GE Appliances

GE Appliances Review

I know this commonplace complaint, like thousands before me, will head straight into the wind because the world just works in this way: technical support and repairs works as a profit center for a corporation. | My GE Profile microwave abruptly failed out of warranty after years of use. The cause was due to a wire burning up inside that had not been loosely connected, said the GE technician, so this was an issue of inadequate quality–not bad enough to cause the microwave to fail quickly but enough to cause failure over time. | After taking the microwave out of the built-in cabinet, it only took the technician about 5-8 seconds to find and diagnose the problem, several minutes to get the right part (a wire) from the truck, and a couple of minutes to fix it. The labor charge was $121 for about 7 minutes of repair work, to be liberal with time. (This charge is separate from the charge to come to our home and diagnose the problem.) This prorates to about $1,000/hour for a basic wiring change, which I think is exorbitant. I understand that the technician is a highly trained individual, but this is already reflected in the high labor rate. | According to GE, the cost to replace the “built-in” microwave, which came with a matching stainless steel frame would be $550 if we wanted the new microwave to match the frame at least (but not necessarily the oven, stove, etc.). This is the kind of cost you don’t think about when you buy a new home built with matching appliances–well, I didn’t. | Companies like GE can rationalize all they want about all the overhead associated with servicing a repair call. I can certainly grant them some leeway, but in the end, charging an extra 8 times more an already high labor rate given the time needed to fix the problem is simply price gouging a consumer who has no good recourse. | (This is why I pretty much avoid repairing anything, except for my car. It’s almost never worth it.) | I recently had an experience with an experienced plumber charging an hourly rate of $150, prorated by and rounded up to half-hour increments of work, regardless of difficulty of work. Repairing an appliance should work the same way, and my GE bill would have been halved. | Because of such profiteering, I will not consider purchasing a GE appliance in the future. I pray that this microwave doesn’t break down again in the coming years due to some other problem. It would be a lot less expensive to just buy a non-matching portable microwave then for $100-$150 than to keep up appearances. | To be fair, the woman who fielded my service call was courteous and empathetic. Because the microwave apparently had an electrical burning problem, she waved the diagnosis fee. Otherwise, my simple repair would have run several hundred dollars, more than the cost of the microwave. However, she was unwilling to reduce the labor charge, so based on how strongly I felt ripped off, I give GE a star rating overall.

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