My GE Profile Refrigerator Stopped Working

As of 8/4/11 this problem has been resolved to my satisfaction. I believe GE made a good faith effort to keep my business. Please read the comments to get the full story. — Dara

If you follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook, you know that my GE Profile PDCF1NBX refrigerator broke this weekend. The photo above shows the current temperature of both my refrigerator and freezer — 65° F. This appliance is just shy of four years old, and still under warranty. Although we called in the problem before 9 AM on Saturday morning, the earliest repair date GE would give us was Tuesday afternoon. That’s basically four full days without a refrigerator or freezer, assuming the service guy actually shows up during that window and is able to fix the problem. I’m not holding my breath.

I complained about my problem on Twitter, hoping to get the attention of GE there, and it worked — kind of. @GE_Appliances tweeted me back, asking me to send an email about my problem to their special “eresponse” account, and they’d try to get me an earlier repair time. I contacted them immediately at that address, but no one responded. Hey GE, lip service does not fix my refrigerator. It was clearly a case of wanting to appease a public consumer complaint, and not a real attempt to solve the issue at hand.

It hasn’t been a great summer for many people near and dear to my heart. Illness, injury, death in the family. Lots of people around me are dealing with much bigger issues than a broken fridge. But one way I have been trying to help my friends is by cooking for them, and on Saturday I was scheduled to bring dinner to a family of twelve that had just lost a loved one. Thankfully I’d done all my baking and grilling Friday night, and with J.’s help getting bags of ice I was able to safely cook and cool the rest of the meal Saturday morning. Just like you, there are times I don’t want to cook. But there are times I really need to cook, too. It’s how I show people I care, and that I’m thinking about them. I hold out hope that a home-cooked meal comforts and steadies in a time of crisis. Without a refrigerator, this way of showing how I feel is not an option.

Tonight, I went to the grocery store to buy another two bags of ice. I needed a way to keep a couple of containers of the yogurt G. takes for lunch, and the cheese A. eats on his sandwiches safe for tomorrow. I’ve got a cooler filled with ice on the counter in my kitchen, acting as my fridge for the night. It’ll keep my kids’ favorites fresh for another day, and I’ll do the same thing again tomorrow night. It’s an inconvenience. It’s not the end of the world. But the fridge that came with our house lasted for 20 years without a problem before it finally gave up the ghost. I am skeptical about the lifespan of a major appliance that completely stops working after less than four years of service.

14 thoughts on “My GE Profile Refrigerator Stopped Working

  1. Interesting comment about the older fridges working better. My great aunt’s fridge from the 50’s was still here and still working when we moved in. Aside from the fact that it basically had no freezer, we would have kept it. My brother did for a few more years before upgrading. We got a new fridge and it died about 3-4 years later. Weird.

    1. Everything seems to be made disposable these days. It makes me sick to think about putting a 4 year old fridge in a landfill if it can’t be fixed.

  2. I called on Friday (July 29th) to Sears to make a repair appointment for my refrigerator and the earliest appointment I could get was August 22nd! This is typical for us way out in the country….so your four days sounds wonderful!

    Have you tried turning everything off and then turning it back on? Sometimes that works.

    1. Oh SueEllen, how will you manage for nearly a month? I will take my 4 days over that insane amount of time.

      We did try turning it off, waiting, and then turning it back on. Unfortunately that sometimes magic fix didn’t work.

      Good luck with your fridge!

  3. Thankfully we have two refrigerators! We have two because we live so far from grocery stores (30 miles to a small one and 60 miles from a medium size). We also raise milk goats and chickens so need extra room for eggs and milk. I have put all the vegetables and our drinking water into the not working one and the working one is stuffed with everything else.

  4. I would expect no less than a new refrig exchange.
    Something for all of us to watch about GE. Good luck

  5. I would love to know what they do. I have the same fridge and when I came home from vacation last night, the temperature was 66. This is the second time in two months, third time in a year. They won’t replace it unless the tech says it is unfixable. I will never buy GE again.

    1. Liz, I am sorry to hear you’re having the same problem. Unfortunately, I’m reading online that our problem is not unique. I will definitely let you all know what happens when (if) they come on Tuesday.

  6. Good luck Dara!

    The only “good” thing I can see in this is that MAYBE companies will be more responsive to consumers, knowing that word of their deficiencies gets around quickly.

  7. Follow up: the GE technician arrived at 1 PM on the dot (my window was 1-5). He was professional, polite, and seemed to know what he was doing. His diagnosis was that the inverter had blown, probably due to a power surge. This was not covered under warranty.

    We had not had a recent storm nor had any other electronics in our home been affected by a surge. And, the technician said GE does not recommend surge protectors on refrigerator outlets. So basically there is no way to prevent it from happening again.

    The new inverter is under a 5 year warranty (but only 30 days for labor), and the fridge works again.

    Always be gracious to service people! Although I was irritated beyond belief about the situation, I was nothing but polite and welcoming to the repairman. He took pity on me and gave me a significant discount on the cost of the part, for which I was very grateful.

    Still, I am out several hundred dollars to repair a fairly new fridge — I basically had to spend 20% of what the fridge cost new to repair it. If there is no way to prevent a surge like this from happening, and it doesn’t affect any other systems in my home, then it seems to me this is an intrinsic defect in the product. I am still in touch with GE to try to get reimbursement from my out of pocket costs.

  8. I have a $7,000 Sub-Zero fridge (disclaimer: I did not buy it; it came with my apt.) that looks nice and keeps my food cold and fresh, but when the motor blew after I lived in my apt. for less than two years, making the fridge about seven years old at that point, it cost me $700 to replace it. Then less than two years later something else broke, I think it was the condenser grill, and that cost me $1,200 or $1,500 (can’t remember, I’ve blocked it out). So while I may have the Mercedes of appliances, the parts cost Mercedes prices. I would never get a Sub-Zero again because of this, not to mention it runs almost incessantly, stopping for only a 1/2 hour here or there. I would ditch it except for the fact that it has custom facing that matches my cabinets and is a special size. In fact, the repairman, who specializes in Sub-Zeros, said all his customers tell him the same thing — they would never get another one. So even the “best” appliances break and cause problems and deficits in the bank accounts. Next time, I’m getting a Kenmore!

  9. The final resolution: I continued an email discussion with GE about my disappointment with their product’s performance. In the end, they offered to refund the amount I paid for the new part, so that all I paid for was labor. I felt that this was a good faith compromise on behalf of GE, and I accepted their offer. My final cost will be a bit more than $150.

    After a brief freak out on my part last night — the freezer temp got up to 13 degrees at one point — the fridge seems to functioning normally now. And although I encountered mostly helpful customer service reps on behalf of GE, I definitely hope I never need to be in touch with them again!

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