A good news story, for a change.
Last Nov I bought an ANKO 25L microwave (900W) from KMART for $85.
It is listed on Choice’s website (mentioning SKU P_42666981 but I cannot locate its review).
It worked fine and I considered it “good value” until 10 days ago when it started to make loud banging noises when heating food.
The noise was a feature of every cooking process, sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes for most of the heating or cooking process, so much so that I never left the
appliance out of my line of sight, as at times it was very loud.
The turntable was always sitting properly in its place.
The noise occurred irrespective of whether I used glass or plastic dishes or heated foods in their packaging (rice).
The appliance was always cleaned after use. It was spotless.
I wonder if the problem is the turntable’s motor?
With my receipt today I handed over the appliance to KMART staff at the service desk, informing that it’s just on 6 months old and explained the problem and was told “ok we’ll give you a refund as that is policy regardless of whether you just want to exchange it”.
I thanked the young girl, walked over to where microwaves were stacked and took another of the same model (as I found it mostly well built and with good heating/cooking abilities).
Only after getting into my car I realised how KMART’s policy of refunding not exchanging really benefits the customer as my new one year warranty begins from today, the day I handed over the cash for the new appliance. Had the lemon merely been exchanged, the paperwork ie date of possession of the new appliance may not have been forthcoming or as definitive as a proper receipt dated today.
Once again KMART proves to me it has the best returns/refund policy of any major retailer. And assuming my problematic microwave oven was an isolated event, KMART definitely offers value for money in this $85 appliance. If not, I would not have chosen it as a replacement.
True. And for that I am happy to praise them. Their sister firm, Target, never had such customer focused staff and policies, which may explain why daily Target stores are being rebadged as KMART or are just shuttering nationwide.
Update: the replacement microwave oven I bought (same model, same price, same retailer) only 3 days later proved faulty. The door could not be closed without extreme care as it was not aligned correctly with the door frame.
Naturally I took it back to KMART and was offered a refund. Then (rightly or not) I replaced that appliance with another of the same model and price.
If this one now fails (so far 4 days and no failure), I am unsure of what I will do as, in my recent experience, no other retailer makes returning goods (be they faulty or simply change of mind) such a pleasant exercise.
Kmart retails goods to a price point. Two duds in a row might be a symptom of a different problem with the quality of that batch or product manufacturer.
Our extended family considered, the experiences with Kmart and Aldi house brands are mixed. Demanding a full refund under Australian Consumer Law might be the next best solution. Also looking at the options in the most recent Choice review?
I agree with you on mixed results from ALDI and KMART. That said, I’ll give both the benefit of the doubt and try their offerings;
I will check out Choice’s reviews. My concern is that a few years ago I recall a certain mid size (25 or 27L) Sharp model (circa $229?) was warmly reviewed and I bought it, only to have it discolour and break down inside the cavity after 3 or so years. My complaint to Sharp got nowhere. I was not in the mood to argue with them and purchased from KMART the $85 25L. I cannot recall a worse attitude to customers than Sharp’s.
Sometimes I wonder if the most customer friendly policies are actually a substitute for assuring the products are quality. QA testing is expensive; refunding the failures might be less expensive?
Another cynical take is those companies that refund most often get their processes and procedures finely honed with regular practice, while companies with few complaints/returns may have poorly thought out policies and procedures and get ‘out of practice’ and not do so well?
The failure rate of your microwaves seem such that I would not want to spend my time going back for a friendly, prompt, no questions, courteous refund when I would rather be heating my food. You, the customer, are essentially their QA department, and that ‘balance’ is increasingly common. It also usually creates a happy customer who sees the service aspect, not so much the consistency of manufacturing quality or lack thereof.