I purchased a Smeg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer, model DRF81AUK from AO and am bitterly disappointed with both AO and Smeg.
I can only score the SMEG machine and the customer service from SMEG and AO as a 1 out of 5. The Smeg appliance only lasted 17 months with very light use.
This is the first Smeg appliance I have owned and sadly it will be the last. I had such high hopes but the terrible build quality let it down.
When choosing whether to buy a Smeg, Bosch, Siemens or AEG machine I was swayed by the Smeg name believing that the build quality would be superior to the other brands. I was wrong. Despite it having many similarities to units by Bosch, AEG and Siemens the build quality is inferior. From day 1 the rotary selection dial squeaked. A minor problem but not something I would have expected from a high end brand. After 17 months of very, very light use the machine started displaying electronic faults. It displays faults for equipment which is not even fitted to the machine. Smeg themselves have confirmed in writing that the machine is faulty and not fitted with the supposedly faulty equipment. Ordinarily I would laugh however, it has cost me a shade under £170 to replace the machine with an equivalent Bosch model from AO.
I bought the 8kg model which AO no longer sell. AO would therefore not replace the faulty goods which were still under the manufacturer's warranty without charging an extra £100 for the 9kg model. I didn't want the extra kilogram I simply wanted a machine that works. AO simply did not care. Despite going through 2 customer service representatives, their specialist customer service team and a manager they claim that because the exact model is no longer made there was nothing they can do.
The dryer is one of the new generation heat pump condenser dryers. The moisture from the clothes is extracted from the warm air and the heat is pumped back in to the drum to reduce energy consumption and increase drying performance. Sadly, the machine never reached a temperature above luke warm and even the lightest load of a pair of chinos and a thin hand towel were not dried after 1 hour.
As a Smeg machine I expected this unit to last well over 10 years. Smeg have a good reputation however their admission that the machine is clearly faulty and their offer to merely send an engineer to inspect it rather than replace it is unacceptable for such a premium manufacturer. They trade on their reputation and poor customer service will not be tolerated. It is the easiest way to destroy an entire brand.
Having lasted for less than 18 months my trust in the Smeg brand has been completely destroyed and I shall simply stick with reputable German brands in the future. Sorry Smeg but good looks without decent performance, longevity and durability are worthless.
My Smeg heat pump tumble dryer had substandard performance and lasted for less time than even the cheapest of brands. I cannot recommend Smeg and have bought a Bosch machine instead.
AO you treat customers like dirt and merely seek to extract as much money as possible from them by misinforming them of their consumer rights. You should be ashamed. You have driven yet another customer to John Lewis