GE Is Taking Forever To Fix My Oven, Sends Me Broken Part

No matter how much heat Joseph buts on GE to fix his oven, he can’t get things cooking. Despite dumping big money into repairs, he isn’t sure whether or not he should continue the latest bungled fix-up process or just buy a new oven.

He writes:

I’m looking for advice on what to do about my oven situation.

In 2004, I purchased a GE wall oven ($998) to replace my existing oven, which only had two temperatures – “off” and “smelt”. When I looked at all of the products, there was no doubt in my mind I’d get a GE oven, as my other GE products have been very dependable, and GE is in the top 10 for customer support on Consumerist (http://consumerist.com/2006/11/top-10-companies-for-customer-service.html) . I also got a GE range and hood to match, and wound up at approx $3,000. I’ve been very happy with my purchase, as both products have worked admirably in that time-frame – until the troubles began with the wall oven.

In September 2009, the oven would not light. As this is a purely electric appliance, you can’t even just light it with a match or similar, as there is no pilot light, but a electronic igniter which does not release gas until hot – it’s unusable until repaired. I called GE’s nonwarranty support, who dispatched a repairman a week later. The whole of it was $240, which included a $75 trip charge, which was required to have the technician show up and make a diagnosis. I was assured that the replacement part was covered for 5 years, so felt OK with spending 25% of the cost of the oven on a single part.

Flash to Mid-January 2010, the same thing started happening again – the igniter failed to ignite. I called GE, who again sent a technician a week later. When he arrived, he told me the $40 part was indeed covered under warranty, but I’d still have to pay the $75 trip charge and his labor – in other words, the repair of this part under warranty would still cost approx $200. I was fairly unhappy with this, but understood the labor costs so agreed to pay it. He replaced the igniter, and it still didn’t work – he determined that an integrated electronics package that is actually at fault. The repair would actually be $350. At this point, I would have spent nearly $600 in repairs on a $1k oven – but decided that the oven was worth it. He didn’t have the part he needed, so he had me pay the $75 trip charge and stated he’d come by a week later (2/5). I instead asked him to come by on my next payday (2/12) when I’d have a little more cash to cover it.

This is where things started to go off the rails.

On 2/12, he calls and asks if I had the part. I said we agreed it was to be shipped to him, and I hadn’t gotten anything. He stated that that’s how he recalled it, but he got nothing from GE parts and wondered if they had perhaps shipped it to me by mistake (they hadn’t). He called and orderd a new one, stating they told him the recent storms were to blame. Now, the appointment was originally supposed to be February 5th – the storms didn’t start till the 7th or 8th. In any event, we rescheduled for the 19th.

On 2/19, he calls and states that the part had not arrived again. He called GE parts, who had no idea what had happened. No tracking number was ever sent, no part. We rescheduled again for 2/26. Less then happy, I called GE customer care. They stated that this was not how things are usually run, and that they’d supply the part at no charge due to the mishaps. Somewhat mollified (knowing that the part is only a fraction of the repair cost, anyway), I agree this is fair.

On 2/26, he calls and states the good news is, he’s spoken with GE parts, who indicated that the part would be free, and it’s arrived. the bad news is, it came broken! He called them and asked that the part be checked prior to shipment, and then booked and appointment with me for 3/5.

At this point, I’m not sure what to do. It does not seem like GE parts will be able to actually supply the part that I need. We haven’t been able to use the oven for nearly a month and a half, and this is causing a fairish problem with cooking stovetop-only dinners for a family of 6. As the cost of the repair is a large chunk of the way towards the cost of a new oven, I’m tempted to just purchase a new, non-GE oven – and eat the $75 trip charge and all my wasted time. However, I do like the oven a great deal. What should I do, Consumerist?

Any advice for Joseph?