When our 6 year old Kenmore refrigerator (made by Whirlpool) failed, it started a journey I'm not likely to forget. Never has the saying "they don't build ‘em like they used to" been more appropriate. Matter of fact even the service isn't what it used to be. And that dear reader should be taken very seriously when deciding who's going to get your hard earned bucks.
Recommend this product?
With a Kenmore nameplate it's often difficult to get service from anyone other then Sears. I was sort of impressed when I was able to book a service appointment the next day without ever talking to a human??? I became ever more suspicious about that appointment when the guy hadn't shown by 5PM. I had waited at home the entire day since the computer doesn't give you a definite time. He finally showed at 6:30PM and condemned the box due to a sealed system failure. No call or apology to say why he was there well after the 4PM deadline.
With my worst fears confirmed I immediately called Sears to order the new fridge their salesmen and I discussed earlier. Oh gee, they won't take your Sears card (It's been cancelled) you haven't used it in 4 years , too bad considering I'd had one since 1968. Couldn't renew it either without returning to the store some 30 miles from home. Actually that was a good thing since I looked around and found a better price and terms elsewhere, it does pay to shop!
Our choice of brand and model was really determined almost by chance, availability was key since our fridge was dead. GE won out because of color and the right dimensions that managed to fit in our confined space. A bottom mount seemed to make sense having the most used section on the top. Although we quickly learned there are some tradeoff's which I'll discuss shortly.
The GE GDSC3KCY is 22. 7 cu. Ft. more or less, hard to tell as it gets bigger on some specs. Measurements varied as well which made me a little nervous, space being so critical. Happily we didn't have a problem, it just slipped under an overhead cabinet with less than a ½" to spare. Despite one notice to the contrary the doors are reversible, it comes standard with a right hand setup.
Inside there are 4 glass split shelves that enable the user to customize to their hearts content. In addition there are two huge see thru crispers and a meat keeper. No egg tray, odd for a box in the $1200 range! The door is key to this model as there are lots of adjustable shelves and they are deep. That is where this refer shines making all your goodies easy to find.
The freezer section opens like a drawer saving a step over those models that have a second door. There is a small slide out compartment above the freezer basket about 4" deep that provides additional storage and helps keep things organized. Otherwise you just keep piling stuff up until you can't stack anymore.
The downside to this design is the icemaker that's tucked away in the upper left hand corner. It's far too apparent GE didn't put much thought into the design, preferring instead to use an off the shelf model that is probably in many of their top mounts. With the icemakers location you have to be a contortionist to find and flip the switch that turns it on and off. Not an issue with a top mount box where it would be right in your face. Thankfully you seldom have to turn it off as they work automatically.
Love the box except for one thing, although an included extra installation sheet indicated the 4 casters are adjustable for leveling, the adjustment bolts are missing. I'd guess you only get them in the $2,000 model, maybe an egg tray as well. That just leaves the two front feet that operate primarily as a brake to stop the refer from walking when you open a door. Why is this important? See the next paragraph.
Most refrigerators I'm familiar with have self closing doors either by way of hinge design or help from gravity. The alternative is to have a door swing wildly open when the user lets go of the handle. That is exactly what happened with this unit. My wife was loading the box and let the door go as she had done many times before. Only this time the door took off gaining speed until it finally crashed into an adjoining cabinet. Thankfully no harm done but it certainly isn't something you want to repeat on a regular basis.
OK so the installation people didn't do their job. It should have been a simple matter to correct but not quite. As noted the instructions indicated the 4 casters were adjustable, only the rods that do that have been excluded on this model. That just leaves the two feet in the front. I had to crank them up almost to the max effectively putting a rear tilt on the box to restrain the door, not real happy with that, leveling via the casters would have been more appropriate.
One other thing worth mentioning is the warranty. You're unlikely to find a fridge with what up to now has been the standard 5 year sealed system warranty, everything is just one year. Since we had two units fail in under 7 years that seemed like a rather important omission. The message being sent by the manufacturer couldn't be clearer to me, let the buyer beware, we build junk that probably won't last 5 years. Strange - at a time when auto companies are wooing customers with 100,000 mile warranties - appliance companies are slashing theirs!
I ain't no dummy... I got the message and jumped on a 4 year extended warranty for just $99.00, yep Home Depot got my business. Ordinarily I don't go for extended warranties because the profit margin is often obscene but this price seemed more than fair for that level of protection. One service call could easily cost considerably more. At least this way we're covered for 5 Full years.
We like the bottom mount design. The few issues we have with the freezer are offset by the added convenience of having literally everything in the refrigeration section in plain view. Great for bumbling husbands who otherwise need the wife's help to find the butter.
Amount Paid (US$): 1169