Saturday, May 24, 2014

Refrigerator Failure

Back in December 2012, we got a new refrigerator.  About 4 May 2014, I notice that the new fridge was not creating ice effectively.  After trying to see if there was a setting to fix this -- are we just using too much, too fast for it to keep up? -- I stuck a thermometer in and found that the freezer was at 15 degrees, while it was set for 0 degrees, and the main refrigerator compartment was at about 45 degrees (instead of 37).  So I called for a repairman.  I figured it had a freon leak and would need to be fixed and recharged.

The repairman came on 8 May.  Apparently this model (WRF989SDAM00) was special, so he called Whirlpool and spent about an hour and a half on the phone with them.  Somehow he put the fridge into a diagnostic state and then could get it to run internal tests and display the results on the display.  When he finished, he said "it's no longer my problem; Whirlpool will get in touch with you", and left.

Since Whirlpool did not get in touch with me by the next day, I called them.  The customer service rep found the internal file on this (1-1261232732) and said that the repairman has determined it was "unrepairable", but it would take 24 to 48 "business hours" for them to determine the problem, but they would call me back by Tuesday at the latest.

Come Tuesday (13 May), and no call, I called again.  They were having trouble assigning it to an "Exchange Team", but would call by Thursday (May 15).  Since it was a fridge, this was a "priority" issue for them.

Linda expressed concern that they were going to replace one unrepairable  refrigerator with another unrepairable refrigerator, since, as near as we can tell, the problem was a design problem, not simply a manufacturing problem.

Come Thursday (15 May), with no call from Whirlpool, I called again.  This time the customer service rep said that it had been assigned to an Exchange Team, and would be exchanged.  This would be done by J.B. Hunt, a trucking company.  They would remove the old fridge, and install a new one.  This could take 7 to 10 days, but they would call once they had the new fridge.

On Monday (19 May), J.B. Hunt called, and said they would be here on Thursday (22 May), but would call on the previous Wednesday to give me a 4 hour delivery window.  And true to their word, they called on Wednesday and said they would be here between 5:45 pm and 9:45 pm on Thursday!

So I spent Thursday digging in the backyard.  When I came in for some tap water (no fridge, no ice), my daughter asks if they were here yet.  I explained that they would not be there until 5:45 at the earliest, and she says "Oh.  No.  They called and said they would be right over now."  She had neglected to mention that to me.  And they showed up about 3 pm, took out the old fridge and put in the new one, and left by 4pm.  They took off the doors to make the fridge thin enough to come in thru the garage.

We were missing one of the plastic bins for the left door, but I called Whirlpool back and they said they would FedEx a replacement by Tuesday (Monday being Memorial Day).

In the meantime, the new fridge is cooling, and freezing, and making ice. 

Looking it all over, this is model WRF989SDAM02.  So it's possible that they have modified the design (hence the 02 instead of the old 00 in the model number), and maybe this will work better.

How do we prepare for 2 weeks without a refrigerator?

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