Bought another Beko; this is becoming a habit!

It’s me again. It’s been a little while, hasn’t it?

I’m continuing my Beko habit.

The last time I wrote about Beko was when the tumble dryer stopped working and we needed a new one (Read: “The business of buying a tumble dryer“). We’d made an impulse purchase, a few years ago, of a ‘cheap’ Beko and that gave us almost three years of service before something stopped working. Should I bother getting a repairman out or just buy a new one? I bought a new one.

That new tumble dryer is continuing to work fine. I am hopeful that I’ll continue to get some good service from it. We’ve had it for 6 months now. I hope that writing that won’t then mean I’ll get a call from my wife to tell me it’s broken next week.

Anyway: We needed a new Freezer.

A family member gave us a new freestanding ‘tall’ freezer, about a year ago. It was years old. The model number didn’t even show up on the Beko website. But it was useful. We sat it in the garage and used it to store all the Donald Russell meat, bread and whatnot that we didn’t need in the main kitchen fridge/freezer.

We became used to the concept of a backup storage freezer.

And then it broke.

I tried changing the fuse. No dice.

I tried changing plug sockets. Nothing.

And that was me. That was it. This is the consumerist world in which we live in. It is uneconomical for me — I presumed — to go and find someone to fix it on my behalf. I didn’t even bother getting someone ‘out’ to try and fix it. Not after the various experiences I’ve had in the past whereby the whole process is tipped in favour of the supplier and where £49.99 call out fees seem nice and reasonable until the guy spends hours messing around (at £45/hour) trying to get something working to ‘save me the money’. Blah blah.

Oh I also thought about insurance. But we were given the freezer. No proof of purchase. And besides, the excess fees… ah dear. Useful if you have to replace an engagement ring, but not a cheap freezer.

So on to, I went.

Screenshot 2015-02-18 23.35.22I looked up Beko Freezer and found this one. It’s almost exactly the same as the old model in terms of dimensions. The old one is grey. This one is white. I think that’s the only key difference (apart from the years of age). Same amount of drawers, indeed the dimensions look almost exactly the same.

I thought for a few moments and hit the buy button. The AO process is so flipping smooth. I paid £14 for them to recycle the old freezer. I also paid an extra £9 for next day delivery.

And that was it.

Just like Amazon. The freezer arrived. I took it out of the box, briefly perused the manual, plugged it in, left it overnight and boom, it was freezing the next morning and ready to rock. I had so much confidence in the AO logistics system, I ordered a job lot of Donald Russell meat to arrive the following day and now the new freezer is fully stocked.

It’s not necessarily anything to look at. But at £245 (plus delivery and recycle fee) — I am content.

I am still bothered by the fact it is not a brand. It’s not a Miele.

I looked up the Miele upright freezer and at £1,438, it appears to be the most expensive you can buy from That is just about 6 times the cost of the Beko. SIX times (5.869 times, to be exact). The Miele looks a bit sexier inside. It’s a bit taller, too.

Am I missing anything in terms of quality? I don’t know.

I am currently content, though. Good job Beko.

I’ll update you if there’s a failure.


The business of buying a tumble dryer

Screenshot 2014-07-11 17.31.06

We needed a tumble dryer when we were renting a while ago back in 2011. Since we were living on a temporary basis we didn’t want to spend a lot of money or do much in the way of thinking regarding a tumble dryer. We just needed a fairly basic cheap one.

In the end we settled on a Beko model from Currys at £219.

Thanks to the wonders of gmail, I was able to query the original order for the date and price. We placed the order on the 6th of September 2011 and the machine was duly delivered on the 10th of September. Job done.

The dryer has served us faithfully and we brought it with us to our new place.

On the 9th of July — a few days ago — the machine developed a fault. It wouldn’t spin. The ‘dryer’ bit worked but not the tumbling.

This means that we had 2 years, 9 months and 29 days worth of tumble drying service for £219. And I should note that our boys are young so we’ve been giving the machine a good amount of use. Almost twice and sometimes four times daily.

Rounded down to the nearest whole week, we’ve had service for 147 weeks or about 1,033 days.

That equates to £1.49 a week in terms of the cost of the machine. (£219 divided by 147 weeks) Or 21 pence per day.

Not bad not bad.

The question I have been pondering is ‘what next’?

Is it time to grow up — that is — go and buy a more expensive brand from John Lewis and take out the company’s famous X years guarantee?

Well, I’m not so sure.

My parents always bought the best (i.e. Miele). So I was browsing John Lewis the other day and came across both a £600 and £1,499 option. To the totally untrained eye they don’t look that different from the bog standard Beko in terms of capabilities.

I was getting quite excited at the prospect of buying a decent tumble drying machine. A proper brand.

I was circling around the £600 Miele model (this one). I could extend the standard 2-year guarantee to 5-years for £140 from John Lewis.

That’s £740 and already I’m thinking that’s getting into MacBook Air territory (a useful barometer of value, I feel).

Let’s do some sums.

Presume that we can get 5 years uninterrupted service from the Miele. That’s 5 years x 52 = 260 weeks. This equates to £2.85 per week cost — almost double the price of the Beko. I recognise we’re not comparing precise like-for-like in terms of service duration. (Incidentally the Beko has an energy rating of B, the Miele is a C! And obviously I’m assuming both will use a similar amount of electricity.)

Am I better off just buying a new basic tumble dryer every time the old one fails? Yes. I think so.

I was browsing around hunting for someone to come and fix the existing Beko until I found some sample call-out charges. They were pretty shocking. Indeed I reckon a visit from an engineer would probably top out at about £75 once he’s come, discovered the problem with the motor (or whatever) and then come back and also charged us for the (I’m hoping, reasonable cost) for the parts.

That’s almost 40% of the cost of a new machine.

I could mess about with insurance, yes.

However I want things to be easy and simple. I don’t want complications and I especially don’t want to be exposed to traditional British ‘service’ — you know the kind of experience whereby through a whole lot of ‘not my fault, but’ situations you end up without a tumble dryer for 3.5 weeks.

That’s perhaps the biggest problem I’ve got with any sort of insurance or warranty extension. It’s all very well if the issue is fixed free of charge, but if the experience is unpredictable or poor and it takes days for an engineer to visit, I would be particularly annoyed as the boys’ clothes begin to pile up.

As it stands we had to suspend the clothing logistics for just over 24 hours.

Instead of buying from Currys (where we got the last dryer), I went straight to (Appliances Online) and ordered. I clicked straight through to their ‘best condenser dryer‘ page and coincidentally saw a Beko product featured. If you read my recent experience with on Mobile Industry Review you won’t be surprised when I just hit the buy button.

The next day at 11am, the Beko dryer arrived. It went into production within 30 minutes. Boom! Incidentally I paid an extra £9.99 to have AO take away and recycle the old Beko.

Now then: Is this the right thing to do? What is your electrical appliance policy? Am I missing out by not doing the John Lewis thing? How do you handle the unplanned downtime even if you’re covered?

I won’t be impressed if my now beloved £189 Beko conks out next month. Or next year. But on the basis that these things seem to be pretty well made (we also own a Beko fridge!) I am hopeful we’ll get at least 2-3 years without any exceptions.

I would very much welcome your perspective.