Skip to main content

Should You Trust Appliance Ratings and Reviews?

June 22nd, 2015 | 2 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

There was an article in the NY Times about appliance ratings back in May. I want to add some statistics and industry rationale behind it.

We will look at whether you should trust either good or bad reviews whether on Yelp, Google, Angies List, Better Business Bureau or manufacturers and retailer websites.

It should be noted that I will be reviewing products only. I will not be talking about delivery, pricing or customer service issues at the store level.

Good Reviews

Look at all these good reviews. Is it possible that every product is 4.2-4.7 out 5? It is amazing to me.  You always see great reviews on manufacturers and retailer sites

trust appliance reviews online?

Then again, you will probably respond positively, because the new products do have more functionality. Your new range, for example, will have almost twice the power of your older one. If you are replacing an older product, a working product always trumps a defective or malfunctioning product.

However, they take these surveys at time of delivery. What is really needed is to survey 6 months to 18 months later, because those surveys would look very different. As we said in the Most Serviced and Least Serviced brand articles, appliances now need service 18-24% within the first year. It escalates from there.

So take the positive ratings with a grain of salt. They are not manipulative. It's just not accurate to the true level of satisfaction after the fact. 

Bad Reviews

Then there is bad…and plenty of it.

There are in fact dedicated sites just to vent like,, Yelp and Better Business Bureau (here is a tip for searching BBB: Look at the amount of complaints on BBB never the grade. You are given a break or “factor” on your grade by being a member).

Sure there are very upset people. Should you believe them? I am talking about legitimate reviews, not plants or bogus reviews from competitors.


I would not complain about a refrigerator after 21 years (just saying).

Well, the answer is both yes and no. Here is the problem. Appliances do break down more across the board now than in any time in the past for a couple of reasons. You can buy appliances from Sears, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes or Yale, the statistics will be the same.

Appliances have changed. Government has mandated more energy efficiency and less packaging. Manufacturers have not helped by outsourcing so much. There is a trade off for energy savings, better functionality versus more repair.

So looking at a bad review based on a product not working will not exactly help, because most appliances statistically have similar reliability.

What Should You Consider?

Ok appliances break more often. Forget the upside of $150 or more in yearly energy savings. If you buy a kitchen of appliances, then you will statistically need to fix at least one of them within the first year.

However, what you really need to know is who fixes it and how they perform after there is an issue. Many issues are minor and easily repairable. We performed over 20,000 service calls in 2014 and roughly 9,000 were warranty claims within the first year.

I would look at responses to negative product reviews, because you will be treated the same way in case of issues.

In other words, rate the repair and solution.

appliance reviews online

I have to admit. This would really upset me greatly as well. I would look for a quick, competent fix to product issues. You should base your opinion and review on that basis.

In the beginning, I mentioned that Times article. After a 7 month saga with a stove, this was also his conclusion.

Recommended Reads

Additional Resources

Get the Yale Appliance Buyers Guide with features, specs and answers to the top 10 appliance questions on hybrid washers, counter depth refrigerators, slide-in ranges, professional products and more. Well over 100,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

View our appliance buying guide

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.


Yale PSA