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Why is Kitchen Appliance Service so Bad? (Reviews / Ratings / Prices)

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Perhaps you are buying or just recently bought new appliances. Congratulations, it is the best investment for the value for your house.

You’ll like the functionality and features of your new appliances versus your old. Your range will have greater output. Laundry has a much larger capacity, and your refrigerator will hold more with customization compartments.

Sub-Zero Design Contest - Live Kitchen

You will be very happy. Until appliances break...and they will. Statistically in a kitchen of appliances, you will need service on at least one product in the first year.

Then the madness will begin as appointments will be missed and the wrong parts will be sent -assuming the service people will even show.

You will wonder: Why is appliance service so bad?

You will learn why it is so bad and how you can prevent this problem from happening to you in the future.

In 2017, Yale logged 30,761 service calls with 35,000 projected in 2018. Eighty people work in the service department making it the largest part of the company by far.

So we have an idea of appliance issues.

Brief History of Appliance Service

When I started in 1986, the major brands had very large service departments. GE was based on University Ave in Westwood, so was Whirlpool. They had fleets of service vans.

There were huge independent service companies as well. Appliance Service Center was in West Roxbury, for example. They have been out of business for 20 years, but I still remember their phone number.

Unfortunately, most brands later saw service as a cost, not as a tool for better customer loyalty. Most brands now offer little or no service.

In 1993, we had to open our own service department due to the overwhelming demand.

90% of the places you will shop for appliances will not employ even one single tech. Combine that with a lack of factory support, and you have a recipe for your future unhappiness

yaleappliance161101_Service_8 (1)

You need service techs to fix service problems

But it gets worse.

Independent Service

Warranty service is now built on smaller service departments and self-servicing dealers. The factories will pay an absurdly low rate for warranty service.

That warranty company has to diagnose your problem, order the part and fix it in your home. If they have to revisit your home, they are paid nothing for the return visit….even if it was the factories issue.

As a result, many independent service agencies (when they exist) will not repair a difficult product because they will lose money.

The reason for poor warranty service is simple. Nobody wants to do it.

Now the bad part.

Appliance Problems

Back in 1986, many products worked for 10-20 years because they were simple. The washers were belt driven. When it broke, you replaced the belt in about 20 minutes by removing the front panel.

That energy hog of a refrigerator consumed a ton of power, but its simple, ancient design worked for years.

Now that washer has a direct drive motor requiring 4 hours to repair. Your refrigerator will use far less energy, but I bet it starts to leak soon (our number 2 repair).

Appliances still last longer than other durables. How long do we keep cars, for example?

However, you will statistically need repair within the first year. You should hope it’s simple because you will problems otherwise.

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How to Avoid Bad Appliance Service

This part is easy.

You should first understand there is a difference in reliability between brands. We publish that in this post.

2018 Most Reliable Appliance Brands


Click here to read about our Most Reliable/ Least Serviced Appliance Brands

Now that you have an idea for reliable brands. You need to search further to find reliable retailers. BTW, nobody is perfect (Yale included).

Searching is not hard.

Google appliance service and check BBB, Yelp, and even Google themselves will have reviews. Angie’s List is also very good for appliances.

You have the most leverage before you buy as opposed to after you have it paid and then delivered. Ask a ton of questions on service and put everything in writing.


I know extended warranties are a separate issue. However, if purchased from the wrong companies, you will have the more aggravation extended over a longer period of time.

Warranties actually make sense because products break. However, you should buy warranties only from companies who can fix the actual service problems.

Most cannot so don’t bother.

Final Thoughts

Your future happiness is correlated with your present preparation. Do your research. Find reliable companies and products to minimize issues, and you will certainly have in the future.

Additional Resources

Download a Yale Buying Guide covering all topics of appliances and lighting. Over 350,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

View our appliance buying guide

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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.

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.

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