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Old 12-31-2008, 02:29 PM   #1
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Need a stand mixer? Avoid tilt-head KitchenAids

Below is an email that I sent to Kitchenaid customer service after calling their customer service phone number and telling the woman that I spoke with about my problems. Instead of offering to fix or replace it (which is what I was hoping for, regardless of it being out of the 1 year warranty period), the woman said "Yeah, it shouldn't be making those noises. Do you want the number to a repair facility in your area?" Viking makes a stand mixer for $50 more than the base Artisan mixer which is almost certainly better built. That's what I'll be replacing this albatross with.

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About four years ago I purchased an Artisan stand mixer, banking on Kitchenaid's exceptional reputation and my experience with my father's artisan mixer that I grew up using (which still works phenomenally well today, about 25 years after he bought it). About a year after purchase, my mixer began having transmission problems. It had a strange smell when it would run and made terrible noises when it would mix something viscous. I called customer service and they were very helpful and replaced my mixer, even though it had just come out of warranty.

I received my replacement mixer and shortly thereafter moved. The mixer spent about a year in a box. I use it occasionally, but have recently begun making breads and I'm experiencing a similar transmission problem with this product. I'm not hard on my kitchen appliances and I'm careful to buy things that will last me a lifetime (and care for them as such) - that's what I thought I was doing with this mixer. This morning while mixing some bread dough (a loose dough at that) the transmission began making strange noises again. With such little use, I'm dismayed that this mixer is having issues. I wonder if the Artisan model transmission has a known issue? I've found a few reports of this online already.

I have always held Kitchenaid in the highest regard and was looking forward to buying major Kitchenaid appliances for my upcoming kitchen remodel, but I'm rethinking this plan after this seemingly obvious degradation in quality control. I received a meat grinder attachment as a Christmas gift that I may return as I'm expecting the transmission to fail in this unit and likely won't be replacing it with another Kitchenaid stand mixer as my last two experiences have removed my faith in Kitchenaid's name.


Sincerely,
Laurel

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Old 12-31-2008, 03:00 PM   #2
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Keep the grinder and use it on a Hobart N-50.

It can use all of the KA hub attachments, and has a great reputation.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:13 PM   #3
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hahahaha, a MERE $2000!
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:31 PM   #4
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I have 2 old old ones I bought off Ebay. A good used one runs between $300 and $700 if you don't mind cosmetic flaws.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:54 AM   #5
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I fail to see your point other than the fact that you are trying to blackmail and extort a new mixer for the second time from KitchenAid. The terms of the warranty were specifically stated in the documents you received with the first mixer. I understand your frustration in the situation, but trying to badger the manufacturer after four years of ownership is wrong, no matter what your usage is or was. If you don't want to purchase another that's fine. I own a 2004 Chevy truck whose manufacturers warranty ran out after 3 years or 36,000 miles, I have 25,000 miles on it, but I can't get warranty work done on it, because the warranty has expired, just like your mixer.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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I think the point was that they wanted an appliance that would last a long time and apparently, in this person's experience, a Kitchenaid appliance did not fit the bill - perhaps there are design-flaws in this particular model or series (or perhaps not; I don't know).
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:48 AM   #7
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I understand Laurel's frustration and don't interpret her letter as an effort to "extort", but as a courteous and legitimate concern over the apparent deteriorating quality of KA products. I have a KitchenAid K5 that I've had for almost 20 years. It is still strong and healthy, and I use it several times a week, including breadmaking. That is what I would expect from the KA reputation. When Hobart stopped making KA, the quality went down. If I wanted a KA now, I would not buy a new one, but would search Ebay for a vintage model.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:55 AM   #8
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And I would have believed it until I read the last paragraph. The other problem I have with it is, it's unknown what type of bread she was making and even my Pro-6 has problems with a high flour low moisture dough and it's 525 watts versus 325 watts. I've had my Pro-6 Locked up tighter than a drum, when I used the wrong thing for a pusher using the meat grinder, so much so that I had to get a 12" Crescent wrench to turn the drive gear backwards to free the metal end of the whisk that came off and fell into the grinder.

To me this would be the same as asking KitchenAid to fix or replace my unit because I used it incorrectly. Warranty is warranty, it's stated up front to protect you and the manufacturer. If it was lifetime warranty, KitchenAid would have to honor it. It isn't, it's whatever it is stated in the paperwork that comes with the machine. KitchenAid does enjoy an excellent reputation for quality and many times has bent over backwards to satisfy a customer, which they did in one instance for this customer. Clearly this unit was at least 2 years out of the warranty and 3 if you count the year " it sat in the box without usage". To vilify and threaten the manufacturer either privately or in public, such as this case, is morally and ethically wrong no matter which side of the tracks you were brought up on.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:27 AM   #9
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Y'know, it's funny...I had an old Hobart KA45 that worked beautifully for years. It was used when I was given it, and I made bread, cookies, dog biscuits, ground meat for sausage, mixed the sausage in the mixer and stuffed it with the mixer...I couldn't wear it out. I finally gave it away, when I had a chance to buy a used N-50. I don't know about the newer, non-Hobart KA's, so I can't really comment on them, but the old ones were great. My N-50, btw, came from a thrift store, so there probably isn't a warranty, but I'm not expecting to need one. I would just recommend looking for a used Hobart KA.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:22 PM   #10
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I have a old KA (30) and it has shredded 1000, of pounds cabbage and mixed hundreds of loaves of bread (heavy rye bread as well as plain white bread)
and have never had a problem with it. Now having said that about my old mixer if my machine would quit I would not buy another KA as the quality is not there. I would look into a Viking,stand mixer, or a Hobart bench model.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:43 PM   #11
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Here is a website with hundreds of stories about KA customer service and quality.
Consumer complaints about KitchenAid Mixers

Grillinfool, I don't disagree about the right/wrong of trying to cash in on an out-of-date warranty. I just thought you were a little hard on the OP (Laurel). I don't think she was guilty of malicious intent. She is justifiably frustrated about the performance vs. the reputation of her KA mixer. Clearly, the lesson is that the product currently being sold is not the same product that many of us bought many years ago and NO ONE should buy a new KA mixer.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:16 PM   #12
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I have a bunch of Kitchen Aid appliances, both small and large, including a stand mixer. I had trouble with my KA stove and they installed a loaner and when they were able to give me a new stove, they took the loaner away and installed a new one. These things happen and at this point I can't complain about KA's support of their customer and products.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:28 PM   #13
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Grillinfool - If you had read the letter thoroughly, you'd note that I was making a loose bread dough, one high in moisture. You're welcome to think anything you like about my purposes for writing the letter. I would however like ONE shred of evidence that I was threatening the manufacturer. I posted this to give people a warning regarding my experience with kitchenaid. Up until recently I held kitchenaid in the highest regard and if I had read something like this when I originally purchased mine, I'd have looked elsewhere.

I didn't use my kitchenaid incorrectly, I used it occasionally to make cookies, whip cream, and recently - make slack bread dough, as I've been experimenting with pugliese recipes. This is what I'd consider a LOW use product, and I've had two that have had the same problems. Call it what you may but I'm not trying to EXTORT a new mixer out of kitchenaid, I just want them (and other people reading this) to know how unhappy I am with their product. Perhaps I should have written a glowing review for the few years that it ran flawlessly and not mentioned the transmission problem.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:15 AM   #14
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If that is truly the case,then I am truly sorry for casting dishonor your way.

May I ask why you would publish your letter to the manufacturer in a public forum, clearly with the intent to sway others from purchasing a KitchenAid product ? Why would you also tell the manufacturer that because of the problems you've had with a small appliance, you won't consider purchasing large appliances from them ? You started this thread, no one asked for a critique of the mixer, no one asked for a copy of the e-mail stating your displeasure to the manufacturer. Would you have done the same if KitchenAid had replaced or repaired your out of warranty mixer ? You clearly state that that was your wish. In the 8 years I've owned my mixer it hasn't been used 365 days does that mean I should get a new mixer if it broke ? An honest review would have been greatly appreciated and your opinion of the machine and it's longevity noted in the review would help someone make a purchase decision, not stating that they wouldn't replace a machine after 4 years of ownership and venting your frustration publicly. I see it differently than what you state your intentions were.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grillncook View Post
If that is truly the case,then I am truly sorry for casting dishonor your way.

May I ask why you would publish your letter to the manufacturer in a public forum, clearly with the intent to sway others from purchasing a KitchenAid product ? Why would you also tell the manufacturer that because of the problems you've had with a small appliance, you won't consider purchasing large appliances from them ? You started this thread, no one asked for a critique of the mixer, no one asked for a copy of the e-mail stating your displeasure to the manufacturer. Would you have done the same if KitchenAid had replaced or repaired your out of warranty mixer ? You clearly state that that was your wish. In the 8 years I've owned my mixer it hasn't been used 365 days does that mean I should get a new mixer if it broke ? An honest review would have been greatly appreciated and your opinion of the machine and it's longevity noted in the review would help someone make a purchase decision, not stating that they wouldn't replace a machine after 4 years of ownership and venting your frustration publicly. I see it differently than what you state your intentions were.
Why would he publish it in a public forum? I dunno, maybe to warn others from buying a substandard product and being fooled by a brand name? I just bought a Viking 1000 Watt 7 QT stand mixer after reading literally over a hundred such complaints across the web. It's because of posts like this that I avoided a Kitchen Aid. I thank the OP for his comment.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grillncook View Post
If that is truly the case,then I am truly sorry for casting dishonor your way.

May I ask why you would publish your letter to the manufacturer in a public forum, clearly with the intent to sway others from purchasing a KitchenAid product ? Why would you also tell the manufacturer that because of the problems you've had with a small appliance, you won't consider purchasing large appliances from them ? You started this thread, no one asked for a critique of the mixer, no one asked for a copy of the e-mail stating your displeasure to the manufacturer. Would you have done the same if KitchenAid had replaced or repaired your out of warranty mixer ? You clearly state that that was your wish. In the 8 years I've owned my mixer it hasn't been used 365 days does that mean I should get a new mixer if it broke ? An honest review would have been greatly appreciated and your opinion of the machine and it's longevity noted in the review would help someone make a purchase decision, not stating that they wouldn't replace a machine after 4 years of ownership and venting your frustration publicly. I see it differently than what you state your intentions were.

I posted this in a public forum because I want other people to know what MY experience was with KitchenAid stand mixers. Just because something isn't ASKED FOR doesn't mean that it doesn't need to be posted. I probably would have written a positive review regarding my experience with kitchenaid had they replaced or repaired my mixer, as I do when I have good experiences with companies or merchants. I didn't contact you and ask you your opinion regarding my post, but surely you provided it. This is a site where people exchange information about cooking, and considering that this is information that I have regarding cooking appliances, I saw fit to let people know how I feel. There were a number of threads about kitchenaid mixers on the first page of this forum and I thought it was prudent to add my own.

Maybe I'll refrain from posting new threads ever for fear of offending your sensibilities. Perhaps I'll PM you and ask for your permission before I post something that you may not agree with. I don't know why you're so upset about this post, it was simply me sharing my experience with others so they might learn from it.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:01 PM   #17
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See this site on other compaints, same mixer type.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
Below is an email that I sent to Kitchenaid customer service after calling their customer service phone number and telling the woman that I spoke with about my problems. Instead of offering to fix or replace it (which is what I was hoping for, regardless of it being out of the 1 year warranty period), the woman said "Yeah, it shouldn't be making those noises. Do you want the number to a repair facility in your area?" Viking makes a stand mixer for $50 more than the base Artisan mixer which is almost certainly better built. That's what I'll be replacing this albatross with.

Consumer complaints about KitchenAid Mixers

Here is one of many letters. Keep calling and complaining, and do it in writing with a registered letter. Tell them this is a manufacturers defect. If they still refuse you, get stronger, and let them know you just might sue them, along with others you will be contacting. Let them know about the link I sent you. If you take them to court, you will win.

They often will help you if you don't give up and keep annoying them. Also if they are willing to upgrade you, do it, I have the pro6 and love it. It is very tough. KitchenAid is owned by Whirlpool now, as is Maytag and many other companies.

Candy

From the consumer site link above.

:Richard of Norwich NY (10/18/08)
I too had a Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer that blew out the gears in less than a year! I use the Grain Grinder and make my own bread. Well, that machine is not suited to turn the Grain Grinder they make! I too had oil with metal filing coming out of the machine! It finally just died on me, the gears were shot.

When I brought it back to the store where I bought it they said it was out of the year protection and I refused to accept that! I was prepared to stay in the store until they gave me the 1-800 number of the factory rep in Michigan. She said they would exchange a new one for me. I told her I wanted up up grade to the heavy duty model and that is what we settled on. I had to pay 94 bucks for that upgrade. I will give it one more chance. Only one more!:
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
it was simply me sharing my experience with others so they might learn from it.
Well I, for one, am happy you shared with us and I hope you continue to do so!
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:41 PM   #19
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Thanks, GB, for expressing your support for the OP. If we waited for topics to be "asked for" we would miss most of the wonderful opportunities we have here to learn from others.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:12 AM   #20
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I am not going to bad mouth a brand of mixer based on one persons experience not getting what they want after the warranty period has expired.
With nothing implied or intended regarding Laurel and her experience, there is no way for KitchenAid to know if the mixer was abused or mis-used. My KitchenAid mixers are well used and keep on going. The Delonghi/Kenwood I had died right out of the box (They make the Viking).

As for this misconception that they were GREAT when Hobart owned them and lousy now that Whirlpool owns them, I can show you the boxes of HOBART-KitchenAid made attachments made out of plastic. I can show you the dead Hobart/KitchenAid mixers bought for parts.
According to Cooks Illustrated and Consumer Reports, KitchenAid continues to be the best home mixer on the market.
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