KitchenAid Complaint - Whirlpool poor product reliability and poor customer service
BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN -- I bought a Kitchenaid side-by-side counter depth refrigerator (made by Whirlpool) in early 2006, having had great experiences with Whirlpool products for many years. I thought that a top-of-the-line Kitchenaid from Whirlpool would be a product with superior quality and reliability. Not so!
In April, 2009, I noticed that the temperature read out for the freezer was going up, though there didn't appear to be any problem with keeping things frozen. The erratic temperature readout continued though the freezer seemed to be freezing very well (ice cream that was hard as a rock, etc.). I had the Whirlpool authorized service company, ASI Appliance in Houston, come out. They couldn't find any reason for the erratic read outs and basically the technician suggested "just live with it, at least it's keeping everything cold," though there was of course a service call charge.
However, the unit continued to get colder I thought and seemed to be running most of the time; I called ASI again in October, after problems developed with vegetables being frozen in the refrigerator crisper, and the temperature readouts continuing to be erratic. They checked everything and still couldn't find anything wrong, though there was another service charge, of course. Finally, a week or so later, I bought a refrigerator thermometer and discovered that the freezer was cooled down to -20 degrees F.; also the ice/water dispenser had by now stopped working (the water line, not surprisingly, was frozen).
ASI came out again, though they sent a different technician. He consulted with Whirlpool technical support who advised that since everything else checked out, I needed to replace the two main circuit boards in the unit, at a cost of almost $600 parts plus $130 labor. After I complained to Whirlpool about all the expense (including replacing the circuit boards, my costs would total over $1000 in service calls, labor and parts over several months), they agreed to sell me the circuit boards at a discount.
Okay, I buy the boards for $300 and pay ASI $130 labor to install them. But it didn't fix the problem! Called ASI to come back. Finally, Whirlpool technical support tells the ASI technician "Oh, with the freezer being so cold, you're probably not getting an accurate reading on the thermistor resistance, so probably it's the thermistor that's bad." So, in December, 2009, I paid another $60 for two new thermistors and labor to install, and the temperature control problems were immediately fixed. However, I'd spent $450 on new circuit boards that I probably didn't need, not to mention numerous service calls and labor charges, and much time off work to meet the ASI technician. (I'm even leaving out the part where Whirlpool sent a wrong circuit board and had to resend the right one, adding another week to the repair process and another 1/2 day off work.)
Now, five months later, another problem: this time the refrigerator is gaining temperature. Called ASI once more. They found a "loose connection" to the defroster heater, causing the condenser coils to freeze; they fixed it, for another $140 in service call and minimum labor charges.
So now I'm out $850 in repair costs. I just called Whirlpool to request some consideration from them on the expense over that past year, but they refused to reimburse any of it, though they were "sorry" I'd had so many problems with the unit. They offered me a "customer loyalty" discount on a new unit (which they had offered last fall); I declined, since when I discussed that with them last fall, the "discounted price" was about the same as the price from internet sites and discount appliance stores in the area.
So I add my voice to others on the site: Don't purchase Kitchenaid or Whirlpool products based on past experience. Their current products aren't worth the money or up to reliability standards based on my recent experience, and they don't value customer goodwill enough to "make it right" when customers have a terrible experience like this!
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