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The Truth About Appliance Service Issues, Problems and Repairs

Steve Sheinkopf  |  February 01, 2013  |  3 Min. Read

Appliance Service  |  Appliance Repair

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This is a frequent exchange on our blog, so much so I had to write about it

Client/Customer/Blog Reader:

You don't mention anything about quality with respect to warranty, maintenance and reliability over the long term. I've read many negative reviews on Thermador, claiming the company doesn't sufficiently back their products and that current owners would never purchase from them again. While I really like the aesthetics of the Thermador line, these negative reviews has me very concerned. If I'm about to drop $20K+ on new appliances, I want to know that I'll be happy with them for many, many years to come.

My Response:

First, social media will drive you crazy if you listen to all of it. Google a product you absolutely love, and you will probably see negative reviews from people who totally despise it. We do talk about service in the blog, because we have 21 service technicians performing over 25,000 calls annually

Thermador is the 5th least repaired product at under 11%. The average is 18-24%. You can read the stats in the Least Repaired Appliances. We also have a post with the Most repaired appliances.

That being said, it is the dealers responsibility for repair. Manufacturers have little or no service of their own and appliances will break down. You will need service, so find a dealer who can support you after the sale.

The Service Problem

Service is the toughest and most expensive part of my job. If the average appliance breakdown rate is 18-24%, then we will be in your home in year 1 fixing at least one product on a whole kitchen purchase. It doesn't matter where you buy your appliances. It's the reality of this industry.

As I said, we average between about 600-700 calls per week. Before you buy your appliances, especially foreign and upscale products, ask who fixes these inevitable issues.

Here is what you need to fix 600-700 calls per week...

yale appliance service manager 2013

Service Manager

yale appliance parts facilitator 2013

Parts Facillatator(there are also 2 other parts handlers)

yale appliance customer service 2013

Customer Service Reps

yale appliance service technicians 2013

Yale Appliance Service Techs

If you think the factory will help, think again. Most of the brands do not offer their own service and are not invested in the repair. Google the ones that do. It is pretty scary. The situation is fairly new over the last 10 years. Most factories have tried to cut costs by engineering, requisitioning parts and assembling the product in very different places, so there is much more to actually go wrong.  Add to that the difficulties of transporting components from places far away

Appliances, however,  have actually not really increased that much in the 27 years I have been at Yale. They are also much more energy efficient with more desirable features and cycles, but more repair prone...way more as a matter of fact.

I did not write this article to scare you. After all, we have cars repaired frequently at 4 hours a day useage. Presently, your refrigerator is operating 24 hours a day every day and is still being repaired way less. Unfortunately, the days of a Maytag being manufactured in Newton, Iowa and lasting 17-19 years are over.

It is time to make future repair part of your buying decision.

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A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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