Whiff Of A Kettle Scandal Emerges For Big Appliance Brands
Among the brands being investigated are Russell Hobbs Philips, Breville, Delonghi and Morphy Richards all brands whose kettles are sold at mass retailers in Australia.
ChannelNews is still waiting for answers from Choice and the Australian Competition + Consumer Commission re the investigation which started in the UK earlier this month.
The brand attracting the most complaints is Russell Hobbs whose plastic kettles are widely available in Australia.
In the UK the mystery has been dubbed ‘hot water gate’ by experts.
UK consumer group Which? is trying to get to the bottom of the issue after their members started to complain that they were getting a strange, chemical, whiff from their brand new Russell Hobbs Ebony brand kettles, which myshopping.com.au is listing for $69 in Australia.
‘Members complained that heated water had a ‘revolting’ plastic flavour that made it ‘undrinkable’.
One owner tried re-boiling and rinsing the kettle several times, but the ‘plastic flavour’ wouldn’t go away,’ they said
The group quoted one exasperated consumer, saying: ‘It produces the foulest tasting water which renders tea, coffee etc undrinkable. No excuses here either as the water used was from a filter jug and regularly produces totally drinkable water from my other kettle.’
One woman told Which “My wonderful husband of 54 happily married years was wondering if I was trying to poison his cup of tea”.
Scientists at Which laboratories in the UK, have not been able unable to identify the problem.
A spokesman said: ‘We had a look at it in our lab where we test kettles and sure enough, there really is a problem with how the water tastes and smells when boiled.
After the issue was exposed the owners of other brands of kettle made by Philips, Breville, Delonghi and Morphy Richards, all came forward to report the same problem.
The UK Daily Mail also got complaints from readers. One said: ‘A few months ago I purchased a new black plastic kettle from Russell Hobbs. From the day I used it our tea tasted odd and smelt like swimming baths”.
One reader questioned whether the smell is the result of a chemical reaction in the plastic parts of the kettle, particularly the lid, which might even be putting health at risk.
One member told Which it could be ‘the plastic of the kettle breaking down in the heat, giving off the smell.’
Russell Hobbs said it has asked Which? for details of the test and for the return of the Ebony kettle so they can investigate the issue themselves.
The Company apologised ‘to anyone who has had an unsatisfactory experience’, and said that anyone who is concerned should contact its customer services team.