Have you shopped for a major appliance lately? If you haven’t, it is a scary world out there. It is not just that prices have gone crazy for front loading washing machines and french door refrigerators. The products themselves, despite the premium prices, may turn out to be a hunk of junk.
In your research, if you only read what the manufacturer tells you about a product, or listen to what the store salesperson says, you are only getting part of the picture. The trick in appliance buying is to find out the inside scoop about the device itself. How do you find out the quirks and quality of the product before you buy it? The fine print is in the product reviews written by people who already bought the appliance. If you are not digging up customer reviews of major appliances before you buy, you could be making an expensive mistake.
Here are edited excerpts of reviews written by (un)happy customers.
Appliance 1: Whirlpool 29.7 cu ft Side by Side Refrigerator, GSS30C7EYY, $1889 (reduced from $2099)
The interior space is immense. The freezer is huge too. The LED lighting is cool and the separate paddles for water and ice means no single point of failure. What is not to like, right? The first fridge delivered … after a week the door open light began to come on intermittently. At first an open/shut reset of both doors (as the manual directs) cleared it. After a few more days just pressing on the freezer door stopped the alarm.
Fridge two was delivered at two weeks of ownership. The seals on this doors were not installed in a stellar fashion — not straight and the freezer door seal rubs the fridge door when opening (even after trying to adjust the doors to prevent this) This made me wonder if they would seal properly over the life of the appliance. We will never know as about 45 minutes into ownership of the second fridge, the door alarm was going off again, the water dispenser would not work and the ice maker was not going to make ice. The service technician has a look [and wants to order new doors and switches for delivery in 6-8 week.] I don’t think so.
We call Lowe’s, fridge three will be dilivered in a week when they get one in stock. Fridge three arrives with a defective freezer seal (it’s ripped off the door) and the switches are scratching the inside of the door (looks like this door is installed too high). I tell them take it back, we will call Lowe’s again (the driver mentions it’s the 3rd one he has seen like this). Obviously, Whirlpool is having quality control issues. The design is really nce, but the execution rather poor.
Don’t buy this or any other piece of junk by whirlpool. I have replaced the ice maker, front electronic panel, and have replaced the ice dispenser motor 2 times since I have owned this thing.
The water dispenser has stopped working numerous times and it is only 1 week old. The doors appear to be out of alignment. The water filter and door inside the fridge looks like it was installed without any quality inspection and I suspect this is the problem with THE water dispenser.
If you leave it open for more then 5 minutes then your ice maker will stop working. I have had the maker replaced, the mother board replaced, finally the door replaced, and it still did not make ice. After trip 6 from my service guy he was told by Wirlpool that if you leave the door open for more then 5 minutes then you need to unplug and replug in your fridge or flip the breaker. It has been annoying. Other then that I love the fridge.
Beautiful refrigerator, great space – however the “door ajar” alarm went off continuously even though no doors were open. No ice or water will dispense and the lights don’t come on inside when this occurs.
Lowes replaced the first one. Same problem with the second one.
To be fair, five of the eleven reviews gave the unit five stars. But would you take a chance on this $2000 refrigerator based on the experience the above five consumers had?
Product 2: Samsung Side by Side Refrigerator, RSG307AARS, $1889 (reg. $2099)
product arrived brand new and did not work at all. samsung technician deemed product un-fixable.
Big pricey refrigerator does not make any ice!
This is the most annoying fridge I have ever owned or used. It looks great in the store and is very energy efficient, but is not designed well and the quality out the door is at best poor.
The ice dispenser has to be the worst feature. After you get your ice, you need to wait with a glass under the dispenser for about 5-10 seconds for the ice dispenser door to try and swing closed (which at this point more ice falls out, usually all over the floor because you forgot to stand there like an idiot waiting for the fridge to finish what it was doing). [Description of ice problems edited.] Meanwhile, the door alarm is dinging and you’re trying to jiggle and pound on each corner while you’re holding the door from swinging into the wall. What a nightmare! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had 20-30 pieces of ice dumped out all over my kitchen floor from screwing with this dispenser.
Quality is horrible. Ours arrived with parts taped inside (like the door bins) secured for shipping that were broken in pieces. About 2 weeks after we had been using it, the child lock (which we never used) decided to “lock itself” and wouldn’t unlock. None of the controls in the lower right corner would work. After almost a month waiting for backordered parts…
Design is poor. The shelves appear to be adjustable within reason, but in practical use they don’t adjust to fit most normal-sized products. For example, there is room in the door for 2 gallons of milk, but if you get another one there’s nowhere to put it. None of the shelves are tall enough to put one without removing a shelf entirely. And the same goes for any bottle over 9 inches (two shelves can be maxed out at 9 inches). This means there is no way to put a normal 10 inch tall juice container anywhere but in a door bin (and we had to remove one so there was enough room for both bottles and milk).
To be fair, four of the ten reviews gave this refrigerator five stars. But again, do you really want to spend almost $2000 and have the possibility of having major problems like the people above did?
Reading major appliance product reviews, not just for refrigerators, but for other categories of goods, is eye-opening when you see how many people are complaining of major design or functional defects early in their ownership of the product. It makes you afraid to buy any major appliance today because of these problems.