GE refrigerator

GE refrigerator

Eight weeks ago, we purchased a brand new GE refrigerator from Home Depot.com. Over the telephone GE has repeatedly told me that my GE refrigerator is operating normally and is safe to use even though the freezer temperature goes into the 40s and the refrigerator temperature goes into the 60s. The last GE service technician to visit said he would not use the refrigerator but could not find the problem. Given that I never know if, when, or for how long the refrigerator will fail I will not trust this unit again.

We have lost hundreds of dollars worth of food, hours worth of time, and weeks of frustration. We currently have no food that requires refrigeration or freezing.

Two service technicians have looked at our refrigerator. The first said he fixed the problem by replacing the power control board. With a few days it failed again. During the second failure the ice cream in the freezer turned to a liquid, soaked through the cardboard container and formed a puddle. I don’t know how long this takes but I would not be surprised if the freezer had been above freezing for days. (Our house has had uninterrupted power for years. If our house had lost power, several of our clocks would have needed resetting.)

Everyone I have talked to at GE says they will not help us. They say the refrigerator may never rise above the appropriate temperatures again. Our refrigerator works to GE’s standard of quality. I still can not believe this is actually the position of the GE corporation. I explicitly asked my headquarters case manager, Richard, if this just his position or if it was GE’s. He indicated it was GE’s. I said since this is a matter of my family’s safety and I found this position untenable for a respectable American corporation, I wanted it in writing. I asked the manager to fax this statement to me. He would not. I asked for it in an email or in postal mail. He said he would never put anything in writing.

Unlike most appliances, a refrigerator is responsible for the safety of our food and thus the safety of my family. When I told my headquarters case manager, that I could no longer use the refrigerator because I believe to do so at this point may endanger my family, he told me of course I could indeed use the refrigerator because anyone would be able to visually inspect the food and tell if it looked bad. After the first failure we called the product safety line of a major food manufacturer and they told us a different story. I believe my GE appliance is unsafe. He reiterated his point that my refrigerator is working fine.

I consider GE’s position appalling and unacceptable. (I have told GE’s representatives exactly this repeatedly.) If you are considering purchasing a GE refrigerator, do you expect to repeatedly lose your food in the first few weeks, be told it’s the consumer’s responsibility to continually monitor the functioning of the appliance? Is this what you expect from GE’s standard of quality?

Why don’t I just sell the refrigerator and purchase a reliable brand? I believe this product may put the safety of my family at risk. I don’t see how I could sell it if it is going to put the safety of others at risk.

If I had called GE for repairs and was informed they were bankrupt, I would be disappointed but could accept the financial loss and purchase a new refrigerator. However, I am continually perplexed and aggravated because I consider their position morally bankrupt. How can a trusted American icon behave like this?

Please warn others who are considering purchasing a GE refrigerator. I am very curious to know what you think. Do you have any suggestions of what steps I should take next? Please leave your comments here or write to me at nofreezer@gmail.com

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42 Responses to “GE refrigerator”

  1. Cabel Says:

    What does Home Depot have to say? I would go in and plea your case to a manager. You are just a lil fish in the big ocean, but is Home Depot were to “make a few calls” to GE, maybe something would develop.

  2. Sallyanne Says:

    I would drop the fridge off at HomeDepot and ask them for another one, paying the difference, if any. They must have things returned all the time. Costco is wonderful that way. BestBuys is not known for its wonderful return policy either.

    I have been known to write to the President of the company …. that usually works. It takes awhile to figure out who that might be…..but hey….its worth a try.

    Good luck.

    I usually buy my appliances from Sears.

  3. dia Says:

    You might want to put this on comsumerist.com

  4. norefrigerator Says:

    Home Depot says GE will replace it, eventually.

    I will take a look at http://consumerist.com/

  5. norefrigerator Says:

    To be clear, I have not heard anything new from GE.

  6. norefrigerator Says:

    The Consumerist posted the story on their blog.

  7. Michael Says:

    Why keep the fridge? If GE can’t be trusted to fix the fridge when it’s clearly broken, you don’t want to keep it even if you get it working right now. Return it to Home Depot. If they won’t take it back, do a chargeback through your credit card. You’re running out of time to do that.

  8. Josh Says:

    Pictures are worth thousands of words : )

    Items required:

    1) Video camera
    2) Digital probe thermometer
    3) Big, juicy, RAW chicken
    4) Broken GE Refrigerator
    5) Clock

    Make a short video less than 2 minutes in length.

    What to film:

    1) Place RAW chicken in refrigerator or freezer.
    2) Set appliance to coldest setting
    3) Insert probe thermometer into RAW chicken. Place digital readout of thermometer on outside of fridge. Close door.
    4) Show elapsed time on clock.
    5) Show current temperature reading of chicken. Recite USDA safe food guidelines.
    6) Invite President of GE over for chicken dinner.
    7) Fade to black
    8) Post on YouTube
    9) Accept new delivery on refrigerator next day ; )

  9. Helpful I hope Says:

    Try recording the conversation you have with GE; esp. the part where they explicitly say that it’s GE’s policy that their standards allow for their refrigerators to exceed the temperatures the United States government says is acceptable. Just remember to state at the very beginning of the call that you are recording the conversation to make sure the conversation is legal.

    Of course they won’t put anything in writing. But you can still record the phone conversation and post the audio on Consumerist.com and let us all hear GE’s lame-o policies directly from their own mouths.

  10. Alan Says:

    Just a thought that if you purchased it with a Visa or Master Card, most of them have some sort of buyer protection plan.
    A long time ago I gave up on buying Black & Decker because it was pure crap. I’ve had a recent history of GE products not being very good, and your story convinces me to write them off for future purchases too. It amazes me that they can say that a freezer that wont operate below 32 degrees is operating within standards. Duh!

  11. Kevin Says:

    File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau if you are not getting anywhere with the GE Customer Service Representatives. I have found writing a factual letter to the BBB has resulted in the issue being put to someone who can resolve the issue in a timely manner. Also, do NOT let A&E Factory service repair your regrigerator…in the process of trying to repair a simple problem with one of my appliances, they damaged it beyond repair.

  12. Gerome Says:

    When I owned an appliance store/repair shop we had a device with temp probes for the Refrigerator & Freezer that recorded the temperatures over a 24 hour period & printed a record. Demand an authorized GE repair shop do this – several days if necessary. Then when it’s obvious that the temps are not to spec, and you have recorded proof, make them fix it or replace the unit.

    This unit could have moisture in the sealed system that could intermittently stop the refrigeration process and cause these symptoms.

    GE warranty used to pay for spoiled food. Get tough with these dudes.

    BBB is a good option, if GE won’t stand behind this unit.

  13. drmike Says:

    BBB is a poor option. All GE has to do is ignore the complaint. All BBB can do in that case is state that GE has an open issue. There’s no recourse from a complaint to BBB.

    Gotta admit that if complaining to where you bought it didn’t solve the issue, I’d go the youtube route myself. Either that or contact your favorite local television station. Most of them have reporters who follow up on complaints like these. I personally don’t think much of them as they always take the side of the consumer even when they’re in the wrong, but the consumer usually gets their way.

    Good luck,
    -drmike

  14. fsckit Says:

    Many local newspapers and television news stations have a consumer advocate who takes outrageous incidents like these and pushes on the company for you. There’s nothing like the threat of bad press from a media outlet to get them to turn their position around.

    I had a similar (but not quite as willfully malicious) incident with LG last summer over a fridge which would fail frequently but nobody would fix it and the customer “service” call center was only interested in getting me off the phone, refusing to escalate and hanging up on me several times.

    I eventually resolved it by hunting down the number for the main corporate switchboard for LG North America and talking the receptionist into connecting me to the office of the VP for Customer Service for North America and leaving a voicemail about my experience and frustration. 24 hours later I had a call back from someone who could do something and within a couple weeks I had a new fridge.

    If I hadn’t gotten a response from the VP, I was going to go to our local news consumer reporter.

    Good luck

  15. H. Jones Says:

    I purchased GE side-by-side refrigerator three years ago. The other day the freezer was collecting ice on the inside back The food at the top of the freezer defrosted as did the food on the freezer door. The refrigerator side was warm and contained no cold air. I contacted GE (as I have a contract with them until October 2008). That was Wednesday June 6 I was informed that a sevice man could not come out until Tuesday June 12 to look at it. I will never again purchase a GE item and I will tell everyone who will listen not to do so either. Their service is abysmal and I think they should close up shop if they are to treat their customers in such a shabby way.

  16. katie Says:

    Thanks for your post. We purchased a brand new Kenmore $1700.00 fridge in 2005. It has gone out twice since then and we have lost food without remuneration. It is currently not working and Sears hasn’t been able to fix it on the extended warrantee (wrong part) since June 7th. Today is Sat June 16th and we were told next week they will come back out.

    I am so sorry I wasted our money on this fridge. I really wanted to get a great product that would last. Obviously spending more money on a product DOESN’T BUY QUALITY. Matter of fact, I feel this fridge is dangerous as I do believe it tripped our circuit breakers and the technician said to unplug it as it has an electrical problem.

    I have since checked consumer reports magazine. It appears any fridge with ice makers, water and bottom freezers like ours have the most problems. The consumer reports magazine at the library for 2004 says Whirlpool with freezer on top and fridge on bottom and no extras had the least problems.

    The repair man said Kenmore refrigerators have parts from overseas and other companies; in other words, one company does not make any fridge and most likely these fridge companies are all in this market together colluding on the inferior products. I checked the part he removed yesterday (motor fan) and sure enough on it said ‘made in Korea’.
    So, my ‘American’ fridge isn’t 100% American made and it isn’t 100% brand name either. By the way, the motor fan wasn’t the problem this time.

    Our current solution for this problem was: We went to Lowe’s and bought a small Whirlpool fridge for a back up it cost us $360. Lowe’s guarantee a food replacement up to $250.00 and promise to fix in 72 hours and also if the same problem occurs 3 times they say they will consider it a lemon and replace it.

    I have now learned my lesson. You cannot buy or find quality in the fridge market so don’t even try. Just buy the cheapest product without anything fancy, keep your fingers crossed, listen for complaints, and have a back up. I feel If the consumer has to start buying new fridges every 2 to 3 years then we might as well buy the cheapest.

    Thanks for the heads up on your troubles with G.E.

  17. Rocky Susshine Says:

    My GE frig was purched in 2003. I have had nothing but trouble with it.
    Lost meats, produce. Milk and other perisable items.
    This is the most untrustworthy product I have ever had.

    3 days ago it began to give me greaf again.
    Never again with a GE frig.

  18. Ed Says:

    Purchased a GE Profile refrigerator in 2004. In Feb 2006 it stopped working and of course, when the serviceman came out I was told it wasn’t under Warranty because the heating coil under the freezer floor that caused the problem wasn’t a “moving part”. The part was not replaceable (great design) but GE in their wisdom installed two coils in case one went bad. Well. guess what, the second one went bad 8 months later and I had to junk an $1800. refrigerator. GE Profile refrigerators are JUNK – I’ve heard that from many people since my experience. I have filed suit against GE in Small Claims Court and am awaiting a Hearing date.

  19. Rosa Isabelle Says:

    I have a GE side by side. For the past year or so the refrigerator side has been going and then coming back on, and when I awakened this morning the freezer side sounds like a sewing machine.
    How long does a refrigerator last? We purchased it 5 years ago. We also have a GE range that was purchased the same time as the refrigerator and it does exactly the same thing. Everytime the stove is left on over a hour it goes out. After a rest it comes back on. I’ve tossed many cakes, rolls, etc. because of this!
    Is 5 years too long for these appliances or is it just GE appliances.
    Please reply as to I’m about to get rid of this sewing machine/refrigerator.

  20. ED B Says:

    I AM ON MY THRD POWER BOARD FOR A GE SIDE BY SIDE REFRIGERATOR. THE LAST FAILURE SPOILED $700 IN FOOD AND FILLED THE UNIT WITH BLACK MOLD. I CANNOT GET GE TO REPLACE THE UNIT. I FEEL THAT IT CAN’T BE DECONTAMINED AND IS A HEALTH HAZARD.

  21. Evelyn Says:

    I sympathize greatly with all of you. My very expensive side by side required a new $300 ice maker when it was six months old. Now, two years later, I have spent $200 plus for a new dispenser control panel, which helped for about two weeks. Since that was not the problem, I’m out that money plus now another $200+ for a new power board. The dispenser has now quit working again. Even though these parts have a one year warranty, I’m still stuck with the service call cost.
    Every time I call GE, I get the same “tough luck for you…not our problem” attitude, from them. They out to be very, very ashamed of themselves.

  22. GaryF Says:

    Hi – I have a GE Profile “Side by Side” – Model # PSW26RSWA – purchased in December 2007 (Sears) – and now – just over 1 year later – “something” is wrong. The Tech showed up today (Jan 3) – identifying a number of potential problems (fan not working, maybe the PCB needs replacing, etc). The parts won’t arrive until Jan 12th.

    My gripe? Not with Sears – they are the middle man. It is solely with GE.

    How can a firm with GE, with all its Engineers, with “Six Sigma” process, it “quality” emphasis, etc etc etc – manufacture a fridge that breaks down soooo quickly. Unless of course, the fridge is “engineered” to break down.

    Said fridge was manufactured in Mexico. Regardless – GE has “Six Sigma” and other quality initiatives that *are supposed to* ensure these problems don’t happen.

    Frustrated and disappointed.

    -g

  23. Phuque GE Says:

    My Uncle Ray bought a Westinghouse refrigerator the week I was born (1952). A week after he died (1998) we moved that very same fridge to my cousin’s house because her 3 year old GE had failed. Not once in the 46 years did my uncle have to have that refrigerator repaired. But it wasn’t a NAFTA/Made in Mexico piece of crap like the new ones are these days.

    Corporations like GE wonder why no one will buy their products; why Americans buy Japanese cars, Korean electronics, European appliances– and spend MORE money than they would for similar American products. It’s because most American companies simply don’t give a hoot about customer satisfaction. From the stories above, you can see that GE is one of those companies.

    I just spent $315.60 on a new control board and heater (defroster) on my GE side-by-side. It’s 2.5 years old. My uncle Ray is cursing in his grave.

    Rather than throw this piece of crap away, I am giving it to Habitat for Humanity. I’m also going to warrant it personally for 3 years; something GE hasn’t got the balls to do.

  24. Laura Says:

    We have the misfortune of owning 2 GE refrigerators, each under 2 years old.

    One GE refrigerator has NEVER held a temp below 38 – 42, even keeping it set at the coldest setting. After 7 miserable service calls, we don’t have a resolution.

    The other GE, a side by side, completely died in less than a year. Ruined a full frig worth of food. That was an “emergency” so they were able to come out in 10 days to repair.

    The same refrigerator makes a very loud “who” noise and grinding sounds that we can hear throughout our entire house. While this GE side by side noise issue is covered all over the Internet at various sites, the repair person, suggested we buy ear plugs.

    GE products don’t work! And GE provides the most wretched customer service I’ve EVER encountered.

  25. mas Says:

    I have a 3 year old GE bottom freezer, GBS22HBSWW, that over heats because of a common condenser fan defect ($100) which causes the mother board to fail ($200). GE service technicians charge $800 for parts and labor, a 5 minute job. I paid $900 for my refrigerator.

    This is a known defect by GE. GE was sued and found libel, but GE agreed to pay for parts and labor for only some of the models. Every two or three years the newly replaced condenser fans fail and cause the new mother boards to fail again. It’s an endless cycle.

    The circuit board and condenser fan are easy to replace. All you need is a stubby phillips head screw driver. Just search for an on-line appliance forum for help. GE knows this and has doubled the price of their mother boards and condenser fans. So shop around, and read the fine print of the return policies. Most cooling problems can be solved by replacing the circuit board.

    I too have had a bad experience with customer relations at GE. They have refused to pay for my defective parts. Don’t give up. Keep calling them and writing letters and posting blogs. E-mail your story to 10 of your friends, and tell your friends to e-mail your story to ten of their friends. Let the truth be told.

    PS If your condenser fan fails, pull out the refrigerator a little and place a temporary box fan or muffin fan next to the condenser fan until new fan is replaced. This will help keep the condenser and coils cool. Unplug temp fan when not home.

    GE stands for Generally Expensive Don’t buy GE!

  26. Cutie Pooh Says:

    I had similar experience with my GE Profile. It is only 3 years old and I have replaced the compressor & Condensor already. The refrigerator now operates a 17% warmer than set point every week for 12-18 hr. They are telling me it is normal operation practice. I cannot see how it can be normal.

    Last time when the refrigerator fails- it took them 3 weeks to get to my house and fix the issues.

    GE used to stand for something but it really disappointed me.

  27. tammyyllee Says:

    I agree never again will I buy a GE product. Dealing with an extended service plan repairs for 5 years I called 6 time for repair of the same issue. Plan just expired still have the same problem and neither GE or Home Depot will help get it fixed. My kids and I will be with out a fridge.

  28. W Says:

    I’ll putting this on every refrig. blog I can find. GE Profile, (not cheap) 2 1/2 years of problems with model PFSF5NFXBB. Problems include frozen vegatables in refrig section, water leaking on floor, temperature fluctuations. Multiple techs installing one part after another. Once 1 yr is up, its not GE’s problem. Extended warranty has loopholes so they don’t have to replace it they can just repair it for 5 years. Too bad, had GE’s for years, last GE appliance for us. No one can solve problems anymore.

  29. Fearless Says:

    My GE side by side has made low grumbling sounds since it was new. .
    The sounds have gotten louder and unbearable. ‘

    The service people tellme this is a common problem that GE will not fix. The only way to stop these outrageous sounds is to replace the main Control board .

    This will cost Hundreds of dollars and GE will not respond to my request?
    G E Makes JUNK!

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  38. sheldon flinn Says:

    I just bought a new g.e Profile side by side, temp goes from 15 below to 20 above in the freezer section, but the actual temp guage on frige says it is -1 all the time. I guess this feature is not very reliable.

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  41. Hurtygurty Says:

    What a piece of crap these units are, they truly all should be ashamed of themselves…….. every year it’s something way over priced

  42. Yomama Says:

    I thinkyou’re lying.

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