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The toaster that doesn’t toast. The Dualit Lite

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Yet another really disappointing product. It wasn’t cheap either. For what it cost it really isn’t up to much. Personally I’m not really bothered about how it looks but I do believe that at the very least, a toaster should toast! Even on the highest setting it just can’t brown my bread enough. Of course the solution is simple. Put the setting on 4 and do it twice but do you think that is normal for a toaster that costs 100€ and is made by a company with a good reputation?

Well I don’t think it’s normal. Especially when you consider the cheap Tefal two slice toaster I had before managed this just fine. Shouldn’t it be up to the person toasting how they want their bread toasted? You should be able to burn it if that is what you want and I believe the toaster should have the range to do this. Otherwise what is the point of the adjuster knob? Or do they assume everyone eats sliced white bread?

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This is a slice of homemade wholemeal bread which has been warmed up on the highest setting. As you can see it barely browns it. perhaps you like your bread like this but I prefer mine toasted more. It seems ridiculous to me that such an expensive toaster from a company with such a reputation should be unable to toast a piece of bread to a person’s preference.

It’s always worth a look at a company’s website You can learn a lot. Here’s a classic bit of spin from Dualit’s site: No gimmicks. No compromise. Just great customer service. It must be Dualit. Yep, they really said that. Yet when I wrote to say that I could not toast my bread I received a very dismissive and confusing reply basically saying if I didn’t like it I should send it back!

Here’s another flowery example from their ethos page: New products are designed and engineered against stringent quality criteria, occasionally re-engineered and often enhanced, then tested to destruction, before they earn a Dualit badge. And they can only keep that badge if all elements of the manufacturing process pass Dualit’s stringent quality control process.

You know, no matter how I try I cannot actually find one mention about how well these toasters actually toast bread! They blather on about quality, how incredible their customer service is (their number one priority! lol) but no one mentions how the machines actually work. It’s all empty words about engineering, quality, tested to destruction etc.

Let me tell you the story of another product that cost about the same which had a problem. A pair of Glerups wool shoes. I had worn them just for a few months before a strange hole appeared in the sole making them unwearable. I wrote asking what they thought about it. I received a super fast reply from a very polite person promising to sort me out. They kindly said they would immediately send me another pair. They did not question me. They did not assume I was an idiot unlike some companies I could mention. They did not patronise me. Here is a company who really has got their customer service as a number one priority but they don’t sing about it. They quietly do the right thing and that is to keep a customer happy.

Funny how some businesses forget that it is the customers who pay their bills. I do not know why they treat them with such contempt sometimes. But you can learn a lot from the way you are treated by a company. Clearly Glerups care about their customers and Dualit don’t. Since Customer service is most people’s first experience of a company it makes sense to make it excellent rather than just claim it is. In my experience the customer service side of a company reflects that company’s true ethics, not the ones they claim but the ones we experience.

When someone asks what I think of my shiny new toaster I shall say; ‘Not much’. It doesn’t brown bread to my satisfaction and for a toaster which only has one job to do that’s pretty lame. But I could forgive this if only I had not received such a pitifully sad reply from their customer service dept. It just demonstrates that at the core Dualit are all about shiny things that sell for a profit. keep telling everyone how great their reputation is and they’ll believe it. I did and I really should know better.

Update: Two months later.

Today the mechanism in one side seized and has rendered half the toaster useless. Two short months. This is frankly pitiful. Pitiful at any price but this is supposed to be a superior product which was not cheap. Now I have to waste my time and money to return it for a refund.

Without a doubt the most disappointing product I have bought in a very long time. It should simply be illegal to sell such a bad product which cannot even last a few months. Pitiful is the word. I cannot think of a better one to describe this product and my experience of it.