An Open Letter To My Defective GE Microwave Oven

Posted on November 26, 2012 by


GE Microwave Oven

Pretty on the outside.

Update: GE contacted me shortly after I posted this on Twitter. They offered me up to $300 to replace the microwave since it was still under the one-year warranty. I can only commend them for excellent customer service and I’m highly impressed. With that said, if I hadn’t blasted them across the web, would they respond the same? It’s highly doubtful. And it’s unfortunate that you have to publicly shame a company to get service. When I asked them about future complaints from people reading my blog, they said they take complaints on a case-by-case basis.

Dear GE Microwave Oven,

I tried to love you. And for the short time we were together, there were moments when my heart exploded. I could rely on you popping my popcorn perfectly at two minutes and 46 seconds. I knew that you were a little powerhouse when you’d heat up a cup of water in just 30 seconds.

But GE Microwave Oven, this is the second time in three years that your paint has peeled off the inside top of the oven, threatening my food with giant, white paint chips. And when you have 30 people at your house for Thanksgiving like I did, you need to use your trusty microwave to reheat dishes multiple times throughout the day. Except, I couldn’t trust you or rely on you at all.

GE Microwave Oven

Paint peeling off my GE Microwave Oven in all of its glory.

Worse, this is the second time you’ve been defective. Our first GE microwave was this Monogram. A shining beacon of rapid cookery. But within a year and a half, the paint began peeling off the inside of that beauty to expose a ceiling of tin. When I called the store that I bought it from (Karl’s), we had this conversation:

“Paint peeling isn’t a manufacturing issue. You’re only covered if it’s manufacturing,” the customer service person said.

“So you’re telling me that paint peeling off isn’t a manufacturing issue?” I said.

“That’s right.”

“Because I’ve had microwaves since the 1980s and I’ve never, ever seen paint peeling off the entire ceiling of the oven.”


“So what would you call this if it’s not a manufacturing problem?” I asked.

“That’s a cosmetic problem.”

“Ah. So it looks bad, but is working fine? Is this what you’re telling me?”


“You’re telling me this machine is working fine?”

“Does the machine turn on, ma’am?”


“Then it’s working fine.”

Cosmetic. Ah! So maybe some new paint would do the trick? Or maybe LIPSTICK? Botox? After all, cosmetic means fixable, right? But when the technician came out to look at you, my sweet little cosmetically damaged microwave, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “This machine is toast.” Then he asked me to fork over $100. Service call. You know how these things go.

I called GE to investigate further, but they said they couldn’t tell me anything without charging me $99 to inspect you.

Because you’re a comfy little install, the kind that settles into custom cabinets, with a trim kit and all, it wasn’t so easy to replace you with another brand. Yes, yes! It’s true! I’m sorry GE Microwave Oven. I did search for another brand. How could I not? You forced me into another product’s warm arms and rotating dish!

Yet, we couldn’t do it. We couldn’t spend money on a carpenter to change the dimensions of our cabinets just to install another microwave. After all, you were part of the custom cabinetry! You were a forever item. We were committed. So we had a change of heart. Maybe we blew it. Maybe I over did it with the popcorn. Maybe there wasn’t enough ventilation. Let’s try another GE, my husband and I decided. So we bought a cheaper version of you. The GE Profile Microwave Oven.

But within a short 10 months, you were back at your naughty behavior again. Not only did the push button pop off, but your paint peeled dramatically. Even faster this time.

Oh, GE Microwave Oven, if there’s one thing you excel in, it’s reliability. You are an awful, rotten, lousy machine.

How I wish I was the only owner you let down. But  677 people reviewed your product on Consumer Affairs and every single person had the same problem: paint peeling off and worse, a gives two shits attitude from GE.

And because I’m not as powerful enough as say, Heather Armstrong from Dooce, I can’t get GE’s attention. Do you remember the time she humiliated Maytag on Twitter after her $1300 washing machine broke? Maytag decided to pull the same gives two shits attitude GE pulled on me. Well, Heather Armstrong has over one million followers on Twitter. I have about 525 followers on a good day. They gave her a brand new machine. Me? I expect another run around.

I’ll call GE again, though, because I’m gullible that way. I’ll plead and beg to their unempathetic, cold, robotic customer service person who, I’m certain, will tell me that for a small fee of $99, they’ll take a look. But in the end, it’s time for our relationship to end. It’s time for Andy and I to buy an LG. A Panasonic. And Amana. It’s Cyber Monday, after all. Might as well attempt to save some money, even though hundreds of dollars have been wasted trying to keep you in my life.

Like a toxic friend, it’s time I write you off.

All the very un-best,


Posted in: food, Holiday Chaos