Buying appliances the Miele way
I am big fan of experiences. Not only are they great fun but they create fabulous memories. I think we have been through the Red Letter Day’s catalogue and done most of them between us, everything from driving experiences to wine tastings to photography days. What I have never done though, is visit an experience centre. Well not unless you count that indoor ski slope in Milton Keynes, and the less said about that, the better.
This week though Jonnie and I headed off to Miele’s experience centre in Abingdon. You might think “why on earth do you need to visit an experience just to buy a new appliance?” Well because Miele don’t want you to just buy an appliance, they want you to love your appliance, get the right one for you, and know just what it can do.
When did you last buy an appliance? I bet you did it in one of two ways:
a) visiting an enormous electrical retailer, possibly in an out of town retail park
b) did it on line.
There is nothing wrong with either of these approaches, don’t get me wrong. However having seen a third way, the Miele way, I can now see how it can be done.
The trouble with option (a) is that you are surrounded by hundreds of other people all wanting to do the same thing. You get distracted by the deals on TVs / laptops / cameras etc. There is loud music playing so it is loud, there are children chasing about and fighting over ipads and the lighting, well don’t get me started on lighting. It is almost impossible to find somebody who can help you with any kind of technical advice and when you do find them they are there to sell it to you, not really listen to what your needs might be.
Option (b) you are on your own and need to do all the hard work yourself and you still don’t really know what you are buying. Yes you can get a great deal on the price by comparing them but you don’t get to know all about the technology behind the product. Well not really.
As I said at the start, Jonnie and I recently went along to the Miele experience centre in Abingdon (there is also one in London) to see for ourselves how buying appliances can be, and should be, an experience.
You book an appointment, park outside and then walk in to an oasis of calm before stopping off for a cup of tea. Having been introduced to your demonstrator you are then shown more appliances than you could ever imagine. Every oven in their range, hobs, hoods, coffee machines, dishwashers are upstairs. Downstairs are washing machines, vacuum cleaners, tumble driers and fridges. And wine coolers that make you want to build an extension just so you can fit one in.
There is no hard sell, there is no pressure. There is just a demonstrator telling you about the technology behind the washing machine drum and why it is all metal and not plastic, or why you shouldn’t really be putting dosing balls in the machine. How their dishwasher has a sensor function and was used to wash a whole slice of cake off a plate in an experiment to see how sensitive the function is (it didn’t finish until the water ran clear and the plate was spotless. I can do the same with my tongue but apparently that is not acceptable in fashionable circles).
It truly was a fabulous way to spend a couple of hours and I came home with a stack of brochures and wanting to rip out my utility room and start again. Or pull out our fridge before Christmas and ditch all the fridge magnets so that we can have one of their beautiful stainless steel fridges with slow closing doors so the bottles done wobble. Or turn our spare bedroom into a laundry room and install their incredible rotary ironing boards
How is this for an antique vacuum cleaner?
Honestly if you are thinking of replacing any appliances in the run up to Christmas or in the New Year, or in February, or March, or at Easter, or for May bank holidays, or in June (Ed’s note, we get the picture) please do go over and spend a couple of hours with Miele first
You might also like to know that it doesnt stop there. If you are looking at buying an oven you can book a “let’s do lunch” course. The idea is that you are involved in the preparation of a tasting menu whilst trialling the ovens so that you get the oven you really want and need. You can also go along AFTER you have bought your oven and learn even more. It really is the only way to buy and oven, isnt it?!
With food?! Quite frankly it is genius.
Featured image of Miele Centre courtesy of Shutterstock