Miele extended warranties have a clause limiting amount of washing you can do

Extended Warranty There is a clause that limits claims, though in fairness, it’s unlikely most people would be affected. However, it is possible that someone could get caught out by a limitation in the small print of Miele’s extended parts & labour warranties. Especially if they were using a Miele in a commercial or semi-commercial situation such as at a nursing home or a pub.

Miele will not bear costs for repairs where appliance break down is due to use that extends 10,000 operating hours   ”

I’m not saying the clause in the small print is necessarily unfair. It’s probably designed to weed out commercial use, which of course is not covered.


With Miele washing machines, each wash is logged by the software running the programmes. Miele engineers can connect to the washing machine to see exactly how many hours the washing machine has run since purchase.

I do have anecdotal evidence that one woman did clock up 20,000 washes in about 9 and a half years although I don’t know how. To exceed the limit you would need to wash around 20 washes a week for 10 years (this is a rough calculation based on 40 degree cottons wash as clearly it depends which programmes are used).


It is true to say though, that if you are a domestic user, but washing above average for whatever reason (potentially including simply having a large family) you could find you don’t get the full cover if you exceed the 10,000 hours usage. This dilemma is discussed in the comments below.

Anomaly

The 10,000 hour wash limit is also stated in the 5 year warranty certificate..

..You would expect the limit to be reduced to 5,000 washes for 5 year cover but it isn’t. You would have to do almost 40 washes a week to run out of cover on a 5 year warranty so it seems the only real potential issue is on the ten year warranties. This looks like an oversight by Miele in that they haven’t adjusted the figure for the much lower coverage.


The current extended warranty offer on Miele tumble dryers has a clause to watch out for too –

Please note that ALL Miele tumble dryers qualify for 5 years free cover BUT IT MUST BE PURCHASED AT THE SAME TIME as a Miele washing machine.

Complete this form to activate your free 10 year washing machine cover and to activate your 5 year tumble dryer cover, which will only be valid if purchased with a washing machine. Please include proof of purchase for validation purposes.

So as always, reading small print is essential when looking at offers.

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9 thoughts on “Miele extended warranties have a clause limiting amount of washing you can do”

  1. We have the 10 yr guarantee on a washing machine which has just had a repair at 3 year 9 months old. The engineer said it had done 6000 hours, so would bust the 10000 hours in about 6 1/2 years. This is a domestic home of 5 bedrooms with 6 people so is not comercial in use. Therefore 10000 hours IS proving to be unreasonable when we are on target for 15000 hours.

    Also what information is there on how the on board computer actually calculated wash time? Are smaller loads still counted on a 1hr 52 min cycle time which actually reduced to an hour? Are aborted washes still counted as the time for that wash? Just how accurate is it? If we are held to a fixed maximum number of hours we need to see that usage rate and be confident it is being fairly calculated. With a car warranty of say 6 years 60000 miles, we see ourselves how miles build up and can then easily confirm that it is accurate.

  2. Mick: You make some interesting points. The term they use is “usage hours”, so I would assume all the time the washing machine is in use (regardless of what programme is used) it is counting the seconds. So it’s likely to be the literal amount of time the washing machine has been running.

    I presume the clock stops ticking when it’s on crease guard (on delicates) where it holds the laundry in water indefinitely until the user impulses it onto spin as that would seriously skew the figures. I’d be amazed if they hadn’t figured that out though. I’ve asked a contact I have at Miele about that and will come back on it if I get the answer.

    Regarding can they limit the guarantee like that?

    My following thoughts are based on my assumption that there would be a difference in the extent of consumer rights over something that was given free, and something a consumer paid for.

    On the one hand a company offering a “free” extended guarantee should have the right to dictate the terms – after all, it’s free, so we should be grateful for any cover at all. On the the hand though, if I bought a product which was being sold, with a 10 year guarantee I might assume it’s part of the contract, it may well be factored into the price of the product and technically I would feel I’ve paid for it.

    My reasoning is that if you buy a product with a 10 year guarantee, unless you are told at the point of sale that there are specific unpredictable limitations to the guarantee such as fair usage stipulations most people would expect that the product is fully covered for 10 years regardless of how much you use it as long as they aren’t using it commercially or abusing it.

    In a way this could be similar to the controversy over mobile phone and broadband networks selling products with unlimited texts or unlimited broadband, which are not actually unlimited and have hidden usage limitations that are only discovered after purchase.

    If one of the main reasons I purchased a particular product was because it had a 10 year guarantee and was prepared to pay extra for that model I might be upset if I subsequently discovered I should have bought the cheaper one with only 5 year guarantee because I’m a heavy user and didn’t know about the usage restriction until I’d already paid for the product.

    So are the extended guarantees free – or paid for?

    As the sole purpose of these extended guarantee promotions is to help persuade consumers to buy (and invariably only on the top priced models) one could try to argue that the cost of the extended guarantee is factored into the price of the product. Therefore when buying a model with an extended guarantee it might be fair to believe you are also paying extra for the guarantee.

    Having said that, if these promotions are regularly withdrawn and reintroduced, which I know they are – and the price doesn’t go up when the extra guarantees are added (which I don’t know) then Miele could argue they are genuinely free.

    My feeling on this is that Miele, as a premium brand, do not want to devalue their product by having sales and reducing prices, so when they want to promote and stimulate extra sales they add extra value by giving the extra guarantees. Therefore it’s feasible that they are genuinely free additional extras in which case we may have fewer consumer rights over how they apply them. This would depend on prices not going up or down in tandem with the offers, which I’m not aware of one way or the other.

    Only a consumer expert could answer this particular point, or even confirm if my line of thought is accurate or not.

    Regarding the terms and conditions

    Miele do state clearly on their guarantee registration page that the guarantee is subject to terms and conditions and that they should be read before registering. They provide a prominent link to do so –

    You may be liable for the cost of a service visit if the appliance does not qualify under the conditions outlined”

    On the terms and conditions page, which is a single page and fairly straight forward to read it does say that Miele will not bear the cost for breakdowns due to Use that extends 10,000 operating hours

    Summary

    Miele make the usage restrictions clear but only after you’ve bought the appliance when it’s too late. If it’s genuinely a free extra, we maybe shouldn’t complain, but is it?

    The main problem as I see it is that you do not find out about the fair usage policy until it’s too late and you’ve already purchased the appliance. Therefore you may be able to argue it’s an unfair restriction or that you would never have bought it if you’d known. With the latter your argument would have to be with the retailer you bought it from and not Miele (under the Sale of Goods Act) although Miele could well chose to waive the restriction if they felt it was in their interest to keep their customer happy.

    To be fair, as pointed out in my main article, this restriction should affect only a small minority of people but it clearly does affect some, and it’s unclear how those people should deal with the issue. It may well be that even Trading Standards wont have a definitive answer unless someone has brought a test case, but I’ll try to get one.

  3. Hi guys,

    Without giving too much away I have inside info!
    The 10,000 hours is correct. All the retailers should know this and should mention it I guess. Put into context though, it is a hell of a lot lot of washing! I can confirm that it counts the hours it has exactly run up, so includes shorter wash times and different programmes of different lengths, so it is accurate.
    I recently went to a machine of a lady that has a handicapped daughter and the machine is ‘thrashed’.
    The FIRST call out to it, we had to clean out all the pipework as it was blocked and giving performance problems as well as a couple of fault codes, no big deal, but we also found the motor faulty (commutator problems) and on checking it had done 19,000 hours! I had to go again recently, 18 months later and it has now clocked 26,500 hours. Now in all honesty how many machines would get near that? She has no complaints and I worked out that’s 8.5 hours washing a day – It’s less than 5 years old just but she has had her moneys worth, all her prevoius machines lasted no longer than 18 months.

    I have lots of input I need to get of my chest, but I’ll save it for another day. I have worked on Miele machines since I was 16 ( as a trainee) in an independant dealers specialising in Miele and now for the ‘Company’ direct. We do have our faults as all companies do, but the laundry products and dishwashers are basically excellent, you cannot get a better machine in my opinion .

    Thanks

  4. This is very interesting. I have recently called out the Miele engineer to my almost 10 year old machine. He said it was no longer covered due to the 10,000 hours clause. I looked at my paperwork and there is NO MENTION of this. It must be a new wording, does anyone know when it was introduced?. I am now in correspondence with the insurers (not Miele) as I consider I am due a new machine under the terms of my policy. 10,000 hours seems a crazy limit anyway. There are 3 people in my family and although we use the machine most days like any normal family, I would not consider our usage to be excessive.

  5. So I am a Miele junkie and am now on my 3rd washing machine. My first put up noble resistance but died by bearing failure after 11 years, not under warranty but I paid for an engineer visit and they confirmed the bearings had indeed killed the beast. It was the first time I had the revelation that hrs usage was monitored as they confirmed the machine had actually run 10,500 hrs. all in all excellent service, no complaints and I do not recall the 10,000 hr clause being highlighted but I did not think it material as the machine was long out of warranty.

    After the visit I then elected to purchase a new Miele direct (they discounted the engineer visit cost from the purchase price and offered a 10 year warranty as part of a promo). Fully cogent of the 10,000 hr limitation (clearly explained by the engineer on his visit) This machine gave 8 years noble service but then started behaving badly. As it was still in warranty I requested a visit from the Miele engineer. He was amazed that unbelievably the bearings had failed (Never seen that – apparently) and also that this machine was lightly used, it only had 5,300 hours usage (the kids were at university now!).

    However after this excellent service this is where Miele let themselves down….. as the machine was beyond economical repair Miele customer service offered me a 50% discount against a new machine (which I refused), this was increased to 75% (which I again refused), Miele then insisted on copies of the warranty certificate (which I have) and the terms (which I also have), It felt that they were looking for a loophole to escape their obligations and were trying everything in their power to decline the warranty. My machine was purchased direct from Miele, had a Miele certificate of Warranty (they are now covered by the insurer Domestic & General in the UK) and had been delivered, installed and serviced by Miele. Eventually after a week of ‘to and fro; Miele agreed to replace my lightly used mid-level machine with an entry level machine. I was not happy but accepted this offer as I had been 2 weeks without a machine. In the end the entry level machine was out of stock so Miele actually replaced with a model more aligned with the one which had failed.

    Great machines but the interaction with customer service left my Miele experience tarnished. In the end we reached a settlement unfortunately I think what was a great opportunity for Miele to cement my loyalty but the experience completely missed the mark. Shame.

  6. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello SavvyBoy. I’m pretty sure that Miele used to cover their own warranties but some years ago, for reasons I’m unaware of, they went into partnership with domestic and general. Once you involve a third party it obviously puts up prices and gives control over to them.

    Miele washing machines at only 10 years old being beyond economical repair is the start of potential demise of Miele in my opinion. That fundamentally undermines the main reason people pay three or four times the cost of a normal washing machine for one.

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