NO GLOWING REVIEWS – Marilyn Armstrong

I’m on the Whirlpool mailing list. This is probably because we have a whirlpool washer. We got it (recently) second-hand, but somehow, we also got on the mailing list. I’ve left it alone because, among the many things we need, one of them is a refrigerator with a larger freezer compartment.

Refrigerators have always been expensive, but I was actually shocked at how expensive they are today. They are more than double the price they were five years ago when we got our last refrigerator. Thousands of dollars and I’m not seeing improvements to justify the much higher prices. The reviews, with a few exceptions, were written by people who had either gotten the fridge for free or at a substantial discount in exchange for an “honest” review. I tend to not accept these offers (I think all bloggers get them) because where I read “honest” I am sure what they really mean “five-stars.”

These people got their fridges for a heavily discounted price and not one of them gave a strongly positive review. All of them said that the interiors of the fridge were poorly designed, left far too much useless space, and seemed cheap. Moreover, many had problems with denting and scratching, There were missing drawers, no place to put butter and cheese, and a big blank hole in the middle of the model. The only place you could put a half-gallon of milk or juice was on the door. There were quite a few dented and scratched units and plenty of complaints that dealers were very casual about fixing or replacing damaged units.

I can only imagine what people who paid the full price for these refrigerators are saying. I decided not to buy a Whirlpool. The really good quality fridges are even more expensive and I think we have to get the new boiler first.

Whirlpool isn’t the Whirlpool we grew up with. Neither is Maytag or Amana or any of them. I think they are all made in China. The only difference is which name they screw on the door. Maybe I’m being cynical but when we decided that saving money meant moving all our production facilities overseas, I knew we’d eventually pay a heavy price for it.

It’s not like I have money to buy a fridge anyway, but our freezer compartment is perfect if all you keep in it are flat things that you can pile up neatly. The door has always had issues staying firmly closed.

We tried using a side-by-side refrigerator maybe 15 years ago and discovered the freezer compartment was even smaller than the regular one and it’s an optical illusion that they are much bigger — and those ice makers cause more trouble than they solve. They are too narrow, so I bought a separate freezer. I should have kept the extra freezer even though I was rarely using it, but who knew we were going to have a plague and need to pack in a lot more food than we normally eat?

So it turns out that if your product really isn’t very good, no amount of discounting or giving it away free will solve the problem. People are touchy about things they depend on. If the refrigerator is poorly designed, they will tell you. And since pretty much all the reviewers were women, they got a taste of how American women feel about major kitchen utilities.

Categories: Humor, Kitchen, Marilyn Armstrong

Tags: , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. Every single fridge I’ve owned has been a Westinghouse and they have all been very reliable and suited my needs very well. Like most of the major brands sold here they are made in Thailand now, a few are made in China as well. They used to be made in Australia, I remember two or three of the whitegoods manufacturers having factories in Adelaide when I was young.
    Whenever I want to buy an appliance I usually check for reviews in Choice, our independent consumer magazine. I think you have a similar one in the USA although I’ve forgotten what it is called. I have been a subscriber for decades but they have a certain amount of information available on their website for free. I like reading user reviews too but you can’t always be sure those are totally unbiased.
    I think fridges have become expensive because they have such a lot more features now. Those french door fridges are over $2,000 which is ridiculous. Even one like mine would be over a thousand new. Incidentally, Naomi recently bought a vintage fridge which is still in working order and she says it works just fine even though it is probably fifty years old.


  2. We had to replace our oven last year and it was very expensive and what a routine doing the shopping for it. The newer appliances are very expensive and of very POOR quality. I think I’d be looking for a second hand one if the need arises in the future.


  3. Ouch. I’m in Australia, but I imagine our fridges are all made in China too.

    I have an old Westinghouse all-fridge and an even older General Electric upright freezer. The fridge is probably about 15 years old while the freezer must be pushing 30. My ex-husband bought it at a garage sale of all things, and it wasn’t new then.

    When money became tight a few years back, I decided to switch the freezer off, to save electricity, but instead of throwing it out, I cleaned it and then used it as an extra storage space. Just for the record, it was very handy for bulk buys of toilet paper…

    To cut a long story short, I turned the freezer back on in February and started stocking it with food. Best decision I ever made. And would you believe? That antique freezer is still going strong.

    I don’t know how we can stop ‘planned obsolescence’ but I do know that the old, wasteful ways have to change. Maybe we could ease our way out of the economic effects of this pandemic by getting our appliances repaired…by technicians in /small/ businesses.

    Honestly? I’d be happy to let all the big corporations rot.

    Liked by 1 person

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