When his old refrigerator stopped working, Edward Branch says he thought a Whirlpool fridge would be a good buy.
“That’s what the repairman who came to look at my other refrigerator mentioned,” Edward said. “He said they’re having very few problems with repair work for Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerators.”
So in June 2021, Edward paid over $1,800 for the fridge and a three-year extended warranty. But three months later, he said, it stopped cooling and freezing overnight.
“And the ice dispenser was dripping water and it dripped all over the floor,” he said.
He said he called Whirlpool and about a week later, someone went to his house to try to fix it, but couldn’t.
“I ended up having to throw away a lot of stuff that had melted in the freezer,” he said. “I was ticked off for the most part being that it was only 3 months old.”
Service records he shared with NBC 6 show an appliance repair company replaced various components of the fridge and sent technicians to Edward's home several times. But Edward said the refrigerator still did not work.
Responding to every consumer complaint
“I have bought several refrigerators in the past and never had a problem like this,” he said.
So after seven months of waiting for a permanent fix, he asked NBC 6 Responds for help.
“I just get the runaround,” he said. “Either another refrigerator or get my money back and right now they’re not willing to do either one.”
The limited warranty Edward shared with NBC 6 says within a year after purchase, Whirlpool will pay for parts and labor for a fix or, “…at its sole discretion, replace the product.”
“The implied warranty rights you get when you buy something should cover this, it should cover the product,” said Kevin Brasler, executive editor for Consumers’ Checkbook, a non-profit consumer advocacy group.
Still, Brasler said there is nothing requiring a company to replace an appliance after repeated repairs and no easy way to initiate your rights.
“If it were a car, you’d have pretty clearly spelled out rights in terms of when you could return that car and get your money back if you’ve bought a lemon,” Brasler said. “But for appliances and electronics and a bunch of other things, there aren’t clear rights in most states for how you deal with that.”
A Whirlpool spokesperson sent NBC 6 a statement saying, "We regret that this consumer had a difficult experience in resolving an issue with his appliance. We are currently working to come to a resolution that he is satisfied with. We stand behind our products and encourage anyone who has questions about their Whirlpool appliance to reach out to us at 866-698-2538."
Edward says after NBC 6 got involved, someone from Whirlpool called him and made things right. A few weeks later, a new fridge was delivered to his home. He is thankful to finally have a fridge he can fill up with food again.
“Thank you … for stepping in and assisting me and getting the replacement for my refrigerator,” he said. “Otherwise, I probably still would not have a refrigerator now.”