Unhappy Aussie Thermomix Customers Reckon They Were Gagged, Bullied

The Thermomix, aka the expensive bit of kitchen gear that your mum and dad occasionally make soup in, has developed something of a cult following in Australia these last few years. 
I still have no idea how the fuck you’re meant to get your hands on one, but I think it involves being invited to a party in the suburbs and drawing sets of keys out of a bowl. 
Anyway, we’re getting off topic. 
The point of all this is that, of the estimated 300,000 Aussies who own the all-in kitchen gadget, a number have recently come forward complaining of bullying and intimidation tactics when the machines break down.
Last week, a West Australian woman announced that she plans to sue Thermomix and call for a full recall of the TM31 model, after her appliance burst open mid-meal preparation, causing her to suffer second-degree burns. 
A follow-up piece published today by News Corp features interviews with a number of Thermomix owners, many of whom claim that the company made them straight-up sign gag orders before offering refunds. 
W.A. woman Carly, who began experiencing issues with her Thermomix in 2015, said she spent months lobbying the company for her money back, and said:

“They only offered me a refund after I lodged a consumer complaint with the Magistrates Court of Western Australia, outlining all the problems I’d had. Thermomix did attempt to get me to sign a gag order, but I refused. I was successful in getting a refund in the end.”
A Sydney woman, who refused to give her name but said she suffered “severe burns” when the seal on her unit broke, said that she effectively felt “coerced” into silence:

“They said they wouldn’t give me a refund unless I signed the gag order and I was sick of fighting.”
The story contains numerous other accounts like these, but the really eye-opening bit is the document that customers are made to sign, part of which was republished by News Corp. It reads:

“… You also agree not to disparage, speak ill of, or comment negatively about Thermomix or [parent company] Vorwerk, and not to take any action which is intended, or would reasonably be expected, to harm the reputation of Thermomix or Vorwerk, or lead to unwanted or unfavourable publicity.”

Further adding to the general ‘culinary Fight Club‘ air is blogger Lana Hirschowitz, who wrote a piece last year claiming she didn’t “love” her Thermomix, and was subsequently bombarded with furious messages from fans of the appliance.

Choice have said that they are aware of Thermomix “playing hardball” when it comes to refunds, and are reportedly “aware” of a claim by at least one TM31 user who was pressured into signing a confidentiality agreement before being offered a refund.

The ACCC, meanwhile, say that they are “currently considering a number of issues associated with the recall of defective Thermomix products.”
I, for one, welcome our new Thermomix overlords.

Source: News Corp.