More on breadmakers
Spent the better part of the last two weeks testing bread machines. So forgive me if I seem a bit fuzzy — I think I may have overdone the carbs!
Because I had one or two blips with these machines, I thought this would be a good time to “test” the company’s customer service lines. I also wanted to compare notes on warranties offered on these products. Here’s what I found. (Machines are shown above in order mentioned.)
Hamilton Beach announced earlier this year that it would offer what I believe is the only five-year warranty in Canada on small appliances. The move was prompted in part by research done by the company indicating that an overwhelming majority of consumers feel that durability, reliability and warranty are extremely important or somewhat important when making a purchase decision. No Duh!
The HB warranty applies to products purchased only in Canada, and covers defects in material and workmanship. If the item goes on the fritz, the machine will be repaired or replaced — the choice of which belongs to Hamilton Beach — and the cost of retuning defective product or receiving replacement product falls on the consumer.
Hamilton Beach also has a consumer help line, which offers the option of leaving a message requesting a return call rather than waiting on hold. Over the course of a week, I left two messages; neither was returned. There is a Q and A section on the Hamilton Beach website, but breadmakers were not listed as a category. On the plus side, if you lose an instruction book, you can find it easily online here and download it.
Breville offers a one year warranty on defects in material or workmanship. The recipe/instruction booklet for the Breville breadmaker I tested this week directed me to a 1-866 customer line. Unfortunately, it was fully automated, and did not offer the option of getting information on this particular item. So I went to the website and sent in an email query. The response directed me to the nearest retailers that handle and repair Breville products, but did not answer my query directly. However, I realized later that the issue I was having with the fruit and nut dispenser was answered in the troubleshooting section of the instruction booklet and was quickly fixed. Which just goes to show — it pays to read instruction booklets all the way through and to hang on to them.
Finally, I called the line for the Breadman machine with a bogus question. There’s lots of options to choose from that will direct your call, although if you’re not aware that Breadman is a Black and Decker product, you may get confused. When I did get through to a customer service rep, however, I did get the information I supposedly needed — from a very patience and polite young man with a charming Southern accent. Breadman offers a standard two-year warranty against defects in material or workmanship.