Answer: Whirlpool’s distributor should have fixed your refrigerator the first time you called to report the problem. But you were responsible for making sure that the repairs were successful.
“Life happens” (while certainly true) is not a valid excuse for failing to contact Whirlpool within your warranty period.
I’m one to talk. I encountered this problem with an early version of Apple’s iPhone. I had refused to purchase the extended warranty (conventional wisdom says it’s a rip-off, and it usually is) and my phone stopped working just before the warranty expired. It was “fixed” but then stopped working after its coverage elapsed.
Apple initially refused to fix the useless phone. But when I politely explained the situation to a manager, and underscored how many other Apple products I owned, the phone was quickly replaced.
An equally polite letter to a Whirlpool executive might have yielded similar results.
Whirlpool should have sold you a working refrigerator, but I can’t fault it for failing to correct the problem after you were outside your warranty period. You should have said something. (And indeed, this is one of those rare times when a pricey extended warranty would have done you some good.)
I contacted Whirlpool on your behalf for one reason: I don’t think any company wants you to be unhappy with its product. And even though it doesn’t have to fix your refrigerator, I thought it might want to.
I was right. A company representative contacted you and sent a technician to your home to repair your refrigerator at no extra charge.