When you live in the tropics where heat and humidity wreak havoc on electronics, a keypad isn’t a good idea. My Whirlpool microwave oven, purchased in October or November of 2006, died in July of 2008 after months of strange keypad behavior. It was replaced about a month later with a Fujidenzo microwave oven.
Our First Microwave Oven
Actually, the first microwave oven we owned was made by Goldstar (which became LG Electronics in 1995) and I bought it while stationed on Okinawa in 1988 for about $95.00 (in US dollars). It still worked when we gave it away in 2006, just before selling our house in the US.
After our house in the Philippines was built in 2006, my wife bought a Whirlpool microwave oven at one of the Olongapo appliance stores. I told her not to spend too much and the Whirlpool brand was one of the more expensive ones, costing well over P10,000 (or more than USD $200), but she didn’t listen to me. I asked her why she didn’t pick one of the Panasonic microwaves and she said she wanted something that would last. It didn’t last.
In October of 2007, the keypad stopped working until I unplugged it for several hours and then plugged it back in. I’m no electronics genius and I can only guess there was a faulty capacitor that needed to be drained. I kept it unplugged when not in use and managed to be able to use it until just before my wife came back in August of 2008, when it would no longer work at all.
If I knew where to get it fixed at a reasonable price for parts and labor, that’s what I would have done. Chances are that I could get it fixed in Manila, but I refuse to go to Manila for anything except trips to the airport and that’s only when I have no choice.
Our Second Microwave Oven
While my wife was here in August of 2008, she bought a replacement microwave oven. I told her to stay away from keypads and thankfully, she did. I also told her to see if she could find Sharp microwaves or even Daewoo microwaves, anything but Whirlpool microwave ovens.
One of my nephews worked at Ocampo’s, a local appliance store. He swore he could get her a good deal. She ended up buying a Fujidenzo microwave oven for about P4000 (about $85 USD). It was just slightly smaller than what we had before. Since I never heard of the brand before, I looked up Fujidenzo on the Internet. Lo and behold, Fujidenzo is distributed by Exatech, Inc., a Filipino corporation.
The Whirlpool brand is also distributed by Exatech, so I was curious to find out where the Fujidenzo microwaves are made. I pulled the microwave forward and looked at the back where I spotted the tag: Made in PRC. That’s “People’s Republic of China“, for the uninformed. Oh well, it’s still working and it works as well as the more expensive brands. It doesn’t have a keypad. It has three push buttons that cycle through the options on every press.
I don’t know how long this microwave oven will last, but I feel a lot better about it knowing that it isn’t an expensive model to replace.