Question: My Maytag microwave oven is five years old, and it has given me problems from the very beginning.
I had to replace a part in the first year. A few months ago, I had to have the same part replaced for a total cost of $300. And then yesterday, almost four months to the day after being replaced, the part stopped working again.
I called my Maytag dealership and they told me the part is out of warranty, but only by a few days. They suggested that I contact Maytag corporate.
I called Maytag and opened a log, talked to customer service, and it offered to replace the part — for another $275. I asked them to check to see if there was a recall on the part, but Maytag claimed there wasn’t.
I should mention that the appliance is rarely used. What has happened to good customer service and trying to make the customer happy? If you can help I would be very appreciative. — Addie Adams, Toledo, Ohio
Answer: That’s just absurd. I’m not referring to the fact that your microwave oven should have lasted longer than a few months — indeed, that it should still be working today, even with daily use. It’s that for the price you paid for your first repair, you could have bought a new microwave oven. You could have upgraded it again earlier this year instead of repairing a unit that was obviously defective.
Your Maytag warranty (PDF) looks pretty decent. It kicked in to cover the first part that malfunctioned, which was good. But when the same part failed almost five years later, the warranty excluded the part.
Warranties have a way of doing that, and they often stop working the very moment you need them. It’s almost as if the part has a timer in it that somehow knows when your warranty is up. I don’t know how they do that.
I’m surprised that your authorized dealership didn’t simply suggest replacing your microwave. But I can understand why you wouldn’t want to do that. Sometimes, it’s just a question of aesthetics; the new models don’t match your other appliances.
Contacting Maytag corporate was the right move, but I might have done that in writing. A brief written message sent through its contact form might have achieved better results than a call. Why? Because you could have explained your frustrating five-year history with the oven, and best of all, you would have had a record of your correspondence.
I contacted the company on your behalf. A representative called you and offered to replace the part at no charge.
(Photo: Mic ah Taylor/Flickr)