At last a story that is somewhat more positive. I have a Miele pigeon pair fridge/freezer and on the whole I am happy. A few months ago the handle came off in my hand. No quick fix, the bracket holding it on was broken having parted in the middle. The machine is out of warranty and I am in the country so I decided to fix it myself. The replacement handle was in stock, I could get one for $415 from the UK or the local Miele official spares for a tiny $217. As an interim solution I switched the handle from the freezer (they are the same) and sat down to think.
I got on to the Miele customer forum and complained that one does not expect the handle to break on an expensive fridge after a few years of normal use. I pointed out that it is a design flaw, the bracket is a cast non-ferrous alloy but the layout is such that each time the handle is pulled the bracket flexes. After a few thousand flexes it breaks. It is a flaw on two levels, the door is held shut by magnets not a physical catch, so all the handle has to do is push the door away from the frame far enough for the magnet to not hold, seems simple enough. However if you try to open the door when it was closed recently you are pulling against air pressure too. When the door is open warm air flows in, when it is shut that air cools and reduces the internal pressure, the normal air pressure on the outside pushes on the door (until it eventually equilibrates, which if your seals work well takes a while) but in the short term it takes quite a lot of force to open the door.
I noticed others had reported the same problem. I was contacted by Miele and after a little to and fro they mailed a replacement free. I installed it and was not out of pocket other than the inconvenience. So they did the right thing once they were told about the problem.
How can a plastic handle, a metal slide, a metal bracket and some screws be $217 (plus P&H)?
What happens when the two handles I have suffer the same fate in a few more years?
How can you charge so much and not test thoroughly? Hopefully the important bits like the motor/compresor have been tested.
They did not say anything on their public forum, they did not say if you have a problem with this model handle we will fix it. All the negotiations were behind the scenes by email. No public admissions were made. Remember: no hide, no Christmas box. If you don’t ask you don’t get.