Cookies are made by baking them in a hot oven for a short amount of time. Generally, this does not involve setting them on fire, unless you’re Doug. Not because he and his wife are running exciting experiments in culinary gastronomy, but because their LG oven, purchased in 2011, is defective. It heated up above 625 degrees and the upper heating element wouldn’t turn off, resulting in flaming cookies and a family frightened for its safety. They hadn’t even been using the range for a year yet, but since they bought it in advance and stored it while their kitchen was renovated, the one-year warranty is up.
What on earth? Doug explains:
I purchased an LG electric range, model LRE30453ST, from [redacted] on 11/15/11 along with matching refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave. I was remodeling the kitchen at the time and so I had [redacted] store the appliances until February 2012, when they were delivered. So I have used the range only since February this year. [In mid-December], the temperature on the oven randomly skyrocketed, lighting a batch of cookies on fire. The oven flashed an error of F9, which I later found out meant “Oven too hot”. My wife turned the oven off, let it cool, and attempted another batch of cookies. This batch burned as well, so she turned the oven off and left it. I later walked by and happened to notice that the heating element on the top inside the oven was still running, although the display for the oven appeared to be off. I had to turn the circuit breaker off to get the heating element to turn off!
The fact that this very dangerous situation occurred at all is a big issue, but I’m also disappointed with the way that LG customer service responded when I called. When I called the regular customer support line, I spoke with a polite gentleman who apologized and told me that my range was a month outside of the 1 year warranty period. The gentleman gave the name and number for a local repair company, but said that LG would not cover the work. I called and had the repair company come out the next day. The technician said that to get the F9 error code, the oven temperature had to be at 625 degrees for at least two minutes.
Sounds pretty dangerous to me! The price for the repair is $321, almost half the price of the range! Today, I found the number for LG’s Executive Support Line on the LG Facebook page, so I gave them a call. I talked to [B], who was pleasant and apologetic about the issue. [B] checked my range’s serial number against a list of ovens with a specific known issue, but did not find mine on the list. [B] said that since I had already paid for the repair work by LG’s authorized repair company (even though the work has not been completed), she could not help me. [B] said there was not way to reimburse me for money I have already paid.
I explained my frustration that the Executive Support Line should be able to cut through red tape like that even if the company doesn’t have an established process to do so. I offered to send documentation to show that the range was delivered less than a year ago. [B] did offer to send information about my case to her management, although she stated she had already conferred with management prior to telling me there was nothing further that she could do. So at this point, I am waiting to hear back from the management, although I am not holding out too much hope that they will agree to reimburse me.
I’m very disappointed that this dangerous issue occurred and with the way LG has handled it. Before this, I have always been happy with my LG products. I just wanted to share my story with you.
We checked back in with Doug after a few weeks to see whether he had heard from the management. Perhaps LG decided that “reimbursement” is actually a thing, or that setting cookies on fire really is a defect? No. Doug writes:
Yes, I did hear back from them on Dec. 27th. The person with whom I spoke on the executive support line emailed me back and told me that her management said that since my range was not part of a recall, there was nothing further that they could do and that they could not reimburse me.
Since Doug has already dealt with the highest levels of customer service, we don’t have a lot of advice to offer, except for this: it’s probably not such a hot idea to store appliances for months at the beginning of their warranty period unless it means you’re getting a fantastic discount. He should also consider reporting his superheated range to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. We would all be better off if LG didn’t make self-destructing appliances, though. Won’t someone think of the cookies?