to think Whirlpool should replace my kitchen floor

(25 Posts)
Blatherskite Tue 18-Jun-13 14:31:03

I've been on MN for years but I don't think I've ever been brave enough to start a thread in here before so be gentle...

I'll start at the beginning.

About 4 years ago, DH and I finally saved enough money to get our 25 year old kitchen revamped and chose IKEA cabinets and appliances. We ordered the lot in May. It was all a total nightmare, deliveries were cancelled and rescheduled so they no longer co-incided with the holiday DH had booked to fit the cabinets, bits were missing, worktops were damaged, we ended up picking up everything in the back of the car... One of the worst bits was that the oven ordered in May kept getting it's delivery postponed because "it did not meet IKEA's standards". I managed to feed DH, myself and 1 yo DS using the oven function on our combi oven until it was finally delivered 6 months later in November.

The appliances have all been fairly rubbish. They are all "Whirlpool by IKEA" appliances. We're on our second dishwasher in 4 years and that dishwasher has recently had a new heater and main board, the combi oven has needed a new turntable motor and most recently the oven went.

I don't do a huge amount of oven cooking (6 months of not having one trained me out of it!) but I do make the occasional cakes, lasagne, pizza or roast dinners. In between times I try to keep the oven clean and once every 6 months or so, I run the pyrolytic cleaning function which is a feature of the oven, in fact it is one of the features that made us choose this oven over the others we looked at. The last time I did this was during a weekend a couple of months ago - I set the oven to clean and headed into the lounge to play with the children.

It was lucky I did because about 20 minutes into the cleaning time, the inner pane of glass (it has 3) exploded! The glass disintegrating creating a gap at the bottom of the door and red hot, razor sharp pieces of glass tumbled out all over my (almost brand new) kitchen floor. A few pieces rolled a good 6 feet across the room! DH and I got the children out of the way and tried to clean the glass up but it was so hot, it had stuck to the lino flooring and so sharp that DH cut himself a fair few times.

On the Monday, I called Whirlpool's customer service team (who I know well from all of the palaver with the dishwasher and combi oven) and organised a visit to get the over fixed. I also called IKEA to report the problem as I felt it was very dangerous. They agreed and noted the incident and suggested we claim through Whirlpool to get our flooring fixed. Whirlpool seemed to agree that we were entitled to make a claim and sent the forms needed straight through. I got the quotes needed to get the replacement done and sent the forms back expecting to get a cheque in the post by return.

So I was really upset when I got a letter back basically saying that it was my fault the glass had broken and they would not be paying to replace the floor! I was told that had the oven been defective, the glass would have broken as soon as I started using it not 5 years down the line and that the glass must have been "weakened as a result of an external impact during usage" to make it smash "when subjected to operational heat of the oven". They also said that the glass conformed to European Safety Standards and would break safely if it smashed at all and would break into "small granular fragments which are not sharp"

Now I know that the glass has never been subject to "an external impact" but obviously I cannot prove this. It's been used sparingly and carefully as nothing more than a standard, domestic appliance and I feel like if the oven (and the glass contained within) were fit for purpose, it should be able to stand up to normal usage for at least the length of the warranty without breaking. I'm also upset that the "safety glass" did not break into harmless fragments but into razor sharp shards and that those shards scattered themselves across my kitchen floor where my small children could very easily have been playing! Added to this, I'm obviously also upset that the almost new flooring that it has taken us the intervening 4 years to save up for and get fitted is now totally ruined as the area under the oven is covered in shiney spots where the glass fell onto it and melted the plastic, as well as areas where the top layer has completely burnt through exposing the white cushioning underneath. The oven is right in the middle of the room so it is very, very obvious.

Whirlpool were quick(-ish) to come out and replace the glass under the warranty which to me suggests acceptance of fault but they now won't right the damage that the faulty glass caused. They haven't even replaced it with an identical sheet of glass. The only one had cooking temperature markings on it and this one is completely plain.

So, - for those still reading, thank you - Am I Being Unreasonable to think that Whirlpool should be replacing my flooring and if I'm not, how to I reply to this letter they sent in an attempt to get them to change their mind?

Blatherskite Tue 18-Jun-13 14:31:31

That's really, really long! Sorry

MaxPepsi Tue 18-Jun-13 14:38:06

Reply telling them you don't agree with their conclusion (i wouldn't either), you still want the floor replacing and give them a time limit in which to do it.
If they do not comply, you will be writing to Watchdog and trading standards.
Then wait and see if they come back to you with an alternative answer.

FeckOffCup Tue 18-Jun-13 14:38:20

YANBU and I would threaten them with trading standards and small claims court for the cost of the flooring.

Blatherskite Tue 18-Jun-13 14:43:15

Oh phew. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that's unfair. I was worried that I was taking it too personally because I was upset over the new flooring

spondulix Tue 18-Jun-13 14:44:12

That is bloody awful!

I would be tempted to go to the press and get your picture taken with one of your children holding a shard of glass and doing a sadface.

YADNBU.

Horsemad Tue 18-Jun-13 14:49:44

Get onto Trading Standards and Watchdog on BBC1 - they love something like this. smile

Gah. Just lost a reasonably coherent reply.

YAclearlyNBU. Write back and say you don't agree, will launch a small claims court case if you haven't heard from them by {insert deadline} - but IIWY I would not focus too much on the "what ifs" (DC being hurt, etc). If you are only after the replacement cost of the floor (including fitting, of course) then make that clear - if they think you are going for significant compensation over and above that, then they are likely to fight harder.

Oh, and do you have any photos of the broken glass - to disprove their "small granular fragments which are not sharp" nonsense?

Blatherskite Tue 18-Jun-13 14:54:16

We have lots of photos stealth We sent them with the original letter I think.

Blatherskite Tue 18-Jun-13 14:55:25

MIL wants me to ring The JVS show for anyone within the 3 counties radio area smile

KansasCityOctopus Tue 18-Jun-13 15:01:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I wouldn't bother going to the press just yet IIWY

Refute their points:

- normal use. No knocks. No visible damage to the rest of the oven (presumably) so what sort of impact could have just damaged that sheet of glass anyway?!

- not granular - see photo attached, as sent with original claim.

Look forward to hearing from them with settlement of claim on or before {deadline}

Blatherskite Tue 18-Jun-13 17:24:25

Exactly Kansas! We have some shards but even the bits that did explode into little 'granuals' are still razor sharp and were still really bloody hot! No way were they safe!

There's definitely no damage to the rest of the oven stealth and there were definitely no visible cracks on the glass before it smashed.

It's made me a bit worried to use it to be honest. What if it does it again?

VeganCow Tue 18-Jun-13 18:23:39

Actually I think its Ikea who need to help, your contract was with them when you bought the kitchen,

I had a 3 year old cooker replaced, not by the manufacturer but the shop where I bought it, stating the sale of goods act that requires electrical appliances to be fit for 6 years use.

wonkylegs Tue 18-Jun-13 18:35:32

Another one who agrees that you should be chasing through IKEA rather than whirlpool as that's who you bought it through.
If you google "whirlpool oven doors exploding" it seems it's not a one off.

KansasCityOctopus Tue 18-Jun-13 18:40:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 18-Jun-13 18:41:31

Well if Whirlpool are saying it must have been knocked and you haven't knocked it the tell Ikea they must have knocked it and weakened it in the warehouse.

Tweet Whirlpool and Ikea loads about it. Companies hate looking crap in social media. So spam them with loads of tweets about their faulty oven.

And yes get Trading Standards involved. They should definitely be liable, your dh could sue for his cut foot!

nextphase Tue 18-Jun-13 18:53:10

YANBU, but playing devils advocate, how new is the floor? And have you done a cleaning cycle since it went in - ie did the glass get knocked when the floor went in??

If you can't get them to replace the whole floor, could it be patched? would that look better or worse than the current situation?

Blatherskite Tue 18-Jun-13 22:02:39

The floor is maybe 6 months old. It's lino though so I'm not sure how they could hit the oven hard enough with it to cause the innermost of 3 layers of glass to crack, especially without damaging the outer 2.

Tweeting a good idea.

inabeautifulplace Tue 18-Jun-13 22:10:14

Never shut the oven door on a slightly protruding oven dish or rack? I do that all the time.

tulipflowers Tue 18-Jun-13 23:10:12

Trading standard act 1982, states that goods you buy must last for a suitable length of time, your oven was still under warranty, so it was still within the life time you expected of the product.
You have every right to pursue a claim with them.. Don't stop until they have repayed all costs.

inabeautifulplace Wed 19-Jun-13 01:01:50

Tulip flowers, the manufacturer is claiming that the OP has caused damage to the glass at some point over the 5 years she has had it. No law states simply that devices must work for x amount of time; there are always caveats.

OP, the CAB website has some useful guides for electrical appliances - from what I've read it looks like ikea have palmed you off onto the manufacturer when you might get more joy from them. I think your biggest barrier to a claim will be the length of time the oven has been used for.

Blatherskite Wed 19-Jun-13 13:23:27

I'll have a look at the CAB website. Thank you.

I don't remember shutting the door on a protruding rack. I'm usually really careful about things like that.

Quangle Wed 19-Jun-13 13:30:48

My hotpoint oven door exploded like that within about 3 months of being installed. Like you I use it sparingly wink and like you I hadn't knocked it or put a heavy casserole on the open door or any other thing like that. They do just explode sometimes.

Hotpoint tried to wriggle out of it but the oven had already broken down three times by the time that happened - including on Christmas Day meaning we had sautéed potatoes for xmas dinner intead of roasties! I think by this time they were just so embarrassed that they eventually replaced the whole thing. There was no other damage to the kitchen in our case but yes I think you should be pushing for more. Agree that Ikea are the obvious place to go considering the overall nightmare you have had with them.

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