/ Home & Energy

Have you suffered a dodgy kitchen repair?

Tools and kitchen appliances

A broken washing machine or an out of order oven is something we could all live without. But what if the person you employed to fix it wasn’t up to the job? And what if they left you with an unsafe appliance?

In our latest investigation we broke a Neff oven and asked six companies – Neff, Comet, Repaircare.co.uk, 0800repair.com and two independents – to send someone to fix it. The results were a real lottery.

Dodgy kitchen repairs

While the repairers correctly identified the fault, the results included shoddy workmanship and in one instance, a potential fire hazard.

We also asked Which? members their views on repairs and found that they’re generally most satisfied with independents, which got a customer score of 77%.

There was, however, a lot of variation among manufacturers coming out to repair their own-brand appliances. John Lewis came emphatically top with an impressive customer satisfaction score of 78%, but at the other end of the table, Whirlpool and Hotpoint struggled to make the grade, with scores of just 42% and 43% respectively.

Mixed experiences

Your emails to me show a similar disparity in experience – some of you were amazed at how pain free an experience kitchen repairs can be. Whereas someone else was left without a fridge freezer for nearly two months after seven separate attempts to get it fixed.

Convenience is also a huge factor – our survey showed that independents were most likely to give an exact appointment time. This compares to some companies that only offer an appointment slot that’s basically any time during an entire day. Helpful.

So what’s your experience of kitchen repair services – did the person who fixed your appliance do a good job? Could companies do more to make it easier for you?


I’ve involved the Which? legal team and given full details to Which? about my awful experience with LG. I won’t ever buy another LG product – of any type – in my life and I urge everyone I meet not to either.

I’ve also posted my experience in great detail on other boards in the past, so regular contributors will know the story by now and anyone wanting to find more detail can do so by browsing other boards on this site.
In a nutshell though:
I had an LG washer for 18 months from August 2008. In that time it blew up quite spectacularly 4 times. This first three times I got LG to fix it. The first time it took 8 weeks and the involvement of Trading Standards and the retailer I got it from to get LG to budge, the greatest problem being that because it had literally “blown up”, fusing all the circuit fuses and, as it transpired when they finally came, destroying all the internal circuit boards, there was no error code being shown on the display and many LG call staff, including supervisors, refused to log a call without an error code. Some of the staff were very rude, som cut me off and some said they’d made an appointment only for me to take a day off work and have no one turn up and then, when I called to see why, be told by someone else that there was no record of my call or of any appointment.

The second time it blew up (identical fault) and I had the same rigmarole again but warned LG that I was going to Trading Standards and did so immediately and got that repair done within 3 weeks rather than 8. The third time it blew up (identical fault) I tried going to Trading Standards about the quality of the machine but they said I had to get LG to look at it again before they could intervene, so I got on to LG and that time they did come out within a week and got the parts 4 days later.

When it blew up a 4th time I put it in the skip and bought a 20-od year old reconditioned Hoover that works so much better.

Had it just been an unreliable washer that was a waste of £800 I might have considered other LG items in different categories, such as TV or ‘phone for example, in future, but the fact that all breakdowns were under the 2 year parts and labour warranty and the service was so awful, combined with the unreliability, has put me off LG forever.

I should add, by the way, that the independent that I got the reconditioned machine from were outstandingly good at keeping appointment times and I have recommended them on Which? local, as have at least 3 other Which? users.

Chris Nation says:
6 July 2011

I have had good service from Homeserve on a c/h boiler policy. It goes wrong – they send a bloke to fix it. The fact that it took them 4 visits – the 1st was to recce the job – was their problem, not mine, as the boiler was not u/s, just misbehaving.

The last call I made to Homeserve, before the final fix, I reminded them that not getting the thing done in less than multiple call-outs was simply chewing lumps off their bottom line, whilst my premium stayed its very reasonable same amount. I think that got through to someone who mattered.

Ian Kenworthy says:
10 February 2014

Has anyone had trouble getting an engineer to a Hotpoint appliance?
The washing machine,purchased last May isn’t working,and I have tried all ways to contact Hotpoint,without success.I have written a letter,emailed them twice,and not received replies,and phoned them in excess of 20 times and got the engaged signal every time.
I don’t know where to go next,but I would tread very carefully if you are thinking of buying any Hotpoint appliance.

HOTPOINT , Dishwasher repair – 5 weeks so far, 4 appointments , 2 of these no engineer arrived . When i complained i received a phone call back asking if i wanted to buy dishwasher cleaner. A minor fault with 7 new parts now leaves me with dishwasher which is not safe to use and does not work. I have no option but to re-book an engineer and wait another week. Would i recommend Hotpoint? NO! AVOID!

It’s worth having a look at the Which? website for advice on how to proceed. It will depend whether the product is under guarantee or whether you have paid for a repair. Whichever applies, you are entitled to have the work done properly and if the machine is left in an unsafe condition, it would be worth taking photos as evidence that could help your claim. If you can prove that the engineer failed to turn up for appointments without giving notice, you could claim compensation.

Had the machine been less than six years old (five in Scotland) you might have been able to make a successful claim against the retailer (not the manufacturer).

Best of luck.