November 17, 2017

New Maytag Refrigerator Nightmares – They Just Don’t Make Maytag Men Like They Used To

Remember avocado green appliances? I believe they were popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s . Last fall, my mother decided that this was the year that her almost forty- year- old refrigerator had to go. The green didn’t bother her, and it was working just fine, but she thought that at about forty years, she was pushing her luck that it would continue to work well. She felt should replace it now while she had the ability to shop around and make the best choice without being rushed because she was without a fridge.

So after learning that Amana, which was the brand she had and liked very much is now owned by Maytag and that the Amana models did not come in the larger size she preferred, my mother bought the Maytag model #MTB2195AEW on February 3, 2006. It is traditional in style with the freezer on top and has no accessories such as an icemaker or water dispenser. The refrigerator was delivered with a large dent in the front door and had to be returned for another one. The second one seemed fine and was installed. It has not been seven months yet and she has had five service calls and one more is scheduled for next week. Six service calls in six months!

The first call was for help with the installation of the shelves in the freezer. The instruction manual did not make it clear (and it does seem counterintuitive) that small pieces of plastic must be broken in order to make the shelves fit in the freezer. The serviceman helped with the shelves and ordered a new set of clips to hold the kickplate that was loose because of a broken clip. (It seems it was broken at the time of delivery.) We should have seen what was coming…

Call number two was regarding the freezer icing up. There were icicles in the freezer because the door was out of alignment. The hinges were replaced. Soon after this the bottom shelf in the refrigerator and the crisper began freezing. This brought about service call number three. These visits had all been with the local company that works with the store where the purchase was made. The repairman said he was unable to fix it although he thought the problem might be the thermostat. He referred her to Maytag and left an 800 number for her to call.

My mother called Maytag right away and was told that the soonest appointment would be two and a half weeks later. She waited and was rewarded at this, her fourth service call, by having the damper replaced. Within two days everything was freezing again on the bottom shelf and in the crispers. ( For those who don’t know, crispers are the bottom drawers in the fridge used for storing fruits and vegetables.) She called the Maytag folks again who told her she would need to wait another two and half weeks for service. When the repairman arrived for this fifth call, he looked at the fridge, told her that she should not place canned foods on the bottom shelf and that the crisper is supposed to freeze things. She suggested that she should just return it, to which he replied “You do that.” and he left.

avocado paintOne more call has been placed – to the store where she purchased this malfunctioning Maytag. They want another shot at fixing it. She is waiting yet another week for the service call and we all hope that they don’t send the repairman who referred her to Maytag customer service three calls ago because it seems that Maytag has no intention of offering service to this new ( and possibly former) customer.

This all makes me wonder why the old green fridge, which had almost no problems in it’s nearly forty years, lasted so long. Was the old Amana a better made appliance? Is Maytag, which has been known in the past for it’s high quality, losing its edge? Or does avocado green have a special effect on appliances?

It’s tempting to spend a few dollars at Amazon.com for some paint…