Washington, DC: A new survey by Consumer Reports shows that mid-range appliance brands are often more reliable than many high-end brands such as Thermador and Viking.
On Monday, Consumer Reports released highlights from its "Annual Products Reliability Survey." The full survey will be published in the magazine's May issue.
Thermador gas rangesHigh-End Brand No Guarantee
Interestingly, Consumer Reports found that high-end brands of major kitchen appliance are more prone to need repair early in their life-span. Thermador, Dacor, Viking and Jenn-Air rank among the least reliable brands of major cooking appliances as identified by Consumer Reports readers.
Consumer Reports found that 33% of consumers' Viking gas ranges and at least 15% of Thermador, Dacor and Viking gas cook tops were repaired or had an unrepairable problem between 2002 and 2006.
According to the report, Whirlpool, Kenmore and GE "prove to be safe bets for major appliance shoppers," having relatively low repair rates across a variety of appliances, including electric and gas ranges, ovens, refrigerators, washers and driers.
Results are based on more than 950,000 Consumer Reports reader responses to the magazine's online and paper survey. Because consumers own more than one type of product in the same category, the entire Consumer Reports study contains more than 5.1 million product reports.
Thermador: A Host of Problems
There are reports that some Thermador Gas Ranges PRG366US are defective due to problems with the patented simmer control potentiometer, igniter switch and motherboard, which could result in safety hazards. Owners of Thermador gas ranges have reported to consumeraffairs.com that they have also had difficulty getting replacement parts through the company.
In 2002, BSH Home Appliance Corp. voluntarily recalled 2,460 Thermador gas ranges. The recall was initiated because of a burn hazard to customers caused by the venting of hot air below the small oven, which caused the metal surface of the door to heat up.
The Cost to Consumers
A new Thermador unit can cost more than $5,000. Range repair costs can be as high as $400, and units may require repeated repairs. Some repair services have advised consumers to purchase an extended warranty for their Thermador units - at an additional cost of $450-$500.
While the Consumer Reports verdict is clear, many consumers will probably continue to buy high-end appliances because of their status. As Laura Ries, principal in the Ries & Ries branding consultancy told Marketing Daily: "McDonald's coffee came out better than Starbucks in another Consumer Reports survey - but the perception of Starbucks as superior is so firmly entrenched that McDonald's would find it extremely difficult to overcome."
By Anne Borden
Thermador and Other High-End Brands are Less Reliable than Mid-Range Appliances
Posted 28 April 2007 - 01:24 AM
Posted 28 April 2007 - 04:42 AM
"McDonald's coffee came out better than Starbucks in another Consumer Reports survey - but the perception of Starbucks as superior is so firmly entrenched that McDonald's would find it extremely difficult to overcome."
To think that my town has a private bakery shop, where you get a cup of coffee, a croissant, and a wiener pastry for €2,50... the coffee is always fresh, and the cups are more ergonomic. And they never complain that they would have to raise their prices for any reason. And nobody regards them as a high end coffee shop in any sense.
- Ken Olson, Digital Equipment Corporation (1977)
Posted 28 April 2007 - 03:01 PM
Posted 28 April 2007 - 11:29 PM
I agree with your other observations about poorly-trained techs and impoper installations, but I have personally seen lots and lots of issues with Thermador an Viking in particular (the subject brands in the article) that are nothing less that poor quality and/or design flaws. Thermador is especially bad about orphaning products and leaving people stuck with a $4,000 wall oven for which you can't even buy a replacement ERC (just one recent example that comes to mind).
My only complaint with the article is not its factual basis or claims-- it's, "What the hell took 'em so long to finally publish the obvious?"
Posted 29 April 2007 - 09:33 AM
Posted 30 April 2007 - 02:26 PM
Fortunately for us servicers, affluent consumers will continue to purchase high end appliances because they think they are buying the best. Since high end appliances cost a premium, consumers will be keeping them longer and getting them repaired more often than the everyday runt of the mill brands.
It is what it is, the way I look at appliances (and cars) the more expensive it is when you purchase it, the more expensive it will be to repair it in the future.
Posted 01 May 2007 - 10:46 AM
This means that they are nice machines when they run, but they get electrical gremlins over time and aren't the easiest to repair. Just funny to me how a less reliable machine can cost more because it looks better, that goes for Bosch, Dacor, Sub-Zero, BMW, and Mercedes.
Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:37 AM
Posted 01 May 2007 - 12:52 PM
Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:43 AM
Cadillac Catera - now that's a piece of junk. Really made by Opel, brought to the US by GM and rebadged as a Cadillac. Break down all the time. Parts are nearly impossible to find, and take a long time to ship here. Maybe this is the LG of cars???
Posted 16 June 2007 - 01:44 PM
True... you don't always get what you pay for, but on the flip side, sometimes you do. As a salesperson, I always find humor in people who insist on buying cheap crap, then complain because it broke on them in just a few years. No kidding... that's what cheap crap does!
Yup, roger that Econo Appliance. You don't always get what you pay for.
Mind you, there are some cheap gems out there. The trouble is knowing where to look.
Posted 08 November 2009 - 01:43 AM
[at this moment I am attempting to fix an expensive crap Thermador stove - simmer burner problem that appears to be pandemic - so have little sympathy for expensive crap]
Posted 08 November 2009 - 09:49 AM
As far as Consumer Reports goes...
Posted 09 November 2009 - 01:47 AM
Posted 09 November 2009 - 04:33 PM
For service manuals and lots of other goodies, become an Apprentice ==> Apprenticeship
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