When you buy a new refrigerator, dishwasher or oven, you expect it to last 15 to 20 years. But as one woman learned, that's no longer the case.
And even worse, there's a chance your 5 or 6-year-old appliance may be unrepairable if it breaks.
Oven Out for 6 Months
Christina Brown's double-wall oven has a small toaster oven inside it.
Why would she she put a toaster in it? Because her 6-year-old Whirlpool wall oven has been dead for 6 months.
"We got an F2 error on our display unit," she said. The F2 error means her control panel was shot.
But then things got worse: A repairman told her the part was no longer available.
So she called Whirlpool.
"They promised to put the part into production at the end of February, then March came, then April came, and still no part," she said.
Six months later, still no part, which has Brown frustrated at her now obsolete appliance.
"I don't think it should be an antique. It should last 9, 10, 15 years," she said.
Becoming More and More Common
The website "Consumerist" says this is becoming common, in an article titled "Sorry your 4 year old, $3,000 oven is too old to repair."
It says appliance makers now make so many different high-tech parts, that are not interchangeable, they often discontinue them in just a few years, and cites another Whirlpool case in its report.
What You Can Do
So what if this happens to you? You have several options for saving your appliance.
1. Search online for an "discontinued appliance parts" supply house. There are many throughout the country.
2. Search for control panel repair shops, like Fix Your Board (www.fixyourboard.com ), that may be able to rebuild your broken panel.
3. Finally, write to your manufacturer -- or get on their Facebook page -- stating how unhappy you are with their unfixable product.
We contacted Whirlpool, which agreed to send Brown a temporary replacement control panel in the wrong color, as they do not have it in the correct color. At least that will get her oven working.
But that's just a temporary fix, and Brown says there's no excuse for obsolete appliances after 5 years.
As always, don't waste your money.
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)
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