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jfhall82

Neff Fridge Freezer not fit for purpose?

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After a little bit of advice at the moment… I am concerned our integrated Neff Fridge Freezer may not be fit for purpose (as opposed to faulty). I purchased it from AO.com roughly 18 months ago and paid via credit card.

 

For the moment I have been following the manufactures warranty claim procedure. I am aware my contract is with the retailer but elected to contact the manufacture as I deemed this the path of least resistance and quickest route to a working fridge freezer. To their credit, they have been very quick in despatching engineers and overall I am pleased with their response. Unfortunately however it hasn’t necessarily resolved my concern.

 

To put it into context, last Wednesday was the hottest day for several years, I believe temperatures peaked around 34c in the hottest parts of the country, and that’s when problems started.

 

I came downstairs at roughly 10PM and heard the fridge freezer alarm sounding. I went to check and the freezer was at -10 (it should be -18). I attributed it to what had been a hot day (though by this point it was obviously much cooler), put the freezer on to ‘super’ mode and assumed it would be back to normal in the morning.

By the morning it was still alarming, this time at -2! That’s despite being on ‘super’ freezing all night!

 

I contact Neff who advise me to do a manual defrost (turn it off for 8 hours). Once I had done this (pretty inconvenient) I turned it back on. The fridge very quickly reached its set temperature of 4c. The freezer did absolutely nothing for at least 5 hours until we went to bed.

 

I contact Neff who arrange an engineer visit.

 

Annoyingly, at some point during the night the freezer miraculously started working and by breakfast time it was at -7. By evening it was back to -18.

At this point I prepared to put it down to ‘weirdness’ and hope that it’s just a one off. Not wanting to end up paying for an engineer to find “no fault” I cancel the visit.

 

Saturday comes and it’s also a pretty warm day. Early afternoon the freezer alarm sounds again, its back at -7. I clear the alarm and reside myself to the fact it really is faulty. I did not monitor the temperature beyond this but noted the alarm light was on until my last observation in the evening.

 

I call Neff once again and schedule an engineer visit. But, once again come the next morning it’s back at -18.

Being quite convinced there is something wrong with it I see through with the engineer visit.

 

The engineer has today visited and whilst being helpful and thorough, unable to isolate any particular fault putting it down to a “glitch with the weather”.

I attempt to clarify this, but don’t really get anywhere – the freezer is rated for ambient conditions up to 38c – even in the hottest parts of the country it’s only touched 34c.

 

To my mind a £1000 Neff fridge freezer should be the best of the best, I shouldn’t get nonsense like this just because it gets a bit warm – a freezer should by definition keep food frozen (within its rated environment).

 

If no individual component is faulty yet the system as a whole does not meet specification surely this renders the device not fit for purpose?

 

My question is; if I ever wanted to bring a claim against the retailer under the sale of goods act how would I substantiate this? Even an independent engineer may not be able to document a specific fault - It appears to be a result of an under specification in the units design.

 

As I mentioned earlier, it’s not like this is a cheap and cheerful fridge freezer – it really should be able to cope with the extremes of a British summer, as indeed significantly cheaper models do.

Edited by jfhall82
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CAB advice link

 

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/common-problems-with-products/faulty-goods/the-trader-doesn-t-agree-to-put-things-right/

 

You are going to have to evidence the fault and take it up with the retailer.


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if you did infact pay by credit card

 

 

then contact them too and invoke a section 75.

 

 

it will be useful to get them onboard it will add pressure and clout.

 

 

dx


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Yes there is probably something wrong, the freezer is cooling too much and thus its probably iced up. I have a fisher paykel and how this works is there is a timed defrost with a heating element to keep the fridge freezer frost free. By putting it on super mode you are creating more ice and totally covering the cooling fins so the air is not cooled and getting warmer. You got it working again because the ice has been defrosted away and it takes some time to get down to temperature esp if you have filled it with food.

 

 

Could be a failed part, defrost element, temperature sensor, pcb or as you say not fit for purpose as it's over compensating for the hot weather.

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Thanks for replies I understand that if I am to pursue under sale of goods I will need to evidence a fault, but that is the problem, the fact that it doesn't perform on hot days is a result of it being under specified for the climate for which use is intended. The sum of all parts working correctly means it doesn't keep food frozen on hot days! How do I substantiate that!?

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If I were to keep a eletronic temperature logger in the freezer, and another outside monitoring ambient temps could I present this as evidence for the judge to draw their own conclusion or does it HAVE to be derived from an independant source?

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If I were to keep a eletronic temperature logger in the freezer, and another outside monitoring ambient temps could I present this as evidence for the judge to draw their own conclusion or does it HAVE to be derived from an independant source?

 

My basic freezer and most peoples freezers have coped perfectly well during the recent warm weather. My brother lives in Spain where it is 35c for months and his freezer works well.

 

Not much to do with the weather. They should be able to cope, unless is an extreme weather event.

 

If the freezer has the temperature showing and you can take photos, then that would help. You could spend hundreds on getting some independent report and it might not help, if they cannot diagnose the problem. When they visit,it may be working normally.

 

What i think you should do is report the problem to the retailer and ask them for details of their official process for dealing with such product issues. Then start to follow it through, giving plenty of opportunity to resolve, if the fault is ongoing. Keep a log of the occasions there is a problem and take photos, which are dated.

 

I think Neff could probably resolve by replacing the thermostat control, but they will be reluctant to do this, unless the freezer has stopped working properly on the day of an engineers visit.


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It may work at an ambient conditions up to 38c, but does it guarantee that it will hold -18 at that temperature.

 

My central heating had written into the warranty that it would hold our house at 72°f with the outside temperature as low as -28°f.

 

I'm not saying it will need a temp guarantee written in like above, but it could make a difference.

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One possible idea to help, if there is a period of hot weather, is to put bottles of water in the freezer. These will become solid blocks of ice, which will help keep the temperature lower. People also put bottles of water in an empty fridge, as if you don't have many goods in the fridge which get cold surfaces, the fridge will stay on longer.

 

Also think about how many times the freezer door is opened. If you have kids constantly getting ice lollies out during hot weather, it won't take long for the temperature to drop.


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Thanks for the advice. The freezer is usually full of stuff... no kids it only gets opened at meal times.

and in any event it doesn't entirely explain away that it remained room temperature after being on for 5 hours. My view point is a freezer at this point shouldn't require special treatment in order to do it's job. Not when a Beko at 1/3 the price soldiers on regardless.

 

General consensus on food safety is that freezers should be at -18. I know that ours has hovered around -2 and possibly warmer for extended periods.

 

As pointed out, it will likely be difficult to get even an independent engineer to witness it misbehaving if it does correlate with hot weather and that's obviously when you need a freezer to be freezing! Hence I'm wondering if non-expert witness evidence is admissible in the form of temperature logs - how much specialist training do you need to conclude that if a freezer doesn't keep things frozen it's not fit for purpose!?

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Thanks for the advice. The freezer is usually full of stuff... no kids it only gets opened at meal times.

and in any event it doesn't entirely explain away that it remained room temperature after being on for 5 hours. My view point is a freezer at this point shouldn't require special treatment in order to do it's job. Not when a Beko at 1/3 the price soldiers on regardless.

 

General consensus on food safety is that freezers should be at -18. I know that ours has hovered around -2 and possibly warmer for extended periods.

 

As pointed out, it will likely be difficult to get even an independent engineer to witness it misbehaving if it does correlate with hot weather and that's obviously when you need a freezer to be freezing! Hence I'm wondering if non-expert witness evidence is admissible in the form of temperature logs - how much specialist training do you need to conclude that if a freezer doesn't keep things frozen it's not fit for purpose!?

 

I think you have to register the problem with the retailer and ask their advice on this. There is no reason why your own evidence cannot be used. It is not as if you can invite an indepedent engineer to come to stay in your house during hot weather.


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Thanks, I do intend to raise it with the retailer. The only reason I hadn't so far was because I assumed it would be a simple parts replace. I will make them aware of the issue and continue to monitor.

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So today it was warm again (24c) and it's thown a wobbly. Alarm is going off and it's indicating -8 but a thermometer indicates it's actually -2c in the freezer.

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Email to AO.com this evening:

 

Dear Sirs,

 

I would like to make you aware of that I believe my Neff KI7853D30G fridge freezer (order number AOL9485792) to not be fit for purpose.

 

Seemingly, it is incapable of keeping food frozen on warm days. Up to now I have been content to follow the manufacturer’s warranty claim procedure. However, having already taken one day off work to be told “It’s a glitch with the weather” my patience is rapidly running out and I regret it may become necessary to make a claim against yourselves per the Sale of Goods Act.

 

01/07/15. The ambient temperature peaked at 34c. In the evening I noticed fridge/freezer alarm sounding. An inspection revealed the freezer was at -10c (it should be -18c). I attributed it to the hot day (though by this point it was obviously much cooler), put the freezer on to ‘super’ mode and assumed it would be back to normal in the morning.

 

02/07/15. Despite being on “super” all night the freezer is now at -2. I contact Neff who advise me to do a manual defrost (turn it off for 8 hours). Following this the fridge very quickly reached its set temperature of 4c. The freezer remains room temperature for the rest of the day.

I contact Neff who arrange an engineer visit.

 

03/07/15. At some point during the night the freezer miraculously started working and by breakfast time it was at -7c. By evening it was back to -18c.

I am prepared to consider it a one off event and hope that’s the end of the problem. Not wanting to end up paying for an engineer to find “no fault” I cancel the Neff engineer.

 

04/07/15. Ambient temperature peaks at 26c. In the early afternoon the freezer alarm sounds once again, it’s at -7c. I contact Neff to reschedule an engineer. It remains in the alarm state for the rest of the evening.

 

05/07/15. Freezer returns to -18. Frustrated by the inconsistency I deem it wise to proceed with the engineer visit and schedule a day off work.

 

08/07/15. Neff engineer visits and finds no fault. Informs me “It’s a glitch with the weather”.

 

02/08/15. Ambient temperature peaks 24c. Alarm sounds in afternoon, freezer indicates -8. Thermometer within freezer reveals it’s actually -2c.

 

I intend to contact Neff once again tomorrow 03/08/15 and assume this will entail an additional engineer visit.

 

I should like to make you aware of the problem and provide you an opportunity to rectify the problem directly.

 

I believe an inherent difficulty with this problem is that it only occurs on hot days making it virtually impossible to replicate for any engineer or independent inspection. To this end, the engineer that visited on 08/07/15 performed a full diagnostic and confirmed no single part was faulty. However, it is my opinion that the sum total of all parts working correctly is a freezer that cannot cope on warm days. Needless to say a freezer that you cannot rely on to operate on warm days is useless - neither as advertised or fit for purpose.

 

The freezer is rated for ambient conditions up to 38c. To date ambient temperatures have peaked at 34c – well within the freezers supposed environment.

 

To my mind a £1000 Neff fridge freezer should be the best of the best. At this price point it should be more than capable of managing a British summer…

 

Needless to say I am very disappointed in the product, with performance like this I do not consider it befitting of its price tag.

 

Please could you clarify your position on the matter and your procedure for resolving such issues noting inherent difficulty of demonstrating this fault. To reiterate, the appliance may not have a detectable fault, my concern is that in normal operation it is not fit for purpose. I should like to make it clear that I am not prepared to keep taking time from work only to be told there is nothing wrong - evidently there is. Should resolution be less than forthcoming either by way of the manufacturer or yourselves I feel I will have little option but to pursue a claim inclusive of costs.

 

 

Of course, I hope this will not be necessary and that a speedy and convenient resolution can be found.

 

 

 

 

Kind Regards,

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If you need proof, try getting an RC-5 USB data logger (£10 on ebay). I have one in my freezer. Can set it to record temps every 10 minutes and then you will have proof that something isn't right with it.

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