Consumers put kitchen appliances to the test

Part 1 of 2: Study shines light on functionality, ability to sell
Published on Oct 22, 2004

When it comes to selecting appliances, what would make the process easier? How about the opportunity to try a few in your house before making any purchase decisions. I got to do exactly that last fall when the Whirlpool Corp. invited me to test any item in its catalogue in my own house. The terms: I would use the appliances for six months and offer my candid observations. To ensure unbiased reporting, we agreed that if I wanted to keep anything, I would pay for it. If not, the appliances would be donated to a charity. As you might expect, when cost was not an issue, I chose top-of-the-line everything. I wanted to know if all those added features designed to make routine chores easier and faster worked as claimed. And if they did, would they be worth paying for? I found the answer to both questions to be yes, at least for my household with three teenagers, two working parents, and a constant struggle to stay on top of things. As my Whirlpool experiment unfolded, a number of truths eme...