Are there any downsides to Miele washing machines?

Pros-and-cons Their cost is the main disadvantage for most people. A higher quality washing machine needs more financial investment to purchase. They cost a lot more up front but they are supposed to be cheaper over the long run by lasting longer and breaking down less.

However, although a Miele should be far less likely to need repairs, repairs are relatively expensive. Major parts can be very expensive indeed. If buying a Miele try to find one with a long guarantee. Typically they are guaranteed for 2, 5 or 10 years.

Repairs & Servicing

Authorised-Dealers Like all premium brands Miele have a protective attitude towards their appliances and image. They strongly believe that only themselves and their dealers should repair their appliances to ensure the high standard of service they deserve. This is pretty normal amongst all niche high quality products, but it means there are very few independent washing machine repairers who repair them.

There is a small percentage of independent repairers who may be willing to have a look at one depending on the fault. But most independents do not repair Miele appliances. They don’t have the computer laptop and diagnostic software, or access to technical information so they might be unable to diagnose or even calibrate the machine.

You will need to use Miele engineers or dealers for repairs

I used to take great issue with this. I still think it can be counter productive in various ways, not least by causing Miele repairs to be more expensive due to lack of competition. But Miele do make a uniquely exceptional quality washing machine compared to the rest. In today’s economic climate in particular this is extremely brave – and thank goodness someone still does.

Most manufacturers make massive compromises on the quality of their appliances in order to sell to the masses. Miele aren’t immune from the necessity to keep costs under control, and the inevitable compromises that can dictate. But they generally plough a solitary path down the “forever better” ethos. Like all high quality niche manufacturers they have to adopt certain ways of surviving and maintaining their brand image.

It has to be said also that most appliance manufacturers are now making their appliances more unrepairable by design, or by ludicrous spare parts prices, and by restricting technical information to independent repairers. So across the board appliances have become substantially less repairable than in the past. A counter point to this is that they are also generally very much cheaper to buy in real terms.

However, some of Miele spare parts can seem insanely expensive. A good example is I just bought a new Miele oven and we wanted an extra wire shelf. Miele wanted to charge £90 for it. I could buy an entire (albeit inferior quality) oven for just £119. I ended up buying a Neff wire shelf for just £23 which was more than good enough.

Longer guarantees

My advice would be that if investing in a Miele washing machine, you need to be prepared to use Miele engineers or dealers for any future repairs. It’s little different to how if you bought a Mercedes car you would expect servicing costs to be higher than for a Fiat. Most people shouldn’t encounter any serious breakdowns though, and Miele quality still can’t be beaten.

Extended Warranties The minimum guarantee on a Miele appliance is 2 years, but many models have 5 year guarantees and some are guaranteed for 10 years. I have a Miele W3740 washing machine. I hasn’t given any trouble at all in over 11 years and still sounds like new to me. I would expect most people’s experience to be similar. Even high quality appliances can still break down, but if you buy a Miele model with a long guarantee you can get extra piece of mind.

Designed for equivalent of 20 years life

Miele have long since advertised their washing machines as designed to last 20 years. In relatively recent years they’ve had to amend it to, “tested for the equivalent of 20 years’ use”. They currently word it as follows –

During these tests appliances have to wash for 10,000 hours. This involves running approximately 5000 wash programmes. In terms of daily laundry this equates to about 5 programmes per week with an average run time of 2 hours for 20 years.  ”

Anyone washing more than 7 times a week could use up the 20 year lifespan several years short. Miele engineers can tell how many wash cycles their washing machines have done by plugging in their laptops. Ultimately, their designed for slogan does not guarantee it will last 20 years.

Sadly, I’ve had so many reports of dissatisfied Miele owners whose Miele appliance has not lasted anywhere near 20 years that I feel it’s no longer safe to assume one will last like they used to, although it’s still possible.  Sadly, the quality – although still superior to most others – appears to have dropped. Coupled with extremely high repair costs it seems there is much more risk involved in investing in a Miele appliance these days.

Unsurprisingly not too many retailers sell Miele appliances, and some only stock a small selection. This is partially because most retailers follow the same path as manufacturers in that they just want to sell appliances in vast quantities – which you can’t do with Miele.

I’ve recently realised that a lot of the parts are in fact of a very similar – if not same – build quality as ordinary washing machines. I discovered this when I was part of a Which? Investigation, and we completely stripped down 12 brand-new washing machines of different brands. We found parts like the pump, water valves, belt and others looked no different to any other brand. However, the motor, drum and bearings, casing, and some other parts are clearly still of higher build quality.

Miele build quality review

I have another article looking at the build quality of Miele washing machines

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13 thoughts on “Are there any downsides to Miele washing machines?”

  1. I have a Miele semi integrated washing machine and stacked tumble dryer . Both fitted and matching my surrounding Pronorm kitchen units .
    For the second time in ten years the washing machine has broken down
    The first time in 2018 ,after much correspondence with Miele they agreed to repair rather than replace
    Now it has broken down again and the Miele engineer reported that it should be replaced .
    Apart from my having to tolerate a white unit completely out of keeping with my smart kitchen, I cannot get a clear acknowledgment that my existing dryer can again be stacked above . Numerous calls to Miele ,Domestic and General insurance and the supplier AO has resulting in three days of hours and hours of phone calls , being transferred to other depts and still no conclusive answer .
    The after sales service of Miele is a disgrace . They cannot be relied on . The claim by Miele to produce long lasting products is in my experience false

  2. Gordon Barraclough

    We have had Miele appliances and kitchens in our last 3 houses. Unfortunately our 9 month old WEG665 front loading Twindos washing machine has developed a fault which renders it inoperable. We were advised that the soonest a third party contractor could attend was 10 days. With such a premium brand 10 days is simply not good enough. After making a formal complaint to Miele customer services this has been reduced to 6 days and the technician is a Miele employee. Whilst this revised day is an improvement it is still very disappointing. Apparently it is due to our location…… St Andrews, not exactly Outer Mongolia!

  3. I feel I’m well placed to comment on this. In the last ten years I’ve had a crap experience with the vast majority of washing machines. We brought a Hotpoint that was DOA, had a Zanussi that wore its bearings out in 14 months despite never being overloaded or overworked, a Samsung that failed completed after 5 months and took 4 visits from Samsung to fix…..before flooding our utility a month later and finally an LG that worked great for 5 years, but the rigours of having two teens and two twin primary schoolers finally caught up with it.

    For us, I run a business, my wife works and we have kids, I’m happy to pay more to get reliability, rather than having to go through the inconvenience of having engineers out or to replace them every few years. So, with this is mind, last year we decided to get a Miele when the LG gave up. It had the promotional 10 year warranty, it was raved about in reviews, which gave it a Best Buy, what’s not to like?

    Ordered direct from Miele UK. Arrived damaged. It took them a week to arrange collection and then another week for them to send the new one. Not off too a good start.

    New one arrived and fitted. First impressions? Didn’t seem like a premium machine. Heavy? Absolutely! Quiet? Absolutely not! It makes a constant ticking noise when the drum is turning and making a metallic clonking noise during every single spin. Miele engineer visited and could hear the noise, could confirm that wasn’t right but because he “Couldn’t SEE the issue” he didn’t fix it. Told us to call back if it got worse.

    Yesterday I came downstairs and into the utility and saw a pool of water under the machine. Odd. I pulled it out and checked, no visible leaks. So I cleaned it up and put in a service request to Miele just in case. 15 mins later and my skin on my hand is bright red and other parts are white as snow. It’s a peroxide burn, the Twindos system is leaking. The cartridge was empty and we had only done 3 washes from it.

    Engineer called us today to say that “It could be a faulty cartridge” and to buy a replacement and see if it happens again. If they came out and find it was that, I’d be charged for the visit, as they don’t cover those under warranty.

    So I’ve got a chemical burn, the machine sounds like a bag of nails and now I’ve lost a full cartridge of detergent and have to pay another £15 for it to potentially happen again.

    Honestly? I might just buy another LG, that or the cheapest machine I can find and run it until it dies. The customer service has been dire so far and I’m a little past giving more chances to be fobbed off.

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