Does GE Owe Her For The Icemaker?

Reader Cinnamon has specifically requested Consumerist reader opinions on whether GE should pay her back for the icemaker that broke twice in her refrigerator.

Basically she paid to have the icemaker repaired twice, then GE expanded a recall to include her refrigerator. GE gave her a discount on another repair trip, but now she thinks they were stingy.

Cinnamon writes:

I purchased a GE refrigerator in April 2005. May 2006 (one month out of warranty) the icemaker began freezing up and would not make ice. I called GE repair and they sent someone out to fix it at a cost of $186.00. June 2007 the same problem happens again. I call GE, they send the repairman, same one as last year. Once again he fixes it but tells me the part he replaced both times technically should never fail. In his many years on the job he’s never seen it happen. He said that if it happened again I should contact GE because there is some reason it keeps failing and is not the fault of the owner (me). July 2008 it fails again. GE said they would send the repairman out but that I would have to pay the cost. They would not agree to cover any portion of it. I decided to forgo the repair as I didn’t see the need to pay $186.00 per year just to have ice. We could live without it.

Fast forward to October 2010. The entire refrigerator fails. Nothing works but the light bulbs. I search online and find out the problem….the board that runs virtually everything (except the light bulbs) has failed. I noticed that GE had recalled the same model I have due to the board failing but it had to manufactured after May 2005, obviously mine wasn’t. I called around and found the part at a cost of $169.00 plus tax and was going to try to replace it myself. In the meantime I decided to call GE to make a complaint regarding the product. I found it absurd that I would spend over $500 to repair an $800-$900 refrigerator that is just over 5 yrs old. The CSR informed me that my fridge now fit the recall because GE had recently expanded it. She would send someone to fix it, waive the $79.99 trip charge, the part cost, and 50% of the labor cost as a courtesy because they did not notify me of the recall. I didn’t think I should have to pay anything as it was under recall but figured the 50% labor charge would be cheaper than buying the $169 part myself.

The repairman came last week and replaced the board. Guess what suddenly started working again once he did that? That’s right, the icemaker. My thought is that the icemaker was failing due to the recalled part and GE should reimburse me for the $360 I paid to repair it twice before the recall.

I wanted to get your readers opinions on this.

What do you think? Should she go back to the well?

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