Why You Should NOT buy Anything from Thermador
UPDATE: What started as a post about my stove repair woes has turned into the most popular thread on this site by far. It gets comments multiple times per day and features a whole host of people telling similar horror stories about service and repair from Thermador. I can only hope this thread provides pause to anyone considering buying one of their appliances. Also, make sure to check out pretty much every comment from SvcMgr, an ex-manager at Thermador who sheds some light on the company's shady practices and how to get your complaints escalated.
Our stove issue has since been fixed, but let this repair horror story along with the many other stories in the comments serve as a warning to anyone looking to spend thousands of dollars on a "luxury" appliance from Thermador.
As the regular blog readers know, we've been having issues with our stove ever since we moved in and the issue is still not resolved. We still cannot use either of the ovens. I'm starting to think this thing is just a 617 pound, $9000 lemon. I documented the entire saga for the site Consumerist and thought I would put it up here as well, so everyone was informed. Here's what I sent them:
I thought I would share my horrific customer service experience with high end kitchen manufacturer Thermador with you. I am currently undergoing major home renovations and redesigned my entire kitchen. During my research I saw the Thermador stoves got the highest performance ratings so I opted for their 48" dual fuel double oven range with grill and griddle. This thing is as big and as expensive as a small car. I dropped $9000 on what I thought was going to be the greatest range ever. I was sorely disappointed with the appliance and even more disappointed with the attitude from this well renowned American company that promises exquisite performance and service.
I purchased the range at PC Richards in Queens, NY back in mid-February of this year. While they offered their extended warranty, I knew that the range came with a one year manufacturer's warranty and mistakenly thought that would be sufficient. The stove was delivered, set in place and inspected in late February, but it sat there for almost a month until the proper dedicated power line could be run by our electrician. In mid March we moved into our new home and tested out our new range with great results. I cooked with it for exactly four days and was very happy with the results. Then on the 5th day, the day of our housewarming party, guest arrived, I turned on the ovens to start warming up the food and the thing would turn on for about 5 seconds and just shut itself off. We tried over and over again with the same results. This effectively ruined my housewarming party. So it goes.
Originally we though the issue might have been with the power line, but after our electrician reviewed the setup, confirmed the power line capacity was within the manufacturer's specification, so at that point it appeared the issue was with the range itself. I called Thermador on April 2nd and they set up a service date with me for April 5th. I took that day off from work to be available and on the 5th a technician came out, examined the stove briefly and determined that one of the main circuit boards had fried and needed replacing—he told me this was a very common occurrence with these models and that sometimes the units were just trashed and replaced instead of replacing just the circuit board. We sat on hold with Thermador for over 30 minutes so he could get an estimate on how long it would take to order the part, but he couldn't get through. He joked that even as an employee he always had a hard time getting someone on the phone. He told me he would call back later that day with the information, and he did. He left me a voicemail telling me that part was ordered and that it was delayed a week so he would come back on 4/16 to swap it out.
I took 4/16 off from work as well and about mid-day I got a call from Thermador telling me that the part was delayed and the technician would not be coming out that day. I was very upset and told them I had taken the day off already and wished someone could have given me more notice. The women I spoke to, Jennifer apologized and offered to extend my warranty from one to two years. She also told me she would call back by the end of the day to give me an ETA on that part. That day came and went without any contact so I called back on 4/17 and after sitting on hold for over 30 minutes I was told that there was still no information from the factory on when the part would be available. I was told I would get a call back that day, but again it never came.
I called back again on 4/18 and spoke to a women who continually put me on hold and then came back after another 20 minutes or so and said, quote "the part should be in stock in a couple of weeks or so, we'll call you and let you know" I explained to here, again, that my stove was completely unusable, had been for almost a month and that I needed an ETA on when it would be fixed or else I wanted the whole thing replaced ASAP. She told me she couldn't give me an ETA, so I asked for her name and her supervisor. She put me back on hold and then 5 minutes later I was disconnected.
I called back into and was on hold another 20 minutes before speaking with Gary. I calmly explained the whole story to him, reiterating that the stove was unusable, had been for almost a month and that I needed an ETA on when it would be fixed. He repeatedly told me he could give me no ETA since they couldn't get the right part from their factory. Again, I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told that a supervisor wouldn't tell me anything different. I explained that I was willing to wait longer but that I couldn't wait indefinitely and that I needed a concrete date as to when my stove would either be fixed or completely replaced. I was told by Gary that if I wanted the stove replaced that I would need to contact the store where I bought it. When I explained that I did not purchase a service plan with PC Richards and reiterated the fact that the stove stopped working days after it's install (indicating a manufacturing problem) he again told me a supervisor wouldn't help me. I insisted on speaking to one, was put on hold for another five minutes and then told that there was no supervisor available and that I should call back tomorrow. I requested that a supervisor call me back as their hold time to get to a human is always upwards of 20 minutes. Gary obliged, but I wasn't very optimistic. After about an hour Gary called me back and said no supervisor would be able to call me that day and that I should call back again the next day. When I expressed, yet again, that all I wanted was an ETA on when the part would be in, he informed me that they should have a solid ETA by Friday and that I should call back then for an update.
I called back on the morning of Friday 4/20 and after another 20 minutes on hold I spoke with Delia and explained the entire saga to her. She put me on hold for two minutes to check with their shipping department and came back to tell me that they still we trying to locate the part and that there was no firm ETA. When I again expressed my displeasure about the lack of communicate or a solid action plan to get me a working stove, she told me rather snippily that I needed to give them more time to locate the correct part. I confirmed with here that Thermador does indeed make the part so that if they couldn't find one that they could manufacture a new one for me. She affirmed this but gave me the same "we have no ETA" answer when I asked her how long it would take them to fabricate the part. I told her that felt her company had not provided service commensurate with the purchase of a $9000 luxury appliance purchased just 2 months ago, installed just five weeks ago and operational for just 4 days of that time. She apologized and told me they would replace the stove completely if they could not get the part. I asked her at what point in the process they would move to the second option and again she said she couldn't give me a concrete answer. She told me someone from the parts department would call me back later that day. So far, no callback from them.
So right now I have a 617 pound, $9000 piece of junk in my kitchen that I can't even warm up a pizza in, much less create the culinary masterpieces that Thermador promises are possible for cooking enthusiasts who purchase their products. Their customer service has been abysmal, the callbacks nonexistent and I'm really unsure as to how to proceed as I keep on getting the same lame run around from these guys. Any advice?