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Jan 23, 2010 12:30 PM

Samsung or Fisher Paykel?

Oh please somebody out there help me with this Hobson's choice. I need a small, bottom freezer, counter depth refrigerator that must be carted up 3 flights of ancient narrow stairs in NYC. The two best and only choices seem to be: Samsung RF197ABWP or Fisher-Paykel
E522BRX. Size and price are okay, but there is so much bad news about them online and so hard to evaluate this! My trusty salesperson says Samsung is "too new, from China (what isn't?) and a piece of crap." He also says Fisher-Paykel has a bad service record. There are issues with compressors going, no service and on and on.

Can anyone help with this particular slim choice of options. I would be most grateful

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    1. FrancesGenovese: "My trusty salesperson says Samsung is 'too new, from China (what isn't?) and a piece of crap.'"

      Samsung is a South Korean company. Everything that I have seen that was made by Samsung was made in South Korea; I cannot attest to the specific model you are looking at, but I would be surprised if it was not, also, made in Korea. If your salesperson is wrong on that (he may be right, but I doubt it), is he trusty, after all?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Politeness

        Thank you for replying to my post. Samsung is made in Korea. And are any salespeople to be trusted on anything they say? I hear all kinds of contradictory comments about the same appliances. It is a real problem.

      2. If you take a look at Consumer Report, Fisher-Paykel as a brand does have an abysmal record.

        I'm wondering why, though, if it's already only counter depth, the freezer position is important?

        If it really must be one of these two, and it were me, I'd roll the dice on the Samsung.

        1 Reply
        1. re: foiegras

          Thank you for your comment. Freezer position is important for access and also, even with
          counter depth because it must pull out and in a galley kitchen there is a counter in front of it.

        2. Anything else but Fisher-Paykel. Three neighbours renovated their kitchens last couple of years. All three independently chose counter-depth F-P. All three have had their compressors replaced at least once...and it was a nightmare for each of them.

          6 Replies
          1. re: fmed

            Thanks for your alert. Any information on the Samsung that is a comparable size? The reviews on Fisher Paykel are all over the map. Frankly, your comment and many others have made me uneasy about ever buying this, plus they have a really bad record on their dish washers.

            1. re: Frances Genovese

              I don't much know about the Samsung fridge. (Their TVs a great however!)

            2. re: fmed

              hey fmed, it's a bit late on this but do you know if they got the french door or stacked fridges?

              my understanding is that the french door is built in the US where as the stacked is from New Zealand.

                1. re: fmed

                  thanks! was speaking with a salesperson recently and were discussing where the manufacturing was taking place. apparently the french door versions were built in the US when they sold a large share of the business... they will soon be made in mexico. the single door stack is currently made in new zealand but the manufacturing may be swapped to asia soon.

                  one another thing, if your friends still have the F&Ps... ask them how much space is around the sides and top of the fridge. apparently with the type of compressor, the heat needs to be vented from everywhere but the back... completely atypical. i wonder if a kitchen designer or installer might not have paid attention to that.

            3. When my 15 year old Maytag top freezer started to go I looked in vain for something in a bottom freezer which I had wanted from the beginning. I figured in my old age I would appreciate not bending over to see into the main part of the fridge. That was just the beginning of my problems. I couldn't find one that didn't stick out 7 inches past counter depth. My Maytag stuck out 4 inches with the handle and that seemed a lot.
              I didn't want to pay $4 thousand or more for the fancy counter depth built ins. All those fancy bells and whistles with constantly worrying about changing all those light bulbs seemed like a waste of money.
              I researched both of the above models you mention and chose the F&P. All new refrigerators are not as reliable as the older models I grew up with. I spoke to a service tech who repairs commercial refrigerators and his brother works for Sears. I was told that the Korean made LG and Samsung fridges were a service nightmare for them. That bummed me out since that small LG side by side unit seemed like just the ticket. If you check Consumer Reports the F& P is rated as unreliable but the 33 user reviews of that unit were mostly positive. That unit doesn't have a front cold water tap or internal ice maker. I took it to mean that simple is best and that's good enough for my wife and I. I hedged my bet by purchasing the ten year service plan with PC Richards in Union Square NYC. I live in an elevator coop on the lower east side so I don't have to walk up the stairs but the unit has no condenser coils on the back to bang up while humping it if that's any consolation. When my old Maytag started to warm up I became aware of the uneven temps throughout the compartment. I purchased inexpensive thermometers and placed them throughout and continued this practice with my new F & P in order to I D the coldest zones. Note that the open shelves of the F & P allow the cold temp to be lost once the doors are open more quickly than the more standard American and Korean units with all the storage compartments and door shelves. I solved this problem by saving some of the pull out see thru storage drawers from my Maytag. I could see this temp variations because of the thermometers placed throughout in the open shelves and in the Maytag see through shelves . The bottom freezer maintains subzero settings because of the closed drawers. The drawers don't fog up quickly so I can see the thermometer readings to confirm the settings. I've had my F & P since October of 09 and so far so good.