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In the last couple of weeks the Whirlpool Corporation, who own Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit, have announced that over 500,000 washing machines need recalling. Many Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines were found to have a fire safety risk. I shall be following this story with interest as I decided some years back never to buy from them again. Here is why I’ll never buy another Hotpoint.
Why I’ll Never Buy Another Hotpoint
The current recall affects over half a million machines that were manufactured in-between 2014 and 2019. One in 60 homes could be affected, and there have been 79 fires across the UK with these models. The fault is a component in the door lock system that can overheat and cause a fire if it is activated during a cycle that goes over 20C. Yes – 20 degrees. Basically a cold cycle.
People have been told to unplug their washing machines and not use them. And go to the Whirlpool website to organise a free in-home repair or a like for like replacement. They say that this service should be available from this week (early January 2020). But this certainly wasn’t my past experience. I shall be interested to see how they deal with it this time.
There has already been anger, as it has been alleged that the company knew about this issue months before announcing it.
And – This Is Not The First Recall Of Hotpoint Machines
Actually, there was a recall of Hotpoint, Indesit , Creda, Proline and Swan tumble dryers back at the start of 2019. These are all also under the Whirlpool brand. Up to 800,000 dryers were affected. Some of the warnings on these brands go back as early as 2015.
As I know, because my last Hotpoint dryer was part of one of these warnings.
Back in February 2016 I had just had my little girl when I had a few issues with my 4 year old Hotpoint Tumble Dryer. It occasionally smelt of burning. Even though I always cleaned the filter (every use) and the condenser regularly.
When I found out that some Hotpoint dryers had a fault, I wondered if mine was one at fault. I consulted their website. My machine was one of the faulty ones on their list.
I was told that I would need to wait at least 8 weeks for them to get in touch about getting an engineer out to fix the issue. Further to this was the warning ‘not to leave the dryer unattended’ or go to bed when using it. Not particularly reassuring advice.
And then almost a month later they STILL could not provide a definitive date for the engineer to visit. When they did provide a date it was a ridiculously long time to wait.
In fact – they went over their estimated date of repairing my dryer.
A ridiculously long time to be without a tumble dryer with a small baby. There certainly was no offer of a refund or a replacement. Well – Unless I paid for it.
Yes – They Offered For Me To Pay For An Upgrade!
Which offended me greatly. Why should I pay for a new machine when it was one of their machines at fault? But I felt a little caught between a rock and a hard place. After over 3 months of being without, I really needed the drying facility. But didn’t really want to risk using my machine unattended.
(And no, I didn’t intend sitting through tumble drying cycles in my cellar with a newborn baby.)
The customer service was appalling, and they were very hard to contact. I never got to speak to anyone in person.
In the end I paid an extra £99 in May 2016 for a similar tumble dryer to be delivered. Luckily £99 was an easy payment for me for the peace of mind it brought. But it does rankle with me still. And there are many people out there for which £99 is not within their budget.
I am glad I did pay for it. Some people weren’t as lucky – like the family in this BBC news article.
Was a Hotpoint Appliance involved in Grenfell?
Hotpoint appliances HAVE been linked to around 750 fires over an 11 year period.
In fact, the UK government forced Whirlpool to recall all affected machines in the past, via the Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPPS) OPPS police recalls, but they have been accused by several groups as being unfit for purpose, a toothless, underfunded department, who simply do not have enough power over these large multinational companies.
My Own Experience Of Other Hotpoint Appliances
I have had other Hotpoint appliances. And I will say I have been underwhelmed again. They just don’t seem to last very long. My last Hotpoint fridge died after just 3 years. And even though I have had two freezers, both have tended to over freeze and need completely defrosting far more regularly. Which is why I’ll never buy another Hotpoint appliance. Nor an Indesit, Creda, Proline or Swan.
Actually, Hotpoint was only bought by Whirlpool in more recent years. And so these manufacturing issues were not of Whirlpool’s making. In fact, no Whirlpool own brand appliance has been affected. But even that hasn’t been enough to bring me back to thinking about buying from them again. As I said, I shall follow this story over the next few months with interest.
When I bought my new kitchen last year I completely dismissed any Hotpoint or Indesit appliances, plumping for the mid expense ranges of Bosch and Zanussi instead. Sadly, I couldn’t really justify the cost of Miele appliances, although my beloved Miele washing machine has served me for over 20 years now. Will the new brands in my kitchen turn out to be better or more reliable? Only time will tell. But I know this – I’ll never buy another Hotpoint.
In the meantime, the London Fire Brigade have issued the warning to not use these subject to recall appliances, even at 20 degrees. They are a fire hazard. Plus, your insurer may not cover you if you use an appliance that has been subject to a recall order. Which leaves a lot of people with a product that is not fit for purpose and could be potentially dangerous.
Have you had an issue too? I’d love to hear your story. Do comment below or tell me on my social media channels.
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