Friday, April 15, 2011

Defeat is inevitable!

What I've learned trying to fix an oven.

After all this time (since December last) and four repair people, we find we'll have to replace the oven in our old house which will be a huge amount of money. It was a primo oven; I installed it brand new 10-15 years ago.

Basically, what we've learned (in case you actually care about this experience) is that without the model number, it's tough to get help (what we've been fighting for so long). The label was plastic and the number had rubbed off along with some of the serial number.

Second, if you buy the wrong brand, customer support can be very poor. JennAir wasn't helpful last December when I contacted them with a partial serial number which they admitted they matched to a list of JennAir products 10 people registered, but refused to give us a list of possible model numbers. Their excuse was that this would somehow compromise confidentiality of other customers. In fact, they pretty well refused to help me determine the model number. I call that very poor customer support (as I can't imagine how a list of possible JennAir oven model numbers pegged to serial numbers including the partial I could give them somehow endangers other customers).

In our case, the last two independent repair persons have worked through similar circumstances with other customers before and they confirm that JennAir has probably discontinued the model and opined honestly that it's been a long time since they cared. They likely don't even produce the board anymore. There are three possible board sets we could try to see if one will fix it, but the source of the boards does not allow returns of those that fail to match. At several hundred dollars per board, ...

Well, you see the problem.

I think there are two morals to this story...

1) Don't put built-in ovens into a rental unit because they're more expensive to replace.
2) Don't purchase JennAir products.

Of course, this was our home and I bought a superb built-in oven when I totally rebuilt the kitchen from the studs out. It wasn't specifically planned that it would become a rental.

The repair folk suggest hitting or eBay for a replacement. They say there are people remodeling their kitchens and getting rid of built-in ovens that still work. We'll be trying that approach.

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