I Have 6 Kids And, For The Fourth Time, A Broken Fridge. Thanks, Best Buy.

Reader and Flickr Pool member Steve has 6 kids and no fridge thanks to Best Buy. He’s currently waiting around the house for his 4th repair guy in 8 months.

On November 16th you featured a photo of mine (the woman in a bathtub full of water bottles) in your Consumerist Flickr Pool.

Now I’m hoping you can help me.

Last April 6th we purchased a new Samsung refrigerator from Best Buy. In the 8 months that have passed since purchasing the behemoth we have had the same defrosting element go out 4 times. Each time it has taken Best Buy more than a week to get someone out to fix it, which means that all of the food in the fridge is in the trash by the time it is fixed.

We have a combined family of 8 (4 kids under the age of 9 and two 13 year olds). We can’t afford to go a week without being able to refrigerate things like milk and cheese and fruits and vegetables.

This time we reported it broken on the 21st of January and the repairman showed up on the 25th of January and informed me that the same part was broken again. I asked if there was anything that we could be doing that might be causing it to go out and he said that there was absolutely nothing that we could have done that would cause this breakage. The last time he was at the house he said that putting the fridge on a surge protector might help, which we did immediately. He then put in a request to have it replaced, which Best Buy denied.

He then had to order the part and wait for it to come in. Today (February 1st) he is supposed to show up between 11:30 and 1:30 to fix it for the 4th time. That is 12 days without a refrigerator.

When I called Best Buy they told me that the policy is that when an appliance is repaired 4 times they replace it, but they refuse to replace this one.

I’ve also been informed that if this part goes out again after the warranty is up (April 6th) I will have to pay more than $300, out of pocket, to get it repaired. It seems to me that it will be better to spend another $1300 and buy a new refrigerator instead of getting this one repaired for a 5th time.

Last night I called and informed Best Buy that if the fridge goes out again I will be dropping it off at the front door of their store with a complete description of the problem written in permanent marker on the front of it. Not only will this provide me with the personal satisfaction of knowing that they will have to deal with the bad publicity and the hassle of moving it out of the doorway, but it will also save me the $100 disposal fee to get rid of it.

If you know of any other method of getting this problem resolved I would love to hear it.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide and thank you for all of the great tips that I’ve found on your site.


First of all, Steve, please don’t dump your fridge. There are some pretty steep fines for doing that and we’d hate to see that happen to you. Second, you didn’t mention which state you lived in but we’re going to pretend for the purposes of this post that you live in Colorado. Fair enough? Colorado lemon laws only cover vehicles, which could explain why Best Buy is refusing to replace your fridge.

You could try contacting Samsung and negotiating with them, because you’re probably still under their warranty. If you bought the fridge with a credit card that has extended warranty protection, you could wait until the manufacturer’s warranty has expired and then contact your credit card company. It’s possible that they will replace your fridge.

Finally, there’s always the EECB.

We’re going to toss this one over to the comments for further review. Any brilliant legal minds out there who can help Steve? Or loan him some coolers and ice?


Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.