And now for something completely different…
Shortly after we moved into our house in late 2012, the control panel on our GE Oven (model #JTP30B0M1BB) started to fall apart. The faceplate of the control panel was made of a plastic that wasn’t sufficiently heat-resistant. The labeled plastic began to bubble, crack, and peel. By 2018, the plastic covering many of the buttons had fallen off entirely. It looked bad, to put it mildly, as you can see in this photo I took after I took the panel off:
On a whim, I searched around to see whether maybe I could buy a new overlay to stick atop the old panel.
I learned that, far from being alone, so many other people had had this problem that GE had completely redesigned the control panel. A thread on a forum led me to the magic direct phone number to the GE Parts department (866-622-6184). We called and after supplying the model number and serial number of our oven, a free replacement control panel was on its way to our house. The new panel took under an hour to install, using just a screwdriver and socket wrench. Basically, turn off the power, unscrew the old panel, unplug 7 connections from the old panel, and plug them into the new panel.
The new panel looks great, and the modified ventilation and layout seem much less likely to encounter any problem like this in the future.
Beyond being happy about the outcome, I’m gob-smacked about this support process. I never would have expected GE to send a free replacement panel, especially considering that the oven was over ten years old and originally purchased by another buyer. We didn’t have to supply anything other than the serial number, didn’t get stuck on hold for tens of minutes, and we didn’t even pay for shipping.
I’m approximately 25 times more likely to buy an appliance from GE in the future.
And, I’m grateful for the Internet, because there’s no chance that I would’ve ever discovered this fix for a longstanding annoyance if it wasn’t so easy to find a community of people with the same problem offering helpful steps to resolve it.