I look at lowering repairs and issues all the time. We manage this very closely. It actually starts in the warehouse where the products need to be handled properly. Then competent delivery and installation crews can also solve quite a few possible issues.
Next we try to avoid problem brands like Viking, which had an astronomical repair rate north of 60% in 2013. Then there are problem products to avoid within brands. In fact, we sell fewer brands than all of our competitors because we actually fix the issues after the fact.
Warranty service calls (repairs within the first year) have dropped from 18% in 2014 to 12.55% to 11.66%. Yet we still have 23 service techs, so there is always room for improvement.
So like last year, we will explain the methodology, review reliable products and look at the most reliable brands for this year.
One of the benefits of having a huge service department is data collection. We will be in approximately 130-150 homes today fixing appliances, with a good portion being less than a year old and under warranty. That is 650 homes per week (at least) or roughly 34,000 calls yearly (not including homes with multiple calls). That’s the math behind this post. It is sales generated versus warranty service calls within 1 year.
I should tell you this article is consistently unfair. Any time a service tech is sent to your house, it counts as a service call. It does not matter what the call actually is. Often times it’s a simple adjustment, but it counts as a call if you need us to perform any kind of service within the first year.
Lastly, we do not scrub the data, so there is no distinction between a major or minor call.
Most Reliable Products
Some products break more across manufacturers, like icemakers and refrigerators. Some are naturally more reliable. These appliances have few issues.
Disposers: 1,264 Sold / 1 Repaired
I always thought a disposer would have issues given the task. I guess not. We sold approximately 1,264 disposers with one repair (which was actually my house).
Range Hoods: 1,410 Sold / 48 Repaired
No surprise here. A hood moves air. That does not seem that difficult. Broan, XO, Best, Yale Brand and Faber were all under 4%.
Sharp was fewer than 4%. Most companies had few problems with their microwaves too. Once again, it is older, refined technology.
One Final Word
Last year, we started posting the most reliable products like French door refrigerators, top load washers, front load washers, wall ovens, gas ranges, electric ranges and pro ranges as well. The brands at the top of this list sell less refrigerators and more reliable appliances like dishwashers as well as laundry.
That said, let us look at the most reliable appliance brands for 2016.
Most Reliable Appliance Brands of 2016
1,543 Sold | 253 Serviced - 16.4%
16.4% for a high-end brand selling new technology is almost miraculous.
3,734 Sold | 562 Serviced - 15.1%
Their older cooking products should work. However, their refrigerators work well, which is unique. Then again, most do not have a water dispenser.
1,916 Sold | 269 Serviced - 14.1%
Shocking. Their new products seem to be working now if they can only fix their availability.
723 Sold | 94 Serviced - 13.0%
At this point, most of the Maytag sold is reilable laundry, not any other appliance.
7. Speed Queen
497 Sold | 63 Serviced - 12.7%
Another laundry company. Except Speed Queen is almost twice as expensive, so reliability should be the expectation.
1,616 Sold | 183 Serviced - 11.3%
Editor’s note: We do not sell the so called “energy efficient” top loads on universal recall. Still, Samsung knows how to manufacture a reliable refrigerator and front load laundry.
8,457 Sold | 905 Serviced - 10.7%
Bosch is possibly the best affordable luxury brand for reliability, style and value.
1,457 Sold | 149 Serviced - 10.2%
Their dishwasher and laundry require almost no service, but they now sell a full suite of appliances. Miele is still a great premium brand.
3. Frigidaire (also includes Gallery and Pro)
5,657 Sold | 469 Serviced - 8.3%
Although the mix is more weighted to dishwashers, cooking and less featured refrigerators, Frigidaire is still one of the most reliable brands over every product group.
447 Sold | 30 Serviced - 6.7%
Given the number of complaints on the internet, you would not expect LG to be so high on this list. They do manufacture some pretty good laundry and refrigeration.
4,161 Sold | 179 Serviced - 4.3%
Whirlpool is our inexpensive builder line. Although I said this last year, it is unclear how much these products are used in the first year.
So now you know the most reliable brands. However, if you buy a whole kitchen, there is a good chance you will still need service. Bosch, Frigidaire and the Whirlpool brands have the best tech support and part availability.
Samsung and especially LG have bad reviews all over the internet because they do not have the infrastructure to support their growth. The product works. Their logistics need to be beefed up a bit.
Most of these brands, unlike automobile manufacturers, offer very little service. You now have a sense of reliability. Finding a retailer who can fix appliances in your area is equally important, because the products and technology are evolving.
Have questions on appliances? Read the Yale Appliance Buying Guide with the 10 most frequently asked questions, the best time to buy appliances as well as detailed profiles of all the brands. Well over 200,000 people have read a Yale Guide.