LG Domestic Appliances
The LG (Lucky Goldstar) Group who's current slogan is "Life's Good" is a large South Korean conglomerate which produces electronics , mobile phones, petrochemical products and of course washing machines and fridge freezers as well as a host of other things.
Created in 1947 by Koo In-hoe as Lucky Chemical Industrial Corp. the name LG comes from an abbreviation of "Lucky Goldstar", the company's name for many years until 1995 when it was re-branded. Before changing their name, many electronic products and microwaves were sold under the brand name Goldstar, while some other household products that were only available in the home Korean market were sold under the brand name of "Lucky."
LG started to make washing machines in 1969.
In 1989 LG (Goldstar) opened a microwave oven plant in the UK having previously opened one during 1988 in Turkey.
Recent introductions to the market, in what looks to be a bid to move the brand upmarket, are the Steam Direct washing machine which allegedly uses steam to enhance wash performance and the internet fridge freezer which has a screen on it to access the internet.
UK Whitegoods has officially asked for the test results and data to back the claims made for the new Steam Direct washing machine and LG and their PR company have failed to provide any evidence to back the claims being made. The steam function can also only be used on certain cycles, notably not the common cycles that a UK consumer will use.
Although LG are a massive global company and do have a reasonable worldwide share of the appliance market, surprisingly, LG's UK market share was a mere 2% in 2010.
LG Market Position
As with most new entrants to the UK market LG (Goldstar at the time) started off at the lower end of the price band and with marketing and brand building have slowly come to place themselves firmly in the middle segment of the washing machine and fridge freezer market. Having said that LG's American styled fridge freezers do tend to be extremely competitive on price and operate in the lower portion of that segment.
Recent attempts have been made to move the washing machines into the upper market segment to compete with Neff, Meile and Siemens by using new features and designer paint finishes such as the Steam Direct which is slated to retail around £950. Whether the washing machines are worth that amount is open to debate given that the internals can be largely the same as lower specification models, it is only the additional features that appear to be used as justification for the higher pricing.
It is fair to say that, compared with LG's arch rival, Samsung, that LG appear to be of a higher quality and LG have thus far stayed away from cutting costs to the same extent and lowering the quality accordingly making them, from a quality and durability point of view, a better buy. Although on washing machines especially we would often question the large capacity ratings that are used as we have noted that some seem inaccurate and we would question the value of some of the features that are touted by LG.
If you are looking at the more top end models you would be well advised to also consider paying a little more and getting a far better washing machine from either ISE or Miele. Or, if you are spending less then Bosch or many of the Electrolux products would be good alternatives.
Compared to other appliances in the same mid market sector in which LG falls into, the products seem of a reasonable quality and represent a fairly good buy for people as a general rule.
LG is one of the largest American style fridge freezer manufacturers and as such they are actually pretty good at it. LG fridge freezers have not suffered some of the reliability issues that the main rival and, arch rival Samsung has and therefore in that sector they do represent a good buy in our opinion and probably the best in the sector. Alternatives we would say are okay are from Beko and Daewoo although Daewoo is a more outside bet. However, we wouldn't recommend Samsung for a fridge freezer as they have been plagued with reliability issues.
Domestic appliances are only a tiny part of the vast LG corporation and it is often remarked by industry figures that it seems neglected in some ways compared to the more "sexy" consumer electronics products that LG make such as phones, televisions and so on.
LG Spare Parts
As a rule, spare parts are generally not that badly priced for LG products, if you can get them and, when you do get them, if they are correct. However there are some notable exceptions to the pricing mainly being electronic, motors and bearing assemblies.
Spares and technical support can be abysmal for this brand and a lot of relatively expensive spares can be delivered incorrectly through no fault of the person ordering due to inaccurate information from LG.
With spares returns, even when it is LG's fault, difficult at best and more often close to impossible repairers and spares suppliers can be very reluctant to order any spares for the appliances.
Contrary to the advertising it often appears that life isn't so good if your LG appliance breaks down with the above as well as long lead times on non-stock items, sometimes weeks on end, if ever as spares make their way from Korea. However we now have direct access to many LG spare parts meaning that we can get them considerably cheaper and considerably faster than ever before. It is also worth pointing out that LG have recognised many of the issues that we and LG customers have experienced and have actively worked to resolve many of these issues resulting in a far better service than that of a few years ago.
On the Direct Drive machines replacing the rear bearing spider can prove a very costly repair and they do fail regardless of what you may be told. Bearings on most LG washing machines seem to be a weak point and LG make a big thing of their Direct Drive system that you can find out more about here.
We have managed to improve the situation in respect to LG spares with some clever sourcing and can often supply LG spare parts at lower prices than many suppliers can but this can mean slightly longer lead times.
So whilst we can gt LG spares at UK Whitegoods with reasonable ease please bear in mind the above.
Ordering LG Spare Parts
When ordering LG spare parts please look for the full and correct model number on the machine itself. You will find this on the rating plate for your washing machine, dishwasher, tumble dryer etc in the format shown in the image to the right.
As you can see the serial number and the model number are clearly shown, for ordering spare parts only the model number is normally required for LG appliances. Having this information will mean that you order and receive the correct spare parts.
On LG fridge freezers, like most, you can find the rating plate on the inner wall of the fridge section, normally on the left hand inner wall near the bottom of the fridge.
Please do not trust model numbers printed on the instruction manual as these will usually apply to a range of machines and not be specific to one particular model and this can be extremely important depending on the features of your particular model or variant.
LG Aftersales Service
LG after-sales service is one of the most nomadic contracts in the industry having been serviced in the past by Electrolux Service Force, then ISDAL (Independent Service, Domestic Appliances Limited) and then by repaircare with agents on every network complaining of poor spares and technical backup for the products since their introduction to the UK market.
Service arrangements currently seem to be split between different service providers as JTM or 0800 Repair are also apparently being used as well as directly employed LG field service in some high population density areas.
Needless to say that due to these factors LG is not especially highly regarded within the repair industry with some repairers refusing to touch the appliances due to these issues. Many independent repairers will however gladly repair a broken LG appliance for you and you can search for one of our approved engineers using our engineer search facility.
LG Appliance Servicing
Again due to the issue with spares LG is difficult to repair with only limited technical information available and little, if any training available. Where training has been made available it has been geographically restricted not allowing a full force of trained engineers in the UK only adding to the reluctance of repairers to deal with the brand, even as agents.
There has been many complaints from engineers about leaking soap drawers and instability problems, for which LG has released a fix although they don't like to admit it due to the advertising campaign which showed a coin balanced on the lid of a washer on spin. This doesn't happen in real life in our experience.
Many of the electronic control boards seem also to be sealed in resin giving no option to repair them, you can only replace them and many we've encountered thus far can cost over £100.
Also it has been noted by several retailers and repairers that the LG washing machines seem very prone to bearing failures after a few years use and sooner depending on the level of use.
Most LG fault codes can be found in our fault code section.
Please do not use the comments below to ask for technical support, fault diagnosis or fault finding advice on any LG appliance as the engineers will not see the request here. Please use the forums where much more help will be available and is a completely free service.