It bad enough that the robo-calls barrage our phones trying to sell extended warranty ripoff plans, now we find you can get ripped off by extended warranties that should be legit. Our story begins with trying to buy a microwave with a cabinet kit or a built in microwave to fit a specific cabinet space. The old microwave was white, my wife wanted stainless to match the dishwasher and oven we bought.
If you have an older microwave oven, it probably works just fine. Our original washer and dryer never failed. We only upgraded to Whirlpool Neptune to save energy. Then the washer failed one day before the extended warranty ended and they no longer carried that model. The newer one feels lower quality and is 6″ higher than our dryer. The warranty was purchased at Howard’s appliance, and they went to bat to get us a new washer. The same happened with our refrigerator a few months later. For the fridge we paid a little more and bought an LG which has a better repair record.
Multiple Failures During Covid
Our Kitchenaid Mixer failed too. Metal flakes started falling out of the drive. We bought that at Costco, and simply walked it in for an exchange.
When it came to the microwave we went to a different store, because the salesperson knew exactly which one would fit. We bought the Kitchenaid (Whirlpool) extended warranty back by AIG insurance. In my opinion that is an extended warranty ripoff.
We did research on the microwave before buying. The keypads and displays fail. Clearly a design flaw/quality control problem. Sure enough the display failed and the keys are bubbling. I called AIG to get it repaired under the extended factory warranty and after 20 minutes on hold was passed to the resolution department because they “don’t repair countertop microwaves”. The retail of the microwave is $512 and the extended warranty was $160. We were told the warranty price was high because it covered the install kit as well.
Time To Use The Extended Warranty
After another 20 minutes on hold, a woman finally picks up, introduces herself as the “resolution department” and says “Ok, we’ll send a check for 75% of the value of the microwave, thats $384”. $512 and $160 plus tax means I paid $762 for the microwave and the warranty. That “buyout” is actually 50% of what I paid for a microwave built in Feb of 2020. It isn’t that old and isn’t the $99 Whirlpool model.
Before buying the microwave I did a lot of research. It may be the only one that fits that space in our cabinets. Everyone that doesn’t live in a beach area wants bigger. Reviews said the keypads fail and the part is $160. Installed the part is $424. So for $160 for an extra two years, the warranty felt like a good choice. When the keypad failed as you see in the photo, I felt pretty good about the warranty. Sadly 40 minutes into the call I felt like another victim of the extended warranty ripoff program managed by AIG. Read the fine print, a “factory backed” warranty isn’t always that.
Since this is our third major failure of a Whirlpool owned brand, we have decided to try and find any other brand to fix this. I don’t mind that our laundry machines don’t match in height, but my wife hates it. Having to carry a big mixer back to Costco every two years is a hassle. Being sold a warranty that doesn’t cover the item we bought is unacceptable. It’s like Whirlpool wants to get rid of its customers. Maybe they do.
Looking for Options
Living in a beach community creates many of its own challenges. Keeping beach goers from using your yard as a dumping ground or your hose as a shower for instance. It also means that kitchen space is at a premium and once the cabinets are built right it is very hard to change without getting an entirely new kitchen. I’d love to find a Viking or Wolf or some US or European made brand that isn’t a US brand made over seas. The problem is I also need a microwave that fits a small beach space.
Yale Appliance in Boston self insures. I like that. You buy from the store and they take care of you no matter what. So this week will be spent looking for a microwave that fits the cabinet to replace the whirlpool, with any luck we can get it at Costco so we can just walk it back in if it fails or someplace like Yale Appliance that self insures.