Nice, but flawed

3/5
I had to search for a long time to find the right microwave to suit my circumstances. It had to be the right size and not be too complicated. This seemed to tick the boxes and had a few extra features I could use if I needed them. It looks good, has a handy flat bed instead of a turntable. the door is good and robust and the machine doesn't slide about when you open and close it. The mirror finish on the front is fine but I noticed a small scratch on the control panel on the first day. I guess that's going to happen - it's susceptible to marking. Basic operation is easy: set the power level (or leave at 100%), turn the bottom dial to set the time, press the start button. Alternatively, just press the start button to fire it up - keep pressing to increase the cook time in 30 second increments. My problem is with the extra functions on the top dial. It seems after you've used the function once, if you want to use it again you have to turn the dial away and then back to the setting you want. That's not intuitive. There's a kitchen timer function. Set the time, press start and it counts down without operating the microwave. Handy. You can set this from 5 seconds to 95 minutes. HOWEVER!!! When it's finished counting down and you want to start a new countdown, if you just turn the bottom dial for the time and press start, IT STARTS ON FULL POWER! This I discovered to my detriment when I set it to 12 minutes and walked away. When I came back the microwave was extremely hot - too hot to touch! - it had been cooking on empty. Bad news. OK, I've figured out that I have to turn the top dial away and back to make the extra functions work a second time. But I don't think this is ideal. What if a visitor who didn't know this quirk tried the same thing? Bad software design. AO asked me to call Russell Hobbs Customer Service because they would know their own products better. What a waste of time. They knew nothing about it. Gave wrong advice - told me I had to press the stop/cancel button every time before setting the machine - that does nothing. Couldn't/wouldn't understand the problem and basically said if I didn't like their answer I could go back to the supplier. In other words - stuff you! Great! - not! I haven't got the time to find another machine that's suitable, or to wait in for returns, be without it while it's sorted out. But hey! It cooks fine. It's only 700W but seems faster then the 800W Bosch it's replacing. I'll live with it. But if you're thinking of getting one, be aware of it's drawbacks.