/ Home & Energy

Beko should have acted faster on fridge freezer fires

Fridge freezer

If you own a 5 to 11 year old Beko fridge freezer (not a standalone fridge or freezer), check your model number, as they have been linked to 20 fires in London over the last three years.

The London Fire Brigade has put out an urgent fire warning to owners of up to 500,000 Beko fridge freezers, following a tower block fire last week.

Newer models don’t have the fault, so don’t worry if you’ve bought one in the last four years.

Although Beko has taken some steps to contact customers with the affected models, it hasn’t acted very swiftly – it knew there was a problem with these fridge freezers last June. Why did it take the company over a year to make this safety problem public?

Do you own a Beko fridge freezer?

The fault relates to the fridge’s defrost timer, which can fail and overheat when water gets into it, leading to an electrical malfunction.

Beko says it has tracked down and sent letters to 200,000 customers, and made modifications to 11,000 appliances so far. But ultimately, more needs to be done to ensure all customers are protected; not just those Beko has contact details for.

If you have a Beko fridge freezer that is 5 to 11 years old, check the model numbers on Which.co.uk to see if yours is affected. If it is, call Beko immediately to ask what steps need to be taken.

Do you own a Beko fridge freezer? Have you had any problems with it so far? Did you receive a letter from Beko asking you to get in touch, or maybe the company has already modified your fridge freezer?

Comments

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Patricia jones says:
8 July 2011

British gas engineer just fitted the required part ,I asked him did the faulty part cause my interior light casing to melt inside and he said NO you have another problem and to contact Beko,I am not happy at all and would like to know what are beko going to do about it.I am going to contact them,anyone else had the same problem re the light inside melting the plastic??????

russel says:
8 July 2011

Anyone still not able to get through on the 0800 beko number should try the number starting 01923 on about the 2nd or 3rd page of these comments.

Basically when I did get through they left it up to me to book my own fix with comet and earliest possible fix date was 19th July.

They just don’t really seem as concerned, as you would of thought they would be?

Just had an engineer visit. He has refused to replace the part, on safety grounds, as my freezer is showing singns of burning on the plastic. I will not be able to switch the freezer back on so will loose all the contents. I’m currently on the phone to insurance company (waiting for advice) and trying to get back in touch with Beko. Engineer says this is the first one he has seen like this after replacing 200 so far. I’m so angry that Beko knew about the problem for so long without contacting me. My details were on Comet’s database so why no contact after a year?

Judith Adshead says:
8 July 2011

I bought a Beko Freezer ZN321 in Dec 2000. Last September just as I was going to bed I noticed (only because the room that it was in was dark) that the red light was showing through the top crack of the door. I opened the door to find that the stuff in the top shelf was defrosting, and must have been doing so fairly fast, as I had taken something out 5 hours before. I decided I had better switch off the appliance before going to bed. I then bought a new Freezer, and when I moved the Beko out the area round the cable and the skirting board near the plug socket were both blackened. I know the recent problems involved Fridge Freezers, but maybe Beko’s Freezers are not so safe either. I would not buy another of their products.

Emma Tate says:
8 July 2011

Well I finally got through (0800 783 7892 number) straightaway this afternoon! Before I fainted in shock the nice girl on the phone booked an engineer for 15th July (between 8 and 6). We shall see if they turn up!

Renee L says:
8 July 2011

yeah… my fears exactly, we’ll have to see if they turn up!! It’s one thing having a job booked, and another actually having them show up.

The guy on the 0800 number was great but he said he wasn’t even aware that people could enter details on the beko website and request a call-back UNTIL informed by the people phoning in to him. And that he hasn’t had any contact with head office (from what I could gather as he was talking pretty quickly!).

Which obviously means the left hand isn’t talking to the right hand! I managed to get a job booked in and even a job number but hey, they could still be overbooked or their computer system might get overwhelmed and crash!

Trying to keep things in perspective though.

Claire says:
8 July 2011

Finaly got through after 5 days! Asked for a refund because i point blank do not want a Beko product in my house any more. To be told by an arrogant operator “It’s not our problem, we sold the fridge freezers to Curry’s who sold it to you, so ask them for a refund!” Curry’s told me to contact Beko as it’s their product. so a nice case of pass the buck all round! I appreciate that they’re dealing with an extremely high volume of customers, but for me this my first and only contact with them. Someone needs to stand up for us. Talk about the customer being the underdog here is a huge understatement! Upset, worried, totally let down and very frustrated!

martha oliso says:
8 July 2011

I am still trying to get in touch with BEKO, the phone rings an answer message comes on advising to check the website then disconnects.
In the end I spoke to our Trading Standards office and was advised my fridge/freezer is one of the risky ones!!! I am living in hope of no fire
I am appalled at the level of customer service and I will never recommend Beko to anyone

BEKO Employee says:
8 July 2011

Phone the 0800 783 7892 the is no que at the moment,

Thanks

MartinT says:
8 July 2011

Jeez, some of the comments here are ridiculous. From BEKO’s figures theres a 1:25000 chance of a fault, and people fly into outrage and panic. If it was as scary as some of the comments on here then BEKO and the retailers would be offering a different solution. Relax people, log the fault, get your fridge mended and move on with your life 🙂

ann says:
9 July 2011

and what if you are that percentage? is that comfort to the family of the person who died or the 15 seriously injured? i appreciate that going for full refund/product replacement is not a realistic solution but they knew there would be panic and should of made arrangements for this! most comments are that people cannot get through – its not acceptable. to live in fear of a fire – a toxic fire that the fumes could kill before any damage done, is not something people should have to live with. should we all go without fridges/freezers for the 7 days it takes to get someone to answer the phone and then the 2 week wait for engineer? i have a 4 year old and turned of my f/f and finally got through yesterday for an engineer to visit in 2 weeks. you cannot expect people to continue to use something knowing there is a potential hazard. ultimately there should of been a better response programme in place – and on a personal note, i am getting on with my life and i respect the fact that it will take time and i am relaxed and i’m not worried about further faults but they should of had a better call answering system in place.

Tracy Somers says:
9 July 2011

Hey Martin, do you actually have one of the affected fridge freezers, or are you just on here to make unhelpful and (in my opinion) insulting comments to people who are posting on here because they have families that they are concerned about????

If you do actually have one of the affected models, I can only take it that you must be one of those very ‘trusting/gullible’ people that believes exactly what the big companies tell you – has it not come into your head that the company is trying to cover itself and get out of trouble?????? And if you do have one of Beko’s death traps sitting in your kitchen (though I would guess that you don’t)and you are so unconcerned, I hope for your sake that you are not the 1 in 25000!

Harold Thompson says:
8 July 2011

After three days of frustration I am finally getting somewhere. Having picked up the 0800 783 7892 number from other people’s posts I got through immediately and gave my details to the gentleman on the other end. He checked and said my machine was not one of those affected as it has the FFW suffix rather than FFS. Comforting if true but I checked the website to ensure I had not made a mistake. Yesterday the website was down; today it is up and running and much more helpful. I was able to enter my personal details and the model/serial number of my machine. The site confirmed that it may be affected and they would get in touch. I await developments.

BEKO Employee says:
8 July 2011

This is incorrect, phone back the 0800 783 7892 number and book a job. Who ever you spoke to on the phone is incorrect, the last letter on the model is just the colour of the F/F. W=White S=Silver X=Stainless Steel. Tell them to book a job as your is definitely an affected model. Or you could just wait for a call from BEKO call back team who will get back to you within 48 hours hopefully.

Thanks

Ron says:
8 July 2011

Try contrasting Beko’s behaviour with that of Bosch:

Last week-end Bosch placed a large advert in the press advising a potential fire hazzard with certain dishwashers models produced a few years ago. I confirmed that mine mine was affected when I went to the prescribed website. At the same time I was able to fix the Tuesday morning (this week) for the engineer’s visit.
He duly arrived at 9.30am on Tuesday morning this week and replaced the programmer. No bother.

I’m afraid that the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ is still true. Bosh or Beko? No comparison.

Mark Evans says:
12 July 2011

My house burnt down just before Christmas 2010. I am planning on suing. Anyone else affected please contact me at my email address and lets get something going!

Mark

Janet Shurety says:
8 July 2011

I have one of the affected fridge freezers and did manage to get through on Tuesday 5th July after two attempts and waiting 45mins on the phone. The engineer from British Gas fitted the unit this morning Friday 8th July and guess what my previously working fridge freezer does not work anymore and consequently I will be losing all my freezer food. I have managed to contact British Gas through many very very frustrating attempts and they are coming back next Thursday, meanwhile I have no fridge, and no freezer but a pile of rotting food. I hope Beko realises how much this is costing us pensioners. I have not had any problems with this item and have been pleased with its performance for the past few years.

Leigh says:
8 July 2011

Have been trying the 08000094837 number since Wednesday morning. Following a quick look through the comments on the Which website have just tried the 08007837892 number and got through straight away. (It is no longer a retailer specific number). Engineer booked for 13/07/2011 – Newbury, Berkshire area.

Janet says:
8 July 2011

I’ve been trying to call the helpline since the news first broke a few days ago. There is a recorded message and then the call is ended automatically. There is no option to stay on hold. I also emailed the address shown on the website and to date have received no reply. Finally, today I see they have changed the website to include an inquiry form, so I’ve used that as well. I’ve now received only an automated reply, so heaven knows when an actual person will contact me!

Karen says:
8 July 2011

I made the call to BEKO 2 weeks ago and was given an appointment (the earliest) for this afternoon (8th July). Having taken a day off work and sat in and waited – no British Gas engineer has turned up and no courtesy call either! It is not acceptable to expect people to take days off work (my next would have to be unpaid) for a fault to be repaired. It should be completed at the customers convenience, which I guess, for most people 8-5 Mon-Fri is not convenient.

Dave says:
8 July 2011

I have one of the affected models manufactured in 2006. Three months ago it “died” and i called an engineer out who said that it was a faulty compressor, fitted a new one for £170 and left. Two weeks ago it “died” again, so i called out the same engineer who said that it was an internal gas leak which is not repairable. Where do i stand in claiming from Beko?

stuart says:
8 July 2011

after seeing the one show i followed up the imformation given it took 4 hours the nextday to get through to beko, only to be told i would have to wait until the 22 of august which is 7 weeks away. we live in a block of flats with a disabled child and need our fridge freezer as our son has a bowel condition,we need the fruit vegtables in the fridge for his diet, we think its disgusting how we have been treated and thank you currys for letting us know about the problem were still waiting for the letter.if anybody does get any compensation from this please let me . we now have to go and buy a new fridge freezer so we can sleep at night and have to forgo a birthday treat and holiday outings just to be safe thank you very much beko for spoling the holidays and putting people lives at risk for profit.

ann says:
9 July 2011

not sure if this helps but if money is tight, look up Reuse, its a charity where white goods are donated to be brought at a reasonable price if maybe one of those could help you get by till your f/f is fixed? if you are anywhere near Bexley, i will have a spare f/f as of 20 july – and its not a BEKO! I have an engineer fixing mine on the 20th so using my ‘spare’ till then but your more than welcome to pick it up after that. its a 4ft naiko f/f

Sue M says:
8 July 2011

I have an American style side-by-side fridge freezer and I don’t know if it’s affected. I can’t find a serial number anywhere. The diagram on the Beko web site shows an upright fridge freezer with the label inside the door – should I assume that only uprights are affected? I can’t get through to them to ask. I bought it in 2007 but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t manufactured the year before and sat in stock.

ann says:
9 July 2011

i know its hard not too worry but i doubt it is one of the ones affected. it just seems to be standard f/f and there will be a serial number and model number somewhere. mine was at top of fridge even tho everyone elses seems to be by salad drawers but mine was still affected. to be honest no point in trying number or website without product details so maybe they are on the back? good luck!

BEKO Employee says:
9 July 2011

I am currently working on the BEKO support team and dealing with this issue.

If you have one of the model affected on the list, please check your serial number, which is located INSIDE your fridge behind the salad / veg trays on the wall of the fridge. If your number starts with 07/08/09/10 or 11 your F/F is not affected.

As the phone lines are especially busy with the number of calls received, you can also call the 0800 783 7892 number as this was at first only for COMET customers, this line is now open to all retailers.

If you have submitted a request on the BEKO website, please be patient as we are working through a huge list of customers and calling them to book jobs. Due to the number of requests the turn around for this is within 48 hours to receive a call back and book a job.

Depending on the area you live the earliest engineer visit is from 1 week up to 4 weeks in rural areas. *** All Engineer visits are all day slots and we cannot narrow this down to a specific time, BUT the engineer will give a 1 hour courtesy call to inform when he is expected to arrive. **

To inform everyone, we are taking on more employees everyday in both call centers and field engineers to get the call and visit dates down to a earlier time.

Thanks BEKO employee

Jane says:
9 July 2011

BEKO employee ~ this service is an absolute joke! I have been trying to get through all week on your phone line ~ took 2 days just to be able to report it by email because your website kept failing. You said you were extending the times of the phone lines, for many of us to find you hadn’t at all. I eventually managed not to be kicked out of the reporting page & sent an email on Wednesday last week ~ still waiting for a reply. This fault was known about at least a year ago, some are saying it was known about 4 years ago, which would explain why the part was obviously changed 4 years ago. Absolutely diabolical Customer Service. And to say “we are modifying the F/F’s free of charge” like you are doing us all a favour is unreal. You sell us a product that could and has injured and even killed one person & then expect us to be grateful that you are going to rectify the situation. As I suspected, some people are even finding that after the part has been changed, the FF stops working all together! My only hope is that you actually get your fingers out and change the parts in all our FF’s before you go bust! My parents also made the mistake of buying one of your FF’s which is 10 years old, they live in a top floor flat. They are also finding that sending an email to you as your website suggests is an absolute waste of time. Who in their right mind would buy BEKO again after this absolute farce?

BEKO Employee says:
9 July 2011

Call the 0800 783 7892 i am at work now and there is only 1 person in the phone Que. Call today and we will be able to book an engineer out as soon as possible.