Consumer group Which? has slammed Whirlpool over the delays in carrying out modifications to what are billed as potentially dangerous tumble dryers.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that one year on, Whirlpool customers are still seeing slow, poor service and potentially receiving incorrect and dangerous advice," said Alex Neill, from Which?.
"Its modification programme is clearly not progressing as fast as it should."
However as we have pointed out many times on this website, the sad fact of the matter is that there are simply not enough skilled repair personnel to carry out the modifications any faster.
In fact we have heard a number of times now of Whirlpool (or Indesit) repair techs stopping other repair technicians from other companies and offering them a “golden handshake” to switch employment to Whirlpool service. Allegedly with sums of up to £1500 being paid to Whirlpool employees that recruit repair technicians from the businesses and that stay for six months.
The reality is, there’s too many machines to be attended to and not enough people to do it. That’s it.
We are seeing exactly the same thing happen in the USA with the safety recall on Samsung washing machines where, Samsung is having to move outside it’s traditional repair network and use the likes of satellite dish repair companies to modify their washing machines as, there’s not enough slack in the system and people to carry out modification faster.
And, just like Whirlpool here, not enough production capacity to produce machines fast enough to replace the affected machines but even if there were, not the capacity in the distribution chain to deliver them any quicker.
Without a magic wand neither problem could be solved.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that one year on, Whirlpool customers are still seeing slow, poor service and potentially receiving incorrect and dangerous advice,” said Alex Neill who is the managing director of home and legal services at Which?. “Its modification programme is clearly not progressing as fast as it should. Following the devastating fire caused by a tumble dryer in Shepherd’s Bush earlier this year, Whirlpool cannot be allowed to continue letting consumers down. It must clean up its act and sort out this mess urgently.”
That’s great, how does Whirlpool do that?
With no staff to do it faster and not enough production capacity or distribution just how to they solve this unprecedented problem?
It’s all very well getting soundbites into the media but the facts are the facts and these comments offer no solution to the very real issues that companies, when faced with recalls of this nature simply do not have the resources to solve problems of this magnitude at the drop of a hat.
Could Whirlpool do better, perhaps but we cannot see how other than to employ the services of almost every repairer in the UK and that will not happen as many will not work with the like of Whirlpool. There are industry politics that stand in the way of that happening.
Of course as a part of this news off the back of a survey carried out by Which? others have chimed in to slate the recommendations form the manufacturer over the use. Most reports you will read will be slanted towards that the advice is incorrect, not enough etc.
Please read the tumble dryer safety tips that we give and your dryer, regardless of what make and model that you have, will stay as safe as possible.
For us, this makes a mockery of these calls stating that Whirlpool’s advice is incorrect as all tumble dryers should be maintained this way and, as we have said repeatedly, all tumble dryers if they are not maintained correctly are potential fire risks.
In fact it may even prove to be dangerous as owners of other brands feel they are not affected and don’t need to care about it!
Due to this recall we’ve seen a few in the news of late and some are not these affected dryers but other brands, totally unrelated to this recall.
As we state, clearly and as often as anyone will listen, there’s very little in a tumble dryer that can catch fire and even were it to, it would quickly burn out with little if any external damage. They don’t make tumble dryers from flammable materials as, that’s be kinda dumb don’t you think?
What does go on fire is what people put in them and, if the filters are not correctly maintained fluff builds up internally and this becomes a huge fire risk.
Perhaps rather than just shouting at manufacturers about things they cannot do much about, education on use may be a better path to greater safety and, far more effective.