Can I use my fire-hazard tumble dryer - and what are Whirlpool doing?

Can I use my fire hazard tumble dryer
20 May 2016

We've been looking into the hold-up with the fire risk tumble dryers that have come from Whirlpool - sold under the Indesit, Hotpoint, and Creda brands.

Concerned customers have been waiting, and waiting for the company to come and rectify their problem, worried that there's a tumble dryer in their house that might set everything on ablaze.

The only thing we've been able to think of, while the company gets their finger out, is that you should unplug your dryer whenever it is not in use. Whirlpool and associated companies have offered customers money off a new machine, but that's not a good enough response as people are understandably reluctant to give more money to a business that they feel is messing them around.

Now Which!!! are getting in on the action, and have accused Whirlpool of using delaying tactics, and confusing people who are wanting repairs done for their tumble dryers.

Of course, there's a lot of machines affected - around Some 5.3 million dryers which were sold between April 2004 and September 2015 in the UK - so understandably, there's a massive backlog.

Which!!! decided to do some mystery-shopper calls, and conduct a survey with 800 affected customers.

Whirlpool staff have been saying that it'll take 8-to-12 weeks to first obtain a customer ID, and Which!!! think this is something that could actually be done within seconds.

Customers who refused a discount on a new machine have also been told that there's going to be a 6 month wait for repairs. By our calculations, it is going to be longer than that, which is obviously not good enough.

The watchdog's mystery shoppers asked about a 9 month old machine, and were told to take their query up with the retailer, who in turn, sent them back to the manufacturer.

In the Which!!! survey, they deduced that 20% of people felt that they had no choice but to buy a new machine, while 33% said they'd rather pay for a replacement than have to wait such a long time for a repair.

Over half of those spoken to said that they were dissatisfied with Whirlpool's handling of the situation. For those who had to wait 6 months, 80% of those were not at all happy with the way it was being dealt with.

You can have a look at the results from Which!!! by clicking here.

It is clear that Whirlpool/Hotpoint/Indesit/Creda need to be more helpful with this problem. Which!!! wants the companies to clearly state the affected model numbers on the front page of their websites, and give details of how customers can get help.

We'd like their staff to stop sending customers around the houses, and accept responsibility for this mess.

Again, if you need to call the company about this, the number is 0800 151 0905. With increased pressure, they might be a bit more helpful. Don't hold your breath though.

If the company ask you to go back to the retailer, you need to refuse and say that this is their problem, and that you've checked that you've got an affected model. You can check again to see if you've got a fire risk tumble dryer here, and here.

Whirlpool issued a safety notice and vowed to get this sorted - so don't allow them to send you away without an answer.

Can I Keep Using My Tumble Dryer?

Whirlpool say that it is okay for you to use your machine. Make sure it is unplugged when not in use.

Before using it, make sure you check and clean the filter. Then, do the same after the cycle has finished. This helps to the machine to do proper dryer venting.

Do keep an eye on it. Basically, the problem is that these machines are getting hot, so removing the things that might catch fire should mean you'll be okay.

TOPICS:   How To Guides   Complaints

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