Thread Number: 72715  /  Tag: Modern Dishwashers
Miele's factory in Bielefeld, Germany
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Post# 960929   10/6/2017 at 13:45 (354 days old) by drhardee ( Columbia, SC)        

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Fascinating peek inside the magical place where Miele dishwashers and vacuum cleaners are manufactured. Yes, it's a Miele puff PR piece, but still interesting to watch.


Post# 960973 , Reply# 1   10/6/2017 at 17:01 (354 days old) by gorenje (Slovenia)        

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Very interesting, thanks Dave :)

Post# 961091 , Reply# 2   10/7/2017 at 09:00 (353 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

Interesting but sort of reminds me of 1950s PR films for Bell Telephones or the GPO in the Uk. Maybe that’s what they’re going for thought - traditional and reliable.

Post# 961097 , Reply# 3   10/7/2017 at 10:02 (353 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Miele Bielefeld

Was there for an application for a study course. Didn't get the place.

Really nice factory and builduings in general, Bielefeld however is just a horrible city IMO.

Post# 961124 , Reply# 4   10/7/2017 at 12:46 (353 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

These appear to be very high quality machines. I personally have never seen anywhere here that sells them. I do think there are places that sell the vacuum cleaners here, but not the washers, dryers or dishwashers to my knowledge.

Post# 961155 , Reply# 5   10/7/2017 at 16:20 (353 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Miele Vaccum Cleaners

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Are sold everywhere, even local True Value Hardware store has them, their other appliances not so much.

Don't know if it has changed but for their kitchen, laundry and other appliances (excluding vacuums), Miele tended to keep tight distribution.

It also doesn't help that Miele prefers or at least preferred using their own in house repair techs. Well if you are out somewhere where Miele does not have a strong distribution/presence just how many Miele repair techs do you think there are locally?

Can tell you for New York City and pretty much up and down the Northeast from Maine to probably Washington, D.C. nearly everything comes out of Miele headquarters or other offices in New Jersey.

There are some independent Miele service techs, many of whom are former in house guys who went out on their own (with Miele USA's blessings as they often send them work), and IIRC at one point Miele began working with local large appliance repair companies. However don't know if the latter has continued.

Bottom line is even after twenty or more years in USA, Miele is still pretty much a niche (high end/luxury or whatever) appliance line. The fact they keep tight integration of all divisions (sales, service, parts, etc..) means if something goes wrong, it can be weeks before the situation is addressed.

Post# 961277 , Reply# 6   10/8/2017 at 03:06 (352 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

It's a shame that it's that poor a service in the US.

Phenomenally good support for Miele here Ireland.
I've has a few minor gripes with installation issues for built in kitchen appliances and they were absolutely fantastic to real with.

Extremely knowledgeable staff at their Irish HQ, call back from a regional manager who even gave their mobile number in case of any further issues. They were able to literally work with the installer on the phone and send every diagram he needed.

The only slight gripe I have with them is they're very slow to ship their Ultra Phase detergents. You definitely wouldn't want to be in a rush to get laundry done!

I may switch over to using the refillable dispensers with something like Ariel Colour liquid in one and Ace Bleach (a peroxide based wash booster similar formulation to their Ultra Phase 2) in the other.

Post# 961286 , Reply# 7   10/8/2017 at 05:24 (352 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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In of Big Bertha's service calls the Miele tech assigned to our area brought along an African-American man who was in training.

A few years later when the machine again required attention the AA gentleman who had been training came out to do the initial diagnosis; but since he was totally unfamiliar with older Miele washers (and didn't want to do the repair anyway it seemed) we left things at that and summoned a local independent but qualified Miele tech.

Finally just a year or so ago when the machine needed the suspension replaced regular route tech came out again... We asked what happened to the AA man he had trained and was told he received a huge promotion and was now *over* his former mentor if you will. Wie ist es möglich? Tech replied "it is just how politics work at Miele..".

We already knew form the authorized Miele tech (a man who formerly worked for Miele, but went out and started his own business), that there is quite a lot of politics or whatever that goes on in the background from Miele tech/customer support.

When going through some issues with Big Bertha and was pretty much told off by the supervisor/manager of repair/tech support; the man offered us a ten percent discount on a new Miele washer if we would get rid of Bertha and stop calling them to repair. When that offer was refused apparently for awhile were placed on a "blacklist" due to "age and condition of machine and household where located.....".

For appliances that run one or more thousands Miele's repair/tech support is rather lacking IMHO.

Don't know how things work elsewhere but one's first contact with Miele tech support normally goes along the lines of "what are/have you done to the machine/item? "It cannot be doing that"? Depending upon their mood, phase of the moon and luck in general you *might* get someone that will work with you on some initial problem solving. Otherwise here is the deal:

An appointment must be made for house call to "diagnose" the issue. This can be one, two or more weeks away. Once that is done (and paid for), unless the matter is a very small one (and tech has the parts with him), another appointment must be set up for Miele repair to return. This again can be one, two or more weeks away. Heaven help if the part is not in stock locally and it must come from New Jersey, or worse ordered from Germany. Then all bets are off.

In the meantime whatever is broken remains so; if that means totally unusable in such state, then you'd better make other plans for laundry, cooking, washing dishes, keeping foods cold, or whatever for the duration.

Because Miele tech support/repair and parts are proprietary one simply cannot pop down to a shop or go to anywhere else that sells spares. Well you can order them from Europe providing you know the part, find a match and someone willing to sell and ship.

For a while several years back at least in NYC area Miele was training techs from a third party service (think it was Appliance Pro), but not sure if that arrangement still exists. Even then Miele was only training those techs on newer model appliances. Older machines like my washer were not covered.

Know from speaking with Miele service that for the past several years they have had issues in finding and retaining service techs. Many of the older ones are retiring, have moved up or on, and or do not do field work any longer.

This explains why if you have an older Miele appliance such as washer the information you get from calling customer support varies. Most of the younger/new techs simply have never seen and or worked on these machines in field. As part of their training is another matter. Spoke to a nice young man on the West Coast (Miele now switches all calls there after 5PM EST to provide longer window for business hours), who knew of my machine, and even said he had to pass an exam that called for taking apart and rebuilding the huge cast iron motor.

The saving grace (if you can call it that) with Miele is at least you are getting someone in USA to answer tech support telephone calls.

Post# 961296 , Reply# 8   10/8/2017 at 06:52 (352 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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It is a shame that Miele don't have a bigger presence in the States.

I wonder if that is the whole idea... keep a minimal presence, basically for easily serviced portable appliances, so's they don't become a 'victim of their own success' with the more awkward to service machines.

I like the thought of solid, robust machines. I like sensibly offered technical advice.

I don't like the thought of 'an arm and a leg' prices, from one spare parts supplier only. Though I dare say pumps, bearings and belts will be pretty much generic across most manufacturers, so a 'pattern spare' might do instead.

Post# 961303 , Reply# 9   10/8/2017 at 07:45 (352 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Pattern spares: If you are willing to DIY then whatever suits your fancy is fine. Miele techs will only install NIB parts from that company. Indeed that is the only way service call is covered by warranty for parts and labor. Used Miele parts? Forget it, tech won't install that either, but again you are more then welcome to DIY.

Miele was and never will be a major player in the United States white goods market. Bosch to their credit built a factory on this side of the pond and makes greater effort. Miele still stubbornly refuses to build a plant here, and the little accommodation they've made to the North American market was introducing a 120v washing machine.

Early on Miele had no end of problems trying to establish market share for their laundry appliances due to the 120v/220v requirement. Yes, one knows how everyone goes on that "homes all have 220v at the panel" or whatever. But that is not universally true and certainly isn't for apartments in Manhattan and other well off urban areas such as Boston, San Francisco.

Nor is or was it easy nor inexpensive to run 220v into an apartment where it didn't exist previously. In many instances it would involve running a new higher capacity cable from street to building, then to meter/box, and finally up to the apartment in question that likely would need a new box as well. We're talking several thousands of dollars just to install a washing machine and dryer themselves that cost several thousand dollars. So you can see how far that went. It explains why even today perfectly good and barely used older Miele washers go begging or simply are scrapped because no one will take them.

The other niggle was capacity. Many Americans simply felt Miele, Asko, Bosch, etc... all were too "small". This despite 5kg being perfectly normal capacity for most of Europe.

Miele poured untold millions into R&D for their uber capacity washer and dryer, only to pull both after barely a few years on market.

Of course when Miele, Creda, Asko, and Bosch first arrived on these shores they were the only front loading washers around. Well except for White Westinghouse machines.

Maytag's introduction (failed and it may have been) of the Neptune washer and the success of Whirlpool's Duet show also why Miele either must step up their game, or be satisfied where they are for laundry appliances.

LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, etc... all seem to "get it" when it comes to what Americans want laundry machine wise. Oh and now that Speed Queen is in the running, all bets are off.

All Miele's costs are high because everything is shipped from Germany. Also because of their proprietary and closed nature not many appliance repairmen/services want to get involved.

Post# 961397 , Reply# 10   10/8/2017 at 21:32 (352 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

I think that video explains why though.

Miele are occupying a niche and doing that very well and are not going to overstretch themselves chasing market share, when they are already very profitable.

They know they've a market because of their high quality products and people seek them out.

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