Home Bread-Bakers v096.n052.3

Re: Breadman Plus(Salton) woes (long)

"corgisews" <corgisew@vivanet.com>
Sun, 27 Oct 1996 12:19:46 -0500
First - very pleased to be back with this list after a summer of ISP
problems mostly resolved by Internet Access provider Red Suspenders for

On another consumer front:  The recent inquiries about the Breadman
machine, reminded us of our experiences with this machine 10 months ago. 
In early Dec '95 we bought our first ABM - the Breadman Plus.  It came with
a great toaster as part of a package deal.  We were guided to this purchase
by much looking at sturdiness and design, the Nov. '95 Consumer Reports
article, and what was available locally (Finger Lakes, NY area).  Our
regular oven has a defective thermostat (repair costing $200+) and does
fine for roasting, cookies and OK for cakes - but is a disaster for bread. 
New ranges cost $500. + ,a ABM seemed to be in the under $160.
neighborhood.  With some family needs having the potential of draining our
financial resources, we decided that this would be THE only holiday
purchase for one another. 

Right from the start, the bread crust was "burned". I was more tolerant of
this than  DH .  About the same time I became aware of the ABM
resources on AOL, and joined Lois1 & KTarb & ClayCooker on the Tues.
evening AOL chats.  Lois Conway, co-author of the Bread Machine Magic
books, was incredibly helpful.  I bought her book, and started trying to
recipes.  Nothing seemed to work.  She suggested we contact the
manufacturer - when I called - the rep expressed amazement at the problem
and offered the same suggestions Lois had.  We thought perhaps the heating
element on this particular machine might be out of wack (took lessons from
the nearby stove!).  After 2 more calls, and no satisfaction, the rep said
if we were unhappy with the machine, we should return it to the store.  At
this point it's well into January - but we had been away for almost 2
weeks, when the machine wasn't used.  

When the machine was returned to Kaufman's (part of the May Dept. store
chain), one clerk said half the Breadman's came back for the same reason! 
As we did not care for the Oster machine (the other one sold - had heard &
continue to hear of problems with that brand) we had our account credited
and purchased a Zojirushi - deciding the extra $ was worth it - having
fallen in love with fresh bread again after a 19 year period without it (I
used to love to do it by hand with the help of a KitchenAid mixer in
previous ovens).  Also, some of the funds we were holding in reserve,
became free. 

Since then we have only purchased "store-bought" bread about 3 times.  A
LaClouche purchased at a visit to the King Arthur store in the spring has
allowed some oven baking, as the wet clay helps to even out the oven temp.

I note that Kaufamans continues to carry the Breadman, and I wonder about
this, with all the returns they had.  If the Salton customer service reps
were NOT told about the problems - that is a management fault.  If they
knew and were telling customers to return the machines to the store, and
dumped the problems on the retailer, that is also dirty pool.  Even if the
stores get the $ back from the company, they still have to deal with piles
of machines coming back and having to be repackaged, discarded, whatever.  

BTW, the toaster was great, and I was sorry to have to return it as part of
the purchase "package", and that  Kaufman's did not sell it as a separate

Lois has said the company was/is bringing out new models.  I don't know a
specific model # of this ill fated machine from last year (just Breadman
Plus).  But I have also noted Breadman's selling for under $90. in
discount retailers.  Are these old/defective machines being "dumped"??  

It is too bad a company does not recognize the damage they can do to
themselves with an Attitude like this.  Thank goodness for the Internet and
lists like this which the consumer can go to to get help & find out about
others experiences.  Otherwise we tend to think we are doing something
wrong or it is just an isolated problem.  Trusting souls that many of us
are, we wish to think that businesses are ethical and build a good product.
I feel sorry for the people that work for this company and try to do a good
job, and find their efforts undermined by management that is less than
ethical, forthcoming,
etc.   (In another field I am close to, House of Fabrics (SoFro) has had
major problems and had to close many stores.  No matter how hard the
managers & employees worked in the individual stores, they could not
overcome the poor financing, cheap fabric, and other problems management
sent down to them.)

There may be another side to this Breadman story, and I remain open to
being offered evidence to the contrary.  But until then, I would say,
"Don't buy a Breadman". 

Getting off soap box to go do some sewing (and make some bread today in the

Debby [CorgiSew@vivanet.com]

Sewing is more interesting when your corgi uses the foot pedal as a chin

What is MasterChef????  MasterCook???? Can I access them via the computer?