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A littlle advice

TomB

TomB

New Member
Hey All,

Looking for some consumer related advice.

We purchased a Electrolux dishwasher last July and had no problems with it up until about a month ago when the door switch broke. Took Serviceforce three weeks to fix what they claimed was a simple repair, so simple that they didn't carry the part in stock.

Anyway came home yesterday having left the dishwasher on whilst out shopping at Asda to discover there has been an electrical fire in the control panel, which is now melted, the cupboards on either side have singed marks on them, and the dishwasher is generally not working (to put it politely).

The dishes in it are clean, if not a little smelling of smoke, but thank god the house didn't burn down. I will never leave an appliance on whilst i'm out again. it has scared the living s**t out of me.

Anyway my question, there is no way it can be repaired, and even if it could A: I wouldn't trust serviceforce to touch it
B: I wouldn't want it in my house

So it still in its 1 year manufactures warrenty, and was purchased from boots kitchen appliances.

You can understand that i want rid of it and do not want another one of the same model to replace it.

What are my chances of either boots to remove it and refund us in full for it?

Or do you think they wil likely say they will replace it with a product of the same value?

I've been looking at consumerdirect.gov.uk but can't really make snse of it, also it says on boots website in their terms that they are covered by english law, so is that different from Scottish consumer law?

I really just want to go to comet and buy a new one, but I trying hard not to incase i'm stuck with two dishwashers and no refund

What does everyone think?

T
 

Brian McIntosh

New Member
I think it's clearly been "not fit for purpose". I believe that if something goes wrong you must give the retailer time to put it right. In this instance I would get onto the company you bought it from and tell them you've been very patient, nearly had your house burn down, but want your money back. Don't get into a slanging match with them. If all else failos there is always trading standards or the media!
 
By the sound of this the fault lies with whoever repaired the machine.

A door switch IS a simple repair, although I can understand how parts for particular machines can be hard to come by.

Electrical fires occur for TWO main reasons. Either a component is overloaded and brings itself or its surroundings up to ignition temperature. Or a current carrying connection is loose, causing arcing which in turn generates heat which causes something to reach ignition point....

Obviously I've not seen the machine so can do no more than speculate. But it's unlikely any component inside the machine would be unable to sustain the maximum load placed upon it without overheating. And any fault condition which might cause something to draw excess current and overheat to that point SHOULD blow the fuse in the plugtop and probably throw the trip at the fusebox long before anything starts to smoke.

Therefore I'm prepared to speculate that this is down to either a loose connection causing arcing or a piece of insulation (or a guard) either left off or improperly fastened such that arcing was present.

Scots law and English law ARE of course different. And it's likely Boots will have set their T&Cs up so that English law has precedence. However that doesn't really affect your rights as the legislation IS broadly similar. However you WILL probably have a bit of a battle on your hands....

The question is, was the fire cause by an incompetent repair or an inherent design fault within the machine? In the latter case this is down to the manufacturers, in the former (most likely IMO) with the repairers.

Before making my next move I would seek advice from trading standards. But BEFORE moving anything or allowing anything to be shifted around I'd get good photographs of the damage and, if you can, have the damage witnessed and assessed by someone with some electrical qualification. If it helps I hold a PAT testing qualification and lecture in electrical safety so could look it over. Although ideally you want an independent assessment by someone with specific experience of this type of appliance (I don't).

The other thing to do is get on the net and see if other users of the same (or similar) machines have had the same issues. This would indicate a design flaw.

Either way I suspect your initial argument is with Boots. And ultimately this means taking them to court. Check your home insurance policy to see if you have legal protection insurance
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Tom,

If you bought it from Boots then i'm pretty sure they need to be your first port of call and I would assume they have some sort of customer service helpline you can call. I wouldn't expect them to just put their hands up and accept responsibilty though :p

Matt makes a good call about getting an independent witness to verify the cause of the damage etc and taking photographs, these will prove invaluable should you need to take things further.

I had a similar experience not too long ago with Argos and a plasma tv which they refused to replace after being returned three times. I served court paperwork on them and within a few days had all my money back including expenses and compensation. This is of course a last resort and I would be trying to resolve amicably first.
 
TomB

TomB

New Member
hey guys,

Well googling electrolux dishwasher caught fire:

BBC NEWS | Business | Dishwasher safety checks appeal

Safety warning from electrolux about certain dishwashers having a fault in them. Looked on the electrolux website and couldn't find their safety notices sections, its seems to be well hidden.

The one thing i found strange was that the fuses hadn't been blown, i would have thought that would have been the first thing. I immediaetly switched the pwer off to the whole house before even touching the dishwasher.

I got plenty of pictures of the damage to the dishwasher and the cabinets surrounding it. as well as not emptying the dishes from it.

I found a letter on the consumer direct that states about not fit for purpose or something like that.

I'll be phonng them first thing tomorrow morning, and i feel sorry for the poor soul that i get through to, i don't ever shout or raise my voice at people in call centres but i cannot stand incompetance in these places.

So i think i'll call and then ask for a managers or someones senior's email address and send the consumer direct letter.

Perhaps an email to the CEO of boots as well might help, i did that before with the carphone warehouse as they wanted to charge me
 
TomB

TomB

New Member
I found the safety check notice on teh Electrolux website and put our serial number and PNC code into it.

it says our dishwasher is one of the effected dishwashers.

Do you think this will make it easier to get a new one? And not an electrolux one?
 
frockery

frockery

New Member
Sorry to hear about your dishwasher trauma, Tom. It must have been scary. :(

I think the merchant (Boots) will almost certainly give you a full refund as the appliance was clearly not fit for purpose and it is actually listed as being a model with a known fault. Even if they are statutorily obliged to, I doubt they'd want to risk some media expose of them selling dangerous appliances that could cause fires.

My husband is a master at getting money back. Once he drew a huge crowd in Mothercare after a wheel sheared off our daughter's buggy and they were being awkward about a refund (it was just under a year old). The same store later knew not to argue when a bit of one of their child car seats snapped off and he loudly demanded his money back to buy a safer replacement at another store.

His biggest coup, however, was with Neff. We had an oven which was just over a year old when the glass in the door came loose and fell out. The merchant wasn't budging on a refund and wanted a small fortune for a replacement door, so he rang Neff in Germany and asked (in German) to speak to the Managing Director. Astonishingly, he was put through and proceeded to hold a somewhat limited conversation based on some key words in German, the upshot being that a new door was delivered free of charge within a couple of days. The Germans are really astute when it comes to customer services and we have always recommended Neff as a company since then (but not the place we bought the faulty appliance).

Good luck, Tom!
 

Brian McIntosh

New Member
I think the fact that the machine is on the Electrolux website as being part of a faulty batch then nearly burning your house down should have them giving you a new one and your money back. Boots and Electrolux wouldn't want this kind of publicity. Stick to your guns.
 
TomB

TomB

New Member
Little update:

Phoned boots this morning. Told them the deal, said that we were not happy our house could have burned down, they said they need a engineers report on it before they can act on a replacement, I said thats fair enough. They said the first appointment was the 23rd of June.

told them that there was no way I was going to wait that long, their appliance could have left me homeless if I hadn't came home. Told them that I would be calling Trading standards as it was a piece of non-sense.

Suddenly the engineer is coming tomorrow to do a report and Boots are calling back on Wednesday to discuss the outcome.

I very clearly told them that under no circumstances do i want a replacement dishwasher of either the same model or make. I want a hotpoint one, and that after that I would discuss with them compensation for the damage to my kitchen cupboards.

but the women at boots just couldn't have cared less. Her attitude was yeah so what your house could have burnt down.

So anyway I'll let you all know what happens tomorrow.

Thanks for everybody's advice and help. I'm off now to wash my dishes :mad:

T
 
stugster

stugster

Active Member
Verified Member
Hey mate,

This happened to our washing machine. My dad opened it to find a capacitor had actually exploded. We filed a report with Hoover (the manufacturer) and Trading Standards. Neither cared at all that our house could have burned down. Hoover's reply was that the metal sides of the machine would have been enough to withstand the explosion/fire and that it wasn't a health and safety issue at all.

I still disagree, and to this day we don't leave appliances on when we go out.


Make sure you claim for the damage to the surfaces. Whether they like it or not, they're liable!
 
Wiring an electrolytic capacitor across the plug of the cleaner's hoover was a favourite trick of the techs at Strathclyde Uni. It'll tend to go off with a bang and fizzle a bit. Not really dangerous unless they blew to cover off the plug in which case you had exposed mains which someone cold get a belt from....

MOST of the plastics inside electrical appliances are self-extinguishing. But with that said things like front panels and things can present a REAL fire risk. And Hoover's dismissive attitude to this problem is sickening but sadly typical of that firm.

If it's any consolation only the actual motor and heater (and their associated relays) in a modern washing machine are carrying any great current. The timing and switching are carried by a dedicated logic controller operating at relatively low voltage with low current paths. ...Not like the old days where you basically had an electric clock driving a series of mechanical key switches at full voltage and load... :eek: The other thing you'll get are capacitors associated with motor suppression etc. which did have a habit of popping. But these were usually in a place where their failure was unlikely to ignite anything....

As for Tom's experience..... This IS a nasty! if the fuses didn't pop and the RCD in the fusebox didn't kill the power then that really IS quite a sinister problem. Whatever caused the heat build-up was obviously NOT drawing excess current or causing any sort of imbalance across the mains. Which means the component in question reached ignition point under normal electrical load.... Almost by definition a component like that IS unfit for its purpose....
 

Brian McIntosh

New Member
This may be because I'm a grumpy old git but, the machine is still under warranty, nearly burnt your house down and they want an engineers report before they'll do anything about it?? WTF has happened to customer service?I would be taking Alison's husband's tack here.
 
TomB

TomB

New Member
Absolutely!!

I think its just a formality.

So the engineer has just been. Tried to take the control panel off, couldn't as it had welded solid to the metal part of the door, couldn't explain what caused it. Couldn't explain why the fuses hadn't triped just unreassuringly told me it would have eventually.

Said its a write off and anybody would be mad to try and fix it. He is writing a report to that effect recommending that they exchange it. I told him to note is his report as well that the customer is 100% against having it replaced with the same model.

So he is faxing the report to boots tonight when her gets back to the depot and then boots said they would call tomorrow.

So the saga continues. . . .
 
PC

PC

New Member
Tom - When you purchased the dishwasher did you register it with the manufacturer?
 
TomB

TomB

New Member
Hey all,

I didn't register it, I keep meaning to do it, but its still in warrenty.

Boots called today and at first thought my gas hob had caught fire??? Hmmm not off to a good start.

Then they said they hadn't recieved the report from the engineer, to which i replied that they said they wouldn't do anything without it.

He then said he was going to call the engineer and chase it up.

So he called back and said that the engineer says it nees ot be replaced so the next step it the manufacturer will do a old for new exchange. I told him that under no circumstances did i want a electrolux dishwasher anywhere near my house, that i wanted a hotpoint. He said that it was a reasonable request and would not it on the paperwork going to electrolux.

He said that electrolux would call direct and i should tell them the model i want and about the damage to the kitchen.

I asked when i could expect it, and he said in the next few days which i replied excellent i thought i would have to wait till next week to get a new dishwasher to which he replie,d oh no thats just the phone call.

Boots will do a call next Monday to check electrolux have contacted us otherwise they will contact us.

Nothing like anybody hurrying to actually replace an appliance that cost
 
PC

PC

New Member
Note to everybody: Register your electrical goods!

Tom - Electrolux would have been able to get in touch with you if you had registered it re the recall notice and then none of this would (probably) have happened.

Ah well, hindsight is a wonderful gift. :D
 
TomB

TomB

New Member
Re: A littlle advice - UPDATE

Hey All,

Just to update you.

Still heard nothing directly from Electrolux but my new dishwasher is being delivered from boots next Tuesday, a hotpoint one not an electrolux one :D

Electrolux want to collect our old dishwasher to take it away for testing so that they can actually tell us what happened with it.

So am delighted with the outcome, we even got a
 

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