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The Truth About Appliance Service Issues, Problems and Repairs

February 1st, 2013 | 2 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

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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Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.

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.

A Note About Pricing

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.