Whirlpool Gold Refrigerator
"Jazz Board Problem" - Complaint
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, OHIO -- Our less than two year old Whirlpool Gold Refrigerator stopped cooling in the upper fridge portion but the freezer works. So far the response from Whirlpool has been a runaround and blanket answer from customer service that they can't deviate from warranty regardless of the situation - but they could book the service appointment for us. I asked who I could escalate this to within the company since the fridge isn't old, is supposed to be a nicer model and appears to be a major defect in early in the lifespan of the appliance.
I was told I could speak to a manager and was put on hold. After waiting, the CSR told me it would be a long wait and I could instead have him call me back. I agreed and asked for the name of the man that would be calling me. The CSR said she couldn't give me the name because there is a "line" of managers and it could be anyone". Odd since the CSR specifically said "he" would call me. I agreed to the callback and booked an appointment since we need it fixed anyway. I didn't receive a call back that day but was told it could be the following Monday.
A service tech came and advised that the computer is defective. A basic search using Google show that the "Jazz board" or computer appears to be a known defect with these models, however Whirlpool has not issued a recall or service advisory. Moreover, this fix cost us $115 so far, we will be without the fridge for a week until the part can be ordered and received - about $150 for the part and then another service call to install the computer board.
This is a large inconvenience and both the breakdown of the fridge and response of customer service doesn't build my confidence in Whirlpool. I understand that appliances don't last forever and the purpose of (1 year?) warranties. But I also don't expect a major issue with an important appliance so early in the life of the product. How a company responds can make all the difference. They can stand behind the product or hang the consumer out to dry.
Reading other reviews of the Gold series I now know it is possible that this fridge might have regular breakdowns. Since the kitchen is all Gold series appliances (dishwasher and stove) we will be disappointed if we need to replace the fridge. Based on our experience with Whirlpool so far, it will not be a Whirlpool replacement. I will update this after the fridge is repaired with details of the fix and any further responses from Whirlpool.
Whirlpool offered to pay for the part only. That leaves me with over $200 in labor costs. Moreover, it's been over a week without the fridge and 8 days since the tech Whirlpool sent diagnosed the problem. They were to call when the part came in with an estimate of Friday and repair Saturday. It's Saturday and no update. Since they need to give me 24 hours notice because the Board failed in two ways - one being that it won't defrost the freezer - and we need to unplug the fridge to let it defrost so they can do their work - this means at least another 3 days minimum before repair. Not having the fridge for two weeks is enough of an inconvenience let alone replacing the food that went bad. Coolers and ice only do so much. (Another expense.)
The company sent to fix the problem called in the morning on a Monday asking to come out between 11-1. It's a good thing I could pull it off. So much for 24 hours notice so it could be defrosted. The tech didn't even know what the prior tech had done to know it needed to be defrosted. Out more time and money - but it's running. Based on other reviews - it looks like I'll have more breakdowns to look forward to but I hope not.
The bottom line is that while I appreciate that Whirlpool paid for the part, I'm still left not please with a majority of the costs of the repair, the time it took to get repaired (add lost food to the cost) and the initial customer service.