First I would like to start by stating that our Samsung Family Hub refrigerator with the cool tablet built in is the topic of conversation each time someone new visits my house. I host veteran groups at my house and they like that we can play Pandora on the fridge, my friends are wowed at YouTube videos, and when our big family gets together the kids like to leave us cute notes. Then I have to show them the irony, it sucks at it’s one job to be a fridge.
We purchased the fridge at the Navy Exchange in Pearl Harbor the same year we bought our house in the spring of 2016 when the one the house came with quit working. Our house was built in 2006 and the appliances were all white and I liked the black stainless steel look, so when we had to buy a new refrigerator we decided to get the matching appliances too.
A Samsung dishwasher, the cool fridge, a double oven, and an over the range microwave, we bought them all at the NEX. The dishwasher broke down in May of 2020 and I have been hand washing dishes ever since. The oven door would not latch after Thanksgiving 2019, the cost to repair it was over $1k, almost as much as the original purchase price, and it would have meant Thanksgiving without an oven, so we decided just to replace it. The microwave had to be replaced last year as well. The refrigerator has failed at it’s one job since 2019, it all started with the ice machine.
We had renters for one year while I attended college and my husband was deployed. We tried to have the oven and refrigerator fixed then but my renters failed to meet the repair technicians on three separate occasions. After moving back home the events of the past year and a half, ice hasn’t seemed like such a big deal. We hired Sears Appliance Technicians to come out but they didn’t fix them, they were only service type and could not troubleshoot. When the water quit working we hired Honolulu Appliance Repair Pro to finally fix the issues in May 2021.
The first time Honolulu Appliance Repair Pro came out it cost $500. They checked out the dishwasher too, it was going to cost $600 to fix and parts would have to be ordered; we are still on the fence about getting it repaired. The refrigerator was quoted for $500 to replace the water valve, Ice maker, and a new filter, parts would have to be ordered.
The second time they came by they had the water filter and water valve but no ice maker. The valve and filter did not fix the water and the technicians troubleshooted it to the switch on the door. The third time took awhile for them to come back and I think they must have forgotten. I called them at the end of July and left a message, no one returned my phone call but they did cash my check that week. I called again about two weeks ago and got to talk to someone, the part was back ordered but was available on the island.
The receptionist said they would call back to make an appointment, when I got a call a few days later they wanted to come in an hour. There was an issue where no one scheduled an appointment with me and made it seem like it was my fault, that was disrespectful. We made another appointment and when I got a call that they were en route I was shocked that we needed to defrost my refrigerator for 24 hours, that was new information. We were scheduled for Monday, August 30.
The refrigerator defrosted from Sunday afternoon until Monday afternoon when the technicians came back out. The refrigerator has never been so clean and the new ice machine went in like a breeze. Unfortunately they forgot the water dispenser part and the water still didn’t work, so the technicians would have to return again. Water getting to the refrigerator but not coming out. The technicians plug the refrigerator back in and slide it into place, tell me the ice machine should still work, just give it about 8 hours to cool down and make the ice.
I replaced all of my food I had in coolers that were still hard frozen Monday night after the refrigerator had been running for about 4 hours. On Tuesday morning around 10am I noticed the upper fridge unit was warm and my food was condensating. When I opened the freezer everything was defrosting. The ice machine never made ice, but the internet still worked. I called Honolulu Appliance Repair Pro to tell them about the issue. The receptionist was very sorry about my refrigerator but for the technicians to come back out it would be another $500 just to check it out, I told her to cancel the other parts and she gave me the number to Samsung.
I called Samsung and I explained everything and how for the cost of this refrigerator we could have bought 5 refrigerators that couldn’t get on the internet but could keep my food cold. On the phone the Samsung Representative said that Samsung would send a technician out to troubleshoot and fix my refrigerator paid for by Samsung as long as it wasn’t the result of vandalism, ok. Then after the phone call I received a text message saying that Samsung is only going to be responsible for the ice machine, I didn’t reply because that’s not what was agreed.
Feeling like we had no other choice we decided to look at appliances again. The premiere refrigerator in the NEX is the same Samsung Family Hub refrigerator that we have. It has a 10 year warranty on it, along with all of the other Samsung refrigerators in stock.
A 10 year warranty, ours barely made it to three. I saw an old couple looking at the refrigerator, admiring the cool touch screen display, and had to warn them about the trouble I had with it. We left without buying anything because this whole situation just sucks, and I was having a PTSD moment from all the years I spent in the military broken and no one helped. My PTSD on this refrigerator was taken out on whomever is responsible for monitoring the Samsung Appliance Repair Text Account. At this point we are not sure what else to do, we would like our appliances fixed but question if it’s worth it. How many days will be lost to be at home for the technicians? How much more money is it going to cost? Would it be cheaper to purchase all new appliances? It seems very wasteful to go through appliances like that.
The NEX is a store for active duty service members. It’s a store service members can trust for quality and value to purchase everything from clothes and food to sofas and refrigerators. From our experience Samsung appliances do not fit the criteria of quality or value.
Not wanting to let Samsung or the repair company have us by the short and curly we took another route and bought a cheap second hand refrigerator. After scouring through craigslist and Facebook marketplace we found a refrigerator that was at the right price $250, stainless steel Kenmore. When my roommate and I went to pick it up in Wahiawa we realized it was a whole store full of second hand refrigerators called Second Chance Appliances. The refrigerator that I had originally intended to purchase was missing handles as was most of the refrigerators in stock. At the store there where only two refrigerators with handles and one of them was still being tested.
The kind and older gentleman that greeted us wearing a cannabis leaf bandana, just like one I have, told us no guarantees on the ice makers or water working on any of the refrigerators but all of them had been through a rigorous testing to ensure the cooling worked correctly. The only refrigerator with handles available to purchase was a white Kenmore refrigerator, the exact model our house originally had.
It was cold and ugly, but they only wanted $100 for it and they even loaded it on my truck.
This man said the thing I have only heard said to a man; the man said “ok.” In all of my experience as a spectator, side kick and as lead-role, when a woman says she wants to tie down her new purchase, with her ropes, onto her vehicle, she is met with resistance. Every time up until this instance I have been man-splained out of doing it myself usually to find when I got home the man had no idea how to tie a proper knot. Thank you for “ok.” A little inside tip for folks IMO, “ok” is the best conversation ender.
In the corner of my dinning room where my Christmas tree is usually set up is the biggest tablet ever, my Samsung refrigerator. The kitchen looks eerie to me. The white refrigerator looks like our kitchen before we remodeled. On the other side of the kitchen it’s all stainless steel and the big black box of a refrigerator looming over our dinner table.