• Report: #373263

Complaint Review: Maytag Corp. (aka Whirlpool Corp.)

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  • Submitted: Mon, September 15, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, November 18, 2008

  • Reported By:San Diego California
Maytag Corp. (aka Whirlpool Corp.)
2000 North M-63 MD2900 Benton Harbor, Michigan U.S.A.

Maytag Corp., Whirlpool Corp., Nordyne, Inc. Maytag defraud customers with egregious product quality and service Benton Harbor, Michigan

*Consumer Comment: The dirty tricks that come with the Washer

*Consumer Suggestion: Not really a Maytag/Nordyne problem

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Maytag is a Total Fraud

I bought a Maytag M1010 whole-house A/C system from an authorized Maytag dealer. The AC failed to work with multiple defects. Maytag could not produce any local dealer who is willing to perform warranty service without me paying. After incurring $878 out-of-pocket expense for the diagnosis and repair (at the insistence of Maytag's insurance company), Maytag sent me a $35 refund check and claimed the rest is deductible. I filed a BBB complaint on Whirlpool because Maytag does not have an independent office after the 2006 acquisition. After an 80 day wait, Whirlpool just notified me that my AC is NOT Maytag because the production had been outsourced to Nordyne. As a result, neither the product quality nor the warranty service is their responsibility. Can you believe this could happen to a major name brand?!

Do not buy Maytag products and don't let the lonely repairman advertisement fool you. Maytag has horrific product quality and ridiculous customer service. After a six month warranty repair ordeal on my Maytag A/C system, I have just come to the shocking realization that Maytag might not actually exist as a physical entity. Its management/administration is handled by Whirlpool, its manufacturing is decentralized and handled by the third parties (in this case Nordyne), its warranty service is handled by insurance companies (in this case Equiguard). So as a Maytag customer, I was actually dealing with a phantom operation. When I called Maytag Customer Service, I did not know I was actually talking to the insurance company who can't care less.

So unless you want to repeat my experience, do not buy Maytag. Whirlpool is now the legal entity that superseded Maytag after its acquisition in 2006. Don't buy Whirlpool either, because Whirlpool will not stand behind the brands it carries. I was told Maytag is just a brand they carry. Because its manufacturing is franchised to Nordyne, Whirlpool has nothing to do with either the product quality or service, nor can they compel Nordyne to respond to customer inquiries. If you do not trust me, please go to www.my3cents.com or www.ripoffreport.com and type in either Whirlpool or Maytag to read the horror stories from hundreds of customers. BBB complaint has tripled to 1400 per year since Whirlpool acquired Maytag, from less than 500 cases per year.

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Here is my long story if you want to experience Maytag's Worry-Free Warranty.

I bought a Maytag M1010 whole-house A/C & furnace system in Jan 2007. In a moment of weakness in my heart, I was persuaded by Maytag's sales presentation which promised:

(1) Worry-free warranty, 10 years parts and labor: The precision teamwork required to design, engineer and deliver superior products is a key component of Maytag's appeal. Because of quality controls, such as computer-automated testing on each unit, Maytag home comfort equipment is produced right the first time to ensure worry-free performance.
(2) Worry-free warranty, 10 years parts and labor: To put you even more at ease, each Maytag system comes with an exclusive Maytag Worry-Free Warranty! Each M1010 Series product comes with a 10-year Worry-Free Warranty on both parts and labor, as well as Maytag's Dependability Promise. These impressive warranties set a new standard of assurance for comfort.
(3) Maytag Dependability Promise: The Dependability Promise states that your entire unit will be replaced if the compressor or heat exchanger fails within the first five years of purchase (if originally installed with a matched Maytag indoor coil or air handler). The 5-year Dependability Promise is standard on the M1010 Series only.
(4) Additional Maytag Promise (All capitalized in the original document): COMPLETE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IS OUR GOAL. IF YOUR MAYTAG HEATING PRODUCT SHOULD EVER REQUIRE SERVICE, YOU CAN COUNT ON OUR NATIONAL NETWORK OF MAYTAG HVAC DEALERS. THESE HVAC-TRAINED EXPERTS KNOW YOU HEATHING SYSTEM AND ARE READY TO SERVE YOU. TOLL-FREE: 1-866-2MAYTAG.

Looking at the lonely repairman picture on the sales literature, I thought I would be enjoying my worry-free A/C for the next 10 years. Little do I know Maytag is a total fraud who will break both the letters and the spirit of every promise, both verbal and written.

The A/C never worked. The first summer I turn it on, nothing happened. I call the Maytag dealer who installed the system. A guy came and refilled the Freon. In early April 2008, I turned on A/C, nothing happened. I called the same company and they had declared bankruptcy (even though they are still doing the same business with the same phone number and the same registered principal under a different company name). I thought I am just glad I purchase a brand-name product and Maytag would not be a fraud like its dealer. So started my 4 (now 6)-month saga with Maytag.

After spend half an hour waiting on Maytag help line, I was told my A/C is not Maytag but Nordyne who manufactured the product under Maytag name. So Maytag is not responsible for my unit. I called Nordyne, who told me to get help from Maytag Customer Service, without explaining the 1-866-2MAYTAG number is for the insurance company Equiguard. Apparently, Maytag does not have any customer service organization and let the insurance company masquerade as Maytag. This Maytag representative, Drew, reassured me I can use any authorized dealer with 25 miles of my home to get the thing repaired and get reimbursement. I found the only authorized dealer Anderson PHA and spent $68 to find out the coolant pressure was low and there was a leak. Drew now refused to admit the leak was caused by the product and asked me to prove it was not the installer's fault. Anderson quoted for $735 for a full leak test but demand up-front payment because Equiguard had a track record of not reimburse them. I talked to Drew again about the cost, this time I felt like talking to a lawyer: I would have to pay up-front for the diagnosis and then only if the problem is with Maytag product would I get reimbursement from Maytag. I said that's fine. When I asked Anderson to perform the test, I was told they will not do it even if I pay. Their on-going negotiation with Equiguard had broken down. Anderson was concerned that, if they did the leak test, they would feel obligated to perform warranty repair for which Equiguard will not adequately reimburse. (How insightful! I wish I knew before I put in my money.) I asked Drew how can I find a dealer in Maytag's National Network to check my unit so that I can enjoy this Worry-Free Warranty? Drew led me to a month long saga to find a dealer and can't come up with any. After running out of all options, I begged Anderson and asked if I can have my problem diagnosed if I join their annual maintenance plan as a preferred customer with a $175 annual premium. Anderson finally agreed to take on my case and I negotiated a preferred customer discount to reduce the leak test cost from $735 to $635. The May 9th leak test determined there were two leaks, one in the cooling coil and another in the condenser unit. Both are due to Maytag equipment defects and not related to the initial installation. I was relieved that Maytag warranty would finally get me covered.

The repair was performed by two Anderson employees on June 6, 2008. Anderson also helped me to fax all the receipts involved in this repair/diagnosis to Maytag. On June 23, 2008, I received a $35 refund check from EquiGuard for the diagnosis. I called Drew why do I only got $35 out of the $878 back? EquiGuard basically said the rest is deductible. I asked where did it say deductible on my warranty? Drew said why don't you talk to Larry? Larry picked up the phone and said there is nothing he can do now or in the future.

I filed a BBB complaint on June 25 to bring Maytag's attention. Because Maytag does not really exist, the complaint had to be filed under Whirlpool. Mrs. Pat Vanderbosch at the Whirlpool Executive Office tried to compel a response from Nordyne and Equiguard. After 40 days, I got a private response (no recorded by BBB) that Maytag cannot provide anything. The decision was made by Tarik of Equiguard and Mr. Joe Brandt of Nordyne, who is VP Sales/West Coast.

Specific to my complaint:
1) Maytag will not refund my $878 out-of-pocket expense caused by multiple Maytag product failures.
2) Maytag could not found a local dealer who will not demand upfront payment for any future repair.
3) Maytag will not explain which part of my 4 (now 6) month nightmare is Worry-free.

Maytag says they can not be responsible for poor product quality of another company (Nordyne) who lease its name. Maytag also takes the position that my now-out-of-the-business Maytag authorized dealer is to blame. I beg to differ: (1) If Maytag advertise its product under Maytag name, it is responsible to deliver the promises in its sales literature regardless of who is the manufacturer and the insurance company. (2) If Maytag's product quality is good, I would not have this problem. This is not an installation problem. (3) If Maytag can identify any authorized dealer to repair my unit without demanding up-front payment from the customer, I would not be in this dilemma either. (4) If Maytag opted for repair when the dead A/C had been diagnosed to leak, I do not need to incur the cost of the full leak test. You just can not have it both ways. The responsibility is squarely with Maytag.

With regard to the fabulous 4 paragraphs of Worry-Free Warranty quoted earlier, here is my point-to-point rebuttal:

(1) Two out of the three components in my system failed, which is a good testimony of Maytag's product quality. The A/C failed for two consecutive years since the installation in Jan 2007. My 4-year old son was unknowingly inhaling Freon the whole time next door to a leak. A check on Consumer Report found Maytag ranked among the most repaired brands across a broad category of products. A quick check on the website turns out hundreds of Maytag horror stories. Yet Maytag had the audacity to call this Worry-Free Performance.
(2) For all the capital letters and acclamation mark for the Worry-Free Warranty!, my unit fit every description, yet Maytag's customer service line does not even admit it is a Maytag product. They insist it is a Nordyne product. Nordyne insist it is not their problem either and give me another phone number. Unknowingly, I was talking to an insurance company Equiguard who misrepresent themselves as Maytag. Equiguard refused to acknowledge it is a product quality issue, led me to an adventure to find an authorized dealer, duped me into paying up-front, and then renegade in reimbursement. Did I read 10-year both parts and labor? Where does it say diagnosis is not covered? If not covered, why the $35 refund? Where does it say deductable that Equiguard now claims? When the product was diagnosed by an authorized dealer to be not working, why insisting on a full leak test that they now refuse to reimburse?
(3) Yes, my unit is less than 5-years old, and both the compressor AND the heat exchanger leaks. It fits every description for whole-unit replacement, yet Maytag gives the repairmen only the coils. The two service men worked 10.5 hours straight to dissemble the entire compressor using my home as the assembling factory. They kept cursing Maytag who made it much worse than a new install.
(4) What a joke! The (866) 262-9824 number is for Equiguard, the insurance company who refused to help. Maytag substitute customer service with insurance company lawyers, and claim to have set a new standard in customer assurance. Yes, a new standard beneath LOW and almost obscene! After 4 months, Maytag still have not found ONE dealer who will service my unit without demanding up-front payment from me. Where is that NATIONAL NETWORK OF MAYTAG HVAC DEALERS?

I can only conclude Maytag does not have any intention to keep any of the wonderful promises. Maytag is a fraud because:
(1) It used sales practice/literature with fraudulent claims to misled customers into purchase.
(2) It manufactures poor quality products with multiple defects, yet advertised as most reliable.
(3) It cannot produce any dealer to do repair without up-front payment yet advertise as dependability promise.
(4) It made and then reengaged verbal promise in diagnostic reimbursement if the problem is related to the product. It forced me into full leak test then asked why it was so expensive.
(5) It failed to honor written commitment for entire unit replacement when the product failure met all descriptions.
(6) It cultivated a disorganized corporate culture that is at once incompetent and indifferent.

Please tell me why, as a customer, should I be led to run in circles between Maytag, Whirlpool, Nordyne, Equiguard and Maytag dealer, with nobody responsible for anything? I conclude Maytag does not have the decency to delivery on any of their promises, nor do they care what you think. The lonely repairman is indeed long dead.

Haibo
San Diego, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/15/2008 11:02 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Maytag-Corp-aka-Whirlpool-Corp/Benton-Harbor-Michigan-49022/Maytag-Corp-Whirlpool-Corp-Nordyne-Inc-Maytag-defraud-customers-with-egregious-produ-373263. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

The dirty tricks that come with the Washer

AUTHOR: Bobbinix - (U.S.A.)

Before spending your hard-earned funds on a detestable piece of equipment such as anything made by Whirlpool (and now Maytag, too, apparently) as well as Amana, I suggest buying an independent brand - one that is not affiliated with the "major" names. Someone on another thread listed those others as 1). Miele; and 2) Bosch. He stated that appliances made under these names are much more expensive than the standard brand-named appliances but that their general standard of performance justifies the higher pricetag.

Once you've acquired a defective product or lemon there's not much out there in the way of inexpensive remediation. Technically, the warranty should still apply to your appliance, however, it is no secret that companies pre-date warranties (from the date shipped, for example, as opposed to the date received) for the purpose of saving themselves money. And what else is new? In light of the present economy I doubt you will have any success in trying to convince the seller to alter his skewed record keeping.

I suppose your only recourse now is to either ask around or put an ad on Craig's list or even in the newspaper in the hopes of acquiring a free-lance handyman who might be able to fix the thing for you. If you are very short on money - aren't most of us these days? -- are there (legitimate, of course!) services you or your household might be able to offer/trade in lieu of currency? Just a thought.

In closing, you should not be forced to "run in circles," as you said, at the behest of these appliance manufacturers. In our current economic bust, save your energy and realize you've lost the battle.

Finally, you could take your grievance to Small Claims court. But who would you sue? The dealership? Maytag? Whirlpool? Nordine? Equiguard? Or would you go after all of the above? And could you handle - or would you want to - the additional expense? Good luck.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Not really a Maytag/Nordyne problem

AUTHOR: Shootist - (U.S.A.)

I'm an HVAC contractor in another state and felt you deserved an explaination as to how these A/C warranties work.

To start with, Maytag appliance has nothing to do with Maytag A/C equipment other than selling Nordyne license to use the Maytag name (and likeness of that lonely repairman) to sell A/C equipment. (I'd never personally buy Maytag appliances but that's another story.) Nordyne sells A/C equipment using about every appliance brand name you've ever heard of like Frigidaire, Tappan, Philco, Gibson, Miller, Intertherm, Grandaire, etc. In the case of Maytag, Nordyne basically takes their normal "frigidaire" design, stamps the cabinet out of stainless steel instead of painted steel and sells the unit for a much higher price with that 10 year labor added. The internals are identical. You are paying a premium price for the shiny cabinet and Maytag name. Because the Maytag units are not a good value compared to their cheaper "cousins", contractors are not knocking down the door to become Maytag dealers. Nordyne planned to use the Maytag name as a flagship line of high-end A/C equipment. It seems they dropped the ball not handling their own warranty service.

My take on your situation is that your problems most likely started with rough handling of your equipment before and probably during your installation. I've installed over a hundred Nordyne systems in the past and only had 2 system leaks in about 8-10 years of service. The fact that both of your coils are leaking I'd have to blame on hidded damage to the coils. If the coils are bent there will be stress on the copper/aluminum causing freon leaks. Again, Nordyne's responsability for those repairs ends with providing replacement parts. I can assure you that Nordyne doesn't ship out damaged units. I've toured their A/C factory in Booneville, MO. and was impressed with their quality control and attention to detail. I wasn't aware that Maytag's 10 year labor coverage was through Equigard. I had always assumed that Nordyne carried that 10 year labor themselves. I've sold equiguard's extended warranties in the past to customers that insisted or to match a competitor. I otherwise don't push extended warranties as I don't believe in them as a whole. I can't vouch for equiguard's payment and reimbursement policies as I've yet to have to file a claim. I can tell you that I don't think equiguard is the problem with the contractor you were talking about. To start with you paid $810 to leak test your system ($635 +$175 for that service agreement). You weren't just screwed, you were viciously raped. We're talking borderline criminal. You should be filing a "ripoff report" on that contractor. For a couple of hundred bucks you could have gone to a place like Johnstone Supply, purchased your own commercial electronic freon "sniffer" and tracked down the leak yourself. I'm not surprised that Equiguard would only pay $35 for that leak check. The Equiguard folks are not idiots. 15 minutes with an electronic freon "sniffer" is not worth hundreds of dollars. Equiguard insures HVAC equiment nationwide. They are the largest equipment insurer that I know of and their policies are factory supported and recommended. The extended warranties I sell on my RUUD equipment are underwritten by Equiguard. They know what's involved in a given procedure and publish a price list for contractors and dealers as to how much they will pay for any A/C repair job. Based on seeing this price list I've found Equiguard to always pay at least the going rate for these services. If that contractor was having problems with equiguard paying them it was only because they were trying to overcharge for their work. They wanted you to pay in advance as they knew Equiguard wasn't going to let them get away with overcharging like that. Equiguard reimbursed you about 30 minutes at $70 an hour. Equiguard was fair. You were taken to the cleaners but not by Equiguard. Sadly there's an unfortunate industry trend toward overcharging for repairs as some contractors are taking advantage of the fact that most consumers wouldn't know a fair repair bill if it hit them on the head. I could easily add $100 to every repair bill from now on and my customers probably wouldn't bat an eye. The problem is that I have integrity. You won't find my customers griping about anything I'm involved with.

As for Maytag's position? I have to agree with them. I think your original contractor botched the install or dropped or otherwise abused the equipment. If he had been anything other than a buffoon or crook he wouldn't have had to declaire BK and reopen under a different name. You can charge an honest and fair rate in this industry and still make a very comfortable living if you do good work. Even though the evaporator leak was likely caused by rough handling by the installer I see Nordyne still replaced it under warranty.

My advice to you is find out who the wholesale distributor for Maytag is in your region. They my be better suited to help you find an honest and reasonably priced contractor to assist you in the future. Nordyne is slow updating their website with dealer lists and I don't think they keep up with what contractors in a given region are installing their equipment. If all else fails find out who's selling Frigidaire or Tappan. The guts are the same. That distributor also provides those warranty parts to your contractor when needed.

Lesson to learn? I would hope that consumers would take the time to shop pricing on A/C repairs that seem excessively priced. For comparison, the most I would consider charging one of my customers for a leak test would be $75-100. That would include the service call. You know what else? I sleep really good at night and my customers go out of their way to send me referrals.
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