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J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Among Kitchen Appliance Brands, Bosch, Kenmore Elite, LG, Samsung and Whirlpool Gold Lead Customer Satisfaction Rankings in Their Respective Segments

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Bosch, Kenmore Elite, LG, Samsung and Whirlpool Gold rank highest in satisfying customers with major kitchen appliances in their respective segments, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Kitchen Appliances Study(SM) released today.

The study measures customer satisfaction in five segments of kitchen appliances: dishwashers; free-standing ranges; built-in cooktops and wall ovens; freezer-on-top style refrigerators; and side-by-side and French door style refrigerators. Customer satisfaction is measured based on performance in six factors: operational performance (including how well the appliance functions, noise level and energy efficiency); operational features (such as the number of settings available and appliance capacity); ease of use; styling and feel; price; and warranty.

Dishwashers

For a third consecutive year, Bosch ranks highest in customer satisfaction with dishwashers, performing particularly well in the areas of operational performance (which includes dishwasher noise level and energy efficiency); ease of use; and styling. Following Bosch in the rankings are Kenmore Elite and LG, respectively.

Side-By-Side and French Door Style Refrigerators

For a fourth consecutive year, Samsung ranks highest in satisfying customers with side-by-side and French door style refrigerators. Samsung performs particularly well in four of six factors: operational performance; ease of use; styling and feel; and operational features. Sub-Zero and Kenmore Elite, respectively, follow Samsung in the segment rankings.

Freezer-On-Top Style Refrigerators

Kenmore Elite ranks highest in customer satisfaction with freezer-on-top style refrigerators and performs particularly well in the operational performance, ease of use and operational features factors. Following Kenmore Elite in the segment rankings are Whirlpool Gold and GE Profile, respectively.

Free-Standing Ranges

Whirlpool Gold ranks highest among free-standing range brands (defined as units containing both a range and oven that are not built into a kitchen countertop), and performs particularly well in operational performance, ease of use and warranty. LG and Kenmore Elite follow Whirlpool Gold in the rankings, respectively.

Built-In Cooktops and Wall Ovens

LG ranks highest in satisfying consumers with built-in cooktops and wall ovens, performing well in operational features, price and warranty. KitchenAid and Kenmore Elite follow LG in the segment rankings, respectively.

"Kitchen appliances are extremely reliable and owners can typically expect many years of solid performance with low incidences of problems from most major brands," said Dale Haines, senior director of the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "This makes the achievements of Bosch and Samsung-which have received awards for three and four consecutive years, respectively-particularly impressive, especially in light of the fierce competition among the array of appliance manufacturers."

The study finds that, in previous years, price was one of the more important factors contributing to customer satisfaction with kitchen appliances. However, in 2008, price became less important and ease of use became more important in driving satisfaction, indicating that appliance brands that have controls and displays that are easy to use are increasingly distinguishing themselves from competitors.

"As kitchen appliance features, controls and displays become more sophisticated, it is particularly important for manufacturers to ensure that the appliances remain intuitive and simple to use, lest owners become frustrated and dissatisfied with their machines," said Haines. "The fact that price is becoming less important to consumers may reflect that owners are willing to purchase a more expensive appliance in order to obtain greater functionality and value over the life of their machines, which can span between 10 and 15 years."

The study results also include the following key findings:

-- Energy efficiency is a more important driver of satisfaction among dishwasher buyers than among owners of other types of kitchen appliances.

-- Owners of side-by-side and French door style refrigerators are more likely to report experiencing a problem with their appliance (with 13% reporting problems), compared with owners of freezer-on-top style refrigerators (8%). In addition, more than one in four (26%) of side-by-side and French door style refrigerator owners purchased an extended warranty, compared with 17 percent of freezer-on-top style refrigerator owners.

-- Approximately three in four new refrigerator and dishwasher owners report that their appliance is Energy Star(TM) certified. Approximately one-half of new free-standing range or built-in cooktop and wall oven owners say the same.

The 2008 Kitchen Appliances Study is based on responses from 14,782 consumers who purchased one or more new kitchen appliances through a retail store or their new-home builder, or received one through other means (such as a gift) during the previous 24 months. The study was fielded between June and July 2008. For more information and complete rankings on kitchen appliances, please visit JDPower.com.

    Customer Satisfaction
     with Dishwashers                     J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
    (Based on a 1,000-point scale)        For Consumers
    Bosch                829              5
    Kenmore Elite        814              4
    LG                   809              4
    KitchenAid           806              4
    Whirlpool Gold       801              4
    Fisher & Paykel      793              4
    Jenn-Air             773              3
    Maytag               771              3
    GE Monogram          767              3
    Industry Average     767              3
    Frigidaire           765              3
    Whirlpool            764              3
    GE Profile           747              3
    Kenmore              747              3
    GE Appliances        728              2
    Amana                721              2
    Hotpoint             721              2
    Customer Satisfaction
     with Side-by-Side and French
     Door Style Refrigerators             J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
    (Based on a 1,000-point scale)        For Consumers
    Samsung              819              5
    Sub-Zero             813              5
    Kenmore Elite        796              4
    LG                   795              4
    GE Monogram          792              3
    Jenn-Air             791              3
    KitchenAid           791              3
    Maytag               790              3
    Whirlpool Gold       788              3
    Industry Average     786              3
    Frigidaire           783              3
    Whirlpool            776              3
    Hotpoint             774              3
    GE Appliances        769              2
    Amana                767              2
    Kenmore              765              2
    Bosch                758              2
    GE Profile           757              2
    Customer Satisfaction
     with Freezer-on-Top
     Style Refrigerators                  J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
    (Based on a 1,000-point scale)        For Consumers
    Kenmore Elite        784              5
    Whirlpool Gold       778              5
    GE Profile           776              5
    Whirlpool            761              4
    Maytag               758              3
    Kenmore              755              3
    KitchenAid           754              3
    Industry Average     749              3
    Amana                741              3
    Frigidaire           727              2
    GE Appliances        715              2
    Hotpoint             690              2
    Customer Satisfaction
     with Free-Standing Ranges            J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
    (Based on a 1,000-point scale)        For Consumers
    Whirlpool Gold       815              5
    LG                   813              5
    Kenmore Elite        801              4
    Maytag               801              4
    Frigidaire           798              4
    GE Profile           788              3
    Industry Average     788              3
    GE Monogram          787              3
    Jenn-Air             787              3
    Bosch                785              3
    Whirlpool            785              3
    KitchenAid           783              3
    GE Appliances        779              3
    Kenmore              777              3
    Amana                760              2
    Hotpoint             750              2
    Customer Satisfaction
     with Built-in Cooktops and
     Wall Ovens                           J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
    (Based on a 1,000-point scale)        For Consumers
    LG                   806              5
    KitchenAid           799              4
    Kenmore Elite        798              4
    Frigidaire           789              4
    Jenn-Air             788              4
    Kenmore              784              3
    Whirlpool Gold       783              3
    GE Monogram          780              3
    Industry Average     778              3
    Whirlpool            769              3
    Bosch                767              3
    Maytag               761              2
    GE Appliances        747              2
    GE Profile           737              2
    Power Circle Ratings Legend:
    5 - Among the best
    4 - Better than most
    3 - About average
    2 - The rest

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered inWestlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on home building and home improvement, car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw- Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

     J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:
     John Tews                   Syvetril Perryman
     Troy, Mich.                 Westlake Village, Calif.
     (248) 312-4119              (805) 418-8103
     john.tews@jdpa.com          syvetril.perryman@jdpa.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates


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