Q: I purchased a Panasonic microwave two years ago. It recently started making a loud buzzing noise and producing white smoke. After talking to three people in Panasonic’s customer-service department, the last person told me, “Well, these things happen,” and that I would have to pay to get it fixed.
That’s a very unsatisfactory answer. I think a microwave for which I paid almost $350 should last more than two years. Is there anything to be done for this situation? — Jackie Moellers, Ellicott City, Maryland
A: Panasonic should have sold you a microwave that worked for longer than two years. The average microwave should last about a decade. While Panasonic’s standard warranty covers you for one year, there’s also an implied warranty that says the appliance will last significantly longer — and that, if it breaks, you can rely on the company to quickly fix it.
Indeed, in your correspondence, Panasonic offered to assist you with a repair, but you didn’t want to pay for it. I get it.
If you want to step up the pressure, you could try emailing one of Panasonic’s customer-service executives. I list their names, numbers and email addresses on my consumer advocacy site: www.elliott.org/company-contacts/panasonic.
That’s exactly what you did. Panasonic sweetened its offer, saying it would pay half of your repair costs. That seems like a fair resolution, considering your appliance is out of warranty.