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March 22, 2004 12:12 PM

Broken: Microwave start-stop button

Jerry Morrison writes:

How long can it take to figure out yet another microwave oven? I tried this one for a while and had to go get help. It turns out that only a little area around the "/" is actually touch-sensitive. "Start" and "Stop" are not really buttons, though they feel the same as "/."

The design is so bad that people at work incorrectly concluded that the unit was broken, and it was replaced with the exact same model!

P.S. Does anyone know who makes this microwave? A truly horrible design.

Update March 24: Jerry Morrison writes:

I checked out the oven's back panel today: "HEC Model MWG1001TW, Haier America Trading, Made in China."

Googling for "HEC microwave" found:


Pretty chinzy design, how much would it cost to extend the touch hotspot to the majority of the button?

Posted by: Ummagumma at March 22, 2004 11:50 AM

What the heck is with that weird narrowing to the right-hand side? Clearly they've tried to carry the curvature of the lower part of the window across to the control panel.

Doing this has caused the right-hand column of numbers to be squashed right up against one another.

Posted by: Mike Dimmick at March 22, 2004 12:15 PM

That whole control panel is seriously messed up, including the out-of-line numbers. Ew. The sad thing is, they could have used the same distance for the start/stop and had it work - by putting the line around the pressable area, not the whole thing including labels; and by not having "start" and "stop" be raised, only the pressable area. Truly thoughtless design all around.

Posted by: Laura at March 22, 2004 12:17 PM

That panel looks so ugly, I have trouble believe it's real.

Posted by: Ublis at March 22, 2004 01:27 PM

Looks a lot like this one.

Posted by: Ryan at March 22, 2004 04:14 PM

Link didn't get through:

(also, if you can hide the e-mail address...)

Posted by: Ryan Bayne at March 22, 2004 04:16 PM

I'd have to agree - the zoomed-in shot looks like it's the composition of two different photos. Weird, didn't notice that on the first pass.

Posted by: Mark Hurst at March 22, 2004 08:51 PM

So the design is so bad that people are skeptical it actually exists! This is quite amusing. And no doubt the thing was designed solely for visual effect.

I sent the full camera images to Mark.

Did I mention the buttons have no tactile feedback? People mash so much on what looks like it should be a "start" button that the previous unit was well worn there. It got replaced before I brought in my camera. But it's the design that's broken.

Posted by: Jerry Morrison at March 23, 2004 03:49 AM

Here's Jerry's original photo:

Yes, it's true, the microwave really was that bad. I take it all back! :)

Posted by: Mark Hurst at March 23, 2004 07:44 AM

Actually, It's great design. See, someone replaced the microwave before it was actually broken. Company sells more microwaves, makes more $$, retires early to the Caribbean.

What, you thought they would design it with the end-user in mind??!! Silly people.

Posted by: Patrick at March 23, 2004 10:36 AM

Now I have trouble believing people buy something that ugly :).

Posted by: Ublis at March 23, 2004 02:57 PM

This microwave really does exist! My mother-in-law has one and recently I was trying to figure out how to use it and kept hitting "start" and "stop" separately. I was a very frustrated user. She had to finally tell me to hit the "/" on the button. Ewww! I was thrilled to see this example posted, because I was beginning to think I was an idiot.

Posted by: Nancy at March 29, 2004 08:16 AM

Drat! I was going to submit this very same design flaw. We have this microwave in our office, and it's been seviced a number of times because "It doesn't turn on".

Posted by: Anca at March 30, 2004 03:12 PM

That thing looks so chintzy I'd be afraid it was leaking microwaves and frying my gonads.

Posted by: Lars at March 31, 2004 12:26 AM

now... i wonder if you could go back to the store and tell them that it was broken... they'd say yea, but you ask them if you can try to fix the broken one at home... if they let you keep it, WOOT, another microwave

Posted by: Ruff_ilb at June 20, 2004 06:44 PM

I really don't see the problem. It's a toggle switch, the same as almost every other on/off button.

Posted by: sd at July 5, 2004 10:03 PM

yeah, but the actual button isn't on the On or Off letters, it's on the /. Which kind of sucks. If it was a round button, with on/off printed on it with the letters close together, than maybe you'd be able to realize it's a toggle.

Posted by: Bill at August 11, 2004 04:43 AM

That panel is is disgusting. It was burning my retinas.

It looks like they took the piece of rubber and had to stretch it to get it on. The 3,6,9 are so close together.You might want to heat something for 6 sec but you put in 69sec and you fry what ever was in there. My mother did that once.she was heating up a piece of bread for 15sec and put it in for 1:15

Posted by: I think ipod sucks at March 9, 2005 09:40 PM

"I think ipod sucks" : Your mother is an idiot. So are you.


Posted by: Brian at March 18, 2005 11:08 AM

Brian i forgot to change my name after i left a comment about ipods repair service.

aLso, i uh no iDiOt uh. Uh hOw dO i uh InCreAse my uh FroNt SiDe Uus SpEed uh. i tHiNk It iS Uh gO Uh iNtO BiOs aNd uH InCrEaSe tHe FrOnT sIdE uh,uh,uh bUs uP. sEe bRiaN tHe thE moFo bAbOoN, i nO IdiOt, Uh hoW i PosT a MeSsAgE,

Huh hUh HuH huH i foUnD PosT bUttOn TiNgy,

Uh Babble and Drool

Posted by: unknown at March 24, 2005 03:41 PM

^^^ WTF??? ^^^

Posted by: Confuzed at May 25, 2005 02:12 PM

HI, I have a problem with my microwave, it starts to work and the light goes on but it does not heat anything up...what should i do? Can some1 help me please

model: DMW112BL

Posted by: Victor at July 10, 2005 09:23 PM


Get a new microwave.

Posted by: Tom at August 13, 2005 01:38 PM

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