Hoover Domestic Appliances

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Hoover, despite perceptions, was never a British company, it was in fact an American company which has never been under British ownership.

The Hoover story begins in 1907 when Murray Spangler, an inventor who worked nights as a janitor, was cleaning rugs in an Ohio department store. Legend has it that all the dust raised from his broom aggravated his asthma, and he set about finding a solution to the problem.

Hoover brand logo for domestic applaincesSpangler gathered a tin soap box, a fan, a sateen pillow case and a broom handle, then assembled an odd-looking, cumbersome contraption that managed to pull the dust away from the air he breathed. He quickly realized that this "suction sweeper," as he called it, had enormous sales potential, and he began seeking financial backing.

Spangler's family friend, Susan Hoover, agreed to try the machine in her home. Before long, she was singing its praises to her husband, W.H. "Boss" Hoover, owner of a leather goods manufacturing shop. Hoover bought the patent from Spangler in 1908, retained him as a partner, and soon had six employees assembling six units a day in a corner of the leather goods shop

An old advert for a Hoover washing machineTo educate the public about the product, Hoover placed a small ad in the Saturday Evening Post offering 10 days' free use of a Hoover suction sweeper to anyone who wrote and requested it. But instead of sending the cleaner directly to the potential customer, he chose a reputable store in each city from which requests arrived and sent the product to that store. He sent a letter requesting that the store manager deliver the machine and keep the commission from any resulting sale, then offered the store the opportunity to become a dealer for the Company. This laid the groundwork for a national dealer network which continues today as the main channel of distribution for Hoover products.

"Boss" placed trained Hoover sales representatives in dealer showrooms to demonstrate the products and also had them travel door-to-door conducting home demonstrations.

Meanwhile, engineers were designing new and improved methods of cleaning carpet in keeping with the mission of the Hoover engineering and design development program, which had been established in 1909. One of their most noteworthy innovations was the beater bar, introduced in 1926, which was the basis for one of the most memorable advertising slogans in history: "It beats as it sweeps as it cleans."

And other "firsts" have been developed by Hoover engineers over the years as well. These include the disposable paper bag, the vacuum cleaner headlight, the self-propelled feature and the side-mounted attached hose feature, for which Hoover received a patent in 1936.

The Company was owned by the Hoover family until the 1940s, when it became publicly owned. The Company's stock was first traded on Aug. 6, 1943. In 1985, Hoover was acquired by Chicago Pacific Corp., and in 1989, Maytag acquired Chicago Pacific. As a result, Hoover belongs to a family of companies with some of the most prestigious names in home appliances, including Jenn-Air, Blodgett and Magic Chef. Today, Maytag's diversified business portfolio is organized into four groups: Home Appliance Solutions Group, of which Hoover is a major division; Commercial Solutions Group, which includes commercial cooking, laundry and floor-care products, and vending machines; Global Solutions Group, which develops business opportunities worldwide; and Emerging Business Solutions Group, which exploits opportunities in electronic commerce and business systems.

Advertising Disaster

Of course Hoover in the UK is famed for one of the most disastrous advertising campaigns of all time, the Hoover Free Flights Fiasco.

In 1992, the British division of Hoover announced the Hoover free flights promotion, the demand for which rose far beyond the company's expectations, resulting in major costs and public relations problems for the British division and Maytag, which eventually led to its sale to the Italian manufacturer Candy. In 1993, Sandy Jack became the first person in the United Kingdom to take Hoover to court over the Hoover free flights promotion. Upon the decision in Hoover v. Sandy Jack at Sheriff Court in Kirkcaldy, Fife, a precedent is set. Hoover Holiday Pressure Group furthered court action against Hoover at St. Helens in Merseyside.

Hoover Market Position

Hoover was always a sort of mid-range priced appliance but it has occasionally dipped into the cheaper range.

Ovens, hoods and hobs that are currently on sale are Candy with a different fascia on them, there's a massive crossover in components and design. These are seemingly being pitched as more upmarket than the Candy name.

Refrigeration, especially fridge freezers, are all Candy made machines. Again these products are seen to be more prestigious than the Candy name despite being essentially the same.

All the new washing machines and washer dryers are Candy designed using many of the components found in other Candy owned brands.

Like Hotpoint what was once seen as a fantastic British brand name (even though it never was one) is no longer even truly made in Britain.

Recently there has been an increase in the number of sealed tank units from Candy Hoover where the tank of the washing machine cannot be split to be repaired. For some models there are even components now moulded into the tank that require the tank to be changed in order to repair and that's expensive. You can find out more about sealed tanks in this article.

Hoover Spare Parts

Spares pricing was very good on Hoover machines but now this seems to have fallen in to line with general Candy pricing policies. Some spares are well priced and others can prove to be a tad on teh too expensive side.

With that said we carry a large number of Hoover spares in our online store from this link and we can order any Hoover spare part so long as it is still available so, getting Hoover spares is not a problem.

Hoover Service & Repairs

Aftersales used to be very good but in recent years the service force employed by Candy in the UK has come in for some criticism on service levels and knowledge as well as very much on pricing. And now, like many others when you call for service you may find yourself talking to an operative in a call centre trained to sell you a maintenance agreement which nets Hoover a lot of money. You can find out more about this new system used by many manufacturers in this article.

The only saving grace is that many independents will repair Hoover products with little trouble although some of the more recent service information can be hard to obtain. Hoover used to produce a book almost every year with considerable product detail in it, since Hoover UK was bought by Candy this has not been done.

All that said the independent repair companies thrive on Hoover work and can often repair your machine very quickly and, very cheaply. You can search for an approved appliance repair company completely free using our engineer search service.

Hoover Key Contacts

Official website/email: hoover.co.uk

Official telephone support: 08444 995 599 (Service)

Unofficial technical support: http://www.ukwhitegoods.co.uk/forumsphpbb3

Unofficial retail spare parts supply: http://shop.ukwhitegoods.co.uk / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Primary trade only supplier (where available): Most

Address : Hoover Ltd, Pentrebach, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan, CF48 4TU

Hoover Ratings & Review

These key indicators are gathered from general opinion within the industry, spares availability with major trade spares distributors and general engineer's opinions alongside how many repairers are registered to repair Hoover appliances. You can find out more about how we work out the ratings here

Hoover market share
Not as big as people think
Hoover's market share isn't as large as people assume
Brand kudos
Not a great brand reputation in the industry
Hoover an extremely well known brand in the UK and beyond to both trade and public
Hoover appliance pricing
Middle of the road pricing
Middle of the road quality
Repair rating
Most Hoover appliances are repairable and well supported
Repairer support
Largely excellent support for Hoover appliances
DIY repair rating
Many repairs are easy enough but complex electronics can make this hard
Spare parts availability
Excellent spare part support from all suppliers
Spare part pricing
Mostly good news here too
Environmental rating
Not enough information on Hoover's environmental policies

Overall Hoover Rating

Lots of good and a little bad news on Hoover
Hoover is a reasonable brand with good support only let down by the use of the cover+1 system and the odd not so great appliance but, on the whole they are pretty good and well regarded

Please do not use the comments below to ask for technical support or advice on any Hoover appliance as the engineers will not see the request. Please use the appliance help and advice forums from this link where much more help will be available and is a completely free service.

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