Sears, the #1 appliance retailer in America has seriously reduced the amount of appliances they are sourcing (IE buying) from US companies. They are selling Chinese and other Far East imports under the Kenmore brand name. If you walk through other big box retailers you’ll see that Chinese appliances are flooding our market at an alarming rate (alarming to me at least)! These far east appliance manufacturers are using their own governments trade practices that are unfair to United States manufacturers (through currency manipulation and price subsidies) and using these advantages to capture market share in the US appliance industry. The media does not seem to be upset by this trend. I’m not making this point from a jingoistic perspective. Nor am I trying to talk people into buying the brands we sell at my company. I am seriously concerned as a citizen who has inside knowledge on the subject. My real life experience in the appliance service, sales and parts industry over the past 30 years has given me a bird’s eye view of how these Far East companies appliances perform over the long haul. Let’s start with thoughtless designs regarding ease of serviceability, take into consideration extremely poor parts distribution, weak to non-existent technical support, hard to read and understand wiring diagrams and schematics, and replacement parts becoming no longer available long before they should, and then you can better understand what we have been experiencing. These products are not going to give you the long term satisfaction that you hoped for when you made your initial purchase. Certainly modern appliances, regardless of the country of origin are being replaced after fewer and fewer years of life. This is due to a number of factors. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have really squeezed manufacturers to design appliances that are energy efficient regardless of durability. The manufacturers are always looking at ways to provide a greater number of options to consumers and so have implemented the use of electronic controls in the vast majority of products being produced today. These electronic controls are not nearly as dependable nor as inexpensive to replace as their electro-mechanical counterparts. So here we are. Please talk to your appliance service professional before making a buying decision. I know if you were to speak to any of our technicians they would tell you Whirlpool, Kitchen Aid, Maytag, with Sub Zero and Jenn Air, (on the high end) all make excellent appliances. Call our office at 410 682-3232 and speak to me (ext 101) or my service manager Jim (ext 105) for more specific information.