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Problems With Viking Ranges, Refrigerators and Dishwashers

February 29th, 2012 | 2 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

These posts certainly will not endear me in this industry, but problems have to be addressed on their merits.

First, every brand sold will require service. There are no service-free products. New technology, shipping from longer distances, warehousing, delivery and installation add to the potential problems inherent with new products.

Secondly, most negative comments about products and/or brands are about poor service or no service at all, which is a problem in the industry in general. We now employ more service techs at 20 than salespeople, because the needs are that great. You may want to ask about service before you buy.

Third, there seems to be a "software like" mentality in this industry. Software is always shipped with flaws. These errors are called bugs and are generally fixed easily with new releases over the internet. In the same rush to market newer products, many appliance (among other) manufacturers have adopted the same ship now, fix later attitude. Unfortunately, hardware operates differently than software. People need to be sent to rectify issues. Unlike cars, with appliances you have to actually go to the product.

That being said, I chose Viking because of the bad publicity from Consumer Reports and of other issues in the past. I also like Viking. They created the professional range back in 1990 and have recently been lauded for keeping manufacturing jobs in the US. I respect that.

Let's look at Viking issues:

viking range VDSC536T6BSSViking Range VDSC536T6BSS: The original Viking range was relatively problem free, because there was nothing to the actual product other than elements. In Consumer Reports, their top of the line piece was labelled with "Do Not Buy" because of bad wiring harnesses. It was an isolated problem on a limited unit. I would consider this problem rectified.

Viking Dishwasher VDB200SS: About 18 months ago, Viking had issues withviking dishwasher VDB200SS their brand new dishwasher. For years, Viking sourced their dishwasher from Asko. Manufacturers love this whole full line concept. In this case, it is the "Viking Kitchen". It is a good dishwasher with a solid door and great racks, yet it  did not work. The control panel had issues among other problems. We switched the products with issues and sold other brands.

One year later and Viking has supposedly solved the issues and has asked us to start selling the product again. I like the product, but I am not in non solveable problem we will see. If you do buy one, just make sure it is returnable and consider an extended warranty. If you consider a warranty, READ THIS

viking side by side refrigerator VCSB548DSSViking Refrigerator VCSB483DSS: About 15 years ago, Viking bought Amana's state-of-the-art refrigerator tooling and started manufacturing refrigeration to compete with its perceived nemesis, Sub-Zero (That was behind Sub-Zero's decision to buy Wolf). Unfortunately, refrigerators and ranges are different skill sets, and the product required much more service than considered normal for a $7,000 dollar product. But that was years ago. According to AHAM, Viking refrigerators are now serviced at way below average 2% within the first year.

Unfortunately for Viking, they are still paying the price for introducing new products without sufficient testing and quality control.



General guidelines for new, yet faulty products:

  1. Allow service: Some of these problems can be minor and/or installation related.
  2. If the problem is not rectified, go to the service manager, then sales manager, then owner.

If you deal with a reputable place, complaints should be handled fairly. You can read reviews on Yelp, Google and the dreaded AngiesList to find out who they are historically.


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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

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