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Bosch Build Quality


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#1 macladd

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:12 AM

Howdy folks, great site!!

Have been looking for a new machine for a while now (current one is on its last legs) I decided on either a Bosch, Zanussi or AEG.

having extensively researched models and prices for all 3 makes, I have to say that I am not in the least bit impressed with the latest offerings from Bosch. The newest design from Bosch seems flimsy to say the least, many on display in the stores had issues with the door catch (which I see is now plastic) when closing the door you had to push really hard to get it to lock, but in doing so the front of the machine bevelled in. The soap dispenser drawers were either too loose or needed a really firm tug to get them out. There are no push buttons any more, just flat silver circles which i assume are touch sensitive (wonder what colour they will be on a silver machine?) All in all, i was totally unimpressed and rather disappointed in the latest design from Bosch and i wondered if anyone had similar views (or is it just me being nit picky? lol) Seems from what I have seen, Bosch has let its standards slip quite a bit! :blink:

I'd really like a Miele machine, have been looking at the Miele 1514 but its just beyond my financial reach. Am also thinking about the John Lewis branded machines, but dont have a JL close enough to justify a trip to see them "in the flesh"

Current machine is a Whirpool Inspirations, the old bugger sounds a bit wheezy these days and I suspect he'll keel over soon (probably due to me stuffing him full to the gunnels 3 times a week) :unsure:

PS, why cant I open the door of ANY Miele machine no matter where I go to look??

Cheers Folks

 

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#2 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:45 AM

I've always been able to open Miele washing machine doors before on display. I've often found that's where they kept the brochures.

Bosch still have a good reputation, but as you’ve noticed they aren’t the Bosch of old. They are part of the Bosch/Siemens group and as such, the Siemens range serves the quality product range and the Bosch range is now made to cover the mid-price to budget range. The cheapest Bosch washing machines can now be bought for less than £250 and are made in Spain. I believe they still carry a 2 year guarantee, and are still seen as probably the best in their price range – but £250 is very cheap, and build quality cannot be maintained at those prices. If looking for a washing machine in this price range there are compromises in build quality and future reparability, but Bosch are probably the best of the bunch.

Out of the 3 you mentioned, AEG is the higher build quality but with (of course) higher prices. The John Lewis washing machine is a Zanussi, branded for John Lewis so the build quality is exactly the same as a Zanussi. They are a little higher in price but have a 3 year guarantee and extra features.

#3 yoj13

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 07:10 PM

Hi Macladd,
I too have had to spend some money this week and with the assistance of washerhelp have now decided on the John Lewis 1202. After I had placed the order, someone wrote a review on the 'John Lewis' forum and he speaks very highly of it so it was more re-assurance in a way. Looks are un-important as it will be unseen, so performance was more important to me. Its the same price as the AEG at JL, but the 3 year guarantee clinched the deal. I would not buy Bosch again as I have been really disappointed with my dishwasher. It periodically flooded the kitchen and I wouldn't dared have gone out and left it on and when the engineer came out from Bosch, he said it was in perfect working order. Incidentally, it was only just out of its guarantee and only used twice a week at the most. He hadn't got to the end of the road when it flooded again. Boy was I mad. I rang the service department again and they sent someone else, who spotted the problem almost immediately. Fingers crossed, its been OK since, but it did need a new part. If you do decide to buy from JL, don't forget to go through washerhelps site. I don't know whether I can post codes on here but theres a 15 off a 75 spend at JL and every little helps. I could email it to you if you wish. regards - yoj 13

#4 macladd

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 02:15 AM

Thanks for the info (esp the money off at JL!) I found out that newer Miele machines need an electricity supply to open the door, hence the doors are well and truly sealed shut in the showroom (The store staff prob don't realise this) apparantly there is a tool built into the drain pump door that you can use to manually release the door but I'm not sure Currys n Comet staff would be too pleased if I started to tinker with their display models :P

I would go to a local Independent (If we had one up here in the frozen North!)

cheers folks

#5 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 01:30 PM

I found out that newer Miele machines need an electricity supply to open the door


My local John Lewis store has all their Miele washing machines on display powered up so I could play with the door opening button :) (link goes to the excellent John lewis web site)

#6 chrisl

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:04 PM

I have just joined this forum today after spending the past week reading tips and help on "Washerhelps" web site. I must add that I have found it the most usefull site on the net.

A few days ago I made up my mind that I was gona go for a Bosch machine, especialy as I had found the WAE 2416S & WAE24162 for sale at prices from £228.97. However today I visited a local showroom and was told by the salesman that all the cheap Bosch machines on the market at the moment are made in Italy, with far inferior parts! He said the way to tell if it was a genuine German Bosch machine was to look at the back panel and view how easy it was to remove the back panel. He showed me 2 Bosch machines. One had easy access, the other appeared to have difficult access. He obviously said that was the way to tell the difference and the cheaper machine did look more difficult to gain access.

However I am certainly dubious about about believing what this dealer told me because I found the WAE 2416S amongst his limited stock at a price of £339.99 and he admitted that, that machine would be the Italian one. £110 more expensive than the same model I have located other places. Inside the door it did have the letters GB aftter the model number, does this make a difference in the quality of the machine?

I am prepared to pay up to £300 for a machine, Im only interested in a 40 degree wash to be honest. I do a wash approx twice per week. Now I cant decide to go for a John Lewis own brand with 3 year guarantee, Bosh at the cheap price 2 year guarantee or Zanussi!!!!!

Any comments will be appreciated, thank you in advance.

Chris

#7 macladd

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 10:10 PM

Hi Chris

I wouldn't go for the Bosch, my mother just got one and she is convinced her old Zanussi was far better at washing AND spinning (Old Zanussi 1000rpm spin New Bosch 1400rpm spin)

All things considered, in your case I would opt for the John Lewis one, as it is really a Zanussi/AEG in disguise (The Customer Service team at John Lewis told me that John lewis machines had Zanussi and AEG parts inside them and were built to John Lewis specification which will be high quality). JL must consider them to be good as they are backing them up with their 3yr warranty, and I believe you can extend that to 5yrs for a mere 70 extra should you wish to. John Lewis are reknowned for their Customer Service and After Sales care so you should be alright.

Hope this helps

#8 chrisl

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 12:26 AM

Thank you for your coment macladd, I am certainly having second thoughts. My appliances in the past have been Zannussi but I have experienced probs with some of my purchases. Perhaps I just had a bit of bad luck! I will post again when i make my final choice.

Chris

#9 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 11:55 AM

Many thanks for your comments. As far as I know the cheaper Bosch washing machines are made in the Balay factory Spain, but it's possible they could be sourced anywhere, maybe even China shortly. I've always assumed the GB stands for great Britain, to indicate where it was sold but can't guarantee this. There are three things to bear in mind about these Bosch washing machines.
  • They are still Bosch washing machines, and unlikely to be rubbish. It's unlikely that the cheaper Bosch washers are fitted with "far inferior parts". They aren't likely to ruin the excellent reputation Bosch washing machines have. However, Bosch washing machines have been moving down towards the budget end of the market for some years. Their better quality washing machines are produced under the Siemens brand. It may be that (unusually) some of the top end Bosch washing machines are made in Germany with a little higher build quality specs, but I wouldn't be surprised if they all end up being produced in Spain (or China) in the end. It doesn't make sense to have any variance in quality within the same brand and there rarely is. Manufacturers wanting to sell in a higher or lower price market invariably buy up another company already established in that market.
  • These Bosch washing machines are cheap - very cheap. No matter how you try, you can't make a high quality washing machine that sells at these prices. However, its not just Bosch that can't - no one can. But Bosch, Zanussi and the Zanussi-John Lewis brand are the ones closest to pulling off this impossible task. Moving production from a notoriously expensive labour force like Germany is the only way they could get prices this low without severely affecting quality
People always assume that if a product's production is moved to a cheap-labour country that it must mean the quality will drop but this isn't logical to me. It's perfectly possible for quality to remain the same by using the same tooling machines, the same components and proper supervision. The main reason for moving production is to save labour costs. Having said that though, it's certainly possible for a company seeking to cut costs to combine the production move with other cost cutting exercises like lower quality components. I'm just saying that a country of origin shouldn't automatically signal the quality of a product.

At the end of the day if you are only willing (or able) to spend £300 or less on a washing machine you can't expect a high quality, long lasting product. The cheaper washing machines are usually not worth repairing if they ever need one of the following parts replacing when out of guarantee -
  • Outer tub
  • Inner drum
  • Motor
  • Programme controller or PCB
But for anyone who is only willing or able to spend around £300 on a washing machine they aren't likely to pick a better gamble than a Bosch, Zanussi, AEG or the John Lewis brand.

As with all things, it depends which way you want to look at it. Here's a different way of looking at it -
  • The Bosch washing machines have a 2 year guarantee, the Zanussi* has 1 year and the John Lewis has 3 years guarantee. Some would argue that if the John Lewis washing machine is guaranteed for 3 years then barring some catastrophic event it should last a minimum of 3 years. So even in the worst case scenario of one not lasting any longer, the £299 would equate to only £100 a year or £1.92 a week. Anything longer, which is perfectly probable, would diminish the weekly cost further
  • If the Bosch only lasted up to its 2 year guarantee that would equate to £2.20 per week.
* NOTE: Zanussi washing machines only have a 1 year guarantee, but all washing machines bought from John Lewis have a 2 year guarantee apart from the actual John Lewis brand which has 3 years guarantee.

As you say, it's difficult to truly value any salesman's advice or information because they have a vested interest in selling us something. I always remember how I learned this lesson. I wandered into a Yorkshire Electricity Board shop many years ago keeping an eye on current washing machines and prices in the stores. I was approached by a salesperson (gender not relevant) who, not knowing I was in the trade, steered me away from the Hoover washer dryer I was inspecting with a few disparaging remarks about it and pointed out a competing brand. All my comments about how happy I was with the Hoover brand (they were very good machines for the money in the old days) were ignored and the virtues of the competing (not as good) brand were extolled to me. Becoming suspicious I told them I was in the trade and they confided in me that they didn't even work for the Electricity Board, they worked for the manufacturer, and had been sent there to boost sales. I was disgusted that this sort of thing went on (and other shops did or maybe still do it) because this is totally biassed sales advice masquerading as relatively unbiased.

#10 yoj13

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 06:26 PM

Thank you for your coment macladd, I am certainly having second thoughts. My appliances in the past have been Zannussi but I have experienced probs with some of my purchases. Perhaps I just had a bit of bad luck! I will post again when i make my final choice.

Chris

Chris,
I have already posted a thread on my new 'badged' JLWM 1202 New Arrival!. I am absolutely delighted. It is all and more what washerhelp said it would be. I had owned a Hoover Logic 1200 for the past 20 years ( almost -birthday 5th March) and I can't tell you how much difference there is. I have to say also, I too have bought a few things from JL in the past, they are extremely competative, but more importantly, they do seem to go the extra mile as far as service is concerned - something missing from a lot of retailers these days. The icing on the cake was the 3 year guarantee and I can assure you if you need to call the engineer in that time, there will be no questions asked. yoj13

#11 Lorenzo

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 07:47 PM

First, let me thank you, Andy, for your site and your very valuable advice. It helped me a lot in making up my mind when I bought my first, personal washing machine for my new flat.
It is important to know what you are paying for, dealing with all those 'shining and unmissable' models you are offered as an inexpert consumer.

I recently bought a Bosch WLX16420 IT after some research and I am pretty satisfied with it, apart from a slightly noisy pump and a low max spin speed (800 rpm). But the latter is no big problem in this part of Italy, the weather is acceptable in winter and I do not care if I have to wait some more hours to have my washing perfectly dried.
I paid 460 € for it (300, roughly), part of the price is due to the non-standard, reduced depth (44 cm). If I had bought an equivalent model with standard dimensions, I know I would have paid less, but my flat is really small and space is precious.

What can I add ? Well, this model is really made in Germany, also sold there with slight differences, it has a full 3 year on-site warranty. It looks solid and well built for its price. It also looks very, very similar to the equivalent Siemens and AEG-Electrolux models and I would not be surprised if I discovered that all of them are built in the same factory.

My mother owns another Bosch since 2001 and runs it everyday with no problems (she had used a 15 year old Zoppas, before).
I do not know if Bosch is the best value for money in the UK, but here in Italy I would surely recommend one.

#12 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 02:24 PM

Thanks. In the UK, Bosch are mostly competing in the lower to mid price range but are surprisingly decent washing machines for the money.

#13 Uncle Badger

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 01:01 AM

Thanks. In the UK, Bosch are mostly competing in the lower to mid price range but are surprisingly decent washing machines for the money.


I'm very bothered by this Bosch question. Some years ago, I bought a WFF1201, which has proved utterly reliable. In fact, it was so well built that I think you could stick a set of wheels on it and send it into battle (!).

At the same time (I think we must be talking about 6-8 years ago) I also bought its equivalent dishwasher - with exactly the same happy results.

Meanwhile, about three years ago, for use in a holiday home, I bought the equivalent Bosch dishwasher which, though it feels flimiser than my old warhorse, seems (touch wood!) to be ok.

But now I need a new washing machine for the holiday home and, last weekend, went to size-up the contenders at Currys and Comet.

I was disappointed.

The current entry-level Bosch washing machine (the WAE2416) has a plastic (maybe nylon) door catch and at the branch of Currys I visited (where they had four or five of the same basic design on display) not one of the machines on offer seemed quite right. The soap compartments were either too tight or too loose and the doors were either hard to close or, in one case, would barely close at all, because the steel plate on which the hinges were mounted was so thin and flexible that the alignment had shifted out of 'true'.

My preferred supplier (an independent - I try not to buy from either Currys or Comet) assures me they still recommend Bosch. But I wonder how much of that is down to habit?

Truthfully, the Bosch machines I looked at last Saturday seemed as flimsy as the flimsiest Servis and Beko offerings. I realise you can't see what lies inside, but Bosch is doing itself no favours at all when it makes the bits you can see, so apparently weak.

I would love to stick with Bosch for my next purchase, but I just don't feel I dare. What I will get, instead I haven't a clue! It seems crazy to buy a Miele just for a holiday home, but what is there between run-of-the-mill - potentially weak - machines and a BMW-class product? Sadly, not very much these days, it seems.

Incidentally, if anyone has any suggestions, I'd welcome advice!

#14 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 11:13 AM

The current entry-level Bosch washing machine (the WAE2416) has a plastic (maybe nylon) door
I would love to stick with Bosch for my next purchase, but I just don't feel I dare. What I will get, instead I haven't a clue! It seems crazy to buy a Miele just for a holiday home, but what is there between run-of-the-mill - potentially weak - machines and a BMW-class product? Sadly, not very much these days, it seems.

Incidentally, if anyone has any suggestions, I'd welcome advice!

The cheapest Bosch WAE2416 I can see is 229 (I just paid 99 for a shaver!) These cheap washing machines are incredibly cheap and considering their size, and that they have stainless steel drums, motors and cost so much to ship around it's hard to understand how it can be done. Reducing quality is an inevitable ingredient in making this possible as is reducing the standard of after sales service. It may be that it won't last as long as you'd prefer, but if you only want to spend around 250 you aren't likely to find anything better.

Many people feel (rightly or wrongly) that for 250, they don't care if it only lasts 3 - 5 years. However, spending 250 or more on a new washing machine every several years has got to work out more expensive than spending 500 (plus potentially a few hundred or so on repairs) every 15 - 20 years. In fairness, many people do get a good length of service from a 250 washing machine. It's all about luck, and whether you want to play the odds or not.

If you want a better washing machine without jumping too high up the scale, look at a basic AEG or Siemens. I reviewed an AEG a while back AEG Washing machine review: Lavamat L76669 The build quality should be a little better than the Bosch. Also, Siemens washing machines are owned by Bosch and are nearer how Bosch would be now if they hadn't chosen to use the Bosch brand to compete in the Hoover, Hotpoint price range.

#15 Uncle Badger

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 12:53 PM

If you want a better washing machine without jumping too high up the scale, look at a basic AEG or Siemens. I reviewed an AEG a while back AEG Washing machine review: Lavamat L76669 The build quality should be a little better than the Bosch. Also, Siemens washing machines are owned by Bosch and are nearer how Bosch would be now if they hadn't chosen to use the Bosch brand to compete in the Hoover, Hotpoint price range.


Thanks for the advice. I'll see if my supplier has either a Siemens or AEG machine I can look at it. It's curious that the upper-mid market seems almost to have vanished today. Most products are clustered around the lower regions of the market and there is very little between them and Miele.

Of course, one option is to buy a 'graded' machine (something I have done before, with happy results), so I suppose I'll have to start shopping some more!

Thanks for the site, by the way. It's very useful!

#16 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 02:30 PM

It's curious that the upper-mid market seems almost to have vanished today. Most products are clustered around the lower regions of the market and there is very little between them and Miele.

Thanks for the site, by the way. It's very useful!


Cheers. I agree with your observations. In the UK there's the budget price range, and there's the saturated mid-price range but then a bit of a leap to Siemens and then to Miele right at the top.

I put it down to one simple fact, that is, the majority of the UK public refuse to pay a realistic price for their washing machines. Most tend to be either ignorant as to the difference in a washing machine costing double the price, or are more interested in lots of features and cheap prices than in a quality washing machine that will last many years. In that situation, only the arrogant would dare to continue making expensive washing machines. It's one of the few cases I can think of where a bit of arrogance is a good thing :) Miele appear to be thinking along the lines of, we know most people won't pay up for a quality washing machine - but we don't care - we'll still make them anyway. Unfortunately many of the mid price companies blur the boundaries by selling their high spec (but still mid price range quality) washing machines at prices that are as high as the entry level model Miele's.

#17 Research4Ever

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 04:20 PM

have just come across this forum in my quest for the perfect washing machine!  Like others started by looking at Bosch, AEG and then Zanussi.

 

I too have heard from several sources that the cheaper range of Bosch machines are not made in Germany but in Spain.  According to a local specialist appliance retailer today, although all Bosch appliances are designed in Germany (can't verify) those with a GB at the end of the product code are made in Great Britain whilst those without are made in Spain.  That information alone has changed my view of Bosch appliances and, since my budget won't extend to an AEG, I too am looking at Zanussi's range.

 

I would like to hear from anyone who has good/bad experiences of Zanussi or recommendations to make.



#18 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 12:35 PM

I've always assumed GB stands for Great Britain. I fit does then it can't be an indicator of origin as it just means its a model made for Great Britain. I know Indesit also used GB to indicate Great Britain.  On the other hand if it stands for something else I don't know what it is, and I have to laugh because when I just did a search for what does GB mean in washing machines - this topic came up at number 1 - and nothing else answering the question showed :)

 

I would still expect a Bosch made in Spain to be no worse than a Zanussi unless they've decided that is to be the case (they may have?). Manufacturing in a different country is mostly about reducing labour costs, which I expect are very high in Germany. Not made in Germany doesn't mean poor quality per se, only if they decide to make them poorer quality by using inferior parts although they can do that easily in Germany too. The Germans aren't super human people who can make things better than anyone else, as far as I'm aware they just choose to make things better than everyone else and that's all that's required :)

 

To be honest I don't know the real difference in quality between a Bosch made in Spain or Germany. Made in Spain will be cheaper to produce because of the labour differences but Bosch aren't likely to just let them throw rubbish together under their name. They will have people there overseeing the process and ensuring they are made properly. They may also use lower quality and cheaper parts but why would they do that when they can use the same parts in the German made ones?

 

Don't know if that helps or confuses further :)