We purchased a set of Superba stainless steel appliances as part of a home remodeling project in fall 2002. This was after buying a Superba dishwasher some years earlier with some success. The range has given minor trouble - control failures, most of which seem to result from water vapor getting into the glass touch-screen control panel, a control knob that shorted, and a burned out heating element. However the mother of all problems is the refrigerator, which we bought for its looks - easily the best looking, inside and out, of any major manufacturer.
The refrig. has had problems cooling from the time it was new. Briefly, it cools by admitting cold air from the freezer section through a thermostatically controlled flap in the top rear of the dividing wall between the refrigerator and freezer. THIS EXACT DESIGN IS USED BY WHIRLPOOL, KITCHENAID, MANY KENMORE SIDE-BY-SIDE MODELS, AND SOME LG MODELS. The flap mechanism seems to ice up and stop working. At that point it can't control cooling. In our case, we noticed that milk would go bad.
Several service calls went by, during which we were told there was no problem. Eventually (after warranty expiration) another service call resulted in replacement of a control board (about $300). Only much later did we learn from a service tech that the problem was the temp. control flap "valve".
In 2006, just before its fourth birthday, the plumbing inside the fridge let go, flooding our kitchen and basement ($15,000 in damage, including replacing he kitchen floor). The service tech explained that the plastic tubing that feeds the icemaker and water dispenser had slipped out of a fitting under the unit. He replaced the fitting. I contacted KitchenAid and was told they had never heard of this problem. I kept moving up the KitchenAid organization but got the same answer all the way up the line - the attitude was basically this was not their problem.
A year later (2007), the refrigerator blew the same tubing fitting again, and again flooded the kitchen. This time the insurance company's engineer came in to look at it. He discussed with the service tech that had replaced the fitting the year before, and suggested this was a design or manufacturing defect. I contacted KitchenAid again, and again got the stonewalling from their people. Needless to say, we did not connect the unit up to water again. The ice dispenser does make a convenient ice bucket for the bags of ice we get at the store.
By January 2009, the temperature control was working erratically again, and all the fixes our tech had shown us (let it defrost, warm it up, etc., were not working. Time to bring in the service man again! This time, he said the flap/control mechanism was shot, and we needed to replace it. He stuck a pencil in the flap to keep it open while he ordered the part, so the fridge section could cool down. The part was another $250 (don't remember whether this included installation).
Finally, in June, the unit stopped working completely. Another visit from the service technician confirmed that the compressor had blown. He recommended we junk the fridge and stat. We have contacted KitchenAid again, but have not started to deal with their rigmarole yet. Went shopping for a new refrigerator today, and learned that our unit's design is shared by KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag and some LG models - same parts, same systems, just different doors.
I'm now looking for any brand refrigerator that has nothing to do with KitchenAid/Whirlpool. At the high end, KitchenAid sells in the same price range as "expensive" brands like Electrolux (hopefully they are not Whirlpool too).
The KitchenAid approach to customer service is beyond useless. It seems to be part of their business process to simply deny that any problem with their appliance is their problem. They will bump you around from one person to another, all the way up to the "executive offices" (probably another desk at the call center, since the person I spoke to knew nothing about the products and seemed to be just following the same script as everyone else there.
Whirlpool makes a big song and dance about being an American product (most of their refrigerators, including the KitchenAid, are now assembled in Mexico - I think mine was still made here). They also do a pretty convincing sales job on commitment to quality (did you know their door bins are guaranteed for life??). When it comes to actually standing behind their product, good luck - these people will give you nothing but excuses.
Epilogue: These people actually made a good product and backed it, once. I own a Whirlpool refrigerator that has served us faithfully since 1986 - it's probably seen a repairman twice. They even had a "cool line" back then, staffed by people who could actually tell you how the fridge worked, and even how to fix it. Maybe with the downturn they will finally go bankrupt and sell out to Lucky Gold Star (LG) or some other Asian firm. It can't be worse.
MAITLAND, MISSOURI -- Our built-in refrigerator began leaking freon. I called a repairman when it would not stay cold and ruined everything in our fridge. After coming twice the repairman said it was leaking in the walls of the fridge and was not repairable. Shortly after that I realized it was still under warranty. Upon calling KitchenAid they consulted with the authorized repairman and agreed that yes this very expensive refrigerator was under warranty but not repairable. Their solution for me was that they would replace it with the only thing comparable to it which was about a $9000 built in.
The catch was that since mine was nearing the end of its warranty. After prorating it I was still going to have to pay $4,400!!! Why should I have to pay for something that is under warranty but they cannot fix? By the way when they figured the prorating it was based on MSRP which nobody in their right mind would pay! I talked to ** in the built in department, and he was rude, could not sufficiently answer my questions and would not even pay for the repairman coming out either and it was under warranty. He would not let me talk to anyone over him and would not take care of the problem which was theirs to take care of.
I have been pleased with K/A in the past and have a kitchen full of their products. But after being treated like this I would not recommend them to anyone. I am not talking about a $500 dollar throw away fridge. It is a $9000 fridge!!! I don't mind an expensive appliance breaking down if the company will stand behind their warranty. But if the warranty means I have to spend $4400 to rectify the problem the warranty is a junk! If you don't have good customer service you got nothing.
I own a 7 year old KitchenAid 42" side by side built in refrigerator. The refrigerator side wasn't cooling. A certified technician came out and informed me the refrigerator needs a new Main Control Board. The problem is... the part is no longer being made. I have been told all kinds of stories... the plant was destroyed in a typhoon, tsunami, hurricane (take your pick). My only choice was to remove the board, ship it to be reconditioned and have it shipped back. All said and done, I will have been without a refrigerator for 2 1/2 weeks.
When I complained directly to KitchenAid, they offered me a new refrigerator at the "Friends and Family" discount. The part should retail for about $225. Why would I spend $6000+ for a new refrigerator when the part is so inexpensive? I am wondering if the control board is defective and KitchenAid is trying to cover it up.
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- My problem with A&E began on Jan. 8, 2008 when I called them to fix my ice maker which was not making any, and the whole system had to be looked at as the temperatures were not distributing evenly. The technician said we needed to add a line heater along with a valve. Waited for parts, he came, changed the parts, less than 1 week later the whole refrigerator just dies. I call them directly set up appointment and was told that the evaporator fan failed, have to order the parts. Waited another 3 days.
Wouldn't logical sense tell you that the part should have been expressed to us? Waited 3 days for the part which arrived on a Friday afternoon. Called them to set up appointment for the same day which was a fantasy on my part. Waited until Monday. Different repair man shows up, opens box only to find out 10 minutes later that it's the wrong part. He said he'd order the part, and for me to set up an appointment for them to come back and install it. Here it is Feb. 2nd. And still no part. We called them yesterday to find out what's going on and were told the repairman never ordered the part. Mind you, I called them this past Monday and was told it was ordered.
My husband and myself are so disgusted with A&E also with KitchenAid who sent A&E to us in the first place. We have an extended warranty and I guess A&E feels it can do whatever they want with our warranty. It is just blatant disregard for the service they should be providing.
We also have a KitchenAid double wall oven which constantly has to be worked on, along with the refrigerator. I have a BOSCH dishwasher 13 years now that has never had to be repaired. I have a Hotpoint, 20 year old refrigerator (thank God)! That has never had to be repaired either. Never again will we purchase a KitchenAid product.
701 MAIN ST, ST JOSEPH,, MICHIGAN -- We have had nothing but ongoing problems with our Side By Side Built in Refrigerator Model KSSO48FMS. Because we have had so many problems with the refrigerator shutting down and automatically turning on defrost mode and ruining everything in our refrigerator 7 times at least, we chose to continue our extended warranty program. Because the icemaker made such a mess every time, we chose to turn it off, so it's rarely been used. Every time we would call for service, a different part would be replaced, never solving the problem.
Of major items, two different types of fans have been replaced, the control board, as of now, we have been without a refrigerator for 2 months. Our last horror with this refrigerator was when it defrosted this time we were out of town and the defrost mode set to 70 degrees automatically, (again) but became much hotter.
It melted, buckled the freezer door, and melted the back of the freezer and everything shifted down, so when the unit was turned back on after replacing the control board, it never started cooling because the fan burnt out again, because the casing unit melted down on it, took 1 week for them to come back out again and decide they could replace everything in the back of the freezer, plus, the freezer door and it would work just fine. REALLY? We were told there will be 7 boxes coming to our house, until they all come in, we won't be back. It's been 2 months now; we're still waiting on 3 more boxes.
Honestly, when is enough, enough! I am just simply spent, and in dire need of a refrigerator that works. I understand that I am fully out of my warranty with KitchenAid, but we purchased the extended service policy that was recommended by KitchenAid, because of the ongoing problems I've had since I purchased this product, I hold the manufacturer KitchenAid Responsible. Does my house have to burn down for this matter to be rectified?
We purchased a house that had all new KitchenAid appliances (their top of the line products). The appliances have been a nightmare. The repair guy is here so often he knows my pets' names. Remember when you could expect an appliance to last 15+ years? The repairman says that it seems most of the newer KitchenAid he sees are replaced in about three years. I find that unacceptable both from a value perspective and in terms of environmental pollution.
The regular size dishwasher does an acceptable job of cleaning the dishes as long as things like grits and oatmeal are thoroughly rinsed off first. Otherwise it leaves fine particulate on everything in the top shelf. It makes an awful grinding noise intermittently that sounds like a bad gear. The drawer dishwasher doesn't do a good job of cleaning the dishes. The seals on the drawer went bad in less than a year. The repairman said that the drawer dishwasher has to be run at least once a week and even then the seals go bad really fast.
Both the convection wall oven and the combo micro/conv (built-in) have had their controls replaced and still have intermittent problems. The self-clean stained the interior of the oven and damaged the controls. When the repair guy replaced the controls he suggested that I not use the self-clean again unless I really wanted him to have to replace the controls again. The refrigerator is noisy and the ice maker is a mystery. Sometimes it actually does what it is supposed to, sometimes it will take days to make more than a half glass of ice. The seals are already going bad.
It's irritating enough that the appliances are so problematic. What makes it worse is the parts unavailability. Once he came back within a week with the parts to repair. Usually takes 2-6 weeks. We stretched to buy this house. Now we're having to really scrimp so that we can replace all of the kitchen appliances. You can be sure that we won't be replacing them with KitchenAid or any other Whirlpool product (KitchenAid is a wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool).
BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN -- My 5 year old side by side Kitchen Aid refrigerator main board is going out and the only solution offered is to send them the board so they can rebuild it and send it back in 2 months. Are you kidding me? I spent almost $6000 on this appliance as I thought it would last me a long time. I would like others to contact me and see if we can get a class action lawsuit against this company?
Let's see if they get our fridges fixed maybe new ones since they don't make parts. This seems like a more common problem than any of us were aware of. I will be contacting their CEO ** to let him know what horrible service this is, "sorry we don't make the parts anymore". You will be without a refrigerator for 2 months???
NEW YORK -- My refrigerator is only 8 yrs old, and stopped working. I was told by a "certified" Kitchen Aid repairman, that I needed a new compressor which was $200 and a pan heater which was $100. Compressor was covered, pan heater not. Not bad, right? Wrong. The labor I was told was going to be anywhere from $1500 to $2500 dollars, and only a 30 day warranty. My refrigerator cost about $6000 to start. I said no way and went with a non-certified repairman who told me that he suspected it was something else, and it turned out to be a hole in a coil in the freezer which was leaking.
So for a total of $575 it was fixed. This was after waiting 3 months for a pan heater that was on a nationwide back order that I never needed. Had I used that guy, the problem would have still been there and I would have been screwed for a lot more money. Customer service is terrible, you cannot talk to anyone in charge. The repairman I used said lots of problems with Kitchen Aid, and to go with sub-zero.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I purchased the warranty that KitchenAid authorizes and it was the worst experience I have ever had with a warranty company. My refrigerator stopped cooling and they would not send anyone for five days. I was told several different stories - one that I should call a company was not on their list of repair people and they would pay me directly for my out of pocket expense.
When I double checked on that I was told that was not true and they would not reimburse me. Five days later after my food had spoiled not only one company came but three companies either came or called to say they were on the way. They said they had no emergency plans. I would buy a new refrigerator (not a KitchenAid) rather than pay any more money for a warranty from them.