This is following up on my disappointing experience of trying to get our four and a bit year old Miele W5740 washing machine repaired. When I got back to Miele, they offered to send an engineer for a free inspection and let us know what they could then offer us. Nothing to lose, I thought.

I wasn’t sure what they might offer to do and how much they’d charge, but I was weighing possible costs against that of a new machine. I’d previous looked up the cost of the failed part and service, which would be at least £417. Without any further guarantee, that doesn’t compare well to a new machine.

For example, John Lewis sell the Indesit XWD71452W which gets good reviews, for £209. Even if it failed just outside the 2 year guarantee, its cost per year would be around £100.

If the Miele W5740 proves uneconomical to repair it will have cost £203.83 per year (£958/4.7). If the £417 repair worked and it lasted a total of 20 years as implied by Miele’s website, then the cost per year comes down to £68.75, but all the risk of any further repair or replacement is on me, the customer. Consumer rights law suggests that you should be able to insist a machine lasts for a reasonable length of time, based mostly on the cost of the machine. However, enforcing this might require a trip to the small claims court, which isn’t expensive, unless you end up paying the company’s legal costs.

We’d already decided that I’d rather spend less than the full £417 repair cost on a new machine with some kind of guarantee, possibly selling the old Miele one for parts on eBay.

As it turned out the Miele engineer took a look and confirmed our suspicions that the main board had gone. He also said he’d phone his boss, saying we’d likely get a better deal than asking customer services. They offered to provide the £300 part which had broken for free and only charge us the £117 call out charge. Not a great deal, given there’s no guarantee it will work for any length of time, but less hassle than buying a new machine, so we went for it.

In future I won’t be taking much notice of how long a company’s marketing material suggests their products will last. Instead I’ll be looking at long-term reviews and how long the guarantee is.



  1. Hi, thanks for the post. Very good to read. How is the washing machine performance after the repair? I bought w1960wps in Dec 2010 and recently (that is after 6 years and 7 months) it broke down. The control unit is found faulty and will cost Singapore $800. Thinking whether it is worthwhile to repair. Considering buying another cheaper brand instead.

    1. After the repair the machine works correctly in all important ways, in fact the maximum spin speed has gone up from 1400 to 1600, presumably as a result of a newer main board.

      The only thing which doesn’t work is the door button. We now have to use the manual release, which is inconvenient, but not worth paying to fix, IMO.

  2. Integrated circuits (chips) and transistors are by its nature parts that virtually don’t wear by use. By the way they can be easily damaged under many, unpredictable circumstances. The more functions they perform the more they are delicate. Surface mounted devices (smd) made things worst. Nowadays most electric gear contains electronic boards inside to perform tasks once made by electromechanical devices. Talking about washing machines, these now have very sophisticated functions , these can save water and energy, spin at tremendous spin speeds in almost absolute quiet but all this happens thanks to electronic biards that are found in modern machines. There are electronic board made with better components and designs but even in those cases a fault can easily happen. We can not always blame the manufacturer for that. There is a legal warranty time and we can’t demand the manufacturer to replace every electronic board that fails after years of use. Miele replaced the board after six years at the only labour cost, i would like to see how many manufacturers do the same.

    1. Marco,

      Yes I know that the outcome is better than most manufacturers would provide, but then I paid about three times as much for this machine as most manufacturers’ machines cost. The cost per year is still more than cheaper machines with more features.

      Yes there can be unexpected reasons why boards fail. In my opinion manufacturers are better placed to insure against this than consumers, especially if the occurrence is rare.

      For what it’s worth I still think Miele are probably the most reliable machines out there, but for the price I wish the company would provide better support to the few unlucky ones.

      1. Is Speed Queen available in Europe? They are designed to last for 10400 cycles, which the company says is the equivalent of 25 years of usage, and they build them in the US. They have a really loyal following in the US, long warranties (a Speed Queen with a problem like your Miele would have still been under warranty), and owners rank them amongst the most reliable washing machines on the market. But, like Mieles, they can be expensive. Speed Queen only makes washers and dryers, unfortunately.

  3. Hi James,

    I have about ten Miele washer driers in my rentals, that are all about 6 years old, and one here at home that is over 13.

    Most have not required any repairs, except one particular tenant has needed two very expensive repairs of about £250.

    Persevere with yours. It sounds like an abberation.

    1. Thanks for your comment, James. I’m certainly not about to git rid of my mostly-working Miele washer, but if it fell apart tomorrow I’d buy either something cheap or something with a long guarantee included. Without a guarantee that the manufacturer will bear the cost of unexpected failures, marketing and reputation don’t mean much. Perhaps the risk/saving economics work out better when you have ten machines.

  4. Hi James,
    Thanks for sharing your bad experience. We have the same problem with out washing machine Miele W5740.
    Can you please advice who you used to repair your washing machine we can ring them up as well.

    1. I suggest contacting a local repair person with a good reputation in the first instance to get an impartial opinion of the problem. Then you can go through the retailer from whom you purchased the machine and Miele themselves. Good luck.

    2. I just ring Miele. I realise this may not be as cheap as a local repairer, but hope that they may at least have some spares with them. Also, I seem to recall they diagnose the machine with a computer. Not sure if they share the software with other firms.

  5. On that control board there are probably 250 plus components. And asics which are programed with very complex digital electroncs. The board is a least 8 layers with tracks and vias going through the board. The production costs for setting up and programming pick n place robots to manufacture boards is herrodus and very expensive many faults are just one random component or a manufacturing tolerane. Sometimes faults can be due to back emf on motors were the customer switches off the machine early. Relays getting hot spots and burning tracks FETs on there limits and degrading under temperature variants. There was a team of electronic designers programmers and quilification guys working on this design. Before it was handed over to the manufacturing engineers. And then sub contracted out for a pcb manufacture. The whole process is very complex. Hope this helps with your understanding.

    1. Ma,
      Thanks for your comment. As an engineer in another area, I’m aware that there is a lot of work and expense which goes into making these parts and systems and so they end up expensive. That’s fine.

      My point is that when they go wrong the cost of replacement should rest with those most able to affect reliability. To look at it another way, I would prefer to use reliable, made-to-last appliances, but if the cost of fixing one is more than the cost of a cheap and potentially less-reliable machine, it’s easy to see why people would be unwilling to spend the extra money, even if they could afford it.

  6. Interesting thread. I have a 9 1/2 year old 5740 which hasn’t needed any attention as yet.
    But when buying a washer I aim at below £100 a year on the basis of the warranty. My Miele was about £900 with a 10 year warranty. I wouldn’t pay Miele prices without one and they are periodically available. When buying a washing machine for my daughter I found a Samsung for £400 with a 5 year warranty.
    £2 a week, or less, is ok for a modern washing machine and of course they may cost a lot less than this if they last longer than the warranty period.
    I’m not sure what I will do if I need to spend £500 on it after the warranty has expired though! That will be a difficult one…….

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