This oven’s a dud. Why won’t KitchenAid fix it?


Donna DiRusso’s KitchenAid slide-in oven range doesn’t work as advertised, but why won’t the company fix it? Let’s find out.

Question: I had a new KitchenAid slide-in oven range installed last year. Eight months later, I began experiencing multiple issues with the electrical aspect of the range. I’ve had about eight service calls, and this morning a technician replaced the electrical panel. I think this is the second time this has been replaced.

I have no working stove until they return next week. This is the fourth time I have been left without a working stove. Calls to Whirlpool Corporation, which owns KitchenAid, only get me through to customer service. They can only schedule service, and I get nowhere. I have tried to contact Whirlpool, but the website seems to be a loop taking me right back to customer service, no matter the number called or the link followed.

I would like a stove that is operational and that does not require a service call every two months and which further does not leave me with a non-operational appliance. Ideally, I would like to explain my many issues to someone higher up than a customer service agent. By the way, I have asked for a chronology of all issues with this range, and Whirlpool will not release that information. — Donna DiRusso, Burlington, Mass.

Answer: Sigh. Another KitchenAid case. Of course, your oven should have worked right out of the box, and if it broke, the company should have immediately fixed it.


So why didn’t it? Part of the problem is the bureaucracy of its “customer service” department, both online and by phone. But you also took a few missteps.

Related story:   Hey College Pro, shouldn't a paint job last longer than a week?

Let’s start with KitchenAid, though. No matter how you contact a company, it should be able to resolve the problem quickly and efficiently. The labyrinth of nonservice you describe is like something right out of a Franz Kafka novel. The company promises its appliances are “designed to fuel your passion and make cooking and entertaining easier.” Your oven did the exact opposite.

Phoning the company didn’t really help. Your calls just went into a void. Did KitchenAid keep any record of your numerous inquiries? Who knows? Did anyone, other than KitchenAid, have any evidence of your requests? Nope.

That’s why I recommend writing to the company — which you eventually did. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the KitchenAid customer service executives on my advocacy site.

And indeed, dropping KitchenAid a line worked. The company agreed to remove the old oven and install a brand new one in exchange for an “accommodation” payment of $317. I’m not sure what an “accommodation” payment is, but given the many oven-less days you had to spend, I’d say it was about $317 too high. Further negotiations between you and KitchenAid reduced that amount to $158. Still too much.

I contacted the company and it did the right thing, replacing the nonworking oven with a working one without charge.


Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org.

  • LDVinVA

    Starting to wonder about KitchenAid. I have a frig, stove, microwave and dishwasher from them – all 2 years old. The only one I am really happy with is the dishwasher. The stove takes ages to preheat and the oven vents over the door so the knobs got too hot to handle and I had to demand (because they argued with me) new knobs from the dealer. The frig makes odd noises. Microwave is okay, I guess. I really thought I was buying top notch appliances.

  • finance_tony

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a stove that needed more features than my grandmother’s had – four dials with temperature controls for the burners and another one for the oven. What on earth could go into an appliance like this that warrants anything more complex?

  • AMA

    The more “electronic” and complicated the appliance, the more likely it is to break. I have a basic electric stove with temperature control knobs, not a touchpad. It works just fine. My fridge doesn’t even have an icemaker, but it keeps the food cold.

  • Steve Rabin

    Once again, Chris works his magic. Makes you wonder though, why wouldn’t the company do the right thing in the first place. It took a few tries to get them to reduce the fee from $317 to zero where it should be.

  • gpx21dlr

    Yes, me too. When I read his column and his solving of ‘our’ problems, we shouldn’t have to have a consumer advocate like him if the companies JUST DO THE RIGHT THING?! Thanks for Elliott and his people.

  • Fishplate

    Convenience. Your grandmother had to stand there and tend the thing.

  • joycexyz

    They used to be top notch. Not any more, I guess.

  • Annie M

    Its a shame you had t get involved to get her a working oven that was less than a year old at no charge. I guess Kitchen Aid is off my life for my next appliance.

    And these are the kind of cases I enjoy reading here – ones that really need help.

  • Annie M

    We still buy the basic stove with a self cleaning oven. I hate cooking so I don’t need anything that does any more than basic cooking.

  • finance_tony

    Huh? My grandmother’s 4-burner gas stove is in my basement and still works great. I don’t know what you mean by tending it. She didn’t tend it any more than I tend the electric stove upstairs.

  • Carrie

    You are right. Over the phone complaints do nothing. I think the worst part of this is that a stove (for us it was a Haier fridge) is an essential piece of equipment. It needs to work properly every day. When is does not, it is more than an inconvenience.

    Our new Haier full size fridge/freezer stopped working (the fridge part) after one week of use. Haier is overseas and calls to them did nothing. They promised to put us on a waiting list. For a phone call! So we called Lowe’s . Because we purchased an extended warranty with the mfg, Lowe’s said they could not fix the problem until the mfg warranty ran out in two years.

    The hero in all of this was our local Lowes appliance manager. She made everything right. Got us a new (a different brand) fridge, free delivery and gave us the difference in cost. The local store. Who knew?

Get smart. Sign up for the newsletter.