Using Choice Reviews to help decide on Dishwasher or any appliance for that matter

My dishwasher broke so I went to the Choice reviews on the website- last updated 23 December 2021.
Top recommended model (Miele) seems to be discontinued. Another Miele model is also in the 7 recommended models. They are both over my price range but I thought they might be worth spending a few more $$ on so I researched more than normal. In this community site and other product review sites there is a good indication that this brand is not a good choice as I may have to deal with a warranty claim and the poor aftersales service from this company.
Lucky (?) for me, I still get the print version of Choice. In March 2022 there is a dishwasher test!! None of the Miele models are listed, I wonder why? The LG that has taken top spot is $300 more expensive in January 2022 than December 2021- wow! The other web site recommended LG model does not appear in the print 2022 table. It is still available on the LG website along with a Choice recommended icon. Why is it no longer in the table? What has happened to this model between December 2021 and March 2022 to make it miss the list? Similarly, there are no Bosch models in the March 2022 list- why? At least one model seems to still be available and its scores in December 2021 would still place it in the list for March 2022. Confused? Me too.
Please update your website Choice so that it reads the same as the mag…
Another interesting thing I found is that reviews on some recommended dishwashers indicate that the models are years old but on the brand web site they are touted as the latest product. Perhaps Choice could put the release date on their review- 5 bad reviews in 5 years may not be as big a deal as 5 bad reviews in 5 weeks. Some models seem to have been superseded but this is not indicated in Choice reviews either.
I have relied on Choice in the past to help me decide on other appliances however my trust in them is waning. I am also questioning its value for money and maybe its integrity too. If consumers take the time to post in this community then perhaps Choice needs to take heed of what and why things are being said. I cannot understand how a product can come out as the top recommended model if it has been around for a while and has negative reviews about its performance and the way the company handles warranty claims.
I now have no idea what dishwashers I should short list. Can anyone help?

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Welcome to the community discussion, @rosea
We had a Bosch in our previous family home, 4 years of use.
The nearest current version is a Bosch SMS66MI02A.
Prior to that we had a Miele for many years (different home 10years) with no issues. Our current Miele is 6 years old. If we needed to replace it we would slightly preference another Bosch. Both brands have been reliable.

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That observation is made from time to time and Choice staff have addressed it in the Community.

Firstly, Choice ‘publishes’ what is currently being tested.

What gets in the tests and tables is affected by one or more of

  • if Choice knows a product is end of life and being replaced it might not be tested
  • known discontinued products are usually omitted
  • manufacturers sometimes discontinue products while Choice is testing them
  • market share coupled with Choice budgets
  • Choice tests are 100% objective lab results; brand reliability and service are sampled from Choice member surveys. Any given product could be an outlier. Anecdotal reports such as those on productreview and other sites (even the Community!) are subjective not objective and thus not used. Sometimes after the fact Choice will review and rescind its recommendation based on documented experience/issues.
  • Choice does have the ability for members to post comments on tested products but they do seem haphazard - Choice is aware and bringing them up to snuff is in their to do backlog

A bottom line is the Choice tests are a place to start, not an end all assessment suitable for everyone. That is one reason the weights and methodology are presented so each reader can adjust for their own preferences and value system.

@airedale is always attentive and has responded to comments similar to yours (somewhere in the Community - I apologise I am unable to find more than one) so he might reply here.

I hope his response regarding laundry detergents ‘coming and going’ from reviews is helpful to understand some of it?

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Hi @rosea, and welcome to the community. You’ve raised a lot of separate points here, and I’ll do my best to respond.

Firstly, why we may recommend an appliance that receives negative user reviews. It’s because our testing is purely performance based - in the case of dishwashers we assess how well the dishwasher washes, and how well it dries, as well as energy and water consumption. This is what informs our scores, and therefore whether or not we recommend a given appliance. For practical reasons we don’t have the ability to assess long term durability (and if we did, there’s a good chance the model in question would have been discontinued by the time our testing was complete), or qualitative factors such as after sales service, warranty support and ease of use - our testing is strictly around performance, which is our point of difference - no one else in Australia can laboratory test products and present independent results. As @PhilT says, Choice reviews are not the be all and end all of product research - we can tell you how well an appliance performs, but it’s important to use a variety of different information sources when researching for a major purchase.

Next, the curious case of the disappearing Miele and Bosch models. As it happens, both Bosch and Miele have turned over their ranges at about the same time, and pretty much all of our previously reviewed models have now been discontinued. Because nothing’s more frustrating than reading a review of a product that can no longer be purchased, we remove them from view on our website (though you can still see historical performance data by selecting the ‘discontinued models’ filter in the product finder). As I’m sure you can appreciate, it takes time to test a dishwasher thoroughly and properly verify the results, but to make up the gap we have just finished testing some of the newer Miele and Bosch models. We’re hoping to have the results available online in the next week or two.

Regarding the LG dishwasher you mention - We have no control over the price of appliances, and they do fluctuate over time. We aim to list the RRP as at time of publishing, both for the magazine and the website, but as the magazine tables are fixed in time the most up to date pricing will be on the website.

As for why it was omitted from the table, at the time of publishing that particular model was not available so we removed it, again to avoid the frustration of reading a review of a product that cannot be found in stores. Subsequently new stock arrived (the pandemic and other factors have had a massive impact on logistics chains around the world, and LG dishwasher supplies were no exception), and we were able to put that model back up on our website.

Similar to pricing, we also have no control over how a manufacturer represents their products on their websites, in terms of whether they’re a new release or not. You can, however, check how long ago a product was registered for sale in Australia (not necessarily the same as the release date though) by checking when it has been registered to on the government’s registration database:
https://reg.energyrating.gov.au/comparator/product_types/

Registrations are for five years, so working backwards from the registered to date will give you this information.

With regard to updating the website to match the magazine, it actually works the other way - as we are able to update the website in real time, it will have the most accurate and up to date information, and should be your first port of call. The magazine is, by the nature of the print medium, a snapshot in time.

I hope this helps.

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Thank you!

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Thank you.
Most of my confusion came from the fact that the website last updated date is December 2021 whereas the Magazine is March 2022 so I assumed that the mag had the latest info.

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Aah, you’re correct, the magazine will be more up to date than the website for now, though I expect to be publishing new dishwasher test data, with updated pricing and availability within the next week or so.

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We have a Bosch and find it excellent. We’ve had dishwashers for years and the Bosch is the best one we’ve had. It is quiet, easy to use and most importantly cleans a dries everything well. However keep in mind there are several models, Ours is a German made one.

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Thank you!

Just wanted to wave the flag for Miele dishwashers- we have had a Miele for years (in different properties). They are very quiet, very well made and sturdy, wash well, and I have always had excellent service from Miele. I would definitely buy Miele again. Interestingly, many friends have Miele for the same reasons. I have never met anyone who doesn’t love their Miele dishwasher.

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We purchased a new dishwasher on the recommendation of Choice.
We had a Bosch for the last 11 years as our son used to work at Bosch and got a discount. It just was not washing properly in the end, things were coming out greasy on one side of the top basket. We did all the trouble shooting things and no better. We then bought a Miele, not the top one recommended but the next one down. The price is the same everywhere so no good shopping around. We decided then to deal directly with Miele when no-one seemed to have the one we wanted as this was during lockdown last year and there was a shortage. We found out they had them online so we ordered and paid. We chose when we wanted to get it delivered and when it got close to the day we heard nothing. We contacted Miele and they said no-one had them but because the website showed they did and we had already paid, they rang around and found one in a shop somewhere. I had not paid for installation online and when I rang the suggested installers they were way more expensive. I went back and paid for installation online and for them to take the other one away. They installed it and on the way out the truck pulled down the telephone wire so we had no phone and internet. I knew they saw it as they got out of the truck and unhooked it. I was upset they did not come back and at least apologize. I immediately emailed Miele, sent photos and the very helpful lady, called the customer advocate, who replied said they would pay for any cost to repair the line. It did not cost us anything NBN did it for no cost. She then sent us $100 worth of dishwasher tablets and rinse aid. So I cannot fault their customer service but have not had any warranty claims. We did have one issue when it did not work and it said check filters, we did that and we tried everything mentioned but could not remove the kick rail and move it out so organised them to come out. Prior to them coming my son came and he just pressed the OK button after we cleaned the filters, and it worked. When I looked at the manual that was on the page previous to what I read so felt a bit silly.
We are very happy with the one we got and it fits a lot more in it even though it fits in the same space as the Bosch one did. The shortest and best cycle is 52 mins, but we could preset time if we wanted to and it doesn’t beep and wake you up when it is finished. The drying is also so much better especially for plastic things. The only issue we have is that it has a tray, not a basket for the cutlery and my husband and I are fighting over which way the cutlery goes in. I keep turning it around after he has put cutlery in. I suggest as there is no price difference you buy it through Miele.

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I wouldn’t buy a Miele. Their dishwashers are poor quality and service woeful.

We originally had a Miele many years ago and it lasted for nearly 20 years. When it came time to replace it we bought one recommended in Choice. It ran a couple of years before breaking down. Miele sent someone to repair it and he replaced a part. The same thing happened again not long after and the part was replaced again and their service guy explained the machines were cheap junk, not like their old products they used to make. Miele would no longer repair it for free or replace it even though it was an ongoing problem. They offered a little credit towards a replacement machine which we didn’t take up. We ended up scrapping it within four years and bought a Samsung which has been going strong for nine years now with only one warranty repair.

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It’s useful to hear others great and not so great experiences. Is a Miele dishwasher not as great a product as some have exoerienced?

Looking to Choice’s product reliability surveys,

The respondents to the Choice survey certainly favoured Bosch and Miele branded products (50+% of respondents). If there was a notable reliability issue with either brand’s product surely it would stand out in the recent survey results?

Miele dishwashers were rated by 545 owners.
Along side other major brands they rated just 1% below the best for reliability and the highest for satisfaction.

How well a brand responds to customers with problem products is reflected in the service scores.

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WE have always been happy with ASKO although we have a Fisher and Paykal at the moment which was in the house when we moved in and that if OK.

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Hi,
My Bosch dishwasher had to be replaced after 17 years.
I had a Bosch technician examine the machine to
confirm repairing it would be expensive. On his
recommendation, I purchased another Bosch
Model “SMS6HCW01A” FD0109.

For your info and action.

Ravy

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Thank you everyone, you have all helped. I have decided on Bosch but not a model yet.

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What did you end up getting? How is it going?

My old dishwasher had a second wind so I have not got a new one yet. Still on the to do list! Hopefully there will be new models and reviews to look at soon.

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