Refrigerator quality is integral to the household. This is why, while the market may hype up some refrigerator brands, you want to be cautious of marketing traps. Based on marketplace reviews, what refrigerator brands should you avoid, and why?
Based on the information we gathered, surprisingly, Whirlpool ranked as one of the top refrigerator brands to avoid. While other models performed worse, Whirlpool, as a brand, had more models perform poorly across every style refrigerator. Side-by-side and French-door refrigerators performed worse than other refrigerator styles, with numerous models performing poorly across all brands.
The Whirlpool brand has been stood for quality for many years. However, in recent years, quality has begun to wane. A class-action lawsuit was filed against Whirlpool for the bottom freezer series. In the case against Whirlpool, the suit was against these items as a collective series. With the whole series raising red flags, Whirlpool’s refrigerators may not be in your best interests.
Houzz reviewers noted that Whirlpool’s company didn’t “appear to care” about the quality of the service that warranty redeeming customers were receiving. Customer service’s apparent lack of concern is often the death blow of an otherwise well-designed brand, as a consumer loses confidence. This tells you that if you can get the same design function from another brand and good service, you should avoid the bad service brand and go for the other.
This is an example of a Whirlpool refrigerator model that shocked customers with its dysfunctionality. The reviewer priced this model at $3,505. They called it out for things like malfunctioning ice makers and melted cheese. Then, the reviewer checked Best Buy Reviews only to find many other users like them who reported ridiculous issues with the fridge. One even said that five different technicians had taken a look at their refrigerator, to no avail.
The following three models are the worst-performing as per the Consumer Reports ratings.
- Whirlpool WRF550CDHZ
- Whirlpool WRT311FZDW
- Whirlpool WRT541SZDM
- Whirlpool WRT318FMDM
The Whirlpool WRF550CDHZ is the worst-rated refrigerator in the French-Door 34 inch and wider category with an overall score of 37 in Consumer Reports with poor performance cited in 3 out 5 score reliability and 1 out of 5 scores for energy efficiency.
For instance, models such as Whirlpool WRT311FZDW, Whirlpool WRT541SZDM, and Whirlpool WRT318FMDM are tarnishing the brand’s name. They have ratings of 49, 45, and 41 respectively on Consumer Reports. Looking at their performances, it is easy to decipher why they have low ratings.
All are rated 1 out of 5 on the ease of use perspective. The thermostat control is rated fair, while the rating on temperature control is also not too good. Regarding crisper performance, both are rated poor. However, surprisingly, the poorly rated Whirlpool WRT318FMDM is rated good regarding crisper performance.
Many owners have also been left unimpressed with the three models. The owner satisfaction rating is 2 out of five. It is hard to determine if the users are particularly unimpressed with the three particular models or the brand in general. Even the highly rated Whirlpool WRT112CZJZ has a low customer satisfaction rating.
The same also applies to the brand’s ice-making performance, which is rated fair at best in the Whirlpool WRT311FZDW and Whirlpool WRT318FMDM models. All in all, there’s every chance that the three particular models are responsible for the brand’s low reputation, given their low performance in most aspects.
Frigidaire itself is one of the nation’s favorite refrigerator brands. Yet, this French Door model is not well-liked. This machine, despite boasting an array of features, racks of consumer complaints due to malfunctions.
So, while this brand as a whole may not be something you should exclude all the way, the models of this brand are something you will want to look hard at.
It is out of doubt that Frigidaire is a behemoth in the Fridge manufacturing industry. It has very many models, and it’s arguably one of the companies that boast of having the most extensive assortment of refrigerators.
Nonetheless, that means that you will also find quite a large pool of below-par models. Here is a list of the models that have been rated below 50 on Consumer Reports.
|Refrigerator Model||Consumer Report Rating|
|Frigidaire Gallery LGHB2869TF||45|
|Frigidaire Professional FPBS2777RF||43|
|Frigidaire Gallery FGHF2366PF||40|
|Frigidaire Professional FPBG2277RF||40|
|Frigidaire BFPH31M6L[M] (Best Buy)||38|
|Frigidaire LFPH31M6L[M] (Lowe’s)||38|
|Frigidaire Professional FPBC2277RF||35|
|Frigidaire BFPH25M4L[ ] (Best Buy)||22|
|Frigidaire LFPH25M4L[ ] (Lowe’s)||22|
Looking at the large number of these models, it is unsurprising that the brand is among the most poorly rated regarding owner’s satisfaction on Consumer Reports. Also, it is noteworthy that each model has a fault that contributes to its poor rating.
Nonetheless, all these models will let you down in aspects like the freezer and refrigerator performance. They also have dismal ratings on energy efficiency, which is one of the critical aspects that no refrigerator manufacturer should compromise.
Therefore, just keep off these particular brands. We’ll elaborate later on the faults that make each one of them appear on our list of the poorly performing models.
Here is a list of the worst-rated Kenmore Refrigerators
|Refrigerator Model||Consumer Report Rating|
|Kenmore 9028 (3)||42|
|Kenmore 9338 (2)||35|
Kenmore is a great brand, but some of their models are pretty substandard, as the above ratings reveal. There is a unique reason why each of the models has the assigned rating. However, generally, they all have subpar freezer performances. Also, the thermostat control is below the required level, although it’s rated fair in some models, such as Kenmore 51123.
Some are pathetic, especially the models that have ratings of below 40. They are worst performing in energy efficiency and freezer performance. Also, expect these poorly rated models to disappoint you in crisper performance.
Some of the models have good noise performance, but most are of low quality on average. Hence, if you have to settle for Kenmore, just let it not be these models.
4. Fisher & Paykel
Fisher & Paykel is a reputable company, but the refrigerators listed below are low-performing.
|Refrigerator Model||Consumer Report Rating|
|Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF135BDLUX4||31|
|Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF135BDLX4||31|
|Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF135BDRUX4||31|
|Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF135BDRX4||31|
Generally, on average, Fisher & Paykel is a highly rated brand on Consumer Reports. On average, the expected reliability of their brands is rated 4 out of five. Also, the brand is fairly rated regarding customer satisfaction.
While these ratings reveal that the brand is one of the best of the best, models such as those listed above are pulling the company’s reputation down. For example, they all have poor ratings regarding energy efficiency. Also, their thermostat control is below average. You cannot afford to compromise on such critical aspects in refrigeration.
Viking does have a large assortment of refrigerators, but those present are poorly rated on Consumer Reports. Here are the lowly rated models:
|Refrigerator Model||Consumer Report Rating|
|Viking Professional 7 Series VBI7360WRSS||37|
The problem with Viking Refrigerators is that they have very low predicted reliability. You will find a refrigerator that ostensibly has perfect features, but you realize that one crucial aspect is below average when you purchase it. Also, customers have been left quite unimpressed with the brand, as revealed by the 1 out of 5 rating on Consumer Reports.
Otherwise, Viking is a great brand, but not just for refrigerators. There are many kitchen appliances and other stuff made by the company that is worth their price.
According to Consumer Reports, Electrolux is one of the best manufacturers of common household appliances, and their washing machines are highly rated. But when it comes to refrigerators, the brand is substandard at best. Most of its refrigerators are poorly rated.
Here are the fridge models with a rating of below 50 on Consumer Reports.
|Refrigerator Model||Consumer Report Rating|
|Electrolux IQ-Touch EI23BC32SS||48|
|Electrolux IQ-Touch EI23BC82SS||47|
|Electrolux Wave-Touch EW23BC87SS||44|
|Electrolux IQ-Touch EI23BC37SS||34|
Primarily, the low rating is because customers have very low expectations of the refrigerators. Of course, this attitude stems from most of their appliances not delivering when required.
Not all the models are poorly rated for most of the brands that we have covered so far. Nonetheless, the case for Electrolux is different. All their refrigerator brands are rated below 50 on consumer reports apart from Electrolux EI26SS55G[W] that has a rating of 58.
But, we must admit that the ratings on this brand are pretty unrealistic as most of the models are ranking high on most aspects apart from ice making.
But you cannot afford to ignore the views of customers who have had interactions with the fridges. Many have been left unimpressed, and there’s every chance that it’ll disappoint you too.
So to be safe, just follow the lead and keep off the poorly rated models.
Consumer rankings from experts such as J.D. Powers put GE French Door refrigerators at the bottom of customer satisfaction lists.
Ge is one of the most renowned refrigerator manufacturers, and they have a large assortment of devices. Most of Ge’s models are phenomenal regarding performance, and that’s why we are not just telling you to ignore the entire brand.
They have some of the best fridges in the market and if you are an admirer of the brand, consider buying the highly rated GE GFD28GSLSS French Door Refrigerator. It has a perfect ice maker that also features an innovative door which makes it easy to use even by kids.
But a large number of models means that there’s a high likelihood of some being deficient. Therefore, there are some models that you should keep off as they have been found wanting by customers. Any model rated below 50 will likely be problematic to you as it has been to other customers.
|Refrigerator Model||Consumer Report Rating|
If navigating through a large pool of models looking for the best-performing refrigerator is a problem that you often grapple with, Amana will solve it, at least in some way. The brand has quite a large number of models, and fortunately, most of them are highly rated.
So you can just close your eyes, pick one and be sure that you have selected a top-performing model. But still, there is a chance, although diminished, that you’ll land on the lowly rated Amana ASI2575GRS.
The model is the only one from the brand that has a rating of below 50. You should avoid purchasing it primarily because it is poor in thermostat control. Also, it has generally left many customers dissatisfied.
The crisper performance of the model is also low. Nonetheless, most of the other models are highly rated. Hence for Amana, we only caution you against the particular type. For the other models, you’re spoilt for choice.
9. Maytag Side-By-Side
Consumer reports ranking greatest to least reliable refrigerators noted Maytag as “the least reliable” for side-by-side refrigerators. The Maytag Side-By-Side ranked lowest in reliability scores by J.D. Powers and Pul’s Experts consumer rankings.
Maytag can be best rated as an average refrigerator brand that’s not so good and still not extremely bad. Therefore, it shouldn’t be your top priority, especially if you have other options to choose from.
The brand has some average-rated models on Consumer Reports. Their least ranked model is Maytag MSS25N4MKZ. The rating is not too bad, considering there are worse-rated models that we have already covered.
But why settle for average when you can go for the best? When choosing between different Maytag models, settle for the highly-rated ones, such as the MaytagMSF25D4MDH that has a rating of 65 on Consumer Reports.
Is there something to be said for french door refrigerators, as two of the picks of this list have already had them? It may not be that simple.
Samsung’s French Door refrigerator made the worst refrigerator lists because of the actions of the Samsung company. The company has been sued for knowingly selling faulty refrigerators.
Also, if you were thinking of buying a side-by-side refrigerator, the Samsung RH29H9000SR should be the last model on your shopping list. It is undeniable that Samsung is the brand to beat when it comes to manufacturing the best electronics.
But on this model, they have compromised on quite a lot of the aspects. If you want to use it for milk and eggs storage, it is the least effective model. Find a better type with improved temperature regulation properties.
You shouldn’t be too quick to pick the other lowly rated models such as Samsung RS25H5000SR and Samsung RF23HCEDBSR. They are rated 51 and 53 respectively on Consumer Reports which suggests that they are not badly off.
Go for the other brands with a better approval rate, which means you’ll have fewer problems.
Top-Freezer Refrigerator Brands to Avoid
Top-freezer refrigerators are the most common type because they are affordable. We’ve pored over refrigerator brands and models online and have read hundreds of reviews. Based on our findings, the following are the top-freezer refrigerator brands to avoid:
- Kenmore 71212 / Kenmore 61212 40 / 40
The two poorly rated top-freezer refrigerator Kenmore models on Consumer Reports include:
- Kenmore 71212 Refrigerator
- Kenmore 61212 Refrigerator
For Kenmore, it is quite a sad story as the two are their only listed models on Consumer Reports, and both have ratings of 40. One of the areas that both are rated poorly is on the crisper performance. Also, the user satisfaction of 2 out of 5 tells the story of a brand that has very little to admire for users.
They are not good in ice making either, and they are both rated fair which further asserts why very few customers would recommend the brand to their friends. Additionally, when it comes to temperature uniformity, both give a subpar performance and are both rated fair in that regard. The same also applies to their thermostat control rating.
The two models are also not too easy to use, according to Consumer Reports. Consumers have rated them two out of five, which means that they were left unimpressed by the workability of the models.
You may be forgiven for thinking that the two are the worst refrigerator models ever, considering their below-par ratings on most aspects. However, we cannot totally fault the manufacturer in all aspects.
For example, regarding energy efficiency, the two models have excellent performance. Also, they have been rated good on noise, which is commendable considering that this is the average rating for most other brands.
Hence, you cannot entirely fault Kenmore in all areas. The two models are also relatively cheaply priced as compared to the other listed models on Consumer Reports. However, it seems that the low price comes at a compromise of some of the most critical aspects of refrigerators.
- Whirlpool WRT318FMDM
- Whirlpool WRT519SZDM
If you are looking for Top Freezer Refrigerator models with improved ease of use, the above types should not be anywhere in your book. They are both rated 1 out of 5 on Consumer Reports which is a dismal record. Also, they are the least fit for ice making.
Working with the models is also hectic, especially the Whirlpool WRT318FMDM which has loads of cons. For instance, it lacks a freezer light which means you will have to carry a spotlight every time you want to pick something from the freezer in the dark.
It will also freeze whatever you put in it irrespective of the shelf where you place it. Additionally, it is not ideal for use in summer because its seal area gets quite hot when outside weather is warm. Lastly, its thermostat control is also poor, given that it has only one thermostat that is shared by the fridge and freezer.
- Whirlpool WRT541SZDM
- Whirlpool WRT311FZDW
The primary blot for these brands is their poor ease of use. They have disappointed many users, and the models have a rating of 2 out of 5. They are also below average in thermostat control.
If you want to make ice cubes, the Whirlpool WRT541SZDM will be very disappointing, and its crisper performance is another reason you should avoid this model.
- Whirlpool WRT106TFDW
The model is excellent in energy efficiency, but unfortunately, that is the only department where it is highly rated. Many users have been left dissatisfied with its performance, and as it is with other Whirlpool models covered in this section, the WRT106TFDW has poor ease of use rating.
- Galanz GLR12TRDEFR
The Top Freezer Refrigerator is one of the cheapest brands you’ll find, and it retails in major stores such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Home Depot. Nonetheless, the rating of 43 on Consumer Reports should inform you that something is somehow off about the model.
The company does not make many appliances, but that should not be an excuse for creating poor ease of use models. It performs perfectly in some aspects, such as energy efficiency, which is quite outstanding considering that it is a model that is affordable to many.
However, the poor crisper performance is something that a fridge enthusiast will note very fast. It is also good at noise. Overall, the model is lowly rated on Consumer Reports which is a red flag that something could be amiss. You shouldn’t just settle for it when you can get value from other brands.
Therefore, while it is not badly off, it’s lowly rated. There are no consumer reviews on Consumer Reports to help perhaps understand why this could be so. It means that probably not many customers have bought the brand.
- Danby DFF101B2WDB
Compared to many other brands on this list, Danby DFF101B2WDB Refrigerator is a moderately performing refrigerator. Its only blight is the crisper performance that is rated poor on Consumer Reports. Otherwise, on other features, it is fairly rated.
So why are we advising you against it? The rating of 45 on Consumer Reports implies that it is not among the top-ranking refrigerator models you are looking for.
Also, a client on Consumer Reports revealed that he would not recommend the brand to a friend. The rationale of the assertion was that the refrigerator gets quite hot on the sides. The customer took about a month to realize this issue, which is too fast for problems to cropping up.
It probably means that the model is not generally well built, so it’s best to avoid it.
- Frigidaire FFHT1621TW
A rating of 50 on Consumer Reports is not such a huge red flag on the model’s performance, but in reality, it is not a good performer. First, it is rated 1 out of 5 on owner’s satisfaction, which means many have been left unimpressed.
It also has a similar rating on its ease of use showing many clients have also found it wanting in that department. If you are looking to use it for making ice, it will let you down because Consumer Reports have indicated that it is among the poorest models in that regard.
The crisper performance is not good either. However, we cannot just ignore its excellent performance in energy efficiency and temperature control. So when buying the model, you’ll have to weigh which of the attributes we have listed come first in your list.
You’ll have to sacrifice some, though, especially if making ice is among your fundamentals.
- Insignia NS-RTM18SS7
Insignia is a good brand, and it’s quite a shame that one of the company’s models is on this list. The Insignia NS-RTM18SS7 is great in energy efficiency, and it also features excellent shelves that are spillproof. In terms of temperature uniformity, it is also among the top-performing models.
But we are asking you to avoid it because its ice-making performance is subpar. Also, its thermostat control will disappoint you, as the rating of 2 out of 5 on Consumer Reports reveals. Another area where the refrigerator ranks low is the crisper performance, which is rated poor.
Also, when you purchase it, you’ll have to put up with getting an item from the freezer at night while using a spotlight as it lacks freezer light.
Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator Brands to Avoid
- Summit FFBF287SSIM
The Summit FFBF287SSIM has some ardent fans, as revealed by a reviewer in Consumer Reports who gave it a pretty positive rating. She praised its size regarding not occupying too much space while also indicating that its depth is just what a nuclear family would need for a bottom freezer refrigerator.
However, she was also keen to indicate that its temperature control was not too good. It is due to such reasons that it has made it to this list. The model indeed performs above average on energy efficiency and noise. But when it comes to temperature uniformity, it is on the extreme negative end.
It is also very ineffective in ice-making, which is quite a concern considering that it is not a cheap refrigerator. We thus recommend you avoid it if you are keen on getting a good performing refrigerator in those areas.
But we agree with the reviewer that it is a good model, especially if you are willing to trade-off ice making and temperature uniformity for its other superior features.
- Blomberg BRFB1522SS
- Blomberg BRFB1512SS
The two Blomberg models are refrigerators that you should avoid if you are concerned about temperature uniformity as they are both poor. Perhaps this problem is exacerbated by the refrigerators’ equally poor thermostat control. It has a rating of 2 out of 5 in that regard and will surely disappoint you on the two aspects.
Do not also overlook its ice-making performance that is rated poor on Consumer Reports because it will come back to haunt you, especially if you are a chilly drinks enthusiast. The only good stuff about the two models is the energy efficiency and crisper performance.
Otherwise, it is rightly rated 39, considering that its crisper performance is also below average. Also, considering it is not a brand you’d consider too cheap, it’s imperative to avoid it as the aforementioned shortfalls will undoubtedly hurt you.
- Whirlpool URB551WNGZ
Let’s be fair, a rating of 59 is not too bad, and with such a highly rated model, you’d be tempted to ignore some of the negative aspects. Or rather, you’d assume only a few minor things are off about this model.
At a glance, everything about this refrigerator looks just fine. But looks can be deceiving as it has some glaringly poor attributes. For instance, expect average performance on energy efficiency and noise. Its ice-making performance is low. The mentioned negative aspects spoil the model’s reputation, which features other fantastic attributes, especially in thermostat control and temperature uniformity.
But that is not the only con of the model. The mother of all is the poor reputation of the manufacturer, as revealed by a reviewer on Consumer Reports. The customer was gutted by the poor customer service of the company after purchasing a faulty Whirlpool URB551WNGZ. It breaks down easily, and almost every part is fragile, according to the reviewer.
For these reasons, you’d better look for another model that will serve you better.
- Hisense HBM17158SS
Looking at its costs, this refrigerator is one of the most pocket-friendly models that you will come across. With about $900.00, you can walk home with the device, which is quite low for a refrigerator. Many of its featured customers on Consumer Reports have also been impressed with some of its features and recommend it to their friends. Also, it is rated 62, which is a pointer to its superiority in the refrigerator world.
But the reason we advise against buying it is first due to its subpar crisper performance. Consumer Reports also rate the temperature uniformity fair, which means that there is plenty of room for improvement.
Also, some customers have had reservations about the model’s capacity to hold deli drawers and gallon containers. The lack of an efficient humidity control system is also a key underside of the otherwise awe-inspiring model. Lastly, the inability to adjust the shelves according to one’s needs is also a shortfall that is hard to ignore.
If you are looking for a cheaply priced refrigerator, you can overlook the aforementioned cons. But we recommend buying a refrigerator that will serve you best, and the Hisense HBM17158SS is just not one of them.
5. Fisher & Paykel
- Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF170WDRX5
- Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF170WDRUX5
- Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF170WDLX5
- Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF170WDLUX5
Fisher & Paykel is among the top-rated refrigerator manufacturers, especially in regard to expected reliability and owner satisfaction. Indeed, many customers have backed the high ratings by giving positive reviews about these models.
Nonetheless, we cannot ignore some of the critical shortfalls that prompted us to list them. Looking at their overall ratings, nothing suggests that there is an apparent fault with the models. But some customers have been critical of the ice maker’s poor performance.
It is, however, reliable despite its slow performance, but the ice maker’s speed is undoubtedly a turnoff. The fridge size is also a pertinent concern for some customers who feel that it is pretty small. Additionally, some have described the models’ dispensed water as warm, which is not a good sign.
French-Door Refrigerator Brands to Avoid
- Whirlpool WRF550CDHZ
The refrigerator is quite efficient in thermostat control, as the rating of 5 out of 5 on Consumer Reports reveals. It is also highly rated in temperature uniformity, and 3 out of 5 customers are impressed by its performance. Additionally, you’ll experience outstanding crisper performance with the model.
But that’s all where its goodness ends. For a French-Door refrigerator that costs approximately $3,438.00, you’d expect more on energy efficiency, which is rated at a dismal 1 out of 5. The ice-making performance of the device is also poor.
The rating of 37 says it’s all about the models’ incompetencies. It’s surprising because Whirlpool makes some great models, but on this one, they have much to improve on. Therefore, we advise you to avoid buying it, especially if you are keen on cutting on the electricity expenditure as it will profoundly exacerbate the bill.
- Whirlpool WRF560SMHZ
A rating of 58 suggests that it’s not badly off compared to some of the models we have covered here, such as the Whirlpool WRF550CDHZ. It has several outstanding features, such as efficient thermostat control and excellent temperature uniformity. Also, it features digital controls near its entrance, plus it is also efficient in noise.
Customers are also impressed with its performance. However, be wary of its ice-making performance, which is rated fair. If you are looking for a machine that will guarantee you a good supply of ice cubes, this shouldn’t be your first choice.
- Electrolux Wave-Touch EW23BC87SS
- Electrolux IQ-Touch EI23BC82SS
Electrolux comes last in the Overall Consumer Report ratings, where it has a rank of 1 out of 5 on predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. It is, thus, unsurprising that the two French-Door refrigerators make this list.
They are all not too bad as they are exemplary in some areas, such as ease of use, noise, and temperature uniformity. Nonetheless, don’t yet be hasty in buying the models as they have pretty several other faults.
First, their energy efficiency is rated average and thus will have a significant impact on your electricity expenses. But that’s not all. Many customers have been unimpressed by several of the devices’ properties.
Some complain that they have had ice trapped on the back sheet metal of the refrigerator. Also, the ice-making capabilities of the models have been called into question by customers. One complained that he noted black specks on the ice resulting from deterioration of the bottom part of the ice bucket.
The same customer further revealed that replacing the ice maker did not improve its performance, and that’s a red flag that something about the model is amiss. Maintenance of temperature is also a problem for the refrigerator, and it keeps changing abnormally. It can freeze everything inside unnecessarily.
Another customer said that the company’s warranty terms are skewed as she was asked to pay $1000 before replacing the machine with another. The new one also developed problems after a while.
You would not want to inherit these problems, and that’s why we are advising you to keep off the two models.
- GE GYE18JBLTS
No Doubt that Ge is an excellent brand with high ratings on predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. As such, there is not much to complain about this model that features excellent performance in temperature uniformity and thermostat control. Its crisper performance is also top-notch.
Additionally, it features a water dispenser that is externally placed and has quite a large ice storage area.
However, it underperforms on aspects such as energy efficiency and ice making. Also, one reviewer on Consumer Reports complained that it makes a lot of noise which is somewhat annoying. It’s a problem that you can ignore but coupled with its poor energy efficiency; it could pose problems in the long run.
- Kenmore 73105
The model is one of the reasonably priced refrigerators on Amazon, and customers have also acknowledged that it is an inexpensive option. It also performs excellently on noise and temperature uniformity.
But the model is not great in thermostat control, ice making, and crisper performance. Customers have also complained about the quality of its Freon. Food also occasionally goes bad while in the fridge, probably due to a fault in thermostat control.
- Frigidaire FFBN1721TV
You cannot fault this model on many fronts, especially considering its good energy efficiency rating and perfect temperature uniformity properties. However, it won’t serve you best in ice making as it is abysmal in that regard.
Many of the customers who have had interactions with the model have been left disappointed. A rating of 1 out of 5 is evidence of this, and the model’s ease of use is also not too impressive.
The attributes above are not surprising, considering Frigidaire is lowly rated in terms of reliability and satisfaction. Of course, you can still find good models manufactured by the brand, but this is not among them.
- Frigidaire Gallery FGHD2368TF
- Frigidaire FG4H2272UF
- Frigidaire Gallery FGHG2368TF
- Frigidaire Gallery FGHB2868TF
An overall poor rating of the brand on Consumer Reports is something that should worry you first before delving into its specifics. We have earlier stated that Frigidaire is among the worst brands, especially regarding disappointing consumers.
Among the chief complaints is that the company is not too enthusiastic about honoring its warranty obligations. You will thus have to endure long spells of not using the fridge if some part gets spoiled. The above models are all too similar in design. You can, thus, expect them to share the same problems.
The noise of the fridge is also a cardinal concern for customers. One complained about the crooked make of the freezer door and was not too impressed on being told that little could be done to avert it as reported on Consumer Reports. The models also lack a water dispenser inside, while the occasional shutting of the fridge has been highlighted as a critical blot to the device.
6. Fisher & Paykel
- Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF201ADUSX5
Do not buy this fridge if you are concerned about temperature uniformity, as it ranks low on that front. Also, if you are looking forward to having an excellent device in ice-making, the Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart RF201ADUSX5 will disappoint you because it cannot achieve it.
Customers have also been concerned about the thinness of its exterior stainless cover, which is far too easy to scrape off. It is also weak and will form a dent following the application of the least amount of pressure. Also, the inability to control the temperature is an issue that you will have to bear with because the fridge is subpar.
Pulling items from the fridge is not straightforward as you will have to remove the entire bin. The freezer drawer is also problematic, especially in arranging stuff inside. It lacks dividers, and thus getting things in some order inside will require some innovativeness. Otherwise, your items will be lying all over.
The refrigerator is not too bad and has some outstanding features, but you deserve better for a price of approximately $2,699.00.
- Viking RVRF3361SS
Don’t get us wrong, a rating of 61 on Consumer Reports is an above-average ranking. However, we still believe that for a sum close to $3,949.00, you can get a more efficient device in ice making. The Viking model is anything but superb in that realm, which you cannot ignore after spending that much.
It has also left many users unimpressed, and while it is not clear in which regard specifically, the poor energy efficiency may be one of the reasons. It will consume much more than you’d expect, which is undoubtedly a concern as it will balloon your power bills.
- LG LRMVS3006S
- LG LRMDS3006S
LG models are the last that you’d expect to find on this list, but we cannot ignore the complaints leveled against the two devices. First, we must admit that they are both exemplary in many respects, but that could be better if they had improved ice-making properties.
Among the most prominent concerns is the cost of their devices. The price of either of them is not less than $3,398.00. Thus, if you are operating on a low budget, the prices of the two models, which can rise to $5,266.80, can be pretty scary.
Some customers have complained about poor customer service, especially when they’ve contacted the company to request repairs.
- Maytag MFC2062FEZ
Overall, Maytag is a mid-class refrigerator manufacturer, but they have some great models. The Maytag MFC2062FEZ is a good model, but we don’t recommend it for you, especially if you are looking for an energy-efficient model. It has an owner satisfaction rating of 2 out of 5, which is also not too impressive.
10. Kitchen Aid
- KitchenAid KRFC300ESS
The refrigerator is exemplary in thermostat control, and you can also not fault it on temperature uniformity and noise. But on energy consumption, it is pathetic, and you will have to put up with a bloated electricity bill.
We discourage you from settling for it because it has a poor crisper performance and is rated fair on ice making. It is also rated 3 out of 5 in ease of use, and an efficient refrigerator should have a better ranking.
Side-by-Side Refrigerator Brands to Avoid
- Amana ASI2575GRS
The model is reasonably priced in the range of $1,097.00 to $1,349.00. But it should be the last model you settle for, especially if you are looking for a refrigerator with efficient thermostat control.
There are other departments where the model falls short such as crisper performance. It is also fair in ice making and thus not a great choice if you are an icy drinks fanatic. The model is also poor in crisper performance.
Its door shelves are also not sturdy, and you’ll have to be careful about the weight of what you put inside. The model’s ice maker will experience frequent water drips from the water dispenser.
The device also sells with a warranty, but Amana does honor its side of the deal, as some customer complaints reveal. Some have been made to wait for long to have their devices fixed, and even the fixing, the company does a shoddy job.
- Amana ASI2175GRS
The Amana ASI2175GRS is a better alternative to the ASI2575GRS that we have covered above. It is slightly priced higher than the formerly discussed model, but it has superior features that make the increased cost worthwhile.
But it still retains the problems of the ASI2575GRS, such as poor crisper performance. You will also not get any improvement on the ice-making performance as it is still rated fair.
On noise, it is worse than the ASI2575GRS if customer reviews are anything to go by. It is noisier than you’d expect; its sides are also larger than what the company has specified. If you’re a meat connoisseur, the refrigerator will disappoint you because it lacks deli drawers.
Also, you cannot control the humidity of the produce drawers. The lights also go on for the ice dispenser, but for the other parts, it’s total darkness. Some customers have also been disappointed by the size of the refrigerator as it is smaller than you’d expect. Lastly, you have to cut the ice maker manually. If you don’t, you will have ice flowing all over.
Therefore, while its cost is quite attractive don’t forget to check out the performance of the other equally important aspects. And looking at the downsides we’ve listed above, we wouldn’t recommend it for you.
- Whirlpool WRS315SDHM
- Whirlpool WRS315SNHM
- Whirlpool WRS555SIHZ
An external water dispenser is most of the time alluring, and these models have such kinds. Their electricity use is also within the suitable range. Additionally, you’ll be guaranteed excellent temperature uniformity with the models. But, do not get too carried by these features as the models also have some glaring shortfalls.
First, the crisper and ice-making performances are also below par. Also, there is something that is off about the water dispenser design. Its drip zone extends outside the recommended zones, and you’ll have to keep wiping the surfaces to prevent damage to the other parts. The loudness of the motor is also something you would probably not like.
- Whirlpool WRS555SIHZ
Efficiency in thermostat control, energy use, and temperature uniformity are some of the upsides of this model. It is also highly rated at 60, which is an indicator of its effectiveness on various fronts. However, we fault it for failing to deliver on areas where a great refrigerator should be perfect.
In terms of ice making and crisper performance, the model is subpar. The ice maker and water dispenser are also one of the device’s Achilles heels. You’ll frequently encounter ice left in the chute, and you have to remove it manually, which is quite tedious.
The water dispenser is placed in a position where it is hard to avoid hitting it as you remove ice from the freezer. It will thus get your clothes wet now and then while also spilling some water on the floor.
The device also produces some deafening noise when performing normal tasks that do not warrant such an outcome. It is a sign that something inside the device is off the note.
- Whirlpool WRS331SDHM
The model is another Whirlpool type that has elicited customer fury primarily due to its apparent failure to meet customer expectations. According to a Consumer Reports review, the shelves of the models are unadjustable, which makes them hard to operate.
Also, you cannot control the temperatures as you’d wish. Often, the temperatures will rise or fall without your hand, which is quite a considerable challenge. It will prompt items to freeze when you don’t want it to happen.
The ice maker is also problematic, and you will experience occasional ice outages as production ceases without notice. Its fan is also faulty, and it starts or stops when you open the door. It is additionally noisy, compounding its insufficiencies to control the temperatures inside effectively.
Lastly, the water spout is another part of the refrigerator that will embarrass you as it keeps spilling water down once it has filled your container. Thus generally, the model is a pathetically assembled refrigerator that is wanting in various aspects as described by the reviewer. It’s thus best to settle for a better type.
- Whirlpool WRS321SDHZ
First, let us discuss the upsides of this model. It’s reasonably priced and features some excellent features such as ample inside room, yet it does not cover so much of the exterior space.
Its styling is also exemplary, and it has a well-assembled control panel. Also, the water dispenser nozzle is perfectly placed, meaning there’s little chance of spilling over your drink. Lastly, it also features an excellent lighting system. Thus, you do not need to carry a spotlight every time you visit the fridge.
So why are we asking you not to choose it? There are quite a few downsides that include the refrigerator’s poor crisper performance.
Also, you will have to train your visitors on how to use the water dispenser as it does not stop dripping water immediately you switch it off. A few seconds after you put the switch off, the water continues dripping, which is not great.
How the refrigerator’s fan works are also quite bizarre as it will go on when you do not expect it to function. Sometimes, you’ll hear it’s straining to keep the inside cool, and the noise can be so loud that it becomes an embarrassment if you have visitors in the next room.
Another thing that’s off about the model is that the doors do not perfectly align. What is causing that issue is the seal which does not perfectly fit. Fortunately, one may not note the misalignment unless they are pretty keen. Lastly, its shelves are non-adjustable. Thus you may not customize it according to your needs.
- Whirlpool WRS325FDAM
The fundamental upside of this refrigerator is its low price. You’ll struggle to find a similar kind that is available at $1,050.00. It also has a few positive attributes, such as perfect ice making.
Nonetheless, that is where its goodness ends. While you’ll seamlessly make ice, dispensing it will be the most significant hurdle as its system is relatively poor. Other problems will also start cropping up after one year of use, and probably by this time, the warranty will be over.
Expect the lights to go off without warning and the compressor also occasionally to break down. The refrigerator’s drawers are also weak and will easily crack, especially if you mishandle them. While its freezer is excellent, the same cannot be said of the fridge, which will cease working effectively after some time.
- Whirlpool WRS325SDHZ
The device is excellent in temperature uniformity and crisper performance. It is also easy to clean and consumes affordable units of power. Its water and ice dispensing units are also of excellent quality.
But if you are keen on arranging your stuff according to your style, the model will disappoint you. Its shelves are non-adjustable, and thus you will have to put up with the set arrangement even if you may not like it.
Its compressor is also troublesome and is capable of getting noisy now and then. Some customers have also reported that its cooling is not consistent, and sometimes it will fail promptly. The company advises on repairing such a device rather than replacing it altogether, which is the best thing, especially if it is recurrent.
- Maytag MSS25N4MKZ
The model is not too great, and neither is the brand which is rated 1 out of 5 on Consumer Reports on the owner satisfaction parameter. It will make your ice, but its performance in this respect will be fair at best, so don’t be too over expectant of its capabilities.
It also has a poor crisper performance. You cannot compromise on this aspect. Also, given that customers have already given a thumbs down for the brand as a whole, avoid any of its brands with a low rating, such as the Maytag MSS25N4MKZ.
- Maytag MSC21C6MFZ
Ice-making and crisper performance for this refrigerator is rated average. Hence if you want a better ice maker, then this is not your ideal model. The noise that it gives is also quite a turnoff.
Its compressor will occasionally scare you with its sudden noise. The ice drop is also quite loud, and that is something that you’d not expect for a refrigerator in this century. Also, the problems start cropping up as quickly as within six months. So it would be best to avoid the model.
- Kenmore 41173
The primary red flag here should be the owner satisfaction low rating of 2 out of 5 on Consumer Reports. Although the rating reflects on all the models, refrigerators such as the Kenmore 41173 have contributed the most.
So what’s amiss about it? The crisper performance is poor, and the ice-making capabilities of the model are below par. Regarding ease of use, it is rated 3 out of 5, which is also not a good sign.
- Kenmore 51335
Customer confidence in this model is our primary issue of an otherwise great refrigerator. There is a particular customer on Consumer Reports who explained her negative experiences with the brand.
She had a first poorly performing Kenmore 51335, which she replaced because it had a recurrent water dripping issue that could not be arrested. The second model also started developing similar problems with ice falling out anyhow and starting to melt.
It has also been a challenge to keep the fridge working for some extended period, and the customer was thinking of getting a new one to replace it. Considering that it is priced at $1,430.00, you cannot just keep buying a fridge after another for the same price. Hence, it’s best to avoid the model.
- GE GZS22DSJSS
The model is averagely rated on many aspects such as energy consumption, ease of use, and temperature uniformity. The two main parameters where the brand has a high rating are thermostat control and noise. However, the model is not perfect in the two respects as it has a 4 out of 5 rating on Consumer Reports.
It is also poor in ice-making, and customers have complained about it being quite noisy. It also does not give you the chance to arrange the shelves as you would wish as they are immovable. Its layout is also not appealing, which will give you a hard time when you are setting things up.
Additionally, it has several problems after some time, such as dispenser breakdown and defrosting issues. Hence, it’s a model that will need to be replaced quite sooner than you thought.
- GE GSE23GSKSS
GE is a great brand, and there is a pretty good model in the GSE23GSKSS. But few things are off, and if the brand were to get them right, we would recommend it for you.
First, the ice-making is below par, and its crisper is also ineffective. Also, if you have seen the brand, you’ll at a glance note that its doors are misaligned. All in all, most of the customers have positive experiences with the model.
Hence, it is just a matter of the brand making the slight adjustments, and the brand would attain an A+ level status. Until then, we advise you to avoid it.
- GE GSS25IYNFS
The model is an impressive upgrade on the other GE’s side-by-side refrigerators. However, it is noisy, and you’ll have to put up with that sound that can get annoyingly loud at times. Also, the doors do not close naturally, and you have to push them with quite some force. Lastly, the model has issues with frosting on the freezer, especially if you do not close the door properly.
- Samsung RS22T5201SR
Samsung rarely gets it wrong on most of their devices, but they have several negative attributes that they will have to address first on this model to rebuild their longstanding good reputation. Everything about it is perfect, but there is quite a problem when it comes to temperature uniformity.
Consumer Ratings have given it a rating of 2 out of 5, which testifies that the brand has failed to address this imperative aspect. It is also poor in crisper and ice making. After the fourth year of using it, expect the model to stop cooling as cited by some customers who have had a long-term experience with it.
The company also becomes quite frustrating once these problems crop up, and don’t be surprised if they take ages to repair a slight problem.
- Bosch 300 Series B20CS30SNS
The Bosch 300 Series B20CS30SNS is a top-performing model with several key positives, such as excellent cooling and ease to clean. It is also attractive, and many customers are impressed by its outward appearance. Temperature uniformity and energy use are also perfect. In addition, its thermostat control is top-notch.
But it has several downsides that you shouldn’t ignore. For example, its drawers will only move for a slight distance, and hence accessing the items inside is not too easy. The ice maker also misbehaves, sometimes spewing ice all over. Additionally, there is an issue with the water dispenser, which is prone to frequent drips. You’ll thus have to keep cleaning the area often.
You are also in for regular shelf breakages with the model as they are not sturdy enough to support much weight. Additionally, its bulbs are expensively priced hence if they break you’ll have to spend quite some amount. Lastly, even though a large ice maker is great, the one in this model is too large that it occupies quite a vast space.
Built-in Refrigerator Brands to Avoid
- Viking Professional 7 Series VBI7360WRSS
- Viking VCSB5423SS
- Viking VCBB5363ERSS
An excellent rating for temperature uniformity and noise informs that the brands are high-performing models. But that should not conceal your vision from the overall Consumer Reports rating of 1 out of 5 of the brand.
With the models, you will also struggle with thermostat control, and their energy use is also an issue of concern. Also, there is a low overall predicted reliability score of the model, which highlights the general weakness of the devices from the Viking brand.
2. Fisher & Paykel
- Fisher & Paykel RS36W80RU1
With a rating of 67, it will be hard to disqualify the model as the one you shouldn’t buy as it has some very commendable features. Its noise and thermostat control are four stars, while its temperature uniformity is rated 3 out of 5. However, the model is a power guzzler as it is not economical in electricity use.
The rating of 2 out of 5 in that regard speaks volumes of its apparent inefficiency in electricity consumption. Its ease of use is also not too great despite being an expensive model priced at $6,400.00. Such a highly-priced refrigerator should be close to flawless, and with the above-highlighted issues, you undoubtedly deserve better value for your money.
- Liebherr CBS2062
The Liebherr CBS2062 is one of the best models that you’ll come across, especially in terms of excellent efficiency in aspects such as temperature efficiency and noise. It is also easy to use, and its energy consumption is rated fair,
But for $6,420.00, you undoubtedly deserve better results in ice making. The model performs poorly in that regard. Also, if something about it goes amiss, you’ll struggle to find a technician who can fix it. A reviewer on Consumer Reports revealed that the manufacturer does not take liability for repair when the warrant expires. It’s a unique brand that not many other maintenance specialists will repair.
- Blomberg BRFB1920SS
The model is perfect and also reasonably priced at $5,749.00. But our issue with it is on energy efficiency, where it is rated 3 out of five. It will affect your power bills significantly. It is also not great in ice-making, and its crisper performance is also poor.
- Miele KFN9855IDE
Criticizing the model is not easy as it is excellent in all respects. It also has a fair rating on crisper performance which is an Achilles heel for many other refrigerators. However, its ice-making performance is where the main and only problem lies.
Other Reasons to Avoid Some Refrigerators
Now that you’ve seen general reasons to avoid brands and the market downvoted brands, you’re ready for a third argument. What are some other reasons to avoid certain brands, even if they have no bad recommendations?
- Too expensive
- Too large for your kitchen utility
- Draws on your power grid
Avoid brands that are outside of your price point. While some pricey refrigerators may be well-recommended, this doesn’t always mean they are better. There are high-quality refrigerators that are at a middle-range price. Pricey refrigerators can sometimes be marketing traps to lure in the undereducated consumer. For that reason, stick to your values and goals when forming a refrigerator budget.
This model of LG made the list because of both lawsuits and malfunctions reported against the brand itself. LG has hopped up its refrigerators as “the best,” and reviews are generally good for them. Yet, the controversy surrounding this model has recall notices attached.
2. Kitchen Aid
This refrigerator was placed on a list of the many companies with class-action lawsuits against its products. On the surface, KitchenAid products get good reviews. There may be trouble in paradise for those who subscribe to this brand, particularly with this model, as malfunctioning is the cited reason why it raised issues.
KitchenAid refrigerators are likewise in a high-price range. They sometimes go for as high as $5,000 at outlets such as HomeDepot. This compares to the more moderated $1-2,000 range of its counterpart brands. For this reason, you expect higher quality, and you may be alarmed to find the negative reviews about faulty behavior within this brand raising lawsuit problems.
This brand surprises some reviewers with the many models that receive poor ratings. Bosch is a luxury brand. You may want to avoid it, but not only because some models receive bad ratings. In the case of Bosch, you may want to avoid the brand due to the “luxury” field it falls in with bad reviews because you don’t want to pay a high price point for a refrigerator that’s quality is either the same or less than lower market valued products.
This brand made the list for the same reason that Bosch did. Because the brand is luxury, one might expect more than a 3.8 out of 5-star overall rating from its models. Yet, Consumer Affairs gives the brand as a whole a 3.8-star review.
Reviewers expressed some angry reviews for Thermador. “Buy any other brand but Thermador,” wrote the Consumer Affairs reviewer Teresa from Arizona. She states that her family only purchased under-counter drawers for a refrigerator from this brand but replaced two motherboards in them. Another reviewer, Peter from Arizona, stated that the Thermador brand had problems with its icemaker.
Why Avoid These Refrigerators
The criteria for getting on this list wasn’t so much “worst” refrigerators versus “best” refrigerators. There are reasons to avoid some of the brands that made this list that have less to do with their technical value and more to do with issues that the market had with price vs. performance, quality of service, etc.
That’s why it’s not as simple as saying entire brands themselves are “bad.” In some cases, it’s a bit more complicated than this. This is why, for this list, we have added both the brand and the model of that brand that was largely regarded as a bad buy. This helps you make distinctions between a brand you should exclude completely and a model you should avoid.
You want to avoid the refrigerators on this list because of the brand’s problems that may detract from your buying experience. We will look at the refrigerator brands to avoid among each style of refrigerator. Let’s get started.
Before You Shop for a Refrigerator
Before you shop for a refrigerator, you should make a mental checklist of the things that have consistently put “bad” or “worst” refrigerators on the list above. If the answer to the following questions is “no,” then the quality of a refrigerator brand is low. These quality questions give you reasonable guesses for why to avoid some brands as a whole, even if some of their products have good reviews.
Do Customers Love the Service?
This may be the most important question. If you do run into a problem with a product from a highly-rated brand, you’ll want healthy and responsive customer service to fall back on.
Is the Model Cost-Efficient?
Is the price point fair given the model complexity and size you want to buy? If the price point is comparable to other refrigerators of similar make, then you’re looking at a fair buy.
Do Users Report Consistent Functioning Across a Wide Range of Reviews?
If you’re hearing about a lot of glitches with a refrigerator model, you will want to avoid it. You may also avoid other models in the whole brand if you see glitch warnings on a few models at once. While one bad apple may not be a reason to swear off the whole brand, several glitchy machines are a warning sign that the company’s machine design may be inferior to other options on the market.
Note on Design Types
Refrigerator users have compared design types. Current refrigerator models have “free-standing” machines and those that are built into a cupboard’s interface. Consumers recommend the free-standing model above the cupboard.
Why are Brands so Important?
Investopedia defines “brand” as a “business marketing concept.” Brands serve as your introduction to a company, its culture, and the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of its machine design process.
A good quality brand will have no facades. Its marketing concept will match the quality of its service and products. However, a bad brand will be hyped up with a lot of marketing tools, sometimes even with good article reviews and press relations. However, when it comes down to asking the customer’s rating, a bad brand will show that all of the good things that could have been saying are not true.
Noting brands is important because a label and name give the story of product history. The relationship other customers form with a brand gives you an idea of the kind of development within the brand and can help you decide whether you want to form a buyer relationship with a specific company yourself.
A brand’s reputation will also give you insights into whether or not it upholds its warranty policies. Reputation also gauges the history and depth of customer service within the brand when a product does go wrong.
How to Spot Low-Quality Refrigerators
A single brand cannot be the “worst,” just like a single brand cannot indeed be the “best.” This is because a lot of the research defining “worst” and “best” brands comes from opinions and preferences. That said, there are some general quality lapses to avoid in every brand. Keep an eye out for these quality traps before you go shopping for any refrigerator brand.
Signs of low-quality refrigerators include the following:
- A lack of temperature consistency
- Inconsistent freezing efficiency in the freezer compartment
- Drains on your kitchen’s power outlets.
- Leaves drippage, water puddles indicate a “leakage” problem.
- Poorly aligned doors
Any one of these quality issues can indicate serious problems with the refrigerator down the road. Ultimately, buying low-quality refrigerators results in a high cost of living because low-quality refrigerators will waste both home energy and food. Food safety costs are incurred when frozen food must be tossed out because the refrigerator’s freezer unit didn’t keep it at a food-safe temperature.
What to Look For in a Refrigerator
Once all the bad refrigerators you could run into are safely labeled, and out of the way, you’ll want to know what to look for in a good refrigerator.
In general, you will see the following:
- No water leakage, as would be observed by floor puddles or water pooling in the freezer units.
- Efficiency keeping frozen foods frozen for a long time.
- It uses energy sensibly, does not drain on the kitchen grid.
- Properly aligned doors
- No leakage in the icemaker
- A quiet motor does not make whining operating noises mere months after home installation.
- Moderately priced, can be worked into a home buyer’s budget with ease.
Next Step: Make a Buying Decision
The first step is to narrow down the good, the bad, and the stinking garbage of the refrigerator market. Listing the nice-to-haves is the second. Finally, your buying decision will be based on your personal preferences and goals.
When making a final decision, consider setting a hard budget line that you will not cross. Then, narrow your selections to only refrigerators with this price as the maximum price in a range. You may be able to find cheaper valued refrigerators with similar functions to what you’re shopping for this way.