I recently purchased a new refrigerator on HomeDepot.com. I needed the old one to be hauled away. Since Home Depot includes this service at no extra charge when you buy a new one, I accepted their somewhat higher prices compared to other online retailers. After shopping around for a while, I settled for a GE side-by-side model with the CleanSteel finish (model number GSHL5KGXLS).
The fridge was delivered as promised. On that same night, my wife and I decided that we did not want to keep it. It made a high-pitched noise and the compressor rumbled like a 2-cycle engine. The combined noise sounded like a jet-engine powered lawn mower (or at least how I imagine that sound). My wife called GE customer support. They were not only not helpful, but rather insulting (“You did not buy the extended warranty, why should we even listen to your complaint!”).
They sent a service technician anyways, which I requested, since I figured that it is easier than ordering a new fridge. Needless to say, he did not have any helpful advice either, so we called Home Depot. Luckily, we were able to arrange a return. This is complicated, because the online store and the local store compete with each other, but once we explained that we would by another one at the local store, they agreed to take the GE back for a full refund.
I then ordered a counter depth model from Maytag, also side-by-side, but without the CleanSteel finish. The plain stainless steel it not fun to clean, but there was no other model that fit my requirements. The GE counter depth models consume 20% more energy than the full size ones, so that was not an option, and we did not want another GE anyways. This did not leave us with many choices. The Maytag was almost twice as expensive as the GE, and the interior is not as fancy and modern. Whirlpool/Maytag apparently did not invest in a new shelf design since the 1990’s. But our new fridge is whisper-quiet. We love it. Thanks, Home Depot, for taking back the GE.
So, once this was all over, I received an email from Home Depot inviting me to rate and review my purchase, which I did. I gave the GE model 2 stars out of 5. My review was more or less the same text as this blog post. It never showed up on the site, though, and the customer rating for the GE refrigerator that I would not recommend to anyone is still 4.9 out of 5! This high customer rating was the reason why I bought it to begin with. Now I know how it came about. This practice can’t be good for business, Home Depot!