Evakool fridges - Worst purchase in 20 years...

In March of this year I bought two Evakool 138lt fridge/freezers from Australian Direct. One was to be used as a fridge, the other as a freezer.

Toll was a little slow delivering and they were only received in early May.

On May 25th the one being used as a fridge stopped working resulting in all the food having to be thrown out. I later worked out a fuse had blown and got it working.

On August 3rd it again failed resulting in all the food being thrown out a second time. This time it wasn't a fuse.
As this failure occurred 7 hours before leaving for the Coburg Peninsula, it was only delivered it to the Evakool Warranty Repair Centre on Sept 12th.

Today is December 9th, still no fridge. I have been in contact with Evakool on a weekly to bi-weekly basis.
Don't believe the advertising that claims their fridges use common parts most fridgies use.
I'm 42, and cannot recall having ever bought such a poor product, and received such poor service.

Think carefully before buying an Evakool fridge. The secondhand Engel I bought off some hippies on Gumtree is a much better product.

Stephen
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Reply By: Mark S (cns) - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 14:32

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 14:32
No good at all! Cheers for the heads up, however, some regular contributors here will soon be along to ridicule you for bagging out an aussie company that 'just could not possibly give poor service and that you must be at fault somehow'!!
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Follow Up By: Bludge - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 15:28

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 15:28
Thats sad, especially the time to provide a fix.

I do have a couple of Eva Kool units, been lucky with a 10 year old 75ltr (the old yellow) one and a newer 65ltr unit, that got swapped out when it was just under a year old. (thanks Rays).

Normally a good reputation but obviously failed badly in your case.
Thanks for letting us know and I hope things pan out. Keep us updated.
TonyV

Cairns FNQ.

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Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 21:07

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 21:07
I have an ED70 Evakool dual fridge bought new exactly 10 years ago in may this year. While I reckon it is not the most prestigious fridge out there...it has performed pretty well over all in that time...rattlin around in the back of my fourby over thousands of k,s of out back and inland travel. A small problem developed just lately where it was taking its time to recycle...so I contacted Evacool by email...and the nice Techy lady there sent me in structions on how to readjust the mechanical thermostat to fix this.
An afternoon in the shed last week tweaking this with my digital multimeter set to temp has it performing like new again ...with cycleing set back to 5 deg and fridge freezer running to -18 on setting 5. Not sure if you could do this to a digitally controlled fridge now...so am pretty happy I bought this fridge still.

Cheers Keith
Nothin is ever the same once I own it ...........

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Reply By: MarkHugh - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 16:01

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 16:01
Hi Freelance1000. Well, I've had pretty good service out of my eight-year old Evakool. I have visited the factory in Caloundra and found them pleasant and helpful. BTW I also have an older Engel which, like the Evakool, continues to function perfectly.

Mark
AnswerID: 542749

Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 17:17

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 17:17
Engel, They a bit pricey for a reason .
Had my one for 8 years ,and it has never missed a beat .
And it sat on the back of my work ute out in the open for 2 years

Cheers
AnswerID: 542755

Reply By: River Swaggie - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 18:35

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 18:35
Hopefully Evakool will be along shortly to explain too.....

I have the RF 60litre and it hasn't missed a beat ove 6 years now, well once a tarp blocked off a vent on a 30 odd degree day.. The wireless Incab showed an increase in temp, once I realised it was sorted..

Last trip I had to move my vehicle (rain etc awning in wrong spot), I was still in 4wd low and heard a bang when I took off, the Evakool fridge slide didn't click in properly and the top of the slide came flying out the back onto the ground lol with the fridge still strapped in. The reciever for the temp is cactus (just ordered another with alarms etc) , it doesn't work correctly. Fridge is perfectly fine.... no splits, cracks etc...

Goodluck...
AnswerID: 542759

Follow Up By: Slow one - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 22:17

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 22:17
I agree and hope the evakool dude responds. That will give a balanced side to the problem.

I can see where the op is pretty upset but it would be good if evakool responded as they have before.
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Reply By: PhilD - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 21:41

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 21:41
I have 2 Evakool fridges which were custom built for me. I have found their service excellent, so I suggest you call Allan Smith personally and I expect he will get onto things for you.
AnswerID: 542764

Follow Up By: freelance1000 - Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 01:18

Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 01:18
Thanks for this. I've just sent Brodie Thompson at Evakool an email requesting Allans' contact details.
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Follow Up By: freelance1000 - Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 12:25

Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 12:25
As suggested I sent Allan Smith an email. I've posted it below.
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Reply By: Troopyman - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 11:30

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 11:30
138Ltr ! What model is that ? I am thinking of buying an evakool .
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Follow Up By: Happy Frank - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:17

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:17
I checked their website and couldn't find a 138 litre,that is a big fridge for a portable, let alone having 2 of them. I have had perfect service over 10 years with my 46 litre Evacool. Suspect Troll.
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Follow Up By: freelance1000 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 23:41

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 23:41
Hi Troopyman, On the invoice from Australian Direct dated 8.03.2014 it is referred to by code BCD138 Evakool 138 litre chest style fridge or freezer. Price was $1,009.00ea including delivery. Paperwork that came with the fridges refers to them as Evakool Model BD/BC-138L. If you live anywhere near Darwin send me a PM because I have one I cannot trust and don't know what I'm going to do with when it does eventually come back from the 'Evakool Service Agent'.

Hi Happy Frank, Unfortunately, I'm not trolling. I would happily sign a Statutory Declaration confirming that since taking delivery in early May 2014 one of the Evakool fridges has currently only worked for three of the seven months I have owned it... Three of those months it has been at the Evakool Service Agent which is GP Refrigeration & Airconditioning on the Stuart Hwy Ph 08 8947 1124.

My contact at Evakool has been Brodie Thompson. Feel free to contact him, to date he has done a sterling job of not getting results.

The reason why I purchased such large fridges is because I live in a cyclone area. Replacing my big old leaky Kelvinator with the versatility and effeciency of two 12/24/240v Chest fridges/freezers makes sense. The fridge was in the kitchen, the freezer is in the laundry.

Stephen





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Follow Up By: Troopyman - Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014 at 15:12

Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014 at 15:12
Ok . I still don't know what fridge/freezer it is . But I do know that it wouldn't be the aussie made fibreglass style evakool fridge freezer which is what I am after . At $1009 for 138 litres , my guess is it would be an overseas made evakool . Thankyou . I will stay clear of the overseas imported ones .
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Reply By: Member - John G - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 18:02

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 18:02
G'day Stephen

Realistically, dud products are going to occur from time to time, even with reputable brands. But dud service from retailers or manufacturers, assuming a rational approach to them, is unacceptable. Keep on their backs, and elevate your concerns to management, as some have suggested already.

Good luck
John
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Reply By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 19:43

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 19:43
Stephen,
I'm not familiar with Australian Direct but it sounds like an internet based sales mob.

This is little help to you now but may serve as a warning to others....yes the warranty is with the manufacturer but as a consumer, you'll have a better chance of getting a change over if the product is bought through a shop front distributor of significant size.

I'm 42 also (snap) and in my experience a shop front place like Rays, BCF, Anaconda blah blah blah will usually help you out and in some cases do a change over, then send your unit back to the supplier for a warranty claim. The supplier has privileged position in some of these big stores and failure to help on warranty claims often earns them a black mark. Enough black marks and shop front X stops stocking their goods.

Just my experience but I'm sure others will have other experiences that contradict mine. Good luck...nothing worse than warm beer.
Fab.
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Follow Up By: freelance1000 - Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 00:51

Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 00:51
Hi Fab.,
I totally agree with you. For exactly the reason you mentioned, as a general rule I do only buy expensive electrical goods from local 'Bricks and mortar' stores.
Regarding these Evakool fridges, I made an exception to this rule for two reasons.
1) I live in a cyclone area. As I wanted to use these fridges in my house, I was looking for the largest 12/24/240v fridge/freezers available at the time. No one stocked this model in Darwin, and
2) Unfortunately, I believed this slick piece of advertising where Jamie from Evakool claims Evakool fridges only use common refrigeration parts that 'if you are in the outback are very easy to repair'. i.e. Clearly implying that parts can be sourced from non Evakool Refrigeration Mechanics.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CItMvSusxMU&list=UUcToZS1ZsQRjKU7GzMEz8AA

Since delivery in May 2014. Of the seven months I have had these fridges in my possession, one has only worked for three months. It has not worked for four months, and has spent three months at the Evakool Service Agent in Darwin.
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Follow Up By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Friday, Dec 12, 2014 at 10:33

Friday, Dec 12, 2014 at 10:33
Stephen...I just watch the video clip and I'll be the first to admit that I would have believed it when he said on multiple occasions that the parts availability was a done deal Australia wide.

Bugger!
Fab.
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Reply By: BunderDog - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:48

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:48
Yep............NO SUCH FRIDGE

Suspect a troll
AnswerID: 542814

Follow Up By: freelance1000 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 23:43

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 23:43
Hi BunderDog

As posted above.

freelance1000 posted:
Hi Troopyman, On the invoice from Australian Direct dated 8.03.2014 it is referred to by code BCD138 Evakool 138 litre chest style fridge or freezer. Price was $1,009.00ea including delivery. Paperwork that came with the fridges refers to them as Evakool Model BD/BC-138L. If you live anywhere near Darwin send me a PM because I have one I cannot trust and don't know what I'm going to do with when it does eventually come back from the 'Evakool Service Agent'.

Hi Happy Frank, Unfortunately, I'm not trolling. I would happily sign a Statutory Declaration confirming that since taking delivery in early May 2014 one of the Evakool fridges has currently only worked for three of the seven months I have owned it... Three of those months it has been at the Evakool Service Agent which is GP Refrigeration & Airconditioning on the Stuart Hwy Ph 08 8947 1124.

My contact at Evakool has been Brodie Thompson. Feel free to contact him, to date he has done a sterling job of not getting results.

The reason why I purchased such large fridges is because I live in a cyclone area. Replacing my big old leaky Kelvinator with the versatility and effeciency of two 12/24/240v Chest fridges/freezers makes sense. The fridge was in the kitchen, the freezer is in the laundry.

Stephen
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Follow Up By: freelance1000 - Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 00:04

Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 00:04
Here is the Australian Direct sales pitch for Evakool fridges.

You'll find the Evakool 138l at the 3:56 minute mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaExNloNktc

Stephen
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Follow Up By: cruza25 - Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 12:09

Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 12:09
http://www.australiandirect.com.au/buying/portable-fridges/portable-fridges-online-evakooil-portable-12v-fridge-comparison/9

they show up on this link but are no longer sold
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Follow Up By: cruza25 - Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 12:16

Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 23:07

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 23:07
Does he mean a 38 L fridge?
AnswerID: 542820

Follow Up By: freelance1000 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 23:47

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 23:47
Hi Steve,

Negative. - On the invoice from Australian Direct dated 8.03.2014 it is referred to by code BCD138 Evakool 138 litre chest style fridge or freezer. Price was $1,009.00ea including delivery. Paperwork that came with the fridges refers to them as Evakool Model BD/BC-138L.

I have checked both the Australian Direct and the Evakool websites and they no longer list this product. However, they do sell a 150l which was not available at the time.
Stephen


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Reply By: freelance1000 - Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 12:28

Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 12:28
On Saturday last week I sent Allan Smith the following email.

Hi Allan,

1) In early May of 2014 we took delivery of two Evakool BCD138L Chest style fridge/freezers.

We purchased these fridges because we live in a cyclone area. Replacing our big old leaky Kelvinator with the versatility and effeciency of two 12/24/240v Chest fridges/freezers made sense. The fridge was placed in the kitchen, the freezer in the laundry.

In late May the fridge stopped working and we lost all the food stored in it. After replacing the fuse it started working again.

In early August the fridge stopped working for the second time; resulting in all the food being lost again. This time it wasn't a fuse.

As it stopped working hours before we were leaving for the Cobourg Peninsula, it was not delivered to the Evakool Service Agent in Darwin (GP Refrigeration & Airconditioning on the Stuart Hwy Ph 08 8947 1124) until mid September.

This fridge has still not been repaired and returned.

i.e. In the seven months we have had this Evakool fridge, it has worked for a total of three months. Of the four months it has not worked, for three months it has been at the Evakool Service Agent.

2) Since early August, Brodie Thompson at Evakool has been aware of this non functioning fridge. Although being in contact with him on a regular basis, there is nothing to show for it. Emails to and from Brodie are listed below.

3) Last week I started a couple of threads online documenting our experience and thoughts regarding Evakool products and servicing.
Evakool fridges - Worst purchase in 20 years...

View on www.exploroz.com

4) Based on our experience to date, we are very, very disappointed in Evakool products and servicing.

We are now at the point where regardless of what the Evakool Service Agent does to that fridge, there is no way we will be able to confidently rely on it.

One way to resolve this issue, and what we would prefer is for Evakool to provide us with a full refund of $1,009.00. That way we can go and purchase a new fridge for the kitchen. For the last four months the kids and I have been living out of the secondhand 40L Engel.

Regarding the freezer, it has worked as advertised. However, it has recently started occasionally making a strange rattling sound when the compressor goes off. Time will tell, and we can deal with this when/if it fails.

Regards,
Stephen
AnswerID: 543146

Follow Up By: freelance1000 - Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 12:56

Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 12:56
Within a couple of hours Allan Smith from Evakool replied to my email by thanking me for bringing this problem to his attention. He then advised his people would be following this up on Monday, and that he would get back to me mid-week.

On Tuesday Allan emailed advising even they were having problems getting in contact with their Service Agent in Darwin (apparently he has some health issues).

On Thursday I received a call from Australian Direct advising me that as the purchase was made through them, they would be providing me with a refund of $1009.00.

Hopefully the other 138l fridge will last 5+ years.

'The End'.
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Follow Up By: freelance1000 - Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 13:14

Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 13:14
I should add.

1) Thank you Evakool for approving the refund.

2) I do not hold Australian Direct responsible for any of the above.
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 15:02

Friday, Dec 19, 2014 at 15:02
Yeah he always has health issues, nothing strange there, when you can find George he does good work, you just got to find him though.
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