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Refrigerator Nightmares

May 7, 2022

   Nothing will take you back to the nineteenth century faster than a refrigerator on the fritz. (One might argue it’s today’s Republican Party, but that would be the sixteenth.)

   One night a week ago, I opened the freezer for our ice cream night. (non-wine nights are generally ice cream nights.) The Gelato was uncharacteristically soft, but I rationalized the freezer might be in the middle of a defrost cycle. (I have no idea what that means. One would think that a defrost cycle that actually melts things in the freezer would not qualify as a technical solution from a food preservation perspective. But I went with it, rather than allow darker thoughts to ruin my Double Dark Chocolate.)

   The next day, the freezer was quite warm, and I knew something had gone terribly wrong. This is no defrost cycle run amok, I astutely observed. I figured it couldn’t be the refrigerator itself; it was less than five years old and a major name brand. I went through my entire  repertoire of troubleshooting whenever something electrical stops working: I checked the house circuit box, unplugged and replugged the refrigerator and then kicked it. Nothing. I quickly transitioned to rescue/recovery mode.

(Carol did pen a letter of complaint to Kenmore customer service, and we continue to await their response, no doubt to be delivered by a flying pig.)

   The freezer was packed as it usually was, and some of the items were still more or less frozen. We felt those could safely be rerouted to Carol’s daughters’ freezers. (I’ll update you on that in a couple of weeks. If you should see a blog titled Emergency Room Nightmares, you’ll know we were wrong about those items.)

  Everything else we either stored in borrowed ice chests or cooked up to eat or refreeze as cooked food. (That latter decision might also become part of the Emergency Room Nightmares narrative.) All the while we tried to track down an immediate repair appointment.

   Along the way, we learned from discussions with various appliance repair shops that our vintage of fridge had been the subject of a class action settlement regarding faulty compressors. As we arranged for the compressor replacement with the repair shop, I ran a parallel initiative to see if I qualified for any warranty coverage.

   It seemed as though I did, according to the Sears Kenmore people. But since LG had manufactured the compressors for Kenmore, and they’d recently settled the suit, my beef should be directed to them first. The ensuing runaround followed such a stereotypical pattern of Pontius Pilate-type handwashing, shoulder shrugging, pointless suggestions and off-shore call centers for which English wasn’t even a fourth language for the agents I was lucky enough to get, I won’t bore you with the details of what could be summed up simply as the Mother of All Fool’s Errands. (Carol did pen a letter of complaint to Kenmore customer service, and we continue to await their response, no doubt to be delivered by a flying pig.)

   So, the ultimate $1400 repair and installation proceeded apace (we’d briefly considered just buying a new fridge, but that seemed to invite a whole new set of potential aggravation given the immediate need), and I can now report that Reid and his Gelato, along with Carol and her reduced fat vanilla bean ice cream have been happily reunited.

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