Viking Customer Still Hot Over Knobs

The guy who complained about his Viking knobs wrote in again. His letter, inside.

Hyman writes:

    “Dear Ben,

    Thank-you for your suggestion to call Viking corporate. I did that and spoke to a supervisor who said she will speak to the engineers at Viking and get back to me. I suggested she check consumerist for more details. That perked up her ears. I offered Ingen Angiven’s brilliant suggestion of a set of replacement knobs that stick out a little further or alternatively of a metal rod that slips over the existing axle thereby extending the original knob further out.

    You said that you “can read the oven knobs just fine” The oven knobs are the second ones in from either end. The other four knobs are the stove top knobs and they are not problematic.

    Stepping back is not an option, as I would have to step back too far to handle the dial.

    I agree with the commenters who imply that I must be stupid for not spotting the problem in the showroom. They are right, except that the appliance was bought by name reputation, assuming (never assume) that a company as high end as Viking would have QA to pick up obvious defects.

    Incidentally, recent model Viking ranges do not have the problem. Obviously Viking was made aware (not by me) of the defect and corrected it.

    What is Dremel?

    I am, and you must be too, pleased by the lively discussion generated.


We’re glad Hyman stepped up and called Viking instead of just being discouraged by their email response. If one avenue of customer service approach doesn’t work, it helps to try another.

A Dremel is a hand-sized rotary tool. Among its many uses, you can cut through metal with it.

Regarding the workaround…. step back, lock the position of the dial in your mind, then approach and turn the dial to where you think it goes. Step back and check. Adjust, repeat as many times as necessary.

Try before you buy. Just because a product is name brand doesn’t mean you don’t need to think critically about your purchase. — BEN POPKEN


Edit Your Comment

  1. kerry says:

    It’s funny he should mention Viking’s “name reputation,” since that’s precisely what kept me away from choosing a Viking range. I liked it in the showroom, but when I googled Viking I found nothing but people complaining about products that break due to bad engineering and a company that refuses to fix said bad engineering. I think someone called them the Sony of appliances, since they’ve got all that name recognition and no QA to back it up.

  2. RumorsDaily says:

    I’m a hero!

  3. enzo says:

    Hah. Funny.
    This is not a “defect” as he puts it. It’s a design decision, and he doesn’t have to like it, but it also doesn’t mean they have to bend over backwards for him.
    You screwed up buying something you didn’t look at. Deal with it.

  4. “What is a Dremel?”

    Oh dear god…

    “When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: ‘Whose?'” – Don Marquis

  5. JeffreyK says:


    Viking Pops Customer Hyman In Kitchen

    Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Try the chicken… it’s divine.

  6. MeOhMy says:

    “Stepping back is not an option, as I would have to step back too far to handle the dial.”

    Either your arms are very short, or you’re still being a little too dramatic. I agree that it’s less convenient, but I’m sure you can make this work if you try.

    It’s good to hear you are getting a more favorable response!

  7. cudthecrud says:

    Dremel is like Kleenex, a brand name that has become so ubiquitous that it defines a product… or like Rollerblades

  8. Falconfire says:

    “This is not a “defect” as he puts it. It’s a design decision” Its a defect. Any moron who graduated industrial design who would think that in any way makes sense from a cooks standpoint is a defect of the human genome.

  9. Myron says:

    My hat’s off to Hyman. He took a lot of abuse in the first post’s comments and managed to keep his cool.

  10. synergy says:

    Ditto Myron’s comment.

  11. RapperMC says:

    I agree that it could indeed be a defect. If, as Hyman said, they did change the design in subsequent models, it’s possible that a design mistake took place. Scenarios like,
    “How can we save some money this quarter?”
    “How about only making 4/6 of the knobs needed for that new stove, and we’ll use up the rest of these off that other stove that didn’t sell as well?”
    “Sure, try it out.”
    One week later:
    “Um…they didn’t fit as well as we thought they would. You can’t really see the numbers unless you step back, or if you’re really tall, you have to actually get on your knees…”
    “Well, just…put them in the middle of each side, and everyone will think it was intentional. We’ve got NAME REPUTATION!”

    happens all the time. maybe.

  12. kcs says:

    My parents bought a house with this very stove in it. I can attest that the oven nobs are very annoying. I also think that they are kind of dangerous. I tend to be forget to turn the oven off after using it. With this oven, you are less likely to notice that the oven has been accidentaly left on because you actually have to bend ove and check the nobs to see whether or not it’s on.

  13. kcs says:

    My parents have this stove and I can attest that the oven nobs are really annoying. I also think they are kind of dangerous. I often forget to turn off the oven and usually only remember later when, walking through the kitchen , the nobs in my over (which are in plain sight) catch my eye and I notice the oven is on. With the viking, however, you actually have to bend over to make sure the oven is turned off.

  14. homerjay says:

    I work for a kitchen design company and we have this stove in our showroom. It is very unimpressive. Its broken several times for several reasons. Most of the time the burners won’t light on the top and when it was first installed we kept noticing a faint smell of gas. We’re not an appliance store, it was just part of a fully functioning display kitchen for us. But as I understand it, for the money, Thermador is a FAR superior product.

  15. emax4 says:

    I think after using it for a while you’d pretty much know what settings are on the dials and how far to turn them. I don’t have to look at my remote control every time I want to go to one of my favorite channels.

  16. pronell says:

    Yeah, I gotta agree, Emax4. I just love it when my oven is on 475. It’s just not the same feeling as when it’s on 460 or 490.

  17. phelander says:

    Yeah, you have to do a lot of bending over if you have a Viking. Just sayin’ is all.

  18. Anonymous says:

    If I replace the stove hinges I will have spent over $1,000. on the oven of my 36″ Viking stove over the past 10 years. Here is what I just wrote Viking service online: I’ve replaced My stove’s glo igniters (twice), both gas burners (rusting between holes), both tubes leading from shut off regulator (rusted hole), Spot welds holding the heat shield against oven floor failed, dropping shield onto burners (now held on with wire), Cracked interior door glass (not broken through contact! not replaced)and now being told that the door hinges need replacing because the oven door does not fully close, heating the bottom of the stove’s knobs and causing burns. Are there any springs that I can buy to correct this problem? If not, will the same problem re occur with new hinges? I do offer Viking a big quality compliment on the construction quality of the oven shelving racks , however. They have remained perfectly flat and the chrome plating is as good as when I purchased the stove. As you can see, I’m not a satisfied customer… and for good reason! I find it shocking that a company does not upgrade design when they start having problems with their product.