Just had my Westinghouse fridge die a few weeks before the 2 year warranty expired :-D The service guy was out within an hour of the call, and the diagnosis was a dud compressor. A new fridge was delivered and installed by
8:30am the next day at the time they said they would. We'll also be getting $150 for spoiled food, and a new warranty on the new fridge. Nice to see that there is excellent customer service still around these days! Two thumbs up to Westinghouse/Electrolux.
Just a few weeks before the warranty ran out with the Kelvinator fridge it started to loose gas from a small pin hole leak in a pipe connecting the cooler plate inside the main cabinet. This cooler pate and pipework is aluminium and it connects to copper pipes at the back of the fridge. To me, Aluminium and copper together is bad. The epoxy glue that glues the two pipes together is supposed to insulate them from each other so that the aluminium won't corrode. In my case the aluminium must have been touching the copper so it corroded.
No replacement cooler plate was available in Sydney, had to be ordered from Kelvinator in Adelaide.
Weeks went by and I had to pay for the serviceman to come round a few times to top up the gas while we waited for the new part.
I was getting a bit impatient so I rang the Kelvinator factory in Adelaide and asked the spare parts man about my part. Yes, they have them in stock. No, they haven't had any move in months. No orders for this part have been received from Sydney. I rang the Sydney service people and asked why they haven't ordered my part? They say they have ordered the part.
I wait a couple of days and ring the spare parts guy in Adelaide and he still hasn't received an order from the Sydney Kelvinator service people. I then ask the Kelvinator spare parts guy in Adelaide to not move from his phone while I contact the Kelvinator service people in Sydney and ask them to talk direct to the spare parts guy in Adelaide. This is the same company and they don't normally talk to each other.
Four or five days later the part is fitted. I did not have to pay for the part but had to pay for the first service call, the gas top ups and the final service call when the part was fitted. That was 1982. The fridge has been working ever since. I am happy with the long life of the fridge but the Kelvinator service outfit here in Sydney was rotten.
In 1998, my mums Westinghouse/EMAIL fridge in Adelaide was not under warranty when it sprung a leak also. An iced up spot was developing inside the food cabinet. This was a flat backed, new style fridge, meaning no pipes or gridwork of tubes at the rear of the cabinet. The EMAIL service guy came out and took a quick look and said refrigerant is leaking between the inside and outside skins. "Can't be repaired, you need a new fridge. That'll be $60 thanks." I wasn't impressed by that kind of service.
I rang around and found a second hand furniture shop in the Holden Hill area that sold lots of second hand fridges, and also repaired fridges. I took the so called "unrepairable" fridge on a trailer to this repairman in the second hand furniture shop and he showed me what he would do. He had a few similar fridges that he had just repaired. About a 12 inch square was cut out of the back panel of the fridge in the area where ice was forming on the inside of the cabinet. The sodden wet foam insulation was chipped out. The leaking pipe was exposed and the leak repaired. Woolly insulation added. Gas topped up. A piece of sheet metal was rivited over the hole in the back panel of the cabinet. $135 and the fridge was working again. Excellent job! Excellent price! EMAIL said it was unrepairable and charged me $60 to tell me that. For a two minute look, $30 for his bad news would have been fairer. To me EMAIL gave lousey service on that Westinghouse fridge!
Dave, when your fridge needs attention some time in the future after it is out of warranty, do not hesitate to cart it off to a small private outfit or backyard repairman if you are told it is unrepairable by the big boys .
$60 for a service call is not unreasonable if you don't live next door. Your error was not calling an independent repair centre for advice in the first place. The manufacturers will always prefer to sell you a new one.
You are very lucky that you did find a good repair centre, many others just buy a new one like they are told.
I'd like to think it's just bad luck, could have been damaged in transit or something. There is no indication it is a bad design or poor quality. In fact, it has the lowest power consumption of any similar sized fridge, to me that implies good quality.