November 21, 2014

Appliances Don’t Last a Lifetime, Neither Does the Warranty

It used to be, back in our parents and grandparents time, that a large appliance was a once in a lifetime purchase.  The white, round cornered refrigerator in your great-Aunt’s kitchen was the one she got for Christmas the first year she was married and it was the only one she ever needed.

Boy have times, and appliances changed.  Today, you might get nine years out of your dishwasher and microwave, ten from your washer, and if you’re lucky thirteen out of your dryer and refrigerator.  We’ve detailed the average lifespan in this article if you’d like find out about a specific appliance.

The other issue today is the reduced warranties that the manufacturers are now providing.  Gone are the extended warranties on components.  Now one year is all that is being given.  Not only that, but the service from these manufacturers has declined as well.

Hometownlife.com reports that a reader called to report that her 12-year-old dishwasher ran all night. Her husband turned it on when they went to bed around 10 p.m., and when she walked into the kitchen at 7 a.m., it was still running. She opened the door and the blast of heat was like opening an oven door. She called the manufacturer who sent out a service technician who couldn’t tell her why the dishwasher didn’t shut off. The manufacturer then told her they couldn’t do a thing for her because it was well out of warranty and besides that, they told her the average life span of the dishwasher was six years. They offered her $50 towards the purchase of a new dishwasher provided it was their brand.

Although the dishwasher was not new, one should expect that it would at the least run safely and that the response from the manufacturer would be more helpful.

Here’s a second situation:

“I am having a problem with my Jenn Air oven. It is a double oven. It is also a convection oven. It was manufactured in 1996. The past two nights the bottom oven has been turning on by itself. This morning the bottom oven broiler was on. I called Jenn Air and a service tech is coming out. Jenn Air will pay for the diagnosis but says that the oven is no longer under warranty.”

A person’s home is their haven; they should feel safe there.  Do we have to lie awake at night wondering whether the oven is going to turn itself on and set the house afire?  An appliance should enhance and simplify your life, not add to your list of worries and stresses.