So longy, DeLonghi!

Would you agree that this is a particularly handsome bread machine?

 

Would you agree that this an acceptable loaf, judging by its appearance?

 

 

 

 

 

 

It looks pretty good, yes?

So, it’s a handsome machine, and a good loaf, agreed?

Right. Now, and please be honest here, would you be happy if the underside of the loaf looked like this?

 

Yes? Then call me difficult, demanding, fussy, awkward, one of those people who’s never satisfied, but I don’t find it acceptable. At all.

It’s the fourth bread machine I’ve owned. The previous three all left a modest paddle-shaped slot where the non-stick paddle had been. A relatively small slot that hardly showed. None of them gouged out a giant cavern from the loaf.

After baking three loaves with the handsome new Kenwood machine, all with the same result – the non-stick paddle firmly wedged into the pan and the loaf firmly stuck to the paddle – it took vigorous shaking to dislodge the loaf, leaving the aforesaid cavern – I wrote politely to Kenwood Customer Care asking if they could help. Liberal coatings of oil to the non-stick paddle before baking had done nothing to solve the problem.

The following reply arrived within a few minutes:

Thank you for your email however as you are not in the UK, I am afraid that I cannot assist you.

Β Please contact our office in France for further assistance.” They gave the address of DeLonghi in Paris. (DeLonghi bought out Kenwood in 2001).

Note the absence of any expression of concern for a dissatisfied customer.

I wrote back, perhaps a little acerbically, saying I was surprised that they were unable to offer any written advice to one of their customers, no matter where in the world they might be.

The “Senior Customer Experience Advisor” replied:

“The only advice I could provide would be to rub a very small amount of oil onto the kneader which you have already done therefore I can only refer you to our office in France for further assistance.”

Note the lack of commas in this long sentence. Perhaps they are rationed by Kenwood. And still no “We are sorry …..” or “We hope to help ….”

So I telephoned DeLonghi in Paris and asked to speak to their Service Clientele. How could they help me, they asked in a tone that suggested they had no particular interest in doing so.

I explained about the machine, the non-stick paddle, the gaping hole.

“That is perfectly normal,” replied the SC person.

“No,” I said. “It is not. It is not normal that the non-stick paddle will not come out of the tin, and that the loaf will not come off the non-stick paddle without leaving a hole big enough for me to put my fist in.”

“It is normal,” repeated the SC person. “The paddle is not meant to come out of the tin.”

We debated the issue for several minutes, neither side giving any ground.”Well,” said I, beginning to become somewhat exasperated, “if your machine cannot produce a loaf without a large proportion of it remaining stuck in the pan, and you assure me that is normal, then it is no use to me, and I’ll have to return it.”

“As you wish,” replied SC.

And so today back it went, neatly packed up in its box, with its tenacious non-stick paddle, sensible plastic measuring jug and spoon and instruction manual in about eleven languages.

Had Kenwood/DeLonghi shown even a flicker of interest in the defect of their machine; if they had said they were sorry that it was not functioning correctly; if they had said they would do everything they could to help find a solution, I might have been persuaded to keep trying with the machine in the hope that the non-stick paddle would eventually become non-stick, and the pan would eventually learn how to release the non-stick paddle. But they did not. They gave the impression that they knew there was no hope that it would ever give satisfaction, and that they really couldn’t care less.

So after 40 years as a customer and fan of Kenwood since my first Kenwood Mixer bought in the 1960s, I have to say that my Kenwood Customer Experience merits 0/10.

They could perhaps learn something from Amazon Customer Service, which I have always found to be faultless. I’m so pleased I bought the machine through them, and was able to return it, post-free, for a full refund. Heaven forbid I’d bought the thing from a store here in France, where you have as much chance of getting a refund or replacement as you have of growing feathers.

Bouquet to Amazon. Adieu to Kenwood/DeLonghi.

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15 thoughts on “So longy, DeLonghi!

  1. Oh Susie, such a shame. I believe our bread machine is a Panasonic, and we have been very happy with it – it still requires a hell of a shake to remove loaf from tin, but the paddle rarely gets stuck in the loaf and not much (if anything) is left attached to the paddle. However when we send our son to the boulangerie for the baguette, it always comes back with a huge hole missing from one end πŸ™‚

  2. Jacqui, I’ve heard how good the Panasonic is, but it was more than I wanted to pay. The story has a very happy and positive ending – I’ll be blogging about it tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  3. i sympathise, I have a breville bread maker which we use at least once a week it is now I guess around 8-9 years old, the paddle became non-non stick some time ago. At least the paddle does come out and I can gently remove the paddle from the loaf without ripping a great hole in the bottom if the bread. We now mainly just use it for making dough which it does faultlessly, we either then shape it into an oval or plonk it in a loaf tin, Parfait!

  4. Ya boo sucks DeLonghi! I may need a new bread machine soon and I’ll definitely steer clear of theirs.

    I don’t often make a cooked loaf in mine in fact, I usually make the dough and then finish it off in the oven. This is because a) it’s quicker (it’s 4hrs to bake a loaf!), 1 1/2 hrs to make dough…; b) I prefer the oven finish and no holes.

  5. It just seems absurd! I mean, it sounds as if all the models like yours have that fault.
    Designer #1: Well, that’s a nice looking loaf. Yep, we’ll market that machine.
    Designer #2: But it leaves an almighty hole in the bottom of the loaf!
    Designer #1: If you’re such a goodie-good, I suggest you go and work for Amazon.

  6. Kenwood are now as useless as all the others. I have a Chef of over 30 years standing and it works as well as the day it was given to us.
    I’ve always recommended Kenwood and my son’s new wife spent a lot of money buying him a Kenwood processor for Christmas. Luke used it for making soup last month and it gave off an electric smell and some smoke. He phoned the “Customer Services”, I use the term they use not the one I would use, and their first question was “Did you read the instruction manual?”.
    He replied that as he had previously been a professional chef he thought he knew how to use a processor. She responded that had he read it, it was clearly stated not to use the machine for more than one minute before resting it.
    No matter who he spoke to and after sending back the machine they insist it’s fine and the smell is normal when running.
    I will never buy another Kenwood branded piece of kit, nor will my son or anyone who asks me for a recommendation.
    All built down to a price now.

    Just to add I have a breadmaker, can’t remember the make, and it did much the same. I ended up just using the machine to mix and knead the dough and then dropped it into a tin and finished it in the oven. I never liked the shape of the loaves anyway, so much better finished by hand.

  7. Sad, isn’t it, to see a name once synonymous with quality producing such a poor product. My current food processor isn’t bad, but not a patch on the old Kenwood Mixer. Now there was a machine. New blog about bread machines and holes is in progress. πŸ˜‰

  8. Pingback: Holey moley! Bread machine update | No damn blog

  9. I did not find any difference between any of the bread makers, they are all c— now we make bread the old fashion way and its fantastic, it did not matter which loaf we made, in first a Panasonic then a Morphy Richards, it was all the same and did not last long.
    My suggestion is to make bread yourself, it may take a little longer but the results speak for themselves.

    • Thanks for your comment. In fact our cheap Sainsbury machine makes a good loaf. I do like waking up to the smell of fresh baked bread! Put it on at night before we go to bed, set it to be ready for 7.00 am, and it’s just right for breakfast at 8.00 am. πŸ™‚

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