components cost more so the end product will be more expensive.

For example, other washing machines have a concrete stabiliser to prevent vibration which can crack and hinder stability over time. The weight of the Miele cast iron cradle keeps the washing machine stable, even at high spin speeds.

Instead of just painting the casing like most others, which would result in just a thin film of protection, easily scratched and chipped (and with washing machines this can start rusting) the Miele casing has a coating of enamel. "Miele appliances have an enamel coating which is directly applied as a powder, and will not chip, rust or lose its colour in normal use." I've seen a video showing how impervious the Miele is to damage.

I could go on but I'm not here to sell a Miele. Just pointing out that YES indeed there are superior finishes on a Miele and yes they cost more.

This is the position (strategy) Miele is taking. They will use the best materials and build the best machine regardless of the end cost to consumers. If you can afford it, if that is important to you, you'll buy it.

I think other manufacturers need to appeal to a greater client base and therefore need to consider the end cost. I don't think they align themselves with inferiority but they have to produce a product more people can afford/want to afford. Something's got to give ...

I think there are those that buy it because they believe it is the best built and there are those who buy it because it's a "Miele". That's life.

I think stereotyping anyone who buys it is the mistake. We can’t speak for all Miele owners. We only know our own story.

I notice the OP hasn't chimed in with his actual information. His post is not credible to me if he can't substantiate what he's saying.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:19AM
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I'll stay out of the discussion of stereotyping appliance owners, but I will make one comment to the above statement.

You are making the [very common] mistake of confusing heavy-duty materials with "quality." I'll concede that Miele has heavy-gauge steel on the cabinets, solid hinge blocks, etc. that look far more impressive than most competitors. It should, after all, for the price. Does this mean your Miele is less prone to mechanical failure? Of course not: engineering design is a whole different science.

Another auto analogy: compare a Chevy/Dodge/Mercedes (pick your favorite brand) from the `70s with its 2011 counterpart. The metal in the older model is absurdly heavy duty in comparison. Every part looks to be 5, 6 or in some cases 10 times the gauge and/or mass of the current equivalent. I've often heard the comment "they don't make `em like they used to" in referring to this difference.

Does that mean that a 1970s car is better or more reliable than a current one? Well, I doubt anyone that has even the vaguest understanding of automobiles would argue that; modern autos are superior in assembly, quality, reliability and safety, and all the facts back that up.

In other words, "built like a tank" might make a difference if your intent was to routinely physically abuse the appliance, but in terms of mechanical reliability under routine use - what most people think of when referring to "quality" - it amounts to less than nothing.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Ooops, that last sentence above should read:

In other words, "built like a tank" might make a difference if your intent was to routinely physically abuse the appliance, but in terms of mechanical reliability under normal use - what most people think of when referring to "quality" - it amounts to less than nothing

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 1:52PM
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@dudleyfuddpucker... I don't agree at all. Miele manufactures the majority of components that go into its machines, and for the most part, avoid using 'off the shelf" components. I look at the build quality as an outward indication of Miele's commitment to quality. Judging by the build quality, I'm quite confident they put the same attention to quality and detail into their engineering.

Just open up one of these things and take a look at how thoughtfully everything is designed and laid out on the interior. You'd be hard pressed to cut your finger anywhere on the internals of a Miele machine. I can't say the same for even my Asko, which on the inside looked like a Pinto compared to my Miele.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 2:49PM
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A Pinto!!! Ha ha ha ha LOL

I have not thought of, nor even heard the word Pinto in SO long. My grandma had a yellow one, when she came from Germany, to live in Palm Springs. A Pinto!!!! ROFL

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 3:13PM
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sshrivastava, perhaps I neglected to mention: I've owned a few Miele washers. Granted, never the U.S. market models; I lived in Germany at the time so they were all Euro-spec models that I have not seen in any appliance store here. Many of my kitchen appliances were also Miele in my house (in the town of Bissendorf).

So yes, I am quite familiar with the brand. I'll leave my personal opinion of Miele out of the discussion, however, since I am trying to stick to an objective approach. I've also been to the factories in Warendorf, Lehrte and Unicov (CZ).

Thought I should clarify that since your comments indicate you think I have never laid hands (or eyes) on one.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 3:29PM
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No, I'm just saying that I'm quite impressed with the internal layout of my Miele washer and the attention to detail that went into its design and manufacture. That's all.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 3:43PM
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A couple of updates. Our dealer informed us that the replacement belt will not be in until next Monday and they will not schedule a service appt until AFTER they have it in their hands.

We are now on our 7th to 9th week (records from the first 8 months from memory thus the range) since owning these of their not working and our having to use a laundromat. This speaks volumes more about Miele product and service quality than all of the heavy duty this and design that. Neither Miele nor their dealer are stepping up to the plate on these lemons.

I sent an email to the owner of the dealer where we purchased our Meile's last Friday. I just received a read reply that it was deleted without being read.

The steam coming out of my ears could smooth out the wrinkles of 20 loads of laundry.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 4:31PM
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The new Miele Gallery in Ottawa is in my neighbourhood so I have dropped in on occasion to check out their products but I'm not the high-end appliance type, my needs can usually be met by something much more ordinary and affordable. I do own a Miele S2 and I am very happy with it. However I don't think my choice in vacuums makes me more discerning than a Dirt Devil owner - we probably just have different needs and priorities. A Dirt Devil may be of a lesser over all quality than my Miele S2 but that doesn't mean its' manufacturer is less interested in quality and innovation within the parameters it is manufacturing its product.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 5:07PM
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jsfox, I would be interested to know what exactly all these service calls have been for?

What could go wrong with both machines that many times in 2 years?? Not just one but both??

I know a few people who own them and have never had one issue over the last few years.

Larsi, LOL at your Pinto reaction. I had a long day and that laugh felt good :)

I didn't want to keep listing attributes of the Miele because I'm not 100% sure on some of the details but I think when you run down the list of things that "set Miele apart" what sshrivastava is saying is the point. It's not each individual piece but the whole picture that illustrates a well built product.

Each "heavy duty" compenent has a reason for being there(ie. concrete vs. cast iron).

Miele does not use the aluminum spider common to most other machines that corrodes and breaks.

Miele makes most of their own parts to control quality. For example, they say an "off the shelf hose would never do for Miele". A Miele hose is tested to handle 20 times the pressure that is required. I have no idea what other brands are doing.

The patented honeycomb drum - indented design maintains a constant cushion of water between your clothes and the drum, allowing for maximum, thorough washing; results proven better than hand washing.

They test their machines to last for at least 20 years. What are other manufacturers doing?

Can it have a mechanical failure? Sure it can. I read once that any brand has a failure rate of about 5%.

I think the point of Miele is how well is cares for fabrics and its longevity. Both of which, I think, relate back to how it's made.

I owned a Frigidaire front loader for 10 years prior to this Miele purchase in February. It worked for 10 years with no problems until the bearings gave out. I see now (that I have something to compare) that the Miele does a much better job washing and rinsing. I really notice the rinsing difference the most.

I guess time will tell how durable they are. I did get a free 10 year warranty with my machines so I'm worry free for 10 years anyway. I also live close to the Canadian head office so I'm not concerned about service.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 5:29PM
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@jsfox... thanks for checking back, but you didn't answer my question about your previous service calls. What were they for? We want to know because the number of service calls seems high. It would help to have some history on your prior issues.

@livebetter... you'll notice the honeycomb pattern is "inverted" in the dryer versus the washer. In the washer, the inside of the honeycomb pattern bulges up and into the interior of the washer. In the dryer, the same pattern is inverted and causes honeycomb indentations. The reasoning for this is that in the dryer, the inverted pattern allows for gentler drying with less surface area of the drum touching the clothes. In the washer, it results in far fewer drainage holes and fewer pulled threads.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 6:49PM
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Sorry bout that. Here's what I can remember. More when I get home.

7 - Broken dryer belt
6 -
5 - Blower self destructed (in to numerous pieces)
4 -
3 - Water pump not working
2 - Door on washer would not stay closed
1 - Extreme vibration after install (like shaking pics off walls)

There were two or three other service calls for things that did not impact our use like the dryer getting way too hot, slight leak from washer door, etc.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 8:16PM
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I don't understand why the OP is required to enumerate all of his problems in this thread?

If he were posting the exact same thing for a Samsung, would people be asking him the detailed history of his breakdowns?

With the advertizing Miele does about quality, durability and customer service and not to forget the price paid for the appliances, you would expect owners to be little more demanding than on a GE for example.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:58PM
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I don't blame you, I would be extremely disappointed if I were you. Even a low end brand should have provided better reliability than that. Makes me wounder if there isn't a lemon law in your state that could force Miele into replacing them for you regardless of how long it's been. With that said the original Miele large capacity machines were known for most of the problems you have listed. Most if not all of those problems have been remedied. I own the second generation of these machines and so far they have been solid. Miele had a major learning curve with these units. Unfortunately they were unable to anticipate all of the real world problems that came about. But I'd be willing to bet they learned a great deal and took it to heart.Mistakes never to be made again.

My point, even though I would be just as burnt as you, I wouldn't let it turn you off to the brand. Miele really does try to be the best of the best and for the most part they are. Though not perfect, they work very hard at trying to be. I own a few different Miele products and the quality comparisons to that of the appliances they replaced, well... there is none. It's a tall order I know, but If I were you I'd give them a second chance in the future. I think over the years to come you would grow to be fond of the company and any of their appliances you own. I do hope you consider Miele in the future.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 3:05AM
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Is it common in the appliance industry to have lousy customer service, even in these harsh times? I suspect so. Your Miele support sounds like my experience with Viking.

Yet Maytag's support of my Neptune washers and dryers was impressive, even though their product quality was lacking. Or especially since their product quality was lacking. And when you call Maytag customer support, they work out the resolution with you.

So, I'd say that customer support is a very big selling point when it comes to major appliances.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 3:09AM
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Forgot to add. There are two ongoing issues that my wife has simply accepted in the guise of getting on with life. 1) About every 3rd load the door on the washer opens enough to stop the cycle requiring her to open/shut it to get things going again (latch has be replaced, hinge has been replaced, seal has been replaced, sensor has been replaced). 2) The dryer still often gets extremely hot.

I understand 1st generation issues. Most companies step up to the plate on them, like Larsi says Miele did for her, Miele has not for us. What happens with 1st generation issues for people who buy the next Miele W&D?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 8:53AM
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mihai914, if he was posting about ANY other brand I would still want to know what possibly could go wrong that many times with his machines. I mean not just one machine but both??

I think the point of these forums is to share information. Not just for our current discussion but for people who will land here in the future while searching for information to their own problems.

The OP did not provide any information about what was going on with his machines. Once he did, other posters with more experience would be able to chime in and provide some insight (as Mieleforme did).

jsfox, I find your story really puzzling. I agree that a company that prides itself on quality and durability should be concerned that you are having SO many issues.

Have you tried putting pressure on Miele directly to take some ownership for an obvious lemon? Go all the way to the top - the squeaky wheel as they say.

Your situation would enrage me to serious action. Calm, controlled rage mind you ;) I would go all the way to the president of Miele USA.

I was told once, by someone who worked in customer service for a large home improvement chain, that customers who yelled and screamed got what they wanted (even if it was against policy) because they wanted them out of the store (so as not to influence anyone else). If done right, I think this tactic can work.

I can't believe Miele wouldn't want to at least work with you to resolve the situation (but I could be wrong). It makes no sense for them to leave you with such a bad experience. Clearly Miele Canada and Miele USA are run very differently.

I posted this on your other thread but I'll repost it here. Can you not throw this information at Miele USA and show how Miele Canada clearly takes care of its customers?

"It's 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve, 2008. A woman in the GTA is making Christmas dinner when her cooktop stops working. She calls the manufacturer, Miele Canada, but is told that no technicians are available. So she tracks down the home number of the company's president, Jan Heck, and asks him if there's anything he can do. Heck calls the warehouse to locate a new cooktop, and has it delivered and installed in time for her dinner.

That story illustrates the advantages of the new business model launched in September by the Canadian subsidiary of the German appliance maker, which has been operating here since 1988. It's called the Miele Chartered Agent (MCA) system, and it turns the company from a manufacturer into something of a retailer as well. Customers still buy its refrigerators, stoves, laundry machines, dishwashers, coffee makers and vacuums at stores like The Brick, now known as authorized chartered agents, but Miele handles the delivery, installation and service. It's a system designed not only to improve the efficiency of the process but also to establish a closer relationship with the consumer. "It's revolutionary," says Heck, who joined Miele Canada 10 years ago after working in food processing for other German companies in Canada. "Because you're dealing directly with the manufacturer, there's no wholesaler, retailer or distributor involved. So it's quality control, not just from a product point of view but all the way to making sure the customer is satisfied. And if something goes wrong, we control that process too, so the customer doesn't get the runaround."

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele - The Buck Stops Here

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 9:55AM
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Is the OP not dealing with a Mile tech? Weird.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:10AM
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Is the OP not dealing with a Miele tech? Weird.I have to ask the same question. We went through many of the same issues as the OP, but did get to a resolution on each matter. All the Miele's techs we dealt with were very informative. The first-generation of these units were a bit iffy, and in hindsight Miele likely regrets releasing them as they did, but this is competitive market and Miele doing nothing would have meant fewer sales (as was already happening with their 220V units).

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 12:50PM
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The Miele warranty is only for one year. We purchased these to replace a Maytag W&D we'd purchased 3 years prior from this same dealer. The Maytag's had experienced numerous service problems culminating in one that we were told would cost more to fix (and we were outside the Maytag warranty) than to replace the unit. The dealer told us they would throw in the Miele extended warranty. What we got was not the Miele extended warranty, but a 3rd party extended warranty.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 2:21PM
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Did your dryer undergo the recall that Miele had (actually there were two)? One was regarding select serial numbers where the gas elbow connector (on the back of the unit) was over-torqued by a zealous Miele factory worker, and the last one was the firmware, and the filter screen (this model series has undergone four (4) different filter screens). Both are free to you, and should have been performed by a Miele technician. While at your residence they could have updated your washer's firmware (for free too, plus, Miele throws-in free laundry products for your inconvenience). For us, Miele has been flexible about issues that they know of regarding their unit--even though said units are out-of-warranty Miele will make a judgment call, and do the right thing if necessary. Now, I could have made a big stink about what we went through, which was very similar to what you have experienced, but I am a process oriented person and enjoyed learning more about the product lineup so working with Miele's techs was an enjoyable prospect, for me.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 2:53PM
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Yes, we've had all of the recall/updates done. I too find it interesting talking to the more knowledgeable techs, in particular the original ones who were Miele employees. Unfortunately Miele outsourced their consumer product service a few months after we purchased ours and the new techs were not nearly as knowledgeable nor are the current dealer techs.

HOWEVER, what is very uninteresting to me is taking time to haul laundry over to a laundromat every time these things aren't working for a week or two and having to rearrange my work schedule to meet service techs at a 'time convenient to them', sometime in a three or four hour window and often twice for each problem.

For what they charge for these Miele should insure a MUCH higher level of service, particularly with machines that have chronic problems. Thus far Miele has not stepped up to the plate. My dealer contacted them again today so we'll see what the outcome is.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 5:12PM
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Before contemplating new units I would contact Miele to discuss what has transpired. Maybe Miele will work something out with you on this situation. As early adopters we did have to endure more than the current owners. I'd give it a try.

P.S. I believe that your dryer's belt failure was owed to the thicker felt drum gasket that was initially installed on the dryers. Ours was replaced for free as a measure against what happened to your belt.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 5:36PM
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@ jsfox

Thanks for letting us know the problems you've had. I asked for your list or problems because many times people come in here saying how terrible a product is over minor issues that are common to most brands. However, your issues are serious and should not be tolerated from a brand such as Miele.

I'll share with you an experience I had with Dacor. I bought one of their expensive Discovery ovens about 6 years ago. The dealer had to replace the oven four times due to enamel chipping on the interior of the oven. I was so fed up over the issue that I contact Dacor's executive offices and told them of my problems. Within a few days they put one of their technicians in a pickup truck with a brand new, hand picked oven to deliver to my house in Arizona and install it for me. I also received about $200 in complementary items for my trouble (roasting rack, pizza stone, etc).

Given the fact that some of the issues you are having are common to owners of the first generation 4840, and these problems were subsequently fixed in the 4842, I would ask Miele to replace your units for brand new ones. You should be nothing less than thrilled with your Miele product, which is clearly not the case here. Miele needs to step up and fix this, and I recommend you make a lot of noise with Miele until they give you what you want - new units.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 7:22PM
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Update. Tech came out yesterday to install the new belt. Last week I�d been told that the soonest they could install the new belt was this Friday (22 Apr) which would have been 17 days since it broke. A call to the president of our dealer on Wed at least got it moved up to yesterday, 12 days (and two weekends) from it breaking.

The old belt was very chewed up in three places other than where it broke and there was a lot of black rubber dust inside the cabinet around the motor. Tech said that he couldn�t see anything abnormal or that would have caused it to get so chewed up. At least two the chewed up spots happened prior to it breaking as the damaged rubber was compressed.

Got the new belt installed and all seemed well. About 25 minutes in to the second load we heard a very loud rumble and vibration from the dryer that lasted about 90 seconds. Same on the third load.

So, after all of these service calls, each requiring me to arrange my schedule to be at home during a three to four hour period, we have a dryer that rumbles loudly about once per load and a washer with a door that won�t stay closed.

Expect to hear back from dealer today on their discussions with Miele about my request to replace them.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 11:47AM
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Are you dealing with an actual Miele tech or a third-party? For the life of me I do not understand why they have not replaced the felt drum gasket with the revised gasket. Which lint filter do you have?

After all that my wife and I have undergone we have great working first-generation models of this series. There is no reason why you cannot attain the same.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:40PM
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The felt drum gasket was replaced a year or two ago. The lint filter was replaced, the blower was replaced (after exploding in to about 20 pieces), the heat/humidity sensor was replaced. On the washer the door latch was replaced, the hinge was replaced, the drum seal was replaced, the water pump was replaced, the door latch & hinge were adjusted, Software updates have been done, adjustments to software have been made.

We are dealing with our local Miele dealer as the Miele warranty was only one year (see above). The dealer has contacted Miele about replacing these. No word yet from Miele.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 3:06PM
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Since you've undergone all that then I'm in the "Miele should replace both of your units with newer model series" camp.

Time will tell how long our units will provide the level of service that they currently do. I'm not looking forward to future issues other than normal wear and tear. If we do encounter major issues then I will start the review process for new replacement units and Miele will have to go on the list to be reviewed as they were when we first purchased. We're not brand centric with our purchasing power, and that applies to everything we purchase.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 4:02PM
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jsfox, can you not go to Miele directly? Even if the warranty is expired I would give them a piece of my mind re: the lousy experience you've had. I wouldn't rely on your dealer.

I would get the name of the president of Miele USA (I know in Canada it is Jan Heck and he's big on customer service) and send him a detailed account of your experience.

I would also tell him you've been sharing it with the online community. It would be good if Miele gave you a happy ending to this story to share online.

With the age of technology many people are online researching their purchases and stories like yours would make someone gun-shy of Miele's high prices.

It sounds to me like that many issues are completely unacceptable from Miele. I can't believe they wouldn't agree.

What do you have to lose?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 4:10PM
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@ jsfox

Don't rely on your dealer, please contact Miele directly and explain the situation to them. If these series of problems started when you were under the 1 year warranty, and those problems persisted, then I don't see why a call to Miele can't fix this quickly and with far less hassle with your dealer.

Also, you should never purchase an extended warranty from a 3rd party unless that 3rd party is authorized by Miele. Simply having your units installed by authorized Miele installers give you an automatic 2 year warranty (1 year extension on factory warranty). If that's the case here, you may have an additional year that you're not aware of.

As far as Miele is concerned, you should be contacting them directly for replacements. The 12-day turnaround on your repair is more due to your dealer and their "extended warranty" than Miele. I've had Miele come out once for my dishwasher while it was under warranty and had the service completed within 48 hours. The service appointment was scheduled directly through Miele.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:13PM
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Sshrivastava, I agree on the warranty. This was supposed to be a Miele extended warranty but what we received was the 3rd party and due to our travel schedules at the time neither my wife or I had time to get it corrected.

Update: Miele have agreed to swap out our T9820 dryer for a T9822 that should fix the dryer issues. That's good. Unfortunately they want their tech (actually their own 3rd party service company - AMA) to look at our washer. Getting tired of service calls, but agreed. We'll see what happens.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 5:07PM
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jsfox - that's good news. You may end up with two new machines and hopefully years of trouble free service.

You're happy about that right?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 5:12PM
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Livebeter's post made me lol. I wanted to ask that too.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 7:56AM
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I'm surprised you have had trouble with Miele's service. I purchased an oven 8 months ago with temperature issues from the start. After two service calls with no improvement, a Miele customer service supervisor called and said they were shipping a new oven to their test center. They will perform additional tests on the new oven to ensure it works properly and then ship directly to me. Can't beat that.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 1:20PM
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Livebetter, et al, Yes, I'm happy about that. The dealer installed the new dryer about 12 days ago. So far so good. Perhaps the best thing is that the heat sensor finally seems to work correctly and clothes are too hot to touch.

Miele's service company (AMA) comes out Wed to look at the washer. We'll see what happens.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 10:22PM
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