Thermador’s “Lichtenstein Moment”

Our Thermador oven had its KABOOM!! Moment when a defect in the broiling coil exploded with a FLASH! BAM! WOW! that ended with a piece of coil shrapnel embedded in one of the 4 lean chops in the boiler oven.

Once again we needed Thermador Service’s “Lone Ranger.” This guy has job security. He is the one official Thermador service person for the entire NYC Metro/North NJ market. Getting an appointment with him hinges on luck, fate, and traffic conditions between his base in Brooklyn and Thermador appliance owners within a 30-mile radius.

It also depends on whether he keeps the components he orders for repairs he plans to make. He cancelled our appointment for yesterday 4 hours before he was due to appear. Reason: He did not have the part because—as later explained by Thermador—he returned the part after he received it. (He left out that matter when he cancelled.)

Thermador service for the most densely populated market in North America is shaky. Parts are in short supply and the appointment system sends customers back to Start if the service person has to cancel.

The underlying cause is the usual suspect: Thermador is owned by a larger entity, BSH (Bosch & Siemens Home Appliance Group). BSH merged service in Huntington Beach CA for the Thermador and Gaggenau oven makers it bought. The operational problems indicate another case of how large corporations view customer service as a cost to cut after a sale has been made.

This is our second go round with a Thermador service failure. Last time—after a discussion with Thermador’s service HQ—Thermador credited the cost of a $300 replacement piece needed for the oven. That time Thermador’s system produced an unqualified fellow to be sent when the Lone Ranger was busy. So here we go again. More will follow on how Thermador grapples with this customer disservice episode.



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