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Viking oven horror story

A friend just told me an awful story about her Viking wall oven. It broke and they had to call for a repair. The authorized repair person had to special order a part that they had to prepay for. When it arrived the box was labeled with the correct # but the actual part inside was something else and completely useless to the required repair. The service person would not give them a refund because he said it was Viking's error.

They, of course, called Viking. Viking gave them no satisfaction. They said that was impossible and they took no responsibility for what happened between when "the right" part left their facility and the wrong one arrived at their house. They said, further, that there was no single part available for that particular repair and that they'd need to order a $700 kit. In addition, they said that since the oven was 13 years old they couldn't guarantee that the kit that would arrive would fit the oven they were not longer making replacement parts for.

My friends ended up replacing it with a Wolf but I was really horrified to hear how little customer support there is for a top of the line, essential piece of equipment when an ordinary builder-type built in should have a useful life of about 16 years. I'm also really perplexed since I have a mid-line Viking sewing machine and a much more expensive and over-engineered Bernina. I always go back to my Viking since it's a workhorse with flawless performance. But my friend adds that she has since read that Viking is now using rebuilt parts in new appliances.

Can this be possible? Is this typical performance for Viking kitchen appliances?

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  1. "what happened between when "the right" part left their facility and the wrong one arrived at their house. They said, further, that there was no single part available for that particular repair "

    That does not make sense. On one hand, Viking claims they have sent the correct part. On the other hand, they said this part is not sold alone.

    Thanks for sharing.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      "That does not make sense. On one hand, Viking claims they have sent the correct part. On the other hand, they said this part is not sold alone."

      I can't speak to the OP's experience with regard to Viking because I don't own Viking anything. But I cannot believe how many similar experiences I have had in the last few years with a multitude of customer service departments. Completely irrational and illogical responses to reasonable requests and/or service complaints. I think they're all working off of the same script - and it's very difficult to make headway with crazy.

      1. re: flourgirl

        "...and it's very difficult to make headway with crazy."

        True and well said! But my major concern is how little customer support there is for what is supposed to he high end professional grade equipment.

        I know I previously had Thermador and couldn't wait to get rid of it but I was not expecting to hear that about Viking. I hope I can count on something better for my Wolf. I deliberately chose a freestanding dual fuel with the plan that I would take it with me when we sell and downsize. Now I wonder if that will be all that viable a plan in 5 or 8 years...

        1. re: rainey

          "But my major concern is how little customer support there is for what is supposed to he high end professional grade equipment."

          You are absolutely right, you have every right to be concerned and it should be unacceptable to get the kind of response that you got from Viking. And it blows my mind that so many companies are getting away with this, especially in such difficult econimic times.

      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Recently got a shipment at work that was incorrectly labeled. Our supplier had no idea that what they sent us wasn't what we ordered, so maybe that is what happened with Viking. On the other hand, our supplier was great about making sure we got the correct item once they realized the error.

      3. My mother had a very similar experience with Jenn Aire. They claim federal law doesn't allow them to provide parts for their cooktops after 10 years. She needs a new cartridge for her indoor grill/cooktop but, instead is looking at a $3500 replacement cooktop because they can't sell her a ~$300 cartridge so she can boil water in a pot.

        1. I recently did a ton of research on gas ranges recently (looking to get rid of our old electric and go gas) and found that Viking has one of the worst repair records of any high-end-make.

          I had decided on a DCS, but then found out it would cost several times the price of the range to get the gas (and requisite vent system) installed, so decided to go induction instead.

          1. I would charge anything I had to buy including the original range. At least you have the recourse of disputing the charge.
            These forums, this one and gardenweb at least give the consumer a voice and some of the manufacturers read these forums and have stepped in (if they care) to help.

            1. Sister had the same problem, had a new cooktop that didn't work from the get go. Sales center/installer said it was a warranty thing and to call the repair center responsible for warranty. They came out, said there was a problem with one of the electronic components. They contacted Wolff for the replacement part. Wolff said it wasn't their fault, the unit worked when it went out so it was the sales center/installers problem to order the part as they must have broken it on installation. Sales center/installer said it was a warranty issue as the unit was already installed (but never used as it never worked LOL) and they weren't going to order the part because the warranty repair guy had to order the part . Repairman said Wolff had the part but Wolff wouldn't fill his order because it had to come from the Sales Center and Wolff didn't believe that there was a problem than needed fixing because the Sales Center wouldn't order the part. Accountability divided by 3 equals 0 I'm afraid. Repair guys sent sister copies of all the email traffic where the arguing was going on.
              Sister wound up getting ahold of the owner of the sales center. Said the bottom line was cooktop didn't work. Needed to be fixed/replaced and she didn't care WHOSE fault it was, just fix it. The sales center could fight it out on their own time. Took her three weeks to resolve.
              Your story doesn't surprise me in the least.

              1 Reply
              1. re: freia

                That would be a situation when having it on a charge would be helpful. Figure it out now or I am reversing the charge as I do not have a working unit.