Cheap Products With Kitchens
We often see people that think they bought good machines only to find they didn't
Having to deal with appliance repairs over many years we've become more than a little jaded about cheap appliances and, the all too often, subsequent complaints about them failing or not performing as expected. But where this really irks me is when we have a customer on the phone who has bought a new kitchen full of "free" appliances or low cost ones with these types of complaints.
It really is, in many cases, a simple; you get what you pay for.
We've looked at kitchens from major high street names, internet sellers, DIY sheds and many other retailers and the one thing that seems to stand out as clear as day is that a kitchen supplied and fitted by a kitchen specialist stands head and shoulders above the cheaper alternatives. I say this not through having any grudge against the large retailers particularly, but they tend to have a "pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap" mentality whereas the specialists tend to actually listen to what the person buying the kitchen actually does, needs and wants. Thoughtful kitchen design is paramount as you are spending a lot of money on it and it has to last, but also important is that it has to function for you.
The same goes for the appliances that you install in the cabinets and this is all too often what leads to the aforementioned complaints.
Usually as they are all own label brands and not what people think they are.
Appliance Product Knowledge
A great many kitchen companies have little or no product knowledge whatsoever. Not only how they work, what they do and how good they are but many don't even know how to properly install the appliances in the first place. With kitchen appliances that you want to last beyond a couple of years, if they even work correctly on installation, we consider this pretty important.
Some examples of this are as follows and every one of these is true, from real world experience.
A customer was sold Necht appliances and was told by the salesman that they were German made. In fact the appliances in question were Chinese and possibly some of the worst we've seen.
Customer told by the kitchen company that Tecnik were German made by the BSH (Bosch) Group, totally incorrect although they are serviced by BSH they are in fact branded appliances made solely for Moben who own the brand name.
Many customers have been told that static ovens areas good as fan ovens. Wrong, totally different animals in terms of performance.
Cooker hoods are classics, so often we are told horror stories about them performing miracles, removing smoke and odour whilst not being vented to the outside. This simply will not happen on recirculation mode and do not believe anyone that tells you otherwise.
These are only a few, working in a busy service department we will see these sorts of complaints on a daily basis.
No-Name Appliance Brands
These days there are slews of brand names out there in the kitchen world, own label brand names that mean nothing to most people and all seem to have large ranges of appliances for sale, most of them seemingly very cheap. Obviously these brands do not have huge factories pumping out all these appliances and all they do is buy them in from wherever they can.
In some ways this is a good thing as it does breed some competition but there is a dark side to it as well. Most of these brands are what we call "cost engineered", that is to say that they are built to a price, not a standard and this leads to issues with build and with performance.
Of course now you know this, but many people don't.
Loads of people buy these cheap appliances, sometimes without even knowing that's what they are actually buying, then expect the performance to be as good as a true recognised brand at over twice the price. To us, that's like trying to tell us that a car costing £10,000 is just the same as the one costing £20,000. It is not a realistic expectation to hold.
The simple truth is that these appliances are built cheap, often don't perform well and in many cases break sooner than their more expensive rivals. As we said, you get what you pay for.
Free Domestic Appliances
Whilst we're talking about getting what you pay for, how about free appliances, that can't be a bad deal can it?
Let us put it this way, the kitchen market is extremely competitive and cut-throat all you need to do is open your local Sunday paper to see that. So, how then can you build in the cost of a free appliance or appliances?
Simple, you can't.
As the old adage goes, you get nothing for nothing and it applies here.
What they do is cut the costs somewhere else, leave out the "extras" or whatever to enable the offer of, what looks to be on the surface of it, a great deal.
Old adage number two then come into play, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
But even if you're still being swayed by the lure of a seemingly free appliance, usually a dishwasher, then think about this for a moment please, the kitchen company had to pay for that appliance, if it were you what would you give away for free, a decent product or the cheapest one you could lay your hands on? Not much thinking required really is there?
There are many things that you can do to stop yourself being lumbered with appliances that half work, burn units, doors fall off and a host of other problems, research what you buy.
Not all appliances are the same, they don't all do the job in the same way as, much like cars, there are huge differences in performance and they are not all built to last forever. In fact some of the cheap rubbish we've seen coming from the Far East, especially China, seems not to be built to last a year.
Exactly the same goes for the actual kitchen cabinetry, the cheaper it is the less solid, reliable and long living it is liable to be.
In both instances, if you cut the price you also cut the quality.
When you are looking to replace your kitchen look at all the options, it may pay dividends to buy the kitchen from a reputable source and the appliances from a specialist in the field rather than going for an all-in-one solution. Apart from getting a better quality in both you may well save money.
However, if you're still not convinced that all this advice is correct and you want a cheap kitchen full of cheap appliance please, be my guest and buy them. We, or one of our fellow repairers, will no doubt be visiting soon enough and thank you for helping to keep us in business.