Domestic appliance unreliability

For as long as we have been able to we have tried to buy high-end domestic appliances. The logic we have used is that they last longer (so cost less/use), and importantly that the hassle if they break down is considerable, and the money spent would mean breakdowns were less frequent. An example that makes us feel it sensible is our current washing machine (a Miele), which has run without any issues at all for a decade.

We used the same logic when we had our kitchen done. We spend a lot of money, in part to make sure that the appliances were really good. the plan has not been successful – in fact, to the point where I question the strategy.

The first dishwasher, despite being a top of the range bosch lasted only a couple of months and after a couple of goes by inept service technicians had to be completely replaced.

The first built-in microwave lasted 2 years and 2 months (on a 2 year warranty). It was branded Kuppersbuch (a high-end oven maker – supplier of our hobs and ovens) – but was in fact also a bosch when you dug deeper. The magnatron had blown, and that effectively meant a replacement. We replaced with a De Dietrich which is the best manufacturer we could find (that actually make their own, anyway). It lasted 10 months before the control-board died … fortunately in warranty this time.

The fridge is also branded Kuppersbusch, though is a rebadged Maytag when you look harder. Although no normal fridge functions have failed, it has an ice-maker, and the solenoid that allows ice out has failed twice (at £100/time just for parts). We couldn’t even find someone to service that, though when I looked at it it wasn’t that hard to do.

And this weekend the new microwave has broken again, in exactly the same way as last time, so it’s back to the menders, this time out of warranty (though it’s only 8 months since it was last fixed, so I might argue the toss).

Rationally, I know the strategy is sound, but this is starting to get frustrating!

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One Response to Domestic appliance unreliability

  1. I totally share the frustration. In my first year of living in England, I had my boiler, fridge, washing machine, tumble dryer, computer, cordless phone and internet connection all pack up. Sometimes multiple times (like with the tumble dryer). With the average lead time for a service person to show up being about 3 weeks.

    I think of this (probably unfairly) as an idiosyncratic British phenomenon. No comparable epidemic of breakdowns hit me when I lived in either India or the USA. And service people in India and the USA typically show up the day you call for help.

    I really glad I played safe on car brands and stuck with a Toyota and a Honda instead of experimenting with something more glamourous and risky.

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