When will all Whirlpool customers find out when their washing machine will be fixed or replaced?
We have already replaced more than 1,000 units over the Christmas period for customers identified as being vulnerable and needing special assistance and we officially began replacing products on Monday, January 13. All customers with an affected unit are entitled to a like-for-like replacement washing machine completely free of charge – including removal of their old appliance, and delivery and installation of the new one. Since January 9, we have been re-contacting all customers who had already registered an affected model under the recall, inviting them to schedule a delivery appointment on a date that is convenient for them. All these customers will have received their invitations by the end of this week. Appointments are available seven days a week. Some people have chosen dates later this month as those are their preferred days – others have opted for slots this week.
What reassurance can you provide customers in the future, who may now avoid buying your products?
Whirlpool has had a rigorous commitment to product safety and quality for more than 100 years. Our appliances are designed and tested by over 4,000 engineers around the globe to meet our industry-leading product safety standards. The washing machines affected by this recall were designed by Indesit and began manufacture prior to Whirlpool’s acquisition of the company in late 2014. This is an issue we inherited from buying Indesit, but as the new owner, it is our responsibility to keep our customers safe. We are recalling these products because it is the right thing to do for people’s safety and we will do whatever it takes to put the situation right for our customers. By taking actions like this, we are bringing the company we acquired in line with Whirlpool’s industry-leading global safety and quality standards.
Why has the recall process taken so long to begin?
If one evaluates similar recalls, this process has progressed in a very timely manner. Through this recall we have a duty to ensure that the safety risk is completely removed – which means physically taking affected machines out of people’s homes. That could not be done without putting the necessary infrastructure in place. It has been a complex operation, but we have worked at full speed to be ready and in just three weeks since we notified customers of this recall, we have been able to begin providing remedies.
In the last few weeks we have:
- Doubled our call centre team to over 800 customer service agents
- Expanded our own delivery and collection capability
- Engaged third-party logistics support to undertake collection of affected washing machines from people’s homes, and delivery and installation of replacement appliances
- Sharply increased production at our five washing machine factories in the region to prioritise the manufacture of like-for-like replacement models
- Set up dedicated online systems for both managing the recall operationally, and to allow customers to check their products, register, and book appointments
- Worked with retailers to establish systems to help retrieve affected machines and source replacement products.
We are deeply sorry to our customers for the inconvenience this recall may cause but people’s safety must always come first.
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