/ Home & Energy, Shopping

How long have you waited for an appliance to be repaired?

Broken fridge

Having lived without a freezer for a year, I can’t imagine not having one now. I’d be lost if it broke down, but I’d expect I wouldn’t have to wait too long for a repair.

However, it would seem I shouldn’t be so confident judging by the nightmare repair experiences that have been shared with us.

Your washing machine, fridge, boiler, probably your freezer and likely your dishwasher too are appliances you’d struggle to live without. They’re essentials for everyday modern living. So it’s a major inconvenience – and pretty stressful – when they break, never mind waiting around for them to be fixed.

How long have you been left waiting for an essential appliance to be fixed? And how long is it reasonable to wait?

Repair despairs

One Which? member got in touch to tell us about their washing machine woes:

’I bought a £700 washing machine which broke after two weeks, and it’s taking them a week to come and look at it.’

Another member was stumped by the waiting time for repairing a two-month-old dishwasher:

‘I bought a dishwasher, it was delivered on 28 August and is already faulty in October (not heating the water and therefore not washing the dishes properly or drying). I now have to wait for the retailer to come out to try and fix it on Wednesday afternoon. I have not been offered a replacement due to the machine being faulty so quickly.’

Repairing older machines

So it would seem that repair times for new or nearly new products could leave you hanging around for days or even weeks. But what if you’ve had your appliance for a few years, should you expect a longer wait to get them fixed?

One owner of a six-year-old washing machine found that ‘the handle failed recently with wet clothes in it. The manufacturer couldn’t fix it for over seven days (leaving mouldy clothes) so a local repairman sorted the handle same day. But the whole door was not right – there was a problem on door-side of hinges. Three replacement doors have now been delivered – all broken on arrival!’

And another told us about a washing machine, purchased for around £1,000, five years ago which came with a 10 year warranty:

’The machine has recently broken down and she has called out a technician with this warranty but she is unhappy that she has to wait a week for them to come out. She feels that for the price she paid she should get a faster service especially since she could have purchased a good enough model for far less money.’

If it’s broken, how do you fix it?

We’d like to hear your experiences of getting your essential large appliances repaired, including washing machines, boilers, dishwashers, cookers, tumble dryers, fridges and freezers.

How long did it take, how old was the product, was it still under guarantee, was there a call-out charge, did they have the parts with them and how did you find the process?

Useful links

Read what to do if you have a faulty products

Comments

We have a Samsung washing machine, it has a registered 5-year warrantee, it has broken down several times since owning this machine. Purchased 3 years ago.

We reported a fault with the machine on the 1st as it was leaking water over the kitchen floor, on the 4th an engineer arrived from Group FX, to say it needed some bearing’s replaced and would call early next week, no call or visit and after chasing them up they say it could be another week as they may need two engineers to fit the parts. We have called them twice and promised a call back, guess what no call.
Today (10th) we called Samsung direct to ask for a refund as the 5-year guarantee clearly states a repair should be completed within 3 working days or 5 working days if a specialist part is required. The paragraph then states if it cannot be repaired Samsung will replace the item or give a full refund.
Samsung put us on hold and called the repair centre and then quoted the same thing Group FX told us “it will be an estimated 1 week extra”, When we asked about their guarantee promise online they put us on hold and then forwarded us to their complaints team of which apologised for the delay and confirmed they have spoken to Group FX and can confirm the part will arrive today or tomorrow and Group FX will call to arrange a date for the engineer/’s to visit of which we have already been told would be next week.
Samsung offered us a £40 voucher as an apology, to me this confirms they acknowledge our experience is not as per their guarantee terms and conditions.
So, we now have to wait quote “for a day or two” for Group FX to confirm they have the parts, and then an estaimated further 7days for them to fit the parts.

The amusing thing is a local registered engineer told us last week he could get the parts within 2 working days but it would terminate the Samsung Guarantee.

sorry it should say genuine parts

Stephen Evans-Gould says:
6 August 2020

We are having a similar problem with Samsung. The washing machine is within 2 year warranty. We have waited more than a month to date waiting for a repair. We still haven’t heard anything yet . I have had to many numerous calls without any further action.

I experienced problems with an AEG Fridge-Freezer and AEG Washer-Dryer, both cheap models chosen and installed by the developer months to my moving in.
After 3 months the F/F model was not freezing nor keep chill correctly and after some emails and visits by engineers, eventually exchanged it for another – same model – bad move on my part, I should have requested an upgrade because it still does not keep cool properly.
The Washer/Dryer proved to be more difficult to deal with and ‘engineers’ did not seem to be able to rectify the problems; washing not finishing and making grinding noise; door bleeping but not opening.
Engineers not calling out when arranged – customer service politeness 0%
My Solution in frustration Washer/Dryer: I wrote directly to the CEO explaining the problems. No quible, Within 2 weeks I was given an upgraded model.

I have just replaced my 24 year old Bosch Larder Fridge for another Best Buy Bosch. The shop I used will register my purchase and warranty at the shop and should there be any problems, it is to be communicated via them direct.

In future, for appliances under warranty I will not simply register call and call out but write directly to CEO not by email either.

Well done getting 24 years of use out of a fridge. I suggest registering with the manufacturer and then you can be sure the job has been done. If a safety recall, this will be handled by the manufacturer rather than the retailer. Bosch products can be registered online easily and unlike some manufacturers this does not result in marketing emails or phone calls.

AEG is now just a brand. White goods branded AEG are likely to be made by Electrolux.

Mrs Smith says:
1 November 2021

Same here, Samsung have left me three weeks with a broken 7 month old washing machine. Under 5 year warranty and guarantee. They focused on me sending a video of it not working. No help with advice on video editing. Shocking customer service. At the end of my tether now.

For many it would not be easy to take a video. One way is to use a smartphone, upload the video to YouTube and email a link, but I don’t think it is reasonable for any company to require anyone to provide a video.

As well as the manufacturer’s guarantee, you have legal rights against the retailer. Here is some help from Which? about making a claim under the Consumer Rights Act: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights

Best of luck and please come back if you need any advice.

‘Which’ rated #1 Bosch washer/dryer £900.
13 months old and now not even Bosch can figure out what’s wrong with it. 3 week wait for the first engineer visit!! “Many sensors” moved the plug to a different socket leaving the cable across the surface and tight enough to be pulling the plug out and left after telling us it will be another 3 weeks before another engineer can visit. 6 weeks!!!!!!!! JOKE! Never Bosch for products or aftercare ever again

My cooker is 5 years old and I’ve always had an extended warrantee with Domestic and General. The cooker developed a fault just after Christmas so I phoned up and they were coming on 07/01. A few days before they were due our carbon monoxide detector kept alarming when we used the oven. We had people out to check everything, they even tested the oven but couldn’t find a problem although I know it was the oven. I called D&G on 06/01 to let them know about the C/O issue so they knew what issues we were having.

The engineer arrived on the 7th and as soon as I mentioned carbon monoxide the engineer stopped me and said that he was not able to repair the cooker as it needed to be someone from the carbon monoxide team. He then capped off the cooker so that we couldn’t use it and said someone would be in touch to arrange an appointment. Obviously my telephone call on the 6th was not actioned correctly.

Two days later on the 9th I received a text to say that an engineer would visit on Monday 11th.

After the visit on the 11th the engineer said he would send the results in and we would hear from D&G within 48 hours to find out if it could be repaired or not.

The following day I telephoned D&G to try and get an update but as lines were busy I requested a call back. A couple of hours later I received the call back and all I could find out was that it had gone to the claims department.

By Wednesday 13th, I was still waiting for some form of contact but I received nothing so I telephoned D&G again. I tried calling four times but each time I wasn’t given the option for a call back, the recorded message simply said try later and then hung up.

On Thursday 14th I managed to speak to someone but again I was told was that it was with the claims department and I will receive a call from them by the following day.

The following day, Friday 15th I contacted D&G via messenger and the only response was that the report was being chased with the claims team and they would be in touch once a decision was made. According to Domestic and Generals own help and advice it says that at busy times you will be in touch within four days of the engineers visit. This is the fourth day and I’m just waiting for some form of contact.

We have been without a cooker for nine days now, we had to borrow a microwave from family and survive on ready meals which are far from ideal and work out so much more expensive for a family of four over nine days . If the information had been correctly handled when I called to report the carbon monoxide problem on the 6th, then we would have had a visit from the correct engineer at the start and would not have had such a long wait. Apart from an appointment text last weekend there’s been no contact from D&G, not even a simple message just to let us know the situation or when to expect an outcome, we still don’t even know if our cooker can be repaired or not.

I finally managed to speak to someone late on the 15th however I was disgusted with what I was told. Apparently my cooker will be repaired on the 26th, that is 19 days without a cooker. Obviously that is not good enough, how can anyone be expected to wait that long especially when I pay monthly for the luxury of being able to get it repaired. I told them I’m not willing g to wait that long so I’m currently waiting for a call from the planing team as they have more flexibility with appointments.

The service I’ve received has been totally unacceptable from the start, I appreciate that everyone is struggling with the current situation but so are we, I am disabled with two children at home and my wife is a key worker trying to stay safe and to deal with all this on top has been extremely stressful and this could have been avoided by simply passing on the carbon monoxide information at the start. Some from of contact from D&G in the form of a text or email letting us know the current status would have been greatly appreciated.

Hi Jamie – Obviously you cannot use the oven but you can still use the hob unless the engineer has disconnected the cooker. I hope you see action soon.

Hi, I was hoping that he would just disconnect the oven so we could still use the hob but apparently its standard procedure to disconnect the entire cooker. To make sure that cookers aren’t used when they shouldn’t be they even cut through the gas pipe and disconnect the electrics inside the cooker. I’ve also just found out from them that all parts take 28 days to source, yeah right and pigs will fly!

That’s rotten. If the cooker is only five years old you still have statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act but they have probably been invalidated by the efforts of the engineer who vandalised the cooker. 🙁

It’s difficult to know whether the delay in sourcing parts is genuine, but I have heard many complaints about D&G from people I know.

Inge says:
29 April 2021

Hi,
I am having the same problem with my cooker not working at all for 2 weeks now and still no joy with D&G. I feel so stressed try to feed my family and absolutely no help from them!!

i have an indesit washing machine. its quite old, prob 10 years or more, but it’s under D&G applicance repair for which i pay a lot. it’ covers parts/replacement machine if they can’t fix it. It’s just broken. We’ve been online to book a repair visit and it will be 15 days!!! before they can send someone? Is that unreasonable? Is it a breach of an implied term so that i can book my own engineer and charge it to D&G? it’s not acceptable to be without the appliance for 2 weeks (and could be longer if they send someone and they can’t fix on the first visit)!

When you purchased D&G insurance cover a contract was created and you will have agreed to the terms and conditions that were specified at the time. Having to wait 15 days does seem a lot and if this is more than you have agreed to I suggest you contact the company.

I know a couple who have spent more on D&G cover than their washing machine cost and they have cancelled their policy.

I don’t see anything in a D&G policy about a contractual time to repair – and Covid-19 isn’t helping – but it does state:

“If we authorise a repair but are unable to find an engineer, we’ll
permit you to use your chosen engineer. You will have to pay them
and claim the cost back from us. Please keep a copy of your invoice
to send to us.

If we permit you to use your chosen engineer and the proposed
repair is estimated to cost more than the repair authority limit: £150,
then you must ring the repair authority line on 0800 597 8580 for an
authority number before work starts.”

Why don’t you give them a call, explain why two weeks is unreasonable (are you NHS or another essential worker responsible for regular cleaning of their uniform?) and see if you can book your own engineer, assuming you have one lined up who will come any faster.

Focus on your primary objective before seeking legal remedies:- to get your washing machine fixed (or replaced) as quickly as possible. It’s not about taking D&G to the cleaners!

Karthik says:
10 February 2021

Hi,

Our Electrolux cooker hood stopped working in January. It was a brand new piece ( 2 month old)

The company says they have a supply chain issue and therefore cannot source the spare parts and said they can probably provide some updates towards end of February.
They denied replacing the product as well.
This came with the house we brought and the builders have denied replacing as well.

I feel annoyed and gutted . ( given the fact that I have also took accidental damage insurance on all the appliances – may be that was a poor decision as well )

What are my options ? any ideas ? Anyone had similar experience ?

Ricky says:
24 March 2021

Bought a Hisense fridge/freezer new which arrived faulty on the 9th Feb (fridge is freezing our food), it’s now 24th March had a techy come out a couple of weeks ago to fix it (so took about 3 weeks for that to happen) and it’s still freezing everything. Has a water dispenser, and the water completely freezes overnight. Trying to get them out again because apparently they “forgot the second part” tbh they’re just guess working replacing it one part at a time until it finally works. Only a 1 year manufacturers warranty so it better get fixed before 2022

Hi Ricky – Your rights under the Consumer Rights Act take priority over the manufacturer’s guarantee and you do not have to accept multiple attempts to repair a product. You can accept multiple repairs if you wish (it’s likely to be a simple fault) but you are entitled to claim a full refund if a repair fails during the first six months of ownership.

This is explained in this Which? article: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-rights-act-aKJYx8n5KiSl

Manufacturers usually put a guarantee leaflet in with a product explaining what they cover. It is high time retailers were asked to add a leaflet describing your legal rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 so customers were properly informed. It is clear from these Convos that most people do not know of the existence of the Act or do not know how they can make use of it.

@gmartin @jon-stricklin-coutinho. George/Jon, could Which? pursue this? It would seem to be of considerable help to consumers to deal with their problem products.

I ordered a washing machine from Argos. I paid for installation and to take my old machine away.. It arrived.. They removed my old machine.. (which still worked) went to put in the new one.. But it was damaged.. They said I would have to call Argid to arrange a replacement, but they said they would not reinstall my old one.. I got on the phone.. Was told that a report would go in and they would be in touch.. I then received a text saying earliest delivery would be Thursday 3rd June.. Nearly 2 weeks later.. I was not happy to wait another 2cweeks without a machine.. So rang again.. Customer service was poor to say the least, and was offered a refund or another date.. 4th June!!!!.. At this point I thought I would write an email to the CEO.. Have heard nothing.. Rang again yesterday. (tuesday25th MAY).. to be told that my complaint was being dealt with and they would be in touch.. Still nothing.. Woukd like to know where I stand with this now.. How long shoukd I wait.. I’ve made all the phone calls so far.. Terrible customer service. Im annoyed they left with my old machine as well as my so called new machine and my £400!!!!

Tom Bruce says:
14 September 2021

£700 AEG Which? Best Buy washing machine purchased from John Lewis (so how cautious a purchaser can I be?!) Installed late May-21; failed and reported 02-Sep-21; repair visit scheduled for 14-Sep-21 = F+12 days; repair visit postponed at 1626 on 13-Sep-21, to 22-Sep-21 = F+20 days; further delay now to 04-Oct-21 = F+32 days. Yes – covid and yes – Brexit, supply chain etc etc, but this is still truly hopeless service. Off to spend another coffee break at the sink hand-washing for a family of four.

Hi Tom, I’m Luke, a Consumer Rights Journalist with Which? As you bought your washing machine less than 6 months ago, and you’ve given John Lewis at least opportunity to repair it you are entitled to a replacement or a refund. I’d like to try and help get this sorted for you.

If you could email yourstory@which.co.uk with the details so I can get back to you that would be great! Thanks!

Natalie says:
14 October 2021

i bought a Hoover washing machine from Appliances Direct with a 12 month guarantee at the end of January this year which broke down just over 8 months later. A quick Google of the error code details the exact problem and how go fix it – yourself if you wish, so presumably not too hard for a Hoover engineer. 4 days later i have yet to even receive the initial call from the engineer despite ringing Appliances Direct every day and being told the engineer will definately contact me by the end of the day, so dread to think how long an actual repair night take. i have 2 children who need school uniforms and sports clothes washed, plus I wear a uniform for work. With no self-service launderette nearby I am currently washing by hand but trying to dry sopping wet clothes is not easy. Why is there no timeframe for appliances under warranty to be repaired given that consumers have little option but to go down this route after 6 months?

Hi Natalie – I suggest that you make a complaint to Appliances Direct. See this page: https://www.appliancesdirect.co.uk/content/complaints

I’ve generally heard positive comments about this company but many companies have been struggling with Covid. Try to get something in writing (email would do) in case you need to take further action and make a note of the date, time and names of people you have spoken to.

Have you a neighbour who could put the washing in their machine until your machine is fixed?

Mrs Smith says:
1 November 2021

My Samsung add wash machine has not been able to move its drum for the last three weeks. I have spoken to Samsung and all they want is a video clip sending in. I tried this several times and they kept saying not received. 11 days later after trying three times daily and constantly ringing them I was finally asked how long was the clip. As if over 30 seconds (mine 1 minute long) then they cannot open it. So I had to learn how to edit and shorten the video then sent again. During week 2 of no help I received an email stating a job number. Then nothing again for a week. Curry’s told me they will give me a refund but they have to do a failed replacement in order to access their system. That should have happens last Saturday and promised to call me first thing this morning. Update: no attempt on a failed replacement delivery, no phone call. So no further ahead. I have now ordered a new saving machine from my trusty local repairman which is arriving tomorrow. My 7 month old broken washing machine will be shifted under my feet until Curry’s can come to collect it. I am a newly widowed disabled lady who feels broken, mind, body & soul. It’s all too much for me.

Mrs Smith says:
1 November 2021

Sorry on my spelling errors, meant to say my new washing machine, which I bought privately. Just so that I can do my washing as three weeks of no working machine is just too much. It’s clear to me that the belt has broken in my 7 month old machine. Samsung also know this from the video they insisted on. But I no longer want to feel like I am begging them for help anymore. Let alone being tied to them for the 5 year old warranty.

Anyone struggling with Currys might be interested to know that there is a more recent Conversation about problems with this company: https://conversation.which.co.uk/shopping/currys-pc-world-complaints-faulty-goods/