Things to Consider When Selecting Appliances

As Betsy opened the door to the townhouse, after being away for 2 weeks, she heard an odd racket from the kitchen.  The motor of the refrigerator didn’t sound right.  She put down what she was carrying in, and opened the doors to the refrigerator.  A warm putrid smell rolled out from the refrigerator – everything was ruined.  The freezer interior was hotter than the room temperature. This LG refrigerator was only 2 years old!

We are used to having refrigerators last 20+ years, and like to make the right decisions on long term purchases like this.  But how do you go about making the right decision?  Many folks decide what appliances they like based on first-hand experience – either they grew up with a certain brand, or they have purchased them themselves.  Some go by recommendations from friends or even the appliance salespeople.  These days, online reviews account for many “referrals”, both good and bad.  I would like to add one to the list – Appliance Repair people.  These folks deal every day with appliances and have great amount of experience dealing with manufacturers of all types.

If you haven’t had to call an appliance repair person lately, they are very busy and it took over a week to get one here just to look at the refrigerator.  And only certain ones are “authorized” to work on certain brands.  I make a point to ask these folks several questions, to find out more about service records of different appliances.  I always ask them which appliances they have at their house.  That says a lot about the brands they deal with.  I also ask how the companies are to deal with on warranty items.  The LG refrigerator we have only came with a 1 year warranty, but has a 10 year warranty on the compressor.  And, yes, the compressor was what went bad, along with the evaporator.  So, we only have to pay for labor for the repairman to install the new parts.  The hard part is getting the parts from LG.  Our repair guy said that LG and Samsung are the most difficult companies to deal with and don’t make getting parts under warranty a priority.

For example, it has taken a month (3 weeks after the initial phone call confirmed that is was covered) to get an “authorization” to ship out the parts, and they say it is going to take 3 weeks to ship them out to the repair company.  So, it will likely be a full 2 months to get our refrigerator working again.  Uggh.  Can you imagine being without a refrigerator for 2 months?  If it were just the principle of it, we would get rid of this and buy a different brand.  But since the refrigerator costs $1500+ and we will be able to get it fixed for $330. labor, we couldn’t justify the extra expense.  So, we are living with our garage refrigerator and an RTIC cooler.

Every manufacturer that I know of has gone through some times that their products have trouble.  How they go about fixing those problems says a lot about the company and how they stand behind their products.  I recommend using online reviews and talking to an appliance repairman to get some feedback on what appliances perform well without major repairs.  Make sure you look at the dates on the online reviews, since many times manufacturers fix the problems on older models that make the newer models better.  The information from the repairmen can give you the information on how a company stands behind their products.  Therefore, I will not be buying any LG or Samsung products in the near future.  Right now my favorites include Sub Zero, Wolf, KitchenAid, Miele and Bosch.  We have some customers that like Thermador, too.  And if you were wondering what refrigerator my repairman had, it was a basic GE refrigerator.

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