Adventures with Whirlpool- a warning
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- This review is concerning the Whirlpool freestanding ceramic top range with the electronic control center for the oven. Model number GY398LXPT00.
Before I tell about the range you need to know that we reviewed many sources before deciding to purchase a set of Whirlpool appliances for our home. The first was a through-the-wall air conditioner. I am a former military electronics technician with an engineering background, so I'm completely capable of figuring things out for an installation. However, it was an absolute nightmare getting technical information from Whirlpool's customer service number. I even attempted to get the data from their factory located near our home. No one returned our calls from the engineering department. I finally got someone on the phone at the customer service number, after fifteen calls to confused and clueless reps, who knew what the heck he was talking about, and even took the time to look up and interpret the information for me. It took me a week to finally iron out these problems. And, we found out that the instructions and tech drawings were wrong.
The unit then broke within one week of installation. Luckily, we were in warranty, and the repair was simple. But, I should have taken a hint that something was wrong at Whirlpool.
We also bought a freestanding ceramic top range with the special electronic control center for the oven. It worked great for about six months. We only used the oven about three times. Then the control board stopped controlling the oven. OK, so we were in warranty, and the repairman had to visit twice and replace the board and the membrane control (you know, those control boards that are simple pieces of plastic with the wiring printed on them).
I found out later that those control boards only have a 90 day warranty. I found out why when this same control board stopped controlling the oven only 14 months later. We had only used the oven about three more times by then. When I visually inspected the membrane I could actually see a break in one of the printed conducting wires. Those printed circuits are almost impossible to repair or bridge even though it is a simple break because they are weak to begin with. Bad engineering. And, of course, we were out of the warranty period. I also suspect that the control board is bad again.
The cost of a repair visit with parts would be about $600 to $750. If I replaced the parts myself, the cost would be about $300. This makes no sense on a unit that originally cost $1700 or so.
Customer service was unwilling to stand behind the product with anything more than an offer to take 50 percent off the cost of the replacement parts. They also told me there was no problem listed in their files with this model, even though I have seen the problem listed frequently by dissatisfied customers on the internet. Or, they said I could purchase a new extended warranty (and we know who makes money on those warranties). I attempted three times with three different representatives to get Whirlpool to stand up and protect their reputation. Their customer service scripts are so slick now that you would swear you were talking to one of those preprogrammed computer voices.
I refuse to spend another penny on this stove. I'm experienced enough to know that the new control board and membrane, once installed, will most likely go bad again. All I want is a stove that works when I use it.
Every stove I have bought in the past has lasted over fifteen years with no problems whatsoever, and my last unit was a used model. None of them were Whirlpools. You'd think the technology would improve by now. So, here I am with a useless oven during the Christmas baking season and no spare money to purchase another stove for a while. Needless to say, I'm finished with the Whirlpool brand.
I don't know what to recommend to other consumers because Whirlpool and its other subsidiaries manufacture most of the American brand names on the market. So, here's a warning about my experiences with this model.