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How to Handle Appliance Problems

Should You Just Toss it?


When our appliances start to act up or a hazardous situation develops, our first reaction is usually to just toss and replace it with something else. In some cases this is certainly the right action to take, but there are reasons to notify the manufacturer, even after the fact, to make them aware of the problem. Once you've handled the initial event to ensure your home's safety, you should take the following steps:

How Serious is the Problem?

How serious the problem is, will dictate if you should discontinue use of the appliance. If there are any signs of electrical problems such as a melting plug or cord, burn marks present, or even if you can detect a burning odor, immediately discontinue use and unplug the appliance.

If a feature is not working as it should, review your product manual. There may have been an operating step that malfunctioned or was omitted and there may be an easy way to correct it.

Return Under Warranty or Recall

If your product is still under warranty, follow your manual or consumer service directions to return the faulty appliance to a repair centre.

There are times when shipping costs to send in an appliance for repair, are more than the cost of replacing it. This is most unfortunate, but it does happen especially with small appliances. If you decide the shipping cost is not worth the effort, you should at the very least, let the manufacturer know about the problem.

You should also check the manufacturer's site or this link Product Recalls to see if there was a recall on your particular model, and if so, follow the return instructions. This Manufacturer & Brand Listing may help you find your product manufacturer.

When warranty periods have expired, consumers really do not have much recourse unless the product has been recalled, other than paying for the shipping and repairs, or tossing and replacing it with another product.

Why the Manufacturer Needs to Know
  • Your appliance may have been one faulty unit, or it could mean that the whole batch produced that day, was faulty. In this case, it could result in a product recall which will save future consumers from having the same problem.
  • It could signal a decrease in their quality control program, which they may want to improve.
  • The problem may have been caused by one faulty imported part that may not have met your country's safety standards. They may need to change suppliers.
  • Manufacturers need to know that consumers are not happy with their product. In the absence of such reports, they can only assume that consumers are happy and products work as expected.
  • Manufacturers want to know why consumers are switching brands.
  • Your report could positively influence a design change, which would benefit future consumers.
Read More About Appliances

Small Appliances, Reviews, Tips, Resources
Take Time to Register Your New Appliance
Consumer Awareness
10 Reasons to Read Your Product Manual
Appliance Parts & Repair Online Resources
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