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Never going to buy GE again

Just had to replace a 3 year old GE over the range microwave - why? Because the stupid touch pad controls went out and they are not worth replacing. Apparently this is a common problem and I have to ask why this should be so. It's not as though these ovens are cheap - they cost almost 10 times as much as simple countertop microwaves - you'd think that extra cost would buy you some reliability.

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  1. it's not just GE.. my repair man just shakes his head at the appliance companies - says most brands are being built to only last a few years.

    my Amana fridge just got a major makeover. cost a bundle, but it's still working after 10 years. i refused to get a new one at this stage..

    2 Replies
    1. re: rmarisco

      We have a 20 year old microwave that just keeps on going. I'm afraid to replace it for fear that I'll get caught in the buy-break-replace cycle.

      1. re: Cachetes

        My 35 year old Panasonic microwave just died about a month ago! Guess what we replaced it with? Panasonic, but I'll bet it won't last as long.

    2. You're unlikely to find any brand that doesn't experience failures. I've had nothing but good experiences with GE (Profile and Monogram).

      1. Same here - we just replaced our Samsung over the range microwave after it failed. It was only 26 months since we bought it. The problem seems to be steam from the range ruins the electronics. We had to buy the same one, because it perfectly fit the footprint. The appliance guy said that all the over the range microwaves have this problem.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jeanmarieok

          OK - so why don't microwaves that sit on your countertop have the same problem? As far as I can tell those are just about indestructible. Also, why are these fragile over the range microwaves so much more expensive?

          1. re: kagemusha49

            The ones that sit on the counter are not above the range, so the steam from the range is not directly under them to cause the damage.
            If indeed that is the case. I think that MW in general are just not as well made as they used to be.

        2. Eeekkk! I have an over the range GE microwave that is a year and a half old. Here's hoping it lasts me more than 3 years!

          2 Replies
          1. re: SaraAshley

            Ours has been trouble free for at least 8 years.

          2. I've had a run of bad luck with kitchen appliances, all brands. I just remodeled my kitchen with GE appliances. I bought an extra 4 years of warranty for $150.00 each. That pretty much guarantees that they won't break.

            1. Had a Maytag fridge back in the '00s, and it had a PAIR of fatal flaws. Three years, two fans and four motherboards later we replaced it with an LG French door.

              We've been trouble free for 9 years, but others with a similar fridge to ours have replaced it.

              IMO there are a lot more lemons on the trees than there used to be. And they seem to come in every variety (brand).

              1 Reply
              1. re: DuffyH

                'IMO there are a lot more lemons on the trees than there used to be. And they seem to come in every variety (brand).'

                I agree.

              2. I have sold packaging products to GE and it's competitors. I still remember seeing disassembled GE washers compared to Maytag and the GE product was sheer junk.

                This problem ranges over the entire GE line. Their insane drive for profits made them take short cuts in safety in the production of their jet engines. They did not reject any of the tungsten castings used to make the large front rotor while their competitor - Pratt and Whitney rejected over 25% due to defective castings. This cost over 125 lives in a United crash in Cedar Falls IA.

                This goes all the way back to Thomas Edison who founded GE. Edison backed direct current which is used only in vehicles now. Edison had problems with getting enough power out of his motors and Tesla agreed to help for a certain sum of money. Tesla never got a cent and died in a NYC hotel only because some GE executives took pity on him.

                When Jack Welch headed up GE, he made his managers fire the bottom 10% of their management people every year. GE is a real lions den with their only objective being profit at the expense of everone. It is the largest industrial company on earth. Jeffrey Immelt is a lot smoother than Jack Welch but you do not change a company that was founded over 100 YAG in 1892.

                Avoid GE.


                5 Replies
                1. re: butchburton

                  A plane crash in the 80's means that GE appliances are bad today?

                  1. re: ferret

                    Could indicate a problem across the board in what's important to them. Appears so.

                  2. re: butchburton

                    You also take huge license with that Tesla tidbit. GE didn't lead to Tesla's ruin. He left GE and sold his patents to Westinghouse for $1 million plus royalties and his AC system was very successful commercially. He had many other issues later on that led to his dying penniless.

                    1. re: butchburton

                      Tesla was done in by his financial backer, JP Morgan. After Tesla discovered that free energy could be taken out of the ground, Morgan dumped him. Left Tesla out in the cold. After all, why sink money into an electrical system that is virtually free? No profit there.

                      1. re: Enigma3

                        It probably didn't help Tesla in his dealings with others that he was a certifiable looney. If you read his autobiography he claims to be able to hear conversations from 10 miles away.

                    2. Our GE Profile over the range microwave touch pad died on us over the weekend too but it has been 5 years. $85 just for a repairman to come out and look at it before anything is done. Duh!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Davydd

                        Let me know how much the repairman says it will cost to fix - my research indicated it would be $300+ which makes replacement the better option.

                        1. re: kagemusha49

                          I'm going to give you my $84 advice because that is what it cost me to have a service man come out. If your touchpad fails it has to be replaced, period. Brace yourself. It is called a Control Panel and the cost for one is $651.12. Adding labor and tax the final cost would have been $842.49. Can you believe that? I don't think I paid $500 for the microwave new and the service man said I could get a similar new microwave for under $600 today.

                          I had it in my mind something like this was going to cost me $200 or so and I was willing to pay that. Needless to say, I will be out shopping for a new microwave.

                          1. re: Davydd

                            HMOG that's outragious. I would look on-line for a less expensive parts source. Maybe there is one out there. Otherwise, you are shopping for a new one. Good luck.

                      2. I've been burned with GE appliances in the past, so I'm not a big fan. The GE refrigerator we left in the house when we moved, it was 10 years old and not a piece of plastic on it wasn't broken. I've been in the plastic business for 40 years so I don't just knock plastic for no good reason. This was poor design and poor manufacturing. We just remodeled our kitchen a couple of years ago now, and we are sans GE.

                        I have to admit, I don't think any appliances are mad as well as they used to be. I have a 31 year old Whirlpool freezer, that I've never spent a dime on and use still today. An old (23 years) Amana refrigerator that's been repaired twice I think. And a 2 year old Electrolux refrigerator where the repair guy's been out three times and brought it back to the shop twice. It's being replaced by Electrolux, hopefully before Christmas.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: mikie

                          Over the range microwaves are bathed in additional heat and moisture. A disaster waiting to fail.

                          As a property manager and landlord for over 25 years, I have bought most low to mid level kitchen appliances. You get what you pay for. Why buyers are too cheap to get a years subscription to Consumer Reports in order to do basic research on a major purchase befuddles me.

                          Thanks to the advent of computer boards, we can look forward to service call bills for any glitch in the system.

                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                            It's interesting that CR's top 3 OTR MW ovens are GE. There's one more in the top 10. In terms of reliability, GE ranks right in the middle of the pack.

                            This tells me that there's an awful lot of subjectivity at work here. If we've had a good experience, we tend to have a favorable view of a brand. If we've had a bad experience, every appliance ___ makes is crap.

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              I've used CR and it is some help, but there are a lot of issues with relying on their recommendations.

                              For starters, many of the models they review are no longer in production due to the delay between the review and publication.

                              Then there's the subjective part of the testing where one tester doesn't like the shape of a knob or something and that scews the overall score.

                              More importantly, there's the "feature" factor, some testers like every bell and whistle, while those may be neat to have, they may not be necessary for some people and these features add to the overall cost of the appliance, and to the reliability.

                              I'm not sure how objective their reliability data is. People are more likely to complain about something they paid a lot of money for and has issues, than a cheap appliance that has even worse issues. Afterall, it was cheap, what should I expect, right? It seems like all the really high end appliances do very poorly in the reliability section, Viking, Wolf, Sub-Zero, etc. But, if they are so unreliable, then why to people continue to purchase them? It's kind of the same way with cars, some top brands MB, BMW, etc. are rated poor, but the issues are all with some electronic gadget these cars have that many others do not. Same with the Ford infotainment system, it gets a lot of verbal abuse for the interface, but that has very little to do with the overall car.

                              Anyway, you need to factor in CR, but you can't really use it as a final decision maker, IMO. CR also has a caviat with their reliability ratings that the delta between scores needs to be of some value before you are outside the confidence limits of the result, so that dilutes the reliability numbers as well.

                              1. re: mikie

                                I understand all that, mikie, and agree completely that CR, like every other testing facility, offers some help, but should never be more than one resource among many.

                                Reliability ratings aren't based on good or bad reviews. They're derived from questions answered in the annual surveys, sent to all subscribers. The questions are as objective as CR can make them. They run along the lines of "What part broke?" "What did it cost to repair?" My wholly subjective gut feeling is that these are, if anything, skewed to show things as more reliable than they are. We might forget about a minor repair.

                                My point remains, I think, that all of this is still almost completely subjective.

                                1. re: DuffyH

                                  I agree, it's all rather subjective. I know it's a survey, but I think people are more inclined to respond if they have a dog in the fight, in otherwords, an issue to expose. If I bought a $400 fridge and it's all working, I'm less likely to be motavated to respond than if I bought a $3,000 fridge and had something go wrong.

                        2. also, i just realized... i had an o'keefee and merritt oven from the 50's in our first house and if i could get it back i'd take it in a heartbeat.... the older appliances are still rock solid

                          1. I sold appliances for over 25 years. GE appliances have always been low end. The only GE brand I would own is Monogram. These days, Frigidaire is trying to match GE in low quality. Stick to Whirlpool brands or Bosch.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Enigma3

                              I got my replacement for the GE from LG. I've had a good experience with a high-end LG TV (well - I call 3D high end) and figure I'll see how their microwaves work. According to online reviews it should be better than GE.

                            2. Indian River upstream is right,albeit I would have to disagree with his assertion that consumer reports knows what they are talking about.
                              You put a cheap microprocessor in a microwave and mount it about a cooktop with all that steam and you are going to have problems.
                              Take the computer you are staring at stone faced right now and mount it above your cook top and you get the idea.
                              My countertop MW has been working great for 19 yrs.

                              Theres really just 1 company that makes all the high side components for all microwaves,so they are all the same mechanically.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: shikken

                                Somehow I figure that some of the ten times extra cost of the above range microwave would go to shielding the electronics - I mean seriously where does the extra cost versus countertop microwaves go?

                                1. re: kagemusha49

                                  This is what I've been told. Appliance cost has nothing to do with the actual cost or amount of raw materials, but the volume of units produced. I found this out when I was looking at a slide in stove vs free standing. There is no cabinet on a slide in so I thought it should be less expensive, it was not. It's all based on volume. There are more stand alone or counter top microwave ovens produced than over oven units. Plus the over the oven typically has a vent built in.

                              2. So sorry to hear this. Yeah, you really have to wonder if the touch pad control is that much better than the older design. I do agree with rmarisco. This is probably not just a GE thing.