The 5 year Guarantee That Never Was

A word of warning if you are thinking of buying from electical discount chain MDA. Less than 3 years ago our Indesit dishwasher packed up (after only two years) 'not worth repairing' said the mechanic. He advised buying another with a 5 year guarantee. We found a SMEG at MDA for 335 euro and paid an extra 110 to extend the warranty to 5 years. 3 weeks ago having never been used more than once a day this one broke down. The mechanic took one look and said 'needs a new motor, I'll order it'. 4 days later the MDA insurer rang. 'We're going to give you a refund or a new machine'. Wow! we thought - what service. Then yesterday we got a letter. 'You have 30 days to accept our offer of 226 euro refund for your machine (allowing for depreciation!) which must be spent at MDA'. So not only have we not had the benefit of anyhting like a 5 year gurantee but in order to take up the offer we are compelled to buy again from MDA. Has anybody else had a similar experience?

This morning we went to the Union Federal de Consommateurs in Manosque - you have probably got a branch near you. We gave them the whole story - they have constant complaints about MDA which is also a franchise operation - they were very hepful and have taken on the case (we had to become members for 38 euros) and have every confidence that at least we will get an offer equal to the original price of the machine. I will report on the outcome.

Hi - we had a similar experience with Connexion - it's a franchise. We took out the Gold 5 year warranty on our Smeg dishwasher. Just after the 2 year manufacturer warranty expired it broke down. Connexion told us their Montpellier franchise had closed down and that the warranty was with the franchise not the head office. Our judicial insurance on our home policy took legal action against them and they agreed to fix it. A smeg approved engineer came out & replaced the motor and electronic circuit board - cost around 700 euro!

Our Smeg cooker which also has a 5 year guarantee had the thermostat break 2 weeks ago, I can't be bothered going through the whole legal process again so I've just paid 80 euro for it to be fixed. I'd have spent half that just in sending Recommanded Avec Avis de Reception letters if I'd tried to pursue the legal course and would have had no oven for 3 months. I managed without my dishwasher by reverting to manual but I can't cope without an oven.

So once again the 5 year guarantees were not worth the paper they were written on!