Whirlpool Cabrio Washer Lid (and Lock) Defect
We purchased a Cabrio washer and dryer from Lowes in 2011. When the washer was still under warranty (around 11 months after purchase), I noticed a crack in the lid. I didn't know when it started, but it was only seen from the side of the washer next to the wall so I didn't think anyone would notice it. It grew over time, but like I said, it was on the side that we can't see unless we pull the washer away from the wall. About a year after I first noticed it, we heard a loud noise from the washing machine. It actually cracked the plastic on the lid on the left hand side (if you are looking at the front of the washing machine). There was a little water that came out. We ran the washer twice more that night to be sure that it would still run.
Since the washer would still run, I didn't call Whirlpool immediately. Unfortunately, we started having an issue with the lid lock after the lid broke. Before I called Whirlpool, I checked online to find what the lid would cost and how to replace it because I have worked on appliances in the past. There were numerous complaints on this model (even on this site: http://whirlpool.pissedconsumer.com/whirlpool-cabrio-horrible-product-customer-service-20120403309575.html).
When I talked to someone at Whirlpool (I believe it was a Rachel from Tennessee the two or three times I called), I was informed that the cost of the lid was over $200. I said that I understood that the lid was no longer under warranty, but I had several issues purchasing the lid for that much money. I informed her that the problem actually happened while it was under warranty, it was a very common problem, it would likely happen again making us pay over $200 again to get it fixed, we had spent well over $1,000 on the washer and dryer because of the Whirlpool name, and I've purchased used washing machines for less than $200 that have lasted me longer. She said that she understood my frustrations and would check to see if she could find anything to help me out. She put me on hold and came back telling me that the issue really was just cosmetic and she was able to get a manager to approve a 50% discount on the lid (still over $100). I reiterated what I said earlier and that spending over $100 every other year to keep my washing machine was too much and that I would like her to ask her manager to approve the lid for no charge since the issue was so common and because it started before the warranty was up.
She came back and told me that it wasn't possible and gave me a number to use in case I did change my mind on the lid. She also said that she understood the frustration, but it was really just a cosmetic problem and the washing machine was still functional. I politely disagreed, but didn't get any further in fixing the issue.
I was frustrated, but we kept using our washing machine. Soon we had to push on the lid in a certain way just to get it to lock AND it would beep with a lid error when it had one minute remaining to finish the cycle. We could cancel the cycle and the error would go away, but this was required each time. It is, of course, not Whirlpool's fault that we have a baby, but this error beep would wake our son up if he was sleeping and we weren't right next to the washer when it was close to finishing the cycle. The lock mechanism behaved worse as time went on and appeared to be caused by the broken lid pulling up on the lock. As a result, I called Whirlpool again. I got a Rachel in Tennessee again (sounded like the same rep). She again got her manager to offer half off on the price of the lid, but nothing else. I informed her that the lid issue was much more than a cosmetic issue. It was definitely a functional issue because it required more work from us every time we started the washer and the washer would not finish a single load with erroring out. She didn't agree, but did apologize for the extra hassle it caused. I informed her that the lid seemed to be breaking the lid lock, but she wasn't concerned. She did admit that she had heard of this happening before, but didn't see any re-calls. She offered me another number to get the lid at over $100 that would be good for a certain number of days.
A little while after the second call, we used our washing machine several times before it stopped working. I found that the lid seemed to pull up on the lid lock and the lock was no longer activating. I used a magnet to test the lid, but the actual lock does not come out and must have fallen off though the rest of the assembly is in place. I looked online and found the lid lock assembly for close to $90 from a third part so I would guess it costs over $100 from Whirlpool. At this point, the washing machine is not usable and the so called "cosmetic" issue is now a functional issue. I called Whirlpool again, got the same person, and asked if there were any recalls on lids or lid locks for my washing machine. After being told that there wasn't, I said thank you and hung up.
The frustration is at a very high level. We haven't used the washing machine in months. We have two children with a third on the way, which again, is not Whirlpool's fault, but it has made running out to do our laundry much more difficult. How much has this cost me? It depends on how you look at it. It cost just over $1,000 for the washing machine alone after taxes and I could subtract $200 (for the price of a used machine) and add a little bit to cover the cost of doing the laundry in town to come up with a loss of roughly $850. I could also say the loss is about $250 for parts and $100 for labor for a rough estimate of $350, but my own time is not factored into either one of those numbers. This has been a very frustrating ordeal. Obviously, no company makes all of their products without a single defect, but I expect a company like Whirlpool to offer to help. You could accuse them of making a product that is designed to break in order to make money on overpriced parts. I am not going to do this because I still expect to get something figured out and hope that this site will help get us somewhere closer to that goal.
Review about: Whirlpool Washing Machine.