Kitchenaid / us refrigerators sucks
Well, so much for a name brand appliance — the compressor in the Kitchen Aid refrigerator failed after less than 3 years — actually it has been malfunctioning for the last 8 months, but the first 'fix' Kitchen Aid had was to replace a part (solenoid) that wasn't under warranty at our cost ($150). It worked again (noisily) for a couple months then failed.
Called Kitchen Aid extended warranty at [protected] on June 6, 2006. They assigned A&E Factory service to come out on 6/9/06 to look at unit and determined it needed a new compressor. They ordered compressor and it arrived 6/12/06. The A&E repair person replaced the compressor Wednesday evening (6/14/06), but the refrigerator was still 70 degrees 14 hours later. The compressor would start up After complaining, Kitchen Aid extended warranty people mentioned that a $200 reimbursement for food loss was available — but this was only offered after the refrigerator had already failed for 10 days and we started to complain more loudly...
The repair man said to 'wait overnight' for the unit to cool down. Apparently he just wanted to leave work after his last service call of the day. On Thursday morning (6/15/06), they told us the earliest available service call was 8-12pm Saturday and have been confirming that time even up to 7pm the night before (6/16/06), but now they called again at 7:30pm and changed it to 'after 1pm 6/17/06'.
We called A&E factory service again at [protected] and the service representative claims that the 'routing group' determines the schedule and there won't be a technician in our area at the particular time. First she says to call the technician on saturday morning. We ask for their phone number. She says she doesn't know and to call the toll free number the next day. I tell her we have already purchased non-refundable theater tickets for the afternoon and they've given us very little notice of the change, they originally told us 8-12pm for the last few times we spoke on phone, bla bla bla. So she says she'll have the manager of the region call us. I ask for the manager's name. She doesn't know. I ask for the region's name. She's not sure. After more prodding she says 'Northern California regional center' I thank her for her help — not much to thank for given she really is powerless to do anything about this.
On 6/17/06, the A&E repair person arrived and took apart the refrigerator and found that the previous repair person didn't install a capacitor (a 2 minute task) which prevented the compressor from starting up. The compressor seemed to be running continuously after he did his work and he left. 2 hours later at 3pm, we found that the compressor was in the same failure mode of starting up for about 2 seconds and then spinning down. After calling A&E, we were told that the technician is no longer in the area and can't schedule another until tuesday (6/20).
After calling Kitchen Aid extended warranty again at [protected], we were informed of the technicalities of the 'lemon law' clause in the extended warranty. The same part must be replaced three times without fixing the problem. So far, the compressor has only been replaced once, but it has taken two innefective service calls so far. So, they would need to try replacing the compressor twice more, probably over a course of 4-6 weeks before the 'lemon clause' takes effect.
I don't think the extended warranty service people are necessarily 100% of the blame — if Kitchen Aid (Whirlpool) produced a more reliable product or 'invested' more in their service contracts we would get faster service and less breakdowns. Rather there is a product reliability problem. My parents' Fridgidaire refrigerator has been working for the past 30 years and is only now starting to have compressor problems.
Kitchen Aid is a Whirlpool brand.
Our desired outcome:
What we want to resolve this situation is a working refrigerator as soon as possible. We see that the most effective means to getting a working refrigerator is to be given a new refrigerator with valid warranty rather than enduring the continuing attempt to fix the existing refrigerator using repair services that do not do the job. It wiil have been 3 weeks without a working Kitchen Aid refrigerator when the service person comes out again to try and fix the Kitchen Aid refrigerator.
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