This is actually much, much prettier than the situation earlier in the week at Casa Twistie.
But let’s get a little background first.
When Mama-san Twistie died and we inherited the house, we also inherited Mama-san Twistie’s avocado green thirty-year-old fridge. I hated it. But it worked, and we didn’t have a lot of money to waste, so we kept it. After about four years, it finally bit the dust, and I did a little jig of delight at the thought of getting a refrigerator that wasn’t a decorator color from my long lost childhood.
Unfortunately, when a fridge dies there is little time to consider the options well. Mr. Twistie and I headed off to a Big Retailer That Carries Refrigeration Units, and pointed at the first one we thought would fit our kitchen made by a manufacturer who had been famed for years for their reliability.
Alas! Ten minutes’ research would have informed us that that once reliable manufacturer had become a well-known appliance puppy mill. We started having problems with it almost immediately.
Friends, that fridge has been through three motors in six years. And we didn’t opt for the extended warranty. Silly Twisties!
Earlier this week was the final straw. I woke to find that when I pulled my butter from the fridge to spread on my toast… it didn’t need even a nanosecond to warm up to spreadability. In point of fact, it was kind of melty already. For reasons passing all understanding, the freezer part was still doing just fine, though.
And that, my friends, is what we call the Last Straw. This camel was officially broken. I called Mr. Twistie at work and informed him we were going refrigerator shopping when he got home from work.
This time, though, I got online and did my homework. I checked out what Consumer Reports had to say about various models… including who is doing the actual manufacturing of lines. I read customer reviews. We found that these days Kenmore is made by Frigidaire, who has a good current reputation for reliability… but the Kenmore models have lower price tags.
So yes, it’s a Kenmore. It’s white. It’s basic. It doesn’t have an ice maker because we didn’t want one. It would be a pain to run water to where our fridge is and it’s one more thing to break. We wanted basic, simple, not too big, and reasonably reliable.
What was the thing that put us over the top for this particular fridge? Well, the 20% off sale was certainly a factor, as was the fact that Sears would haul away and recycle the old, dead fridge for ten smackers extra. But what did it was when I started reading reviews by people who had been living with that fridge. Sure there were dozens of people who had written their reviews in the first six months of owning it, and they were helpful. But the real test was that there were reviews from people who had owned one just like this for four, five, eight, even eleven years who wrote in to say they would buy the same one over again.
And that is why research is important. That’s the information you need. When making a major purchase like a basic appliance, a home, or a car, you want to talk to people (or at least read what they have to say!) who have lived with the item or in the neighborhood for a while. Double check where it comes from.
It never occurred to me that a refrigerator would die in six years… let alone four times! Now I’m older, wiser, waryer, and better at finding the info I need.
All the same, this time I jumped at the extended warranty. Now even if this one does turn out to bark as much as the old one, for the next five years, it will all be taken care of without further money coming out of my pocket.
Do your homework. Stay safe and sane.