- Video report by ITV News Business and Economics Editor Joel Hills
Consumers were met with a wall of frustration in their attempts to contact Whirlpool over fire-risk washing machines.
The company announced a mass recall of up to 519,000 machines on Tuesday, due to fears a faulty door mechanism could result in fires.
On Wednesday, their website was down and customers reported issues with the company's phone lines, leaving many to vent their anger on social media due to their inability to contact the company.
One customer described the Whirlpool website and call centre as a "shambles".
A statement replaced the Whirlpool registration website, it read: "We are very sorry that we continue to experience technical problems with our registration website and we deeply apologise for the delay and concern this has caused."
Some customers reported a pre-recorded message being read out when they tried to contact the stipulated phone line, asking the caller to try again later, having previously urged potentially affected customers to get in touch with them.
The website and phone line were reinstated on Wednesday afternoon following technical issues.
A Whirlpool spokesman said: "We are truly sorry for the technical issues customers have been experiencing on our website. Both the website and our call centre are now fully operational."
The company had taken 17,000 calls on Wednesday morning.
The firm said as many as 519,000 washing machines sold under the Hotpoint and Indesit brands in the UK between October 2014 and February 2018 could be affected by a flaw with the door-locking system that could lead to them overheating and potentially catching fire.
Peter Clements tweeted about his attempts to contact the company, he wrote: "#Whirlpoolrecall site down and main number unobtainable - worst example of customer service - probably since last recall. Timing terrible for all."
Hellen Buss posted: "What a joke now the number given is unobtainable seriously whirlpool get this sorted the people affected cannot register there appliances for the recall # frustrated!"
Under the recall, all affected customers will have the choice of either a free-of-charge like-for-like replacement washing machine, or a free-of-charge in-home repair of their existing appliance.
A list of models covered by the recall can be found at the bottom of this article, along with how to check if your washing machine is affected.
Whirlpool Corporation vice president Jeff Noel said on Tuesday: "We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and concern this may cause to our customers, particularly over the Christmas period, but we hope people will understand that we are taking action because people's safety is our top priority.
"Preparing for a recall of this scale is a complex operation and we are working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to start offering replacements or repairs to our customers from early January."
The latest recall comes after the company finally launched a full recall involving 500,000 dryers in July.
The company acted after being criticised for resisting demands for a full recall and instead carrying out a lengthy "safety campaign" that saw 1.7 million products modified instead.
That earlier recall related to certain models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline dryers built between 2004 and 2015.
Appliance repairer Jake Duthie explains where you can find the model number on your washing machine
Here is a full list of the models involved in the Whirlpool recall of fire-risk Hotpoint and Indesit branded washing machines:
- FML 742P UK Hotpoint
- WMAOD 743G UK Hotpoint
- WMAOD 743P UK Hotpoint
- WMAQB 721P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMAQC 641P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMAQC 741G UK Hotpoint
- WMAQC 741P UK Hotpoint
- WMAQC 741P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMAQF 621G UK Hotpoint
- WMAQF 621P UK Hotpoint
- WMAQF 641 P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMAQF 721G UK Hotpoint
- WMAQF 721P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMAQL 621G UK Hotpoint
- WMBF 742G UK Hotpoint
- WMBF 742K UK Hotpoint
- WMBF 742P UK Hotpoint
- WMBF 742P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMBF 763P UK Hotpoint
- WMEF 722 BC UK Hotpoint
- WMEF 742 P UK Hotpoint
- WMEUF 722P UK Hotpoint
- WMEUF 743G UK Hotpoint
- WMEUF 743P UK Hotpoint
- WMFG 741P UK Hotpoint
- WMFG 741P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMFUG 742 P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMFUG 742G UK Hotpoint
- WMFUG 742P UK Hotpoint
- WMFUG 842P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMJLF 842P UK Hotpoint
- WMJLL 742P UK Hotpoint
- WMSAQG 621P UK Hotpoint
- WMXTF 742G UK Hotpoint
- WMXTF 742K UK Hotpoint
- WMXTF 742P UK Hotpoint
- WMXTF 742P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMXTF 842P UK.M Hotpoint
- WMYL 7151PS UK Hotpoint
- XWA 81252X K UK Indesit
- XWA 81252X W UK Indesit
- XWD 71452X K UK Indesit