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My dishwasher caught fire. AIBU to expect Hoover warrenty to pay up?

(38 Posts)
poppetsaplenty Mon 09-Dec-13 16:59:59

My 2 year old dishwasher caught fire Saturday night. It had been playing up during the day and suddenly stopped working with all lights flashing and beeping. As I paid a lot for a five year extended warranty called them up and arranged for an engineer to come out Tuesday.

Switched off machine (but not at mains as behind dishwasher). Just before went to bed, became aware of a smell of burning and that the dishwasher was making crackling sounds and there was smoke coming from under the machine. Called 999 and advised to get myself and young ds out. When fire brigade arrived it was smoking and starting to catch alight. Fire brigade put out smoldering fire and took it outside into the front garden.

Told Hoover what had happened and engineer inspected it today. He said that the machine would have been repairable as the fire was due to a component failure that could have been replaced; however as it had been outside in the damp the machine would have to be scrapped and they would get back to me later re replacement.

Just had call back from Hoover telling me that because the fault was repairable I had voided the warranty by taking the machine outside; but they could offer me a new machine at the bargain price of £200.

I have pointed out that a.) the component 'failure' was a fault on their part that could have easily destroyed my kitchen, my house and put mine and my son's lives at risk b.) that the decision to take the machine out was not mine but the fire brigade; and they would not have had to do this had the machine not been on fire.

And sure, the part may have been repairable but if I had just left it to get on with being alight as they are seeming to suggest I should have done, there would be no component to replace, no dishwasher, no kitchen and possibly no house or me either.

Is it just me or AIBU over this?

meboo Tue 10-Dec-13 17:48:20

Apparently you want

Hope this helps

zipzap Mon 09-Dec-13 23:20:54

DH thinks I am funny for not running the dishwasher / washing machine / tumble drier at night because I am worried about them - I knew I was being reasonable! So glad that you all got out safely and the fire brigade got to you before too much damage was done to your home. Bet your smoke alarms are working well now!! Did the firemen say to you that they will come and do a free check on your house (well they do in this area anyway) and will fit smoke alarms if needed... And depending on how much time they have got, they often turn up in their fire engine and will show them to the dc, and hopefully reassure your dc that the firemen will help them and not to be too scared.

There are too many reports of fires in these machines - it's worth googling your model and seeing if there are any reports of other people that have had the same problem and there are any recalls or faults or reports on your model (or similar ones). Which would help to prove that they are being unreasonable in not replacing your machine. (although I am guessing you would probably prefer the money to buy from a different brand at the moment!).

I would also ask them to clarify exactly what their advice is should you walk into a room and see your dishwasher sparking and smoking despite not being on, particularly when you have young children in the house. And really make them spell it out - at which point they expect you to leave the house, at which point do they expect you to call the fire brigade, how do they expect the fire brigade to put out the fire, what do they expect the fire brigade to do with the machine once they have put out the fire but they are not 100% sure that it will not burst back into flames, what do you do if you follow their advice and it bursts into flames, causes the kitchen to catch fire as a result - do they pay for the kitchen to be restored as a result of the fire? Do they expect you to follow what the firemen say about taking an unsafe smouldering appliance out into the garden or do they expect you to leave it in situ? And so on - so you really have lots of answers from them that show they are being completely unreasonable in their expectations of what you should have done in that situation.

Mia4 Mon 09-Dec-13 23:08:39

Damn OP, glad you are okay. YANBU at all! Hoover are being giant wankers! They are annoyed because the fire service stopped one of their products from burning down your place and had the audacity to leave it in a safe place for yourself and family?


I'd also tell them that you want them to put in writing just what they expected the fire service to do instead and that you will be contacting the ombudsman if this isn't resolved, will full apology for the ignorance and replacement.

poppetsaplenty Mon 09-Dec-13 23:01:13

Thank you Cinnamon am in process of drafting an email to the MD of Hoover; and next step will be Trading Standards as well Tapioca.

Yes they are clearly on glue mrsminiver, youthecat, talulah - their logic is almost so ridiculous it's funny.

Sorry to hear that it's happened to you Lalamum - awful isn't it but glad you weren't fobbed off.

Thanks Profplum am trying not to dwell on it - the worst didn't happen and we got out.

However - we didn't have a working smoke alarm in the house - the non replaceable ones gradually died (or were killed by me stabbing them with a broom handle when they went off in the night a few months ago); and I took out the dead battery of the other smoke alarm two weeks ago and put buying another battery on my to do list figuring out the risk of a fire was pretty low.

It wasn't. Please check you have working smoke alarms.

ProfPlumSpeaking Mon 09-Dec-13 19:52:54

Try not to dwell on "what ifs" if you can manage that.

Good luck with the repair (? sounds like a new machine is needed - I would be pushing for cash to buy a machine from a different manufacturer)

Tapiocapearl Mon 09-Dec-13 19:17:26

Trading standards and citizens advice. They will give you the official route forward rather then twitter etc.

lalamumto3 Mon 09-Dec-13 19:12:01

Hi, glad that you are all okay, I had exactly the same problem with a dishwasher catching on fire 13 years ago, it is a awful experience. Ours was made by Ignis I think, we inherited it with the house. I reported them to Trading standards, as it was so dangerous, to be fair, they replaced it immediately once I spoke to someone sensible, so don't be fobbed off. Good luck

Jenny70 Mon 09-Dec-13 19:07:28

The fire would have damaged other parts, machine would have been "damp" from fire brigade hosing it down! The component failure = fire = ruined dishwasher.


Cinnamoncookie Mon 09-Dec-13 19:02:07

Managing Director of Hoover UK is

Can't as yet find a PR or Marketing Director, and as it's Ltd company, not a Plc, little information is in the public domain.

Also can't find a twitter feed or FB page. Funny that.

talulahbelle Mon 09-Dec-13 18:42:26

What gits! I will never buy from Hoover if this is their attitude!

tinselkitty Mon 09-Dec-13 18:40:49

If they're being that picky surely a fire would have damaged the replaceable part as much as the damp has??!!

Get onto Facebook and Twitter and start posting on theirs page and tweeting them, that's usually shits companies up a bit!

YouTheCat Mon 09-Dec-13 18:40:25

How do they possibly think it would have been repairable after being on fire, even if it had stayed in the house?

mrsminiverscharlady Mon 09-Dec-13 18:36:54

Almost laughably outrageous. Reminds me why i would never touch one of their pieces of crap disguised as a kitchen appliance with a bargepole.

poppetsaplenty Mon 09-Dec-13 18:18:41

Thanks; yes it really is as described - they are blaming me (or fire brigade) for taking machine outside because the fault was repairable. I'm not sure I follow their crazy logic; because erm it wouldn't have been necessary to take the machine outside, had it not been on fire angry.

When I disputed this and asked to speak with someone higher; they just told me they were unable to transfer me and that I should just email the generic company address.

And despite everything else; when I realised that it was actually alight, I was absolutely terrified that it would just explode before I had time to make the 999 call and go upstairs to wake my son; and if I'd had an early night or a migraine and gone to bed around ten; the outcome would have been far worse.

goshhhhhh Mon 09-Dec-13 18:10:43

Dear god are they not worried about their reputation & the impact on sales!

Anniegetyourgun Mon 09-Dec-13 18:09:21

Wasn't it Hoover who Watchdog had a bit of a campaign about, ooh, must be 20 years ago now? Anyone old enough to remember but not too old to have forgotten the details? In any case, I'm fairly sure they are, or have been in the past, notorious for a cavalier attitude to customer complaints.

riskit4abiskit Mon 09-Dec-13 18:09:05

Its not directly related to the op but... have just popped on this thread to say that when I was at uni we had a fire safety talk in freshers week and the fireman said that we should never put dishwashers on while the house was unoccupied as they are a leading cause of house fires, though thankfully all house fires are quite rare.

so I don't. Hope you are ok op this would really shake me up!

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 09-Dec-13 18:07:02

Facebook, twitter and Watchdog are the way forward.
They should be offering you a new machine as a gesture of good will - to say "sorry our appliance set a light!" IMO.

HaPPy8 Mon 09-Dec-13 18:03:17

!!!! Thats terrible! Thank goodness you are ok, but you must pursue this, if there is a component failure, other people could be at risk!

nomorecrumbs Mon 09-Dec-13 18:01:39

That's awful, OP!!

I would be suing their sorry arses.

Pester the CEO with calls, letters and blast it all over. MN will spread the cause!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 09-Dec-13 18:01:06

Yanbu. Zanussi repaired my dishwasher when it caught fire.

HavantGuard Mon 09-Dec-13 17:58:21

I knew they weren't the best make but shock

They're voiding your warranty because the fire brigade took yor smouldering dishwasher outside???

Agree twitter/Facebook is the way to go.

BohemianGirl Mon 09-Dec-13 17:57:12

EU legislation covers white good for 6 years - buying a warranty is just milking you out of your money.

greenfolder Mon 09-Dec-13 17:42:13

The paid for warranty is a red herring. Basic consumer law gives you protection. They are being twats.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 09-Dec-13 17:41:19

Hoover just lost out on me buying every white appliance a house needs from them (my dd is getting a house and I'm gifting her a kitchen)


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