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ADVICE ON BUYING NEW FRIDGE (in USA)?

SweetPea Jul 6, 2012 03:28 PM

EEK! I need to make an emergency purchase. Any thoughts on brands you love or hate? I really want a freezer on the bottom style.

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  1. Quine RE: SweetPea Jul 6, 2012 05:28 PM

    Look at Frigidaire. My Mom just had one of their air conditioner installed and the remote was in the package (it was supposed to be). The customer service people were SO nice, helpful and friendly, I was that impressed! Remote arrived in two day, no charge for anything,

    To me, All things being equal, the customer service makes the deal for me.

    1. bagelman01 RE: SweetPea Jul 6, 2012 05:43 PM

      It's all about budget....................
      Personally, I like SubZero, but it's not in everyone's budget.
      We have both side by side in our main kitchen and one with a bottom freezer in our auxilliary kitchen. Both have been replaced in the past few years (older ones were more than 20 years old) and the new ones are very much more energy efficient. Great design, workmanship, and quality materials.

      1. d
        DeLobstah RE: SweetPea Jul 6, 2012 11:57 PM

        I have a freezer in the bottom with the two doors on the top by LG. Don't buy one. The door seals are terrible and cause the doors to creep open and hose up your food. The ice maker broke right after warranty ended. (1 year)

        1. nofunlatte RE: SweetPea Jul 7, 2012 04:41 AM

          You might try asking on the Cookware board. I think you'll get some good advice there.

          1. w
            wincountrygirl RE: SweetPea Jul 7, 2012 04:57 AM

            HATE - Electrolux. Nothing but problems and bad customer service. Pretty though!

            1. sandiasingh RE: SweetPea Jul 7, 2012 05:17 AM

              We went looking a week ago and were appalled at the quality available in our price range. Nothing but junk. I don't want a "party tray" drawer or ice maker and they all come with both. I thought that door flap on the French door models looked like trouble, so that idea was put to rest. Every brand we looked at was junky. We decided to put a few hundred dollars into our old Amana which was actually made in the US about 12-13 years ago. We can even paint it with some of the new appliance paints available. Good luck. I have no idea what to recommend unless you can go high end with Sub Zero or similar custom brands.

              1. Njchicaa RE: SweetPea Jul 7, 2012 05:22 AM

                I've had a Maytag fridge with bottom freezer for 8 years and I LOVE it! I'll never go back to the traditional style. The freezer on mine (again older model from when they were only first becoming known) is on the smaller side but we have another full-sized freezer in the basement so stocking up and storing something like multiple whole chickens or a turkey along with the rest of the everyday stuff isn't an issue.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Njchicaa
                  Sid Post RE: Njchicaa Jul 7, 2012 06:49 AM

                  It really depends on your budget. Samsung and LG both have good feedback on Consumer Reports. >$2K for a fridge is more then most are willing to pay.

                  For party trays, frozen pizza's, etc. avoid the side-by-side fridge and go old school. A bottom drawer freezer and single door fridge can be purchased in the ~$800 range. That's apt to be the best value in an "emergency" purchase.

                2. s
                  shiny RE: SweetPea Jul 7, 2012 07:21 AM

                  I needed a new refrigerator but after doing a lot of reasearch, I realized that most of the refrigerators made these days are garbage. They have a lot of bells and whistles but they aren't built to last more than 5-7 years. Most warranties only cover parts and labor for one year. I think that's awful.

                  So I bought a used one from a used appliance shop. They tested it, refurbished it and sold it to me with a 90 day warranty for $350. It's an Amana 25 cubic foot side-by-side without ice maker or water dispenser- those are hard to find! Similar models from Sears are $1200+ and from Kitchenaid are $2000+.

                  My fridge runs great and looks brand new! And if it dies in a couple of years I won't have lost a ton of money. I'll just get another one. I can go through a lot of these for the price of a new one. I like recycling, especially when it saves me money!

                  See "Why Can't I Find a Good Refrigerator These Days?" :
                  www.epinions.com/content_5335785604?sb=1

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: shiny
                    bagelman01 RE: shiny Aug 14, 2012 12:59 PM

                    You may think that recycling is saving you money, but the cost of running an older refrigerator/freezer is many times the cost of running a new one.

                    Two years ago we replaced our 21 year old SubZero with a brand new one of the same design and size. The new unit uses 1/10th the electricity fo the old unit.

                  2. rmarisco RE: SweetPea Jul 7, 2012 08:48 AM

                    I've had my amana repaired twice in 10 years. I've hated it since I've gotten it because it is poorly designed for my needs, but I'm not spending the money to replace it yet because everything I've seen is just as badly designed.. The last time I had it fixed (about 4 months ago) the technician told me that refrigerators are now designed to only last 3-5 years. He was actually impressed that I'd had mine as long as I have!
                    Bottom line: i'd spend as little as possible since you are going to be doing this again in a few years.

                    1. z
                      ziggylu RE: SweetPea Jul 7, 2012 08:53 AM

                      I recently bought a Kenmore Elite. I have to agree with the other comments though about overall quality of fridges...we really couldn't find anything we felt confident buying and 99% had features I didn't want(It's pretty impossible to find a fridge without an in door dispenser anymore!).

                      I liked the Kitchen Aid the best but they are expensive, moreso because we were trying to find a counter depth. I didn't want to spend a few thousand dollars and then have to do it again in 5 years or so! We ended up with the Kenmore Elite when we found a good Black Friday deal....I don't love it but it's fine and I won't be out tons of money when it likely croaks in a few years....

                      1. m
                        Mother of four RE: SweetPea Jul 7, 2012 09:20 AM

                        I have a french door by Maytag. Only about five years old and I think that every part aside from the shelves has had to be replaced! Aside from the Sub Zero and the other foreign brands (of course all the parts in the American brands are made in China anyhow) all of the others are made by Whirlpool including Maytag and Amana. It's honestly a crap shoot with what you buy....good luck.

                        1. SweetPea RE: SweetPea Jul 9, 2012 06:17 PM

                          Thanks for all your input!
                          Well, the single door, freezer on the bottom is the style that suits me (and the configuration of my kitchen) best. I ended up with an LG without door dispenser. I wish I'd had time to shop used ones, but alas I didn't or I probably would've gone that route. I think the consensus is right that none are worth the money, except for maybe sub-zero which is out of my reach. I heard a "don't get X brand" with every one except sub-zero. Seems Whirlpool bought out Maytag and Frigidaire is made by Electrolux to add to the confusion. My old one was an Amana and had to have several repairs visits. The door seal replacement was obscenely difficult. Guess I'll just hope for the best.

                          1. t
                            togijiru RE: SweetPea Aug 12, 2012 06:58 PM

                            Hope your new fridge works out well! I've noticed that whenever anybody asks an appliance question, people will pop up and say that "Brand X is crap, I had one (or two) and it had problems X, Y, Z". But what if you ask everybody you know how old their fridge is, for example, and when they last had it serviced? I tried this and what I found was that I knew a few people who'd had a memorably annoying problem and were very vocal about it, while the vast majority simply never thought about their appliances because they worked unremarkably in the ordinary course of things. Hope that helps give you a bit of peace of mind!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: togijiru
                              m
                              Mother of four RE: togijiru Aug 13, 2012 07:55 AM

                              And,why should we not expect our appliances that we have paid close to a thousand dollars for and most of the time much more to not work perfectly? For many years when you bought a appliance you rarely had a service problem and if you did it was taken care of and you had many years of use out of that appliance. I have a Whirlpool washing machine that must be 20 years old...have had it repaired once or twice and it's still going strong. On the other hand I had a Maytag washing machine in my other house that lasted a grand total of 7 years.....too expensive to repair it so out it went. Now a days the life span of a expensive appliance is 10 years or less. It's a throw away society which is sad.

                              1. re: Mother of four
                                bagelman01 RE: Mother of four Aug 14, 2012 01:09 PM

                                "too expensive to repair, so out it went"
                                We have considered the high cost of appliances and repairs. We have expensive appliances and keep them a long time, BUT we did find a solution that has worked for us.

                                Note: this is not a commercial and I am not connected with the following:

                                About 4 years ago we bought a whole house warranty that covers systems and appliances from American Home Shield, It costs us about $500 per year. Service calls are $100 but then they pay all parts and labor. You can call for up to three similar problems for the one service call fee (so a repair on washer and dryer) at the same time costs only $100.

                                If they cannot repair the appliance or system, they REPLACE it. Two summers ago they replaced a $10,000 central air conditioning system, we paid one $90 service charge (they've gone up since them). Last year they replaced our dishwasher when they could not repair it (it was 18 years old). They do not come and inspect your appliances and systems before covering them, just have a 2 week waiting period after purchase before they do repairs.

                                Years ago I worked for RCA Whirlpool Service Company and we used to sell service contracts, they were not a good deal for the consumer, but the AHS coverage has been.

                                1. re: bagelman01
                                  m
                                  Mother of four RE: bagelman01 Aug 14, 2012 06:17 PM

                                  We have a similar contract in FL. The first time they fixed the Maytag washer it was about $600 and cost us nothing. The second time I honestly don't remember but what ever it was it wasn't covered and we ended up buying a new washing machine. I would never be without this contract especially with the French Door Maytag refrigerator which has been nothing but trouble from day one. We do not pay for any service calls,but I can't imagin them paying $10,000 to replace our AC.

                                  1. re: bagelman01
                                    c
                                    Claudette RE: bagelman01 Sep 25, 2012 04:12 PM

                                    AHS has not been that good for us: We just bought an 18-yr-old house and the seller paid for a one-year contract ($600) and they would not cover the air conditioning problem, the outside lighting problems, the inside lighting problem, the leaky fridge. They would cover only the broken microwave door (and might have covered the water heater if my husband hadn't replaced it w/out asking first).

                                    That said, I've had to replace my Amana and GE fridges after only 5 yrs - my appliance guy says only Samsung and Frigidaire are reliable. My 18-old Sub Zero is leaking, and I'll have to replace it with something more affordable.

                              2. k
                                kseiverd RE: SweetPea Aug 14, 2012 04:45 PM

                                Not on brands, just general things to think about. When last fridge/freezer bit the dust, I'd have gone with a purple one with diagonal doors, if I coulda gotten it the NEXT DAY!?! Personally, prefer freezer on bottom, since fridge is opened more often... why BEND OVER for everyday stuff?? An ice maker is REQUIRED for me. I measured the space... height, width, depth... and head out shopping... not more like BUYING! Lived outta coolers for almost a WEEK until it got delivered.

                                Two, young skinny guys showed up. While one was getting new one out of box in driveway, other was trying to remove old one. Because stovve was not original to space, it stuck out a few inches further. Had to take off stove door and pull out drawer in order to INCH the old fridge out of kitchen. Had to take off door to new fridge in order to squeeze it into the kitchen... measure that opening!!

                                Consider WHERE it's gonna be in your kitchen. Only ONE place in my kitchen... to left is small cabinet and then stove... to right is outside wall. If I had it to do over, would get freezer drawer... still on bottom. Freezer and fridge door can NOT swing far enough open to easily access drawer in freezer or right side bins in fridge. A total clean-out is not the easiest thing to do.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: kseiverd
                                  k
                                  KylePerry RE: kseiverd Sep 24, 2012 04:46 AM

                                  Amana and JennAir are almost entirely made in the USA while Maytag and Whirlpool items fall in just behind. Others to consider are DCS (subsidary of Fisher-Paykel) and Dacor which make a full line of kitchen appliances here in the US ( both in California) and are priced just a tad above the higher end mass produced Maytag/Whirlpools.

                                  1. re: KylePerry
                                    a
                                    alleycat1 RE: KylePerry Apr 26, 2014 03:43 PM

                                    I wouldn't give you 2 cents for anything made by Fisher-Paykel. Three years later and our Fisher-Paykel refrigerator's ice maker is broken and the computer has quit! The icemaker's water line is buried in the insulation. At least that's what we've been told.

                                2. d
                                  debbypo RE: SweetPea Apr 26, 2014 04:14 PM

                                  Just had to buy a fridge suddenly and unexpectedly 2 weeks ago. Went to ABT... one of the nation's top rated independent retailers. Got an LG with french doors and bottom freezer. Ice and water in door. Very pleased, especially with freezer organization which includes a drawer perfect for breadstuffs and a very shallow pullout which has things like my spice cubes, pesto etc.

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