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Are Miele washing machines being cheapened off?

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My first miele washing machine was a W310 which I had 12 years purchased in 2002. All worked well until the drum bearings went. Fearing big repair bills I scrapped the machine and got a WDA110 two years ago. This machine is still of good Miele quality but iv noticed a few things different from my old machine. I don't think the suspension is so good on the new one. Out of balance load detection is not anywhere as good as the old machine. Iv had a instance where the machine tried to spin a load of towels out of balance and the drum has made a thin score mark on the glass door where it hit it.

The water cascade over the top inside of the glass door is now missing when the machine fills. The automatic plus program only allows 2 rinses, the water plus button is not active. When you fill the drum with lots of towels the machine selects the intensive wash action but seems to wash in nearly cold water, I avoid this program as iv found heavy soiling is not removed. Other than that, not a bad machine on the whole! The new range of machines hitting the shops are made in the Czech Republic I do understand?

These all having a plastic door, no door release button anymore, you open and close the door with your hand and no back printed fascia which I would think is prone to wearing off. The Automatic Plus program seems to be missing on the cheaper machines and we get a touch screen instead of buttons. I'm interested if anyone out there would care to coment. I think Miele are going down the cheaper route, the loss of the metal door a big blow. Bye for now. Lee's Miele.

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Yes there's no doubt that Miele appliances are not as good as previous Miele appliances. I recently stripped down 10 brand new washing machines from different brands whilst working as a Which? expert on a project for them. We lined up each part in a big warehouse. See the photo below.

What we found was that on all the brands every part looked and felt virtually identical to every other brand. There was very little difference in design and quality of any component. The only exception was Miele. The main outer tub (drum), the inner drum and drum bearings plus the main casing and door were all obviously a much higher build quality. However, the shocking thing was that the suspension, belt, door seal, door lock and a few other parts looked little different to the rest. I would like to think they were still superior but if so it was on a subtle level.

The Miele washing machines were clearly the best made - by far. But as you've realised yourself they have had to reduce quality in some areas to remain viable. If they were still building Miele appliances to the same build quality that they did - say 20 years ago I would expect they would simply be beyond the price range of most people. I would expect they would not have survived as a company. Ultimately their motto is (if I remember right), "forever better" and they need to always be a lot better than the rest, which they still are. But they have to keep prices viable and that's only possible by adjusting and juggling with the way components are made. 

If you look at any brand - even the most basic and cheapest their appliances from 20 years ago will be much better quality than now. As long as Miele maintain the big gap between the quality of their appliances and the rest they'll still be the best.





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Hi Andy, many thanks for your reply, its good hearing from you and talking to you mate. I don't no anyone who owns a miele apart from myself. I'm 55 years of age and got my first one in 2002 as I said. The family got our first auto washing machine in 1975, it was a Zanussi DL22. It think the spin speed was around 300rpm max! You could take the laundry out and still ring out the water! Then we got the last hoover Keymatic to be made in 1982. It was great! That lasted 10 years.

Then in 1992 the last Hotpoint auto toploader to be made(9605). Very good but as you no used a high amount of water. I live in a flat with low water pressure and it took 40mins to fill up on the hot whites wash. I think the earlier versions of that machine were better in that there was a separate temperature control knob and the small, medium, large load options.Regarding water usage, i see the HE toploaders in America get a bad press with poor cleaning performance. Slow filling frustration got me to ditch the Hotpoint toploader after many years.

I then got a Hotpoint micro profile front loader. This was nothing but trouble, regularly spinning out of balanced loads and breaking the suspension shock absorbers. My faith in Hotpoint then vanished when a engineer turned up for yet another repair and said he had never worked on that modal. Think it was WM41?? Enough was enough, i said no more of these cheaper machines and got my first miele as i said yesterday in 2002. Yes it was like jumping from a mini to a Rolls Royce! Iv never looked back since! Miele used to say "Anything else is a compromise" now as you say "Immer Besser" "Forever Better".

Like you say Andy, I suppose Miele have to keep up with the Joneses, we are all pulling in our belts. Sad to see the metal door on the way out but must save money I suppose. Also the work force in the Czech Republic must be cheaper, just hope they don't let quality dip too low? Remember the swing open front models from yesteryear!?!? Good to talk to you mate. Regards Lee Harvey.

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