American-style fridge freezers have become quite popular over recent years due to their storage capacity. They are by far the largest appliances we’ve ever needed delivering to our homes since the Aga cookers. This article is designed for anyone thinking of buying an American-style fridge freezer focusing on potential delivery problems that you may be unaware of, or which may not have crossed your mind.
I recently came across some important small print in terms and conditions –
* American style fridge freezers will be delivered only to your door
* All large fridge freezers are doorstep or garage delivery only ”
Neither of the quotes above came from major household name retailers, but each retailer or website will have their own way of dealing with these appliances so you need to always check. One of these warnings was only in the terms and conditions so could easily be missed. Needless to say it is highly inconvenient, and would require the customer to have a plan in place to get the appliance from their front door to where they need it.
Make no mistake, some of these appliances are extremely large and very heavy. So much so that clearly some professional delivery people are refusing to attempt to get them inside. Now in many cases, delivering the appliance directly to a kitchen shouldn’t be much of a problem. But depending on the house, and the layout, it may be extremely difficult. It may at least be difficult to do so and guarantee not to damage anything along the way.
This is quite a big cop-out, but there it is, and it’s in their terms and conditions. It seems to be a catchall. Instead of saying that depending on what they find they might be unable to deliver it directly to your kitchen they are outright refusing to do anything other than drop it off at your door. I’m not sure how widespread this is, presumably not, but anyone ordering from this company might find themselves in a serious predicament if they did not know this before. I would think it is unlikely that any customer ordering would not be contacted to warn them, but if this is unacceptable to you it’s best to find out before you order. It makes sense to order from a company that will deliver an American-style fridge freezer to where you want it.
Returning an American-style fridge freezer under the distance selling act
I also noticed some terms and conditions regarding returning an unwanted American-style fridge freezer. As with most products these days we have up to 14 days to return something that we purchased online, through mail order, or over the phone. This is designed to protect us from being misled by photographs and not being able to properly inspect something before we buy. By law, any retailer selling appliances must comply with these regulations. However, although we should get a refund of the delivery costs we are usually responsible for the costs in returning them. I’ve seen charges of £99 quoted in terms and conditions for collecting American-style fridge freezers.
So don’t order such an appliance without looking into it properly unless you are happy to pay a lot of money to return it. If you have specific requirements – don’t wait until it’s delivered – try to go and see one in a store.
Retailers must charge a reasonable price for picking up appliances under the distance selling regulations. In other words they shouldn’t be able to make a profit out of any return charges. However, bearing mind how big and heavy they are, and the fact that they need two people, it’s not hard to see how it would cost a lot of money. More information Online shopping regulations – returning appliances
So always read the terms and conditions
This advice goes for anything. But is particularly pertinent if buying such a large appliance. Have a look at terms and conditions to see if they have specific terms for dealing with American-style fridge freezers such as how they deliver. If your house has steps of any kind to negotiate it is possible they may refuse to climb them with such a large appliance – some might even refuse to deliver a normal appliance over steps. Even if you don’t have any steps, make sure their terms and conditions don’t say anything that might be an issue for you when they get to your door.