A Replacement Parts Website Review

I like Whirlpool. I’ve never heard anything but good reports about their appliances from everyone from salesmen to repairmen to people who own Whirlpool appliances. Nearly every appliance in my home was made by them. I never had a problem with anything Whirlpool until one of the burners on my electric range went out.

After ordering a generic terminal block from some discount parts website only to have it blow up inside my stove two months later, I decided that maybe I had better spring for genuine Whirlpool parts. I called them. Their recording advised me to order parts from

The Ordering Process

Easy. Aside from the fact that the site would not take my order the first time and I had to do it twice, no problem. I ordered a canning unit kit which the description on the website says is a heavy duty replacement for an 8 inch element. By this time, my other large burner was starting to act up, so I ordered a replacement kit for that as well. Even though I’d never ordered from them before, I felt confident that they would send me the right parts. After all, this was Whirlpool.

The next day I got an email acknowledging my order and informing me that I would be receiving another email with the actual shipping charges in a couple of days when my order was shipped and that my credit card would be billed for this amount. I thought this was strange as my order had shown a shipping charge of thirteen bucks and change when I placed it. A couple of days later they did email me with a breakdown of the charges. The shipping charge was the same as the one the website had quoted me when I placed my order.

Two days after this, the parts arrived. I checked the box: a canning unit kit and an 8 inch surface element kit. Just what I’d ordered. My husband pulls the stove out and starts taking it apart. He’d already replaced the infinite switch on the burner where he planned to install the canning unit when he noticed there was no replacement terminal block in the canning unit kit. The surface element kit comes with one and the website recommends that you replace it whenever you replace a burner. I call Whirlpool to ask why they don’t include a terminal block in this kit.

Customer Service

They can’t help me. I have to call and ask them. I do. Their customer service rep puts me on hold while she looks into it. Fifteen minutes go by. She returns to the phone. “That part should have been included in your kit,” she says. It wasn’t, so I asked her if I could use a regular terminal block with this unit or if it required a different kind. She wasn’t sure. Again, she put me on hold while she tried to track down the answer. Ten minutes later, she comes back without an answer to my question but tells me, “I’ve spoken to my supervisor and what she’s agreed to do is send you another kit. But, we’ll need you to return the kit you have first for a credit and reorder.”

“Wait a minute,” I replied. “First of all, we’ve already installed part of the kit, and now you’re telling me that you want me to return it to you before you can send me a part that you just admitted should have been included in it but wasn’t. Why can’t you just send me the terminal block you should have sent me in the first place?”

“Because it’s part of the kit. We can’t just send you the block.”

“You’re the company that makes this stuff. If I have to wait for you to send me the block that will be enough of an inconvenience. To ask me to return the kit and reorder it is really unfair to me, don’t you think?”

“Yes ma’am. It is.”

“May I speak to this supervisor of yours myself?”

“Hold on, please.”

I did, for an additional thirteen minutes before I finally hung up. Which is what I’m sure they were hoping I would do. I could hardly believe I had received such shoddy treatment from a highly esteemed company.

I called Gallahan Appliance. Steve Gallahan is a retired Whirlpool repairman who now reconditions and sells all brands of appliances. He’s honest and he knows his business. I put the question to him. He answered without hesitation. “Use the terminal block that’s already on the stove,” he said.

“Will it be able to handle the additional heat from the canning unit?” I asked.

“I don’t see why it wouldn’t.” He said something else about wattage and such things that I didn’t really understand, but it was reassuring.

“I just spent more than half an hour on the phone with Whirlpool customer service and they couldn’t answer that question,” I told him.

“They could,” he replied. “They didn’t want to.”

I let Steve go back to work, and, after I told my husband what he’d said, he was able to complete the replacement of both units without a hitch.

I still love my Whirlpool appliances; they’ve run well for me for almost a decade. But the next time I need replacement parts, I don’t think I’ll be ordering them from I think I’ll just call Steve.

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