Let me start out by saying this is my personal experience with the Vitamix 5200 blender and Vitamix customer care, and may vary from the experiences of others out there. I was not going to share this experience until I saw other people complaining about Vitamix blenders on forums as well and realized I was not alone here.
When I first bought my Vitamix about 2 and a half years ago, I was a big fan of it (the Vitamix 5200 is the one I bought). I was even recommending it to my friends both online and offline for a while since I was very pleased with my purchase.
However, that has all changed over the past year or so. I started having a lot of problems with my machine as well as Vitamix customer service.
I’ve since sold my Vitamix on eBay and purchased a Blendtec Designer Series instead which I absolutely love. I wish I had bought the Blendtec from the beginning, but oh well, lesson learned.
Read on to understand why I no longer recommend this ‘powerful’ blender or any other blender from Vitamix.
First let me list some of the reasons why I bought the Vitamix and also recommended it to people in the first place:
- 7-year warranty. This was great until the customer service guys started messing up. More on that later…
- The Vitamix has a lot of power. This blender has a powerful 2-peak output HP motor. They claim that with the power, the blades can propel up to 240 mph blending the toughest ingredients. For the most part, this is true (although you have to use the tamper in a lot of the cases which is a bit of a hassle).
- The blender’s 64 oz. container is BPA free. BPA is known to cause negative health effects in people and animals so I really liked that it was BPA free.
- Variable speed control. Everybody wants maximum control over their appliances.- It had very positive reviews online. I of course later found out that a majority of the “positive reviews” are actually affiliates of the product who make money when you purchase it through them, so of course they are going to speak highly of it.
With the above, I was pretty sold and went ahead and spent over $400 for a blender (the most I’ve ever spent on a kitchen appliance).
Like I mentioned earlier, at first things were great and I really enjoyed the machine, but after using it more and more, I started noticing some issues with it. Some of these issues were minor and I overlooked them, but once the major problems started occurring, I was having second thoughts about my purchase.
To cut a long story short, the following are reasons why I wouldn’t recommend the Vitamix 5200 or any Vitamix blender and why you should choose the Blendtec instead if you're in the market for a high end blender. (All of this is based on personal experiences).
The lid has a hard time staying on and the jar feels flimsy on the base.
The very first thing I noticed was that the blender’s lid has a hard time staying on when the blender is working at full speed. Several times it has lost its seal during a blending job. When I first saw the design of the lid, I thought it was going to potentially be a problem going forward but figured Vitamix knew what they were doing with it. Unfortunately, my suspicions were correct.
The other part is the jar doesn’t feel very secure on the base like other blenders do. It just kinda sits there and doesn’t lock into place or anything. Combine that with the tall design of the jar, and I always feel like it’s going to fly off if I don’t hold it.
Several times I have almost knocked the full jar completely off the base by accidentally bumping it with my arm. That would have been a huge mess to clean up, not to mention I would have wasted all those ingredients.
These were some of the “minor” things that I overlooked and was able to get past even though I think for the money, the Vitamix shouldn’t even have minor things wrong with it’s design.
The plunger mechanism is a huge inconvenience.
I hate the idea of using the plunger (or tamper as you may have heard it called) for my blending jobs and I think this is one of those things that even the most hardcore Vitamix supporters agree with.
Almost every time I start blending on high speed, an air pocket forms at the base near the blades and the ingredients refuse to fall down into the blades. This leaves me having to pull out my plunger to push everything back down so that they can be blended.
Some people say you just need to use more liquid and this won’t happen, but if I do that, my smoothies and other recipes come out too watery which I don’t want.
At over $400, I expect a blender that I don’t have to constantly be pushing my ingredients into the blades to make them blend. With the Blendtec I bought after selling my Vitamix, this is never required due to the design of their jar and blades. I got the WildSide Jar with my Blendtec and it works flawlessly.
I know Vitamix tried to copy Blendtec’s jar design a few years back and got sued for it, but I really think they should work on some other design so that the plunger isn’t needed as often.
The container fades into an ugly yellow color.
This is another one of those “minor inconveniences” I noticed and overlooked for a while.
After only using it for about 3 months, the clear container started losing its original color and got this ugly yellow tint even though I wash it after each use.
This is normal when plastic is exposed to direct sunlight, but I never exposed my jar to sunlight. The slightly yellow look makes my blender look older and cheaper than it really is and it’s just unappealing to have sitting on my kitchen counter.
This is something else that hasn’t happened with my Blendtec jar and I haven’t seen any other people mention it happening with Blendtec either. Wish I could say the same about Vitamix.
The jar is too tall and narrow.
I didn’t have a problem with the Vitamix’ base size when ordering it. I knew the large base was for accommodating the powerful motor.
However, the jar on the other hand is poorly designed as I sort of alluded to earlier. Aside from it not being very secure on the base, it’s just way too tall and narrow.
After using it for a few days, I realized the jar was going to be a huge issue. Since it’s so tall, it doesn’t fit under my cabinets at all. It’s also hard to stick inside the cabinets since I only have a few that are tall enough to hold it and I keep other stuff in those.
The tall size also doesn’t allow you to put it in the dishwasher (in defense, it’s recommended to not put it in the dishwasher anyway although you technically can if you can make it fit).
Due to this, hand washing and storing the Vitamix blender became a pain. I have bigger hands, so it’s impossible for me to get a rag or sponge all the way to the bottom of the jar to get any food out that is stuck down there.
The way they recommend to clean it (putting dish soap in the jar and running it on high) works great for most jobs, but when you’re blending thicker ingredients, hand washing is required to get it fully clean and this was difficult for me.
The Blendtec’s jar on the other hand holds about 96 oz. compared to only 64 oz. in the Vitamix, and yet they still manage to make their jar short enough to fit underneath or inside cabinets and easily get your hand in there to clean it thoroughly.
The Vitamix is way noisier than I anticipated.
The Vitamix 5200 has to be the noisiest blender in the industry.
Now I do understand that having such a powerful motor is going to obviously mean more noise than your standard blender and that’s perfectly fine and understandable, but I feel they could have worked harder to reduce the amount of noise this machine produces. To give you an idea, it sounds as if I'm starting up a lawn mower in my kitchen when I have it running at full speed.
My Blendtec is not nearly as loud and the Blendtec is 3 HP compared to the Vitamix at 2 HP. I’ve heard with the newer Vitamix models, they were able to slightly lower the amount of noise, but from the reports I’ve read by actual users and not affiliates, the Blendtec is still the quieter of the two.
Leakage from the bottom of the jar.
What a surprise, another jar problem...
After about a year and a half, the jar started leaking from the bottom where the blade inserts at. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but it was like a black sludge of some sort combined with whatever I was blending at the time. It looked like it could have possibly been grease from the bearings.
Now here’s where the real issue happened: When I called in and explained what was happening and asked if they would send me a new container, they gave me problems and said it sounded like a “user-induced fault” from me possibly blending something I shouldn’t have.
As much as I would love to make my own Will It Blend videos, I never used my Vitamix for anything other than what it’s meant for so calling that a user-induced fault was ridiculous.
And this leads me into my next point about why I no longer recommend Vitamix…
Terrible customer service.
From my firsthand experience, Vitamix really needs to work on their customer support. I realize this might be an isolated incident, but I’ve seen other people online complain about their customer service as well.
First off, I had to wait for over a half hour on the line during regular business hours. As if waiting over a half hour wasn’t enough, the guy I spoke with was rather rude and like I mentioned earlier, said the problem I was having was my own fault and that those aren’t covered under the warranty.
After arguing with him back and forth, he agreed to repair my jar, but I had to return it at my own cost. That’s right; I had to pay shipping costs to and from the factory.
The company has an excellent 7-year warranty, but with their poor customer service team not wanting to honor the warranty, I’m not going near their products again.
With all that being said, the Vitamix is overrated and overpriced. (Click on the Read Next Page button below the image to see the rest...)