De Dietrich disappointment (not)

When we bought our current house we had the kitchen redone –  matter of some urgency since the existing one was outright dangerous.  We decided to dig deep and have a really nice kitchen, with prestige brand appliances (mostly Kuppersbusch).  Their ovens and hob have worked brilliantly – and I can heartily recommend induction hobs – I wouldn’t use anything else now if I had an option.

The same was not true for the dishwasher which was an early failure and warrenty replacement.  Ditto the built-in microwave though that managed to fail a month after the warranty expired, with a dead magnetron which costs more to replace than the ‘entire unit cost!  It was really a rebadged Bosch, and wasn’t that large internally.  In June ’06 we decided to go for a De Dietrich replacement  – The DME555XE12 (really made by them as far as I can work out) –

It’s a great microwave, as you’d hope for nearly £600, but reliability has not been its strong point.  During the first year it had a problem and failed to start when the door was shut, and that turned out to be a blown control board that took a couple of weeks to replace.  Earlier this year (after the 2 year warranty expired) a door contact switch failed, with the same effect that the machine wouldn’t start.  £100 later it was fixed … but it’s just stopped AGAIN with the same basic fault.  Not the door switches this time since I’ve just opened it and checked them.  So, I guess it might be another blown control board.  That it should go twice – indeed that we have the same basic fault of not recognising a shut door three times over I find very frustrating.  I don’t think I am alone here – e.g. see this comment from the trade on reliability – maybe that’s why they now have a standard 5 year warranty on more expensive lines!

There are two ways this can go now.  My hope is that De Dietrich will recognise, as other premium suppliers do, that their reputation is worth enough that multiple similar issues in one device justify them at the very least fixing it free, if not replacing the entire unit (we are bored of the failures).  We had this on a Volvo that Sa used to have – there was a silly failure of a brake control computer, and they paid a lot of the cost to avoid the bad taste in our mouths.  It made a difference then, and would now – we’d come away thinking that their products are usually great, but if you do have an issue they look after you.

The second way is for them to just insist we spend another £100 (more than basic combi microwaves cost all up!) to fix the same fault again.  Given the number of repeat faults, we wouldn’t fix it, nor would I ever buy a De Dietrich appliance again.

Either way I’ll update this post, so it will be a record of good customer reponse, or a perminantly googleable record of the irritation.

UPDATE.  I got through to a very helpful bloke at De Dietrich (Bill).  He said that he’d be surprised if it was a control board, but whatever it was, he’d supply the parts free of charge.  He also noted that there was some requirements about door interlocks that meant if they shut even slightly wrong a fuse had to blow (to stop people trying to use a knife to run it open, or similar I guess.).  So, if I was competent, it would be worth checking the fuse.  I did, and it was blown.  So, having fixed it it now works great again.  I also managed to stop it buzzing, by slightly bending the top panel so it was pre-stressed in onew direction.  Net position – I’m pleased.  THey did the right thing, and the reliability issue is probably more about the kids slamming thE microwave door!

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One Response to De Dietrich disappointment (not)

  1. Mark Wakeling says:

    Too bad about the boutique microwave.

    I am still using a hand-me-down microwave that my parents first bought in the early eighties. It is from some unknown and probably defunct brand. It hasn’t put a foot wrong in 25 years, there are two settings, ‘defrost’ and ‘cook’ and a large dial timer, very simple and it is really only these controls that you need in my opinion.

    No doubt large quantities of deadly radiation escape from the unit, but I’ve not noticed any ill-effects so far (apart my third eye that first apeared in 1992).

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