I purchased this unit for my mom to replace her almost 20 year old over-the-range microwave (also a Whirlpool) which recently died. The one feature her old microwave had that she definitely wanted in her new one was "one touch cooking" for things like potatoes, popcorn, etc.
So, about two weeks after purchasing and installing this unit, my sister put a potato in, hit the "potato" button and walked out of the kitchen when she got distracted by a phone call. 15 minutes later, she came back to find the microwave still cooking a now smoking, black potato. (Before you say anything, I agree that common sense dictates you don’t leave the kitchen when you have something cooking in the microwave. Point well taken.)
After wiping out the inside of the microwave and scrubbing some burn-marks off the turntable platter, I tried cooking two more potatoes using the one-touch button and both cooked for over 10 minutes before we manually shut the unit off. While they didn’t burn, both potatoes were overcooked by the time I took them out.
We called Whirlpool customer service, and whoever we spoke to advised us it “sounds like a faulty sensor board…we’ve had a few of those lately.” When we advised them we had only had the unit a few weeks, the Whirlpool rep recommended we return the unit to the store we purchased it from (Best Buy). Before uninstalling the unit, I decided to talk to BB Customer Service first. They advised me that returns are only accepted within 15 days of the purchase date, which in this case, was the date I ordered it online, NOT the day it was available for pickup, eight days later. In effect, I had six days to evaluate whether I wanted to keep the product I just purchased. All I can say is, “Buyer Beware”.
Rather than argue with Best Buy, I called Whirlpool Customer Service back to request in-home service for the unit. This time, I got an explanation that the cooking sensor measures humidity inside the cooking space to determine when the potato is done, so a small potato or one that’s not fresh might not have enough water in it to activate the sensor when being cooked. All I can say is, we cooked hundreds of potatoes in our old microwave using the one-touch button and never burnt one :/ But, to give Whirlpool the benefit of a doubt, I purchased a fresh, large potato and tried it again. Again, the unit just ran and ran until we finally turned it off after about 13 minutes. Back on the phone with Whirlpool (for the third time, if you’re not keeping count). This time, they finally agreed to send a service technician out.
So the service technician comes out a few days later, spends about a half hour testing the unit, then tells my mom that he can’t find anything wrong with it. He also tells her that microwaves are designed differently now, and they simply don’t shut off when cooking using the one-touch button. What they do instead is continue to heat the food intermittently to keep it warm until you are ready to eat it. So, if what he is saying is true and correct, then we have to determine on our own when we think the potato or whatever else is cooked enough, and manually turn off the unit at that point…which, IMO, makes the “one touch cooking” feature only slightly better than useless. Also, and this is equally important: we read the instruction manual, which explains how to cook using the one-touch buttons, and nowhere did we read that the unit will run indefinitely until manually turned off using this feature.
I for one don’t use the “one touch cooking” feature, so if I evaluate this unit on its other merits it seems to function fine, but having to call Whirlpool three times and getting three different explanations as to why this unit does not perform to my mom’s expectations did nothing to inspire my confidence in this product or its manufacturer. All I can say is that I hope this product stands the test of (a reasonable length of) time.