Miele Refusing to Honor Warranty on Washer 4840

bluehorizonMay 15, 2007

Three months ago I bought the newly released Miele washer W 4840 and dryer T 9800. Because of the Gardenweb threads here concerned with loud dryer noise and the fact that these appliances were new models in the US, the store I was buying them from called Miele to make sure Miele would offer a 90-day return policy. This Miele guarantee is stated on my invoice: "miele 90 day return policy in effect".

One month ago I had a problem with the washer, and then a few weeks later the washer got stuck at 14 minutes. I went upstairs and came back an hour later and it was still working away at the 14-minute mark. Service offered to come and rectify the problem by installing a new control panel, but I decided to exercise the 90 day return policy rather than be stuck with a lemon appliance costing almost $2000 that I would constantly have to worry about. It could even be a potential fire hazard if it had kept running at 14 minutes "forever" and I had left home for the weekend.

I went back to the store and told them my story. They called Miele and Miele agreed to take it back, since it was within 90 days. Paperwork was faxed back and forth; I left the store a pleased customer.

But the next day, Miele called back to refuse to honor the buy back since I had failed to mail in my warranty card. I pointed out that this was not a legal reason to void a warranty. Miele called back and said that might be true for regular warranties, but this was a condition of MieleÂs special "90 day return policy". Miele is standing behind this as their excuse for not taking back my brand new Miele washer W4840, defective or not.

The store has continued to try and resolve this with Miele, pointing out to Miele that I had been a high-end user of Miele appliances of all sorts for years. Why would they hurt their brand like this? What is to be gained by refusing to honor the clear perception implied by: "miele 90 day return policy in effect"?

As of today, I still have no resolution of this problem with Miele. If I hadnÂt saved my old washer, I would have had no washing machine for two weeks now. I feel inclined to send back my Miele dryer too at this point and boycott all Miele appliances, from vacuum to laundry to kitchen. All the great design and product engineering in the world wonÂt save a company when they start treating customers like this. I canÂt believe it.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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I don't really understand why you don't give them a chance to fix the washer. If they told you that the regular warranty isn't affected by not mailing in the card then they have to come out and fix your washer free of charge. I belive that after so many failed tries of fixing a certain problem you have the right to switch it for a new one, don't you?
I have heard before that Miele has a no-return-policy here in the U.S. and I guess it is because they have to import all the machines from Germany. It shouldn't be a big problem unless you have vibration problems and can't keep using the machine. I think you should give them a chance to fix your washer before you take any drastic steps like boycotting all Miele products.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 2:21PM
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Did you get any paperwork with your purchase that describes the terms of the warranty? Did the Miele dealer explain the terms to you?
If you didn't get the terms of the warranty in advance, how could you comply with the terms? If your answer is no to both of these questions, then Miele may be trying to make it impossible for you to comply, thereby getting away with it. And that is not legal.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 2:55PM
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I don't follow Miele's business practices so I don't know but I can't believe that there is a no return policy on an appliance that costs what a Miele does.

I agree, I can't believe that they would be hard nosed especially with someone who has been a long standing customer but you never know.

Good luck

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 6:49PM
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What happened the first time you had a problem with the washer? Did you have service come look at your washer if so what was the issue?

Being that Miele has this 90 Day Return policy I'm sure that they back their products 100% when the procedure is properly followed. Maybe a more productive way of approaching this would be to have a Miele Certified Technican repair your unit.

Curious!! Why did you keep your old washer?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 10:00PM
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Sorry, not to doubt your word....but something doesn't sound quite right to me.

I've been a satisfied Miele customer for many years. My experience has been that Miele goes to great lengths to ensure customer satisfaction. In one situation, Miele even chose to ignore warranty terms for me, just to figure out a question I had with a dishwasher.

The fact that you didn't send in a warranty registration card seems as though it wouldn't be material if you have dated receipts from an authorized dealer. There just wouldn't be any question of purchase date if you had receipts.

Something here doesn't add up. The OP seems to me to be a rather obvious canard.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 1:30AM
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Thank you for your posts. I agree that Miele's behavior here is contrary to my own experience over 20 years. But this is the situation I find myself in.

Why do I have a 2nd washing machine? When I moved into this beach house a few yrs ago I decided to be economical and buy a Sears front loader to go with the dryer that the house came with. It functioned, but I came to hate it and it certainly didn't wash my whites the way a Miele does. When the existing dryer died in February, I decided to use the opportunity to get a new matching pair of Mieles. I decided that the expense would be worth it. (I even have a Miele mangle.) At the moment, I regret my belief that Miele would deliver a better product with no headaches. I had kept the Sears frontloader to give to someone this summer, since it was in perfect condition and only a few years old. Lucky for me, or I would be going to a laundromat for the first time in my life.

As I said, if the brand starts to worry more about bean counting than customer care, this kind of experience should certainly make everyone look more closely at all the competition. You can wonder about my story with skepticism, as I would. But this is how I have been spending my weeks in the middle of everything else: trying to get this resolved.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 8:10AM
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In my mind any of our views and the actions we would personally take vis-a-vis having a technican repair vs. returning the item are immaterial to the problem the OP is having. If all the facts are as reported it's seems clear that Miele is refusing to uphold a contractual obligation they agreed to. I didn't hear anything about Miele requiring a repair attempt before accepting a return. If Miele doesn't like the terms and conditions now, they should have thought better than to offer it in the first place. If Miele is hiding behind this possibly undocumented requirement about the return of a warranty card, it is not giving me much comfort about their business ethics, fairness and a true concern for their customers. I'll be one of the first to sing the praises of good design aspects I see in Miele products, but this kind of corporate behavior is unacceptable.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 9:35AM
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Of course none of us can know what all of the facts are but this sounds very reasonable to me.

If the facts of the original post are true it sounds as if the store has also been trying to work things out with Miele.

Best of luck Blue.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 11:46AM
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Sorry, but I'm still rather skeptical about the original posting. To my personal knowledge, Miele always stands behind their products and obligations.

It always strikes me as odd when these types of postings are made by new posters on the very day that they create their Garden Web account -- particularly when they allude to having been following various Miele related threads here for months. Something isn't adding up.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 12:14PM
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As a thoughtful, skeptical, researching kind of person I understand the suspicions of some posters. But I hope the focus will stay on the problem. I would be happy to post the store name where I bought the washer/dryer and the contact info for the incredibly helpful salesman who has watched in disbelief as this unfolded. He has told Miele the store may pull their Miele products if this isn't resolved.

I did do my own thorough research before purchasing these new large Mieles, and it is easy to read these Gardenweb threads without participating via written response. This thread was even noted by the international consumersearch.com as an especially avid group of laundry product users. Google makes very local conversation potentially global. I went into the Miele showroom with the thread about the vastly noisy dryer printed out in my hand. This was even the impetus for the 90 day buy back guarantee, I think. Miele does listen to what happens here.

I signed up the day I posted because I am not an online thread conversation kind of person. I think this is only the second time I have ever been in a kind of chat room forum. The other time was for a medical treatment. It just isn't my thing. But I am at a loss as to how to get some resolution. This is a democratic way for the little person to fight back when corporations act like a Kafka novel.

It is always easier to believe something is amiss with the report, until it happens to you. My goal here is to resolve the problem. How can I most effectively make that happen?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 2:23PM
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It is Thursday morning, and Miele just called the store I am dealing with to say they will take back my washer after all. I will post a final note to document how this all turns out.

Thank you for listening.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 9:08AM
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bluehorizon - I'm sorry this happened. It did sound atypical for Miele from my own experience and I'm glad that it will work out. I wish I had purchased a Miele W/D (I have a Bosch set, and their customer service is abysmal) but I do have a Miele DW. When it was installed, it was making incredible noise and I immediately called my regional Miele rep, who called his district manager. This was on a weekend and they both promised me that they would take care of it and if I wasn't satisfied, they would get me a new machine. As it turns out, it was an error in our plumbing independent of the machine or its installation, so we had a little party with my contractor, his plumber, the Miele installation tech, and the Miele regional rep all standing around cooing. I would give them another chance with a replacement machine if I were in your shoes because I would know they would make sure that you would be satisfied. Good luck and please keep us posted!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 12:38PM
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Well...Seems like everything is going to work out for you. Good Luck and Happy Laundring!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 3:19PM
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That sounds great; it sounds like things are on their way to working out.

Best of luck.

Hi James,

I know where you are coming from too; there are trolls to be sure.

Hope things are going well for you in your new locale.

Best of luck to you as well.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 5:46PM
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My experience with Miele customer service has been first rate. My experience with Dacor customer service has also been first rate. You get what you pay for.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 5:54PM
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