KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
16th March 2018
We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Welcome to the
The industry has taken a bit of a knock over the past few weeks, hasn't it? While Sharps has achieved some continuity with its acquisition by a group with a previous interest in the company, the future is not looking so bright for Kitchens Direct, Moben and Dolphin and many customers have been told that they will lose the money they have already spent on goods purchased but not delivered.
Now consumers are concerned about their fridge freezers. When it's one brand that has been found to have produced some appliances that have a fault, we can cope, but when other brands exhibit a similar fault, consumers owning all the other manufacturers' products with the same 'benefit' - in this case a clever device that prevents the need for that laborious and hated manual defrost - are likely to be concerned too.
I expect some probing questions to be asked by buyers and specifiers of appliances in the near future, as well as a good number of worried telephone calls from appliance owners to manufacturers whose products have not been at fault, but who will now become suspect anyway!
A safety warning issued by the London Fire Brigade on Tuesday, after it emerged that certain Beko fridge freezers had been linked to a number of fires in London since 2008, led to Beko receiving so many calls that its customer care line couldn't cope. As a result the company has thoughtfully increased its call centre capacity by 20 times and is keeping it open on Saturday and Sunday.
The company points out that only a small number of fridge freezers have failed out of the thousands it has sold and stresses that all its products are independently tested before being placed on the market and that they meet all UK and European safety standards,. It has obtained a list of customers who have purchased appliances from the batches affected and is now contacting them to arrange a free modification. In the meantime, it is urging customers to check their model on-line to see if it is affected before calling the Customer Careline (0800 009 4837).
Consumers have also been warned about the discontinued white Lec TF2304W, manufactured between January 2004 and October 2006, as it features the same faulty defrost timer as the affected Beko models. Lec's parent company GDHA is asking customers with this appliance to arrange for a repairer to carry out a free modification by ringing 0800 110 5728 between 08.00 and 18.00, Monday to Friday.
It's encouraging to see companies handle such problems in a responsible way and I hope that consumer confidence in the many great advances made by this industry over recent years, is quickly rebuilt.
8th July 2011