Why the hate for Frigidaire?

skubaMay 16, 2013

Hi I am buying all new appliances and interested in a Frigidaire oven that is highly rated on Best Buy, Home Depot, AJMadison and many other sites (linked below). Mostly 4.5 starts and up. Price is good and a lot of great features.

But as I research the brand as a whole I see so many negative opinions such as:
"I would never buy Frigidaire"
"Frigidaire is the bottom of barrel"

But on Consumer Reports in the Brand Ratings it has a lower percentage of repairs than most other brands. And guess what? Kitchen-AId considered higher end has the highest rate of repairs.

I am trying to buy a gas range for $1000 or under with decent quality and good features such as high and low temp burners, a 5th burner, quick boil, etc... The Frigidaire one has all this plus convection.

So what's the deal with all the hate for Frigidaire? Is it just a bad public perception?

I appreciate the feedback.

Here is a link that might be useful: Frigidaire Gallery 30

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I shudder when i see it. BUT, the issues i had with mine have been fixed. That is the exact model my parents installed over the recent holidays. (i shuddered when i saw it) . I was the first to use it and immediately recognized the design change. A fan has been installed below the back electronic panel. Puts out quite a bit of hot air onto the back cooking surface. On my older model the heat with normal cooking destroyed the panel half a dozen times. One time was the day before thanksgiving. The replacement was so backordered that they had an entire new stove delivered within hours. That same day! So i did have good service and did get extended warranties. I gave my older model away when i moved. I would never buy again because of the problems i had. It was working when i donated it but needed a strong flashlight to see the display for temp. (I took it apart and cleaned the display inside but did not really help) . It was well built and solid. Easy to clean. Just like the dishwasher i just gave away a few months ago. It was bought at the same time as my old oven. Still looked brand new but the inside racks kept breaking and falling off their tracks. Worked just ok but sounded like a freight train. And got so tired of rigging the top rack. The bottom rack lost all its wheels...extended warranty was very expensive and not worth it anymore.

It is a nice step up oven for those that were cooking on a vintage elec coil range, harvest gold, from the 80's, like my parents. Oh, Sears delivered the wrong model but let us keep it through the holidays.
So i did not get a chance to fly the griddle insert. Dad seems really happy with it so far.

I did find that hot air blowing on my hands when i reached for a pot handle a bit odd. Not really a deal breaker. I do think people that have had problems should explain and not just be a brand hater. I'm impressed that they addressed the issues i had but i did feel like a 'tester' and suffered for it. It should have been a massive re-call.
A shame it is absolutely necessary to get extended warranties that cost more than the appliance ...

Reminds me of the KA blender in my garage, used 5 times, looks brand new, nice glass pitcher, burned out motor making salad dressing. Will never buy another KA small appliance.
It is out of warranty, i don't want another. It cannot blend water. Others have had the same problem.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 7:06AM
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Sounds like you are hoping that somebody will have a simple and reassuringly clear answer to whether you should or should not buy that Frigidaire range. Unfortunately, there is no way to give you that kind of answer. The closest we can come to that is the kind of report that sleevendog just gave you.

Beyond that, you've discovered the essential difficulties with reading and interpreting user "reviews" about appliances and manufacurers and trying to match those perceptions with the minimal survey and performance testing data available from the likes of Consumer Reports.

First, it ain't just Frigidaire that gets negative press. Every maker produces some lemons and some bad products. This is inevitable in large scale manufacturing. It is not hard to find postings about every manufacturer saying: "I'll never ever buy another product from those #$@%&!."

Second, while 92% of Frigidaire gas stove customers may be happy with their ranges, the other 8% -- or some of the 8% --- may be very unhappy. Poor warranty service and customer support can turn a disappointed customer into an irate, vitriolic campaigner.

Third, this is a problem compounded by the near universal outsourcing of warranty and service support to low cost bidders of sometimes dubious competence. (See the long running thread here on complaints about A&E, the Sear's subsidiary which provides warranty service nationwide to many makers.)

Fourth, some people start out at angry to begin with. Some are posting to put pressure on a manufacturer. And some posts (positive and negative) are bogus.

Fifth, consider this. If Frigidaire sells, say 200,000 gas stoves in a year and 8% of those customers have warranty problems, that's 16,000 customers. If 10% of them are treated shabbily, that's 1600 very angry people many of whome can and likely will post to protest. That can be a lot of hate mail.

So, just because there are angry posters does not mean the product is a highly unreliable or bad one. But those kinds of postings should motivate you to check on local service and support and factor that into deciding what to buy.

At the outset, I mentioned "interpreting" what you read. If you see patterns to the complaints --- that is if a lot of the complaints are about the same thing, as with self-cleaning cycles toasting the electronics in Whirlpool/Kitchenaid ovens a couple of years ago --- there may be a bad product. Also, look for trends. I'm remembering a problem with some of the early GE Cafe ranges where oven heat could overheat the burner control knobs. Numbers of posters said they would never buy another GE product. GE moved quickly to modify the design and the problem has been solved. But those, "I'll never buy another GE" posts are still out there.

Sometimes those posts are well deserved. When GE outsourced its refrigerator manufacturing for a few years (to LG, I think), the dfect rates skyrocketed. At one point, the defect rate for GE and LG fridges (and the Kemores made by LG) was well over 20%. Talk about negative press! And, yet, at the same time, GE/Hotpoint stoves were running an industry leading 4% or 6% defect rate. About five or six years ago, Viking gas stoves infamously reached a 33% serious defect rate according to the Consumer Reports membership surveys. Combine that statistic with the many reports and cautionary tales here, and you could get a clear picture of why you might want to avoid the VIking products.

So, the bottom line? There is no simple answer to what to make of those negative postings about Frigidaire. You'll have to sort through them. And, if you do, it would be a service to us if you could report back. :>)

This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, May 16, 13 at 11:23

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Sophie Wheeler

They use the cheapest components possible and have a horrible build quality. If you're looking for builder grade, you've found it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 11:46AM
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So how come some of their products have very high ratings and low repair rate?

So which brands are not builder grade and I could get a good stove under $1000?

Posted by hollysprings (My Page) on Thu, May 16, 13 at 11:46
They use the cheapest components possible and have a horrible build quality. If you're looking for builder grade, you've found it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 1:58PM
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I'm not sure this is the explanation for what you are seeing, but I remember reading that more expensive brands can have a higher reported repair rate than less expensive brands because if someone owns an expensive appliance (SubZero, Wolf, etc.) they are more likely to pay for repairs if something goes wrong, where a less expensive appliance might just be replaced because the repair cost is a higher percentage of the price of buying a new replacement.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 7:22PM
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A point of clarification for kaysd on the CR survey/reliability reports: it is not about "repair" rates.

Moe specifically, the chart that skuba shows above is reporting reliability/defect rates, not repair rates. CR annually surveys its member on applicances, cars, etc. If you're a member, and you've bought an appliance within the last five years, they ask you if it has had a serious problem. CR does not ask whether the defct was fixed or not. In any given year, CR gets between 80,000 and 100,000 responses on stoves.
Maybe you could call it a "need for repair" rate.

As for "builder grade" and "horrible," well there are stoves out there that fit that description and some of what Frigidaire makes certainly fits that description. As do some of GE and Whirlpool. products. That's where CR's performance testing can be helpful. Sorting the Yugos and Trabants from the Volkswagons, as it were.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Seven years ago I bought all Frigidaire appliances, Lowes had a deal, for our remodeled farmhouse. We were selling our old house moving into the farmhouse, while we build a new house.
I used the stove and fridge for one year, hated them. Stove oven temps never were true and drawer on bottom spring was busted and drawer stuck out. All of the Glass cooktop burners all seemed to be "Low BTU". Fridge froze stuff in the back and crisper drawers and no amount of temp change helped.
I don't remember the exact models but all were SS and mid range in price. Since they were SS I moved the range and fridge to the old house to help sell it. Moving the old house's Maytag Gemini range and fridge to the farmhouse.
The house sold and I still have the Frigidaire dishwasher, hate it, doesn't clean dishes, soap dispenser sticks closed. And the Frigidaire Affinity washer officially died today. Washes but doesn't spin.
I have no problem with buying the old American standby brands I just want appliances that work half way decent. The old Maytag Gemini range still bakes a mean pie and its about 15 years old. I have my MIL's 40 y/o Maytag washer in the barn, works fantastic.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 11:13PM
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