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Domestic Appliance News

Service Force Closures
Service Force Closures
Whirlpool Uses Alexa (Maybe)
Whirlpool Uses Alexa (Maybe)
Whirlpool Withdraws Subsidised Dryers
Whirlpool Withdraws Subsidised Dryers
Service Force Closures

For people outside the repair industry this might not be of much note and how much of an impact that this will have on end user service is presently unknown as are probably some facts.

Last week we began to hear rumours swirling about the closure of long-standing Service Force agents, Service Force in case you didn't know is the umbrella brand name for Electrolux service that encompasses Electrolux (obviously), AEG, Zanussi, Tricity Bendix, John Lewis and a few others.

This has been reported as swift and brutal closures of some agencies with them being "bought" by third parties such as 0800 Repair it's been noted, which we're quite sure will not go down well in some quarters. Or, gobbled up by adjacent agents to create super centres. Because that's worked out so well in the past for Electrolux and others ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

We reached out to Electrolux for comment but with no luck, seems nobody wants to talk about it. Shocker.

Of course Service Force carry out some third party work as well for other manufacturers, who we won't name but let's just say that they are less than happy at the turn of events. One might even say bordering on livid which would seem to indicate that they were as much in the dark on this as everyone else was.

Many of us that have been about a bit recall the similar cull in the 1990's that Electrolux had, destroying the old Zanussi service partner network that was widely hailed as the best service ever seen in the UK and, U-turned on that notion a few years later.

Then they tried franchises. That failed as well.

Then back to regular old service agents.

Now this.

Our opinion probably will carry no weight but we don't care, we'll give it anyway.

It is most likely that this transition won't be smooth and all too probable that customer service in the short term, like a year to two, will be impacted despite what will be said as, we've seen it before and we know it's a nightmare.

Worse it puts Electrolux in a position whereby, if one of these companies it's hired or the super centres its created goes bust, they really do have problems.

All in, it's probably not good news for customers or for retailers but it would appear the die is cast and there's no going back now.

Whirlpool Uses Alexa (Maybe)

At this year's CES, despite the war of voice assistants, Whirlpool has revealed appliances that have Amazon's voice assistant Alexa integrated into them and that also integrate with Yummly.

The concept is explained in this video from The Verge:

So here we have what might look to be the first incarnation of connected appliances that might still work for some people.

But, what happens when it breaks?

How long will these things be supported and how secure is your data on them as, so far, no whitegoods manufacturer has an exactly stellar record when it comes to security.

But our big concern is the obsolesce of the electronics in these products as we are seeing more and more parts going obsolete sooner than ever due to low volumes and, with niche products like these we'd expect that may well be an issue down the road. Aside which, the cost of boards and stuff like that will probably be enough to give most people a heart attack!

Amazon obviously hopes users will buy stuff from them off teh back of this deal too and that also could prove costly.

Then of course there's the upfront cost in addition to what a standard appliance will cost and all taken together, you have to wonder if it's worth the cost.

There again, Whirlpool it is said, might flop flop and use Google Assistant so this may be obsolete before it even reaches stores.

Our advice, wait and see what happens before jumping in on this one.

Whirlpool Withdraws Subsidised Dryers

Whirlpool has decided to put an end to it's discounted tumble dryer offer for people that own model s affected by the safety notice on them and, that's not exactly going over well in some camps. Government included.

Whirlpool Withdraws Subsidised DryersIn a statement Whirlpool said that "Previously, consumers who wished to upgrade their products to a newer model were offered the additional option of a brand-new dryer in exchange for a small contribution to the total cost. The scheme has now ended due to a fall in demand."

Why Whirlpool bothered to remove it we don't have a clue as, after all, if nobody was eligible or taking the offer up then what harm was it doing?

Yet by removing it and being rumbled it's stirred a potential hornet's nest, again for the company.

So the way we read this, not many people are likely to care really, fewer will likely be affected by it but, it makes a good story.