Amazon doesn’t really want to sell you Echo connected home speakers. It wants to you to use the Echo to buy stuff from Amazon. So it makes sense that the company’s virtual voice-activated assistant Alexa is continuing to branch out into other manufacturer’s products that can then be used to purchase items from Amazon. [More]
Trader Joe’s will spend $2 million over the next three years to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases leaked from the refrigeration systems at its 453 stores nationwide in order to resolve federal allegations that the company violated the Clean Air Act. [More]
In case you’re wondering whether the $5,600 Smart Hub refrigerator from Samsung is something that your family should buy, our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports are testing it separately as an electronic gadget and as an appliance. So far, they’ve found that the “smart” features are difficult to set up, the cameras that track what’s on your shelf don’t show everything and can easily be blocked by a tall bottle of orange juice, the speakers are lousy, and you can’t download additional apps. That’s just the electronics: they haven’t tested how it actually works as a refrigerator yet. [Consumer Reports]
Samsung Debuts Fridge With A Larger Screen Than Most Laptops, Washing Machine With Forgotten Sock Door
Remember the refrigerators of your youth? Far from sleek, shiny, or Internet-connected, they were at least magnetic, which meant they doubled as the home’s bulletin board for reminders, calendars, and shopping lists. Now that everything is stainless steel, Samsung thinks it has a substitution for those old fridge magnets, by way of a 21.5″ touchscreen on the front of its newest refrigerators. [More]
No matter how many times we remind everyone that stores are generally under no legal obligation to honor a pricing mistake, some folks still seem to think that a retailer must make good — and lose hundreds, possibly thousands, of dollars — on something as obvious as a decimal error. [More]
A few years ago, the brilliant appliance designers over at GE and Samsung introduced refrigerators with water dispensers that could carbonate and heat water, right there in the fridge door. This idea didn’t really catch on. Now built-in small appliances are about to become even more specific with GE’s new idea for a thing to install in the refrigerator door: a Keurig single-serve coffee maker. [More]
I’m going to play it to you straight — this is not one of those cases where it’s like, Read This Post And Your Life Will Forever Be Changed By What Happens because I don’t think easily squirted mustard falls under that kind of description. But still, getting sauces flowing when you need them? Super handy. [More]
There might be a perfectly shaped little spot for a gallon or half-gallon of milk in your refrigerator, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it there. The door and the very front of refrigerator shelves are the warmest parts of the fridge, since the parts closest to the door make the most contact with warm air. Keep milk and eggs toward the back. [Consumer Reports]
As consumers, we tend to conflate price and quality. If a car costs ten times more than a basic car, we assume that there must be some wonderful reason. Being really expensive doesn’t mean that something is immune to terribleness. That’s not true, though. For proof, just look at the $10,000 cramped, energy-hogging Fhiaba refrigerator that our lab-coated cousins over at Consumer Reports just tested. [More]
When you spend more than two grand on a refrigerator, you sort of assume that it will keep your food cold. At least, Kim did. The fridge is less than a year and a half old. Whenever the power goes off, even if just for a few seconds, the refrigerator starts slacking off on its keeping-things-cold duties. The gauge says that it’s at the proper temperature, but it’s inaccurate. The refrigerator’s contents, including her infant son’s medications that need to stay cold and a large supply of frozen breast milk, thaw or warm. It’s happened four times since December. [More]
Matt needed a new refrigerator, and he needed one quickly. Well, his tenant did, and he needed to pay for it. He saw that Sears had one available for immediate delivery, and even advertised on their site that they could help consumers out in appliance emergencies. Sweet! Only their definition of “in stock” differs from the real meaning of that term. The refrigerator isn’t in their warehouse. They can’t deliver it. They’re waiting to get more from the manufacturer, and have to leave Matt and his tenant in limbo.
Kristine’s family has managed for a month without a refrigerator. Sure, if you’re a single person who subsists on takeout, that’s not so hard. Try being a family with small children and eating out of an ice chest for more than a month…starting just after Thanksgiving [More]
What’s worse than an appliance breaking down and having to pay for the expensive repair? When it happens and the appliance is only a few weeks out of warranty. That’s what happened to Jonathan. His Whirlpool refrigerator broke down when he had owned it for thirteen months. Yes, a repair was possible, but cost only $300 less than he originally paid for the fridge. What’s with all of these disposable appliances?
When Sears sent a delivery service to Stephen’s house with a new dishwasher and fridge, he didn’t have ridiculously high expectations. He did expect installers to show up, not damage the new appliances or his home, not remove items necessary to install the new appliances, and bring all of the items that he paid for. They managed none of these things. And they were late. Now it’s three weeks after the delivery, and he still doesn’t have a working dishwasher.
Based on previous Consumerist stories about Sears, it might surprise you to learn that the refrigerator that Ginger and her husband purchased was brought to their home in one piece, on the correct day, and actually existed. Only they had discovered after placing the order that it was too wide for their kitchen, and they had ordered a new one instead. They were instructed to refuse the delivery, and then they would receive a correctly-sized fridge on a different day, and a refund. Yay! Only instead, they’ve received a barrage of robocalls from Sears, despite four separate attempts to cancel the order for the larger refrigerator.
E-mails to Consumerist about Electrolux products typically usually contain expressions of dismay. Customers are upset that appliances that are supposed to be “the best” around and are priced accordingly have failed, even within the warranty period, and the company won’t help. You may recall the story of George from a few weeks ago. After some effort, George got Electrolux to offer to buy back his refrigerator, but not to pay the $400 difference between the price of the unit a year ago and its current price. Here’s the interesting thing, though: somehow he managed to buy two separate warranties that replace defective appliances. Not buy back, replace.
Last year, George purchased an Electrolux refrigerator from HH Gregg. Just barely a year after the first anniversary of his purchase, the fridge broke down. After he contacted four separate repair shops trying to find someone to fix it, the search came up empty. No repair tech, no working fridge. But wait! Electrolux contacted him, offering to buy back the fridge for the same price he paid for it. Hooray! But he’s still not satisfied, since the refund doesn’t cover the full cost of getting a new appliance.
Living far from home in a dorm, Damian took advantage of a Black Friday sale at Best Buy to purchase a tiny refrigerator that could hold the necessities of life. (Insert joke about what you thought the “necessities of life” were when you were in college here.) The Frigidaire appliance didn’t last long, though. It’s already dead after less than a month. And while Best Buy would be happy to take the fridge back, he doesn’t have a truck and can’t take it back to the store it came from. What can he do?