Defy is a major local appliance brand and their catchphrase is "You can rely on Defy!"
On 1 June I found myself with a rapidly dying freezer, half of my side-by-side refrigerator, and I called my local service centre. You can imagine my dismay, while on interminable hold, to hear the phrase "you can rely on Defy" repeated over an over in place of the ordinary annoying music that us supposed to soothe our temperaments as we wait endlessly for the attention of a bored and unhelpful customer service rep. You see, this was the fourth major breakdown of this fridge in the four short years I have owned it...on Defy, I was learning, I could not rely.
It took 24 knuckle-biting hours to get a technician out to fix the fridge. It cost R700...the equivalent of a week's groceries...to fix the freezer. I managed to save most of the food, but expected that it would be another year before the thing cropped up with a new problem. No such luck.
Barely a month has gone by and Saturday my husband opened the freezer to find the ice cubes had turned to water, the ice cream to cream, the frozen veggies soft enough to chew as they were. I popped a thermometer inside and found the freezer to be warmer than the fridge!
Since it was 4:30 on a Saturday...and Johannesburg retailers roll up their sidewalks and go comatose at 5 on Saturdays we hurried to our nearest discount outlet to buy a freezer. Unbelievably, every one of their stand alone freezers were out of stock!! Hubby managed to talk the floor manager into selling us the display model...at a discount, no less...and to round up some guys to deliver it for us ASAP. By 6:30 I was cooking those thawed veggies and rebagging them for their return to a frozen state. This time we bought Bosch, a premier German brand, makers of my eminently reliable washer and dryer.
So this morning we await the return of the technician. This is the fifth major repair in four years, four of them to the freezer. If this is what Defy defines as reliable, I want absolutely nothing to so with them or their appliances ever again.
Learn from my misfortune: you CANNOT rely on Defy!
Below is the "comment" I left on their website. I expect neither a reply nor compensation:
My husband and I bought a 660 litre side-by-side [Defy] refrigerator freezer from Makro approximately four years ago. In the few years we have owned it, the machine has required five major repairs, including replacement of the compressor on the refrigerator side during the first year of ownership.
Today I am awaiting a technician for the second time in less than five weeks for yet another freezer repair. So unreliable is this machine that we went out and bought a separate freezer this weekend when the Defy freezer failed for the third time in less than a year.
It is bad enough that the machine is so unreliable, but to have your service centre act like a freezer with 200+ litres of rapidly thawing food is not an urgent situation is absolutely maddening. Whoever runs your service centre needs to understand that a dead freezer has a much greater urgency than a groaning tumble dryer or a grumpy washing machine. Food is not only expensive, spoiled food can cause major health issues. A pair of jeans that doesn't get dry because the dryer is malfunctioning will not compromise the owner's health and safety...or their budget... the way a freezer full of spoiling meat will.
I have come to the conclusion that not only are your products grossly unreliable, your service department is essentially useless: not only cannot they not appropriately triage the incoming failure reports and dispatch technicians first to the most urgent calls, e.g., dead refrigerators and freezers, there is no service...not even at a premium charge...for appliances that fail after 5 pm on a Friday. I find this absolutely inexcusable.
It may not occur to you that losing a refrigerator and/or freezer full of food is a problem because, perhaps, you can afford to go out and replace the lot without a qualm. I assure you, however, that people whose financial situation does not allow them to purchase top of the line appliances like Bosch are not people who have a stash of cash with which to go out and replace the entire contents of their refrigerator and/or freezer at the failure of a compressor.
I think is it irresponsible of your company to not provide repair service for after-hour emergencies and to fail to appropriately triage repair calls when they come in: waiting 3 days to get my dryer fixed will be annoying; waiting more than a few hours to get my refrigerator fixed is potentially hazardous, definitely costly, and wholly irresponsible on YOUR part for forcing such a situation on me.
As it stands, given that this refrigerator/freezer has been grossly unreliable from the first, I think Defy should replace it free of charge AND refund every rand we have been obliged to spend on this lemon since we brought it home. I know you won't do that, though, and that is why I will never, EVER purchase another Defy product, nor will any of my friends, family members, or anyone else I may have the opportunity to influence.