My in-laws have had this egg cooker for over a year now, and we'd used it quite often when we visited. When they first got it, they experienced a number of problems with it not cooking the eggs thoroughly the first several times they tried it, so that both the soft and hard boiled eggs were underdone. Apparently, this is a very common problem. West Bend has an entire website forum dedicated to troubleshooting to get your egg maker to work correctly. So, it's good to know that right out of the package it can be a little finicky, BUT that doesn't mean it doesn't work and needs to be sent back - it just means that the steamer plate needs some time to adjust and there are definitely ways to fix everything - ways that West Bend itself recommends. We, on the other hand, received ours as a gift for Christmas and have had absolutely no problems with it at all. The first time out - and ever since - it has cooked our eggs perfectly. It's just hit or miss, I guess. Its a very easy machine to operate, very easy to keep clean (it steams itself clean and dry so you basically don't have to clean it), and keeps track of everything time and water wise, so that you do not - all you have to do is babysit it while it does the work for you. It is really important, with this egg cooker, to read the instructions thoroughly so you know you are adding the correct amount of water per egg and piercing each egg with the needle provided so it cooks thoroughly. Like I said, we've found it to be very accurate at cooking anywhere between 1 and 7 hard or soft boiled eggs, taking all the guess work out of timing. However, you do need to stay alert when you use this item. As soon as your eggs are finished, a buzzer will go off and it is worth noting that egg cooking times are very sensitive, so if you don't remove your eggs from the machine immediately, they are liable to overcooked. This is not an appliance that you should turn on and the walk away from - you do need to monitor it closely. Also, as it steams the eggs, it gets very hot, so I'm not sure I'd use it at a level that little children can reach - it would burn them very quickly. But for supervised adult use, we really like this machine to quickly, easily, and efficiently make hard or soft boiled eggs. We like that it cleans so easily, is small enough to store away discretely, and it worked well for us right away.