/ 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
Paddy says:
15 July 2011

When I saw the announcement re: Dodgy fridge freezers from Beko I checked the serial number and mine was in the group needing a service engineer. Like many others I spent 5 days trying to get through on the 0800 number . It was not a helpline ,it was a recorded message. The website were not funtioning,numbers I had for customer service were engaged as was the head office number. It is quite apparent that Beko has a poor sense of Customer service and instead of setting up an efficient call centre for assistance they ran for the hills. It is an absolute disgrace. I finally sourced a number from the which website, the engineer has fixed it and life carries on, but I will never purchase another Beko product ever again. The engineer did say one thing , he told me about the Beko dishwasher, he said, “cut out the middle man – take it straight to the dump”. Oh well, I wasn’t going to buy their products anyway. I will write to the CEO as a matter of principle, the contempt they have shown for their customers is quite breathtaking. Which has proved a useful tool in this case.

Sandy says:
15 July 2011

UPDATE: I had been trying to get in touch with Beko when the news broke as my fridge/freezer is one of the models that needs modifying. I tried calling them for over a week when I finally got through to them on Tuesday (11th) I was assured I’d get a call from an engineer over the next two days. She said ideally it would be within 24 hours but I’ll say 48 just in case, well it’s been over 72 hours now and no phone call, so I am back to square one again. I rarely swear but I am so p****d of with them now I could scream.

[Hi Sandy, we’ve removed the last part of your message as this site isn’t the place to arrange rallies etc – mods]

Sandy says:
15 July 2011

I have just called Beko after finding out from Which that they have extended their hours to call. Apparently it is now a week before you get a call from the engineer and mine is scheduled for next tuesday. I was reminded that they are very busy because people are panicking…..so it doesn’t matter that they can catch alight and cause serious and in some cases fatal damage. I asked why was I told I’d get a call within 48 hours, again I was reminded that they were very busy…Grrrrr….

Maurice Burrow says:
16 July 2011

I have a BEKO Fridge Freezer Model CDA539FW purchased in 2008 and according to BEKO it is not one that has the faulty part. However before the problem on some models came to notice I have been concerned that the motor runs continuously only cutting out if I turn the thermostat down to 1. We did have problems with food being frozen in the fridge and being soft in the freezer. An engineer fitted a new thermostat and that was resolved but the motor still runs non stop.Is this common with frost free models.

Terri says:
16 July 2011

Hi maurice i to have a 2008 model, just wanted u to know that my motor is harldly ever on and my fridge never freezes and vice versa, i think u might have a problem i would contact beko and explaine…….what is your whole serial no? there might have been a couple that slipped through the net, u never know 😕

William Lawrence says:
17 July 2011

Like man others I feel that Beko’s indifference to customer concern and their complete incompetence in organising a response are quite unacceptable.>their so-called hepline was no help; I had difficulty in finding their customer service number and when I did I could never get through; and to cap it all they had closed down their normal web-site so I could not e-mail them either. My particular problem was that my Beko fridge freezer was in a holiday home some 150 miles away and I was unable to check whether it was one of the affected models. When, after a week, I got through to Beko, I was astounded to be told that despite having registered my purchase with them, they still could not confirm if it was at risk. To do so they needed both model number and serial number and they had a record of model number only.So I am still unsure of the true situation and will remain so until I go on holiday in a few weeks time. What a shambles!!

Bob Longmire-Bowns says:
17 July 2011

I own a stand alone Beko Fridge Model LN221 which has not been a subject of any known problems or recalls. At 02:00hrs this morning the 17th July 2011 my Sita 200 Plus digital fire alarm system activated and alerted me to a fire in my Bar. When I entered the room it was filled with acrid smoke coming from the back of the Fridge. Closer inspection showed the Capacitor a part of the Compressor was in a state of melt down. The 13A Fuse on the Unit was still intact and the 20A electrical safety break on the circuit board had not blown either

mr beryman says:
18 July 2011

tried phoning numerous times, you either get cut off straight away or put on hold for an hour then cut off. tried website crashes every time u put in details. a complete joke of a company putting peoples lives at risk

Hello Mr Beryman

In recent communication with Beko, they told us “Our call centre operations have up to 190 representatives and as of today 97% of calls are being answered on the first try. The call centre will remain open 8am to 10pm, including weekends, for at least the next six weeks.”

If you are still not getting through, then please let us know and we can put your experience to Beko when we meet with them.

If you have any questions you would like Beko to answer, then please feel free to add them to our other Conversation post https://conversation.which.co.uk/energy-home/beko-fridge-freezer-recall-fires-problem-fault-lost-faith/ and I will try to get an answer for you.

Richard

toni says:
2 October 2013

I totally agree with your post!the customer service is not a service at all!I have a faulty fridge freezer but the phone line just rings constantly until they hang up.Also after typing the details into the website it tells me the server is down. So I am unable to tell them I have a potentially deathly product in my home!

Sharon says:
18 July 2011

After discovering I have an affected model, i tried for 2 days to get through on the phone lines, before emailing beko. They took almost a week to reply stating I provided insufficient information, although I confirmed my serial number and model etc. I have emailed them again to no avail, and finally I have now rung yet again only to be told they have no knowledge of my previous emails and an engineer will call me within the next 3 days! The company is an utter disgrace and i am appalled by the lack of consideration for it’s customers. I will never again purchase one of their products and will defintely tell everyone else to avoid them also.

SCOTT G says:
18 July 2011

follow up to an earlier post,,, got in contact with comet to ask why their engineer didn,t do anything to my F/F when he called to modify thermostat, as it was on the list of faulty ones,,, they couldnt understand why he had left saying it didnt need fixed, and asked for serial +model no.s to reconfirm it was faulty,, now i have to wait another 12 days for another engineer to come and do this job,, If i hadn,t followed this up,, i would have been left with a ticking fire bomb, disgusted with BEKO and COMET, will never buy anything from both again,,.P.S. had a BEKO DRCW68 condensor dryer, that lasted 14 months, couldnt be repaired as not cost affective,,, PLEASE beware …..

Fridge engineer says:
18 July 2011

Since thursday I have seen 4 Beko fridge freezers that are “affected” by the current recall that have not needed any action even though they are within the date range given by Beko there is with any production a change over period Beko have given the date range as the latest possible period that the old style timers were fitted.

P.S. I would like to add that it’s not a thermostat mod but a replacement defrost timer, two completely different things.

martin says:
19 July 2011

we bought our beko fridge freezer back in 2005, which caused a fire in may last year at our property according to the fire report. this caused me to break my right leg and brake the heel clean off the the left trying to jump out of the window, aswel as a friend of my girlfriend braking both arms jumping out of a window and her brother recieved treatment for smoke inhalation, had it not been for a passer bye we would certainley not been here today and there were no signs that the fridge freezer was faulty in any way.

Ann says:
19 July 2011

I can’t believe how long it is taking for an engineer to call and arrange an appointment to potentially save my life and that of my family. In the last two weeks, the inexcusable excuses from Beko have ranged from not having my telephone number and engineers being unable to cope with the workload. This incompetence is criminal. How many more deaths do they want on their conscience? I am still waiting for that elusive phone call.

NOT HAPPY says:
20 July 2011

I was alerted to the problem as many people where via a letter from BEKO. I swiftly rang the helpline, they did not recognise the reference that they had sent to me in the letter.
They advised I contacted BEKO directly, I tried to contact them for over a week,i tried to use the faulty website- finally I got through on the telephone, they said they would contact me to send an engineer out over a week ago, now im back trying the phone line. I have stumbled upon this website as i typed in ‘warning signs of malfunction in beko fridgefreezers’ into google. The fridge-freezer has had numerous problems since it was bought and is now making strange noises and has frozen everything in my fridge! – I am in two minds as to turn it off and ruin everything in it. Im in a predicament. Its not a nice feeling going to bed and having to check your smoke alarms. I think this is a disgrace.How could you go to sleep at night being an execcutive at a firm knowing your product has malfunctioned so many times? – Im betting they dont own beko products!

Maxine Rowan says:
21 July 2011

i have a beko fridge freezer. i’m not sure how old it is maybe 2002. i bought it in Currys in Coleraine and have had trouble with it from the start. it leaked water which collects at the bottom of the fridge and i have to use towels to dry out weekly as the water starts to spill over onto kitchen floor.

i found it difficult to get help or advice from Currys at the time and when i telephoned beko i just got passed from one engineer to another adviser and so on. i gave up in the end hoping it would settle down but still it continues to leak water and i continue to mop it up and dry out fridge with large bath sheets on a weekly basis.

Hello Maxine Rowan

We have been in contact with our lab on this matter and they’ve replied with the following information:

in case the fridge compartment is a non-frost free one, it’s possible that the hole at the back of the fridge, which drains the water out, is blocked.

In case your model is a full no-frost (frost free) model, than is may be the same reason but it is more difficult to find out. Many of these models are completely covered at the inside back of the fridge compartment, so it’s not easy to find out if the drainage channel might be blocked or not.

I hope the above of of help to you but if you still experience the same problem then I would advise you to contact Beko’s customer service line and ask them for advise on this fault.

Richard

Lee Douglas says:
21 July 2011

I’ve had a BEKO Fridge-Freezer since 2008 – so it’s newer than the ones causing problems – but I’ve had to have the defrost timer replaced over 6 times so far as it keeps failing.

I note this is safer than setting my flat on fire, but I’m still losing a fortune on food everytime it happens.

BEKO need to get their act together quite frankly, as this is atrocious.

Anon. says:
22 July 2011

I work for the BEKO helpline and we do get through as fast as we can. Unfortunately the engineers aren’t getting into contact with customers as soon as they’d promised us and we’re getting the rap for it. I’ve seen that a few of you have said you get a message when you call in and have mistaken this as not being able to call us; I advise that you wait until the automated message is over then see if you get through to the staff at BEKO. Also, at lot of you are complaining about the waiting time for an engineer to get in contact, as you can obviously understand, there has been a lot of calls about this matter. Not just from only affected appliances, but also those who just want to check if theirs is ok. We also get a lot of angry calls come through and as you may realise, this is very stressful for us at the BEKO helpline, it does help us if you are polite and as calm as possible as this means we can process your request quicker and escalate calls. If you haven’t recieved a call after 7 days, then call in and we’ll try and get things sped up, but please wait until it has been 7 days as this is the estimated call back time. I apologise for the poor customer service that you may have experienced lately, but we have taken on new staff and they are learning on the job. Again, all i can do is apologise for your delays but this is a problem which we are trying to resolve, it’s just taking time as the workload has been huge for the service engineers and there is an extremely long waiting list.

pag says:
24 July 2011

Hi Not Happy. I noticed that the advice on the BEKO website has changed. They now say if you have an affected product and it develops a fault or isn’t working properly you should unplug it immediately and call them. I think to be on the safe side you should follow this advice.

The customer depts at BEKO and Comet have proved inept at managing the engineer service to replace the faulty thermostat on my fridge freezer. Recording my telephone numbers and address incorrectly so that the engineer could not make contact and even went to the wrong house last week. Today an engineer called at the house but refused to enter the house because residents and paid parking is being introduced in my area, when it was explained that this was not in force until august and no-one had permits or was required to pay for parking (including me) they still refused to enter and repair this fire hazard and potentially lethal fault on the fridge freeer. Comet services told me that they understood the engineers perspective because he may get a fine! A fine that will not materialise as the parking enforcement zone is not operational!!!!! But my word is not enough I have been asked to produce a letter to say this before the engineer can visit! I was told it would take the engineer ten minutes to walk to my house from the nearest free parking and they were not prepared to do this!! What price is my life!! it seems its not worth a possible £60 fine, a fine that will not happen because as I have already said the parking zone is not operational. Comet services had no way of resolving this dilemma when I called them other than lodge my unhappinness with the situation as a complaint, when asked if I could speak to a manager of supervisor there and then I was told no!! I have to wait for the complaint to escalate through their IT system! It is ridiculous, so far we will have waited in the house two days for this apparent ‘ten’ minute job to be resolved!! BEKO and Comet seem to think that people do not work and can be at home all day waiting for them to call to resolve a problem which should not have happened if they had produced a safe product in the first place. POOR SERVICE at a time when they should be working hard to reassure all customers that they are safe

ann says:
25 July 2011

just to add to all the blood boiling – i eventually got thru (as said in previous posts) but I decided to get rid of my f/f during the 3 weeks I was waiting for engineer as fridge was like a swimming pool and it made a racket all the time anyway, i emailed beko a week before engineer was due with my details and date ect to cancel app and notify them that appliance was gone but British Gas still called me to tell me they were on their way within the hour on the day they were due.
its a shame cos someone else could’ve had that appoitnment.

and as for ANON comments – he is right, no matter how angry we all are/were, there is no point in yelling at the person at the end of the phone – they’re doing a job, they cannot change Bekos operation, they cannot actually do anything to help.
after an hour on hold of eventually getting thru after 3 days, the lad i spoke too was very polite and helpful and i think rather surprised I didn’t give him a mouthful cos he initially made a mistake with call holding whilst on the phone to another customer – making me wait longer ect but these things happen at work. i just hope they are being treated well by Beko for having to put up with the brunt of peoples anger.

Emma says:
27 July 2011

Hi
I am also very frustrated with Beko I emailed them three days ago on the website where you can check whether your fridge is affected and still not heard anything. I contacted Beko on the telephone today they told me they had all my details but still could not give me an indication of a date or timescale as to when an engineer will be able to come. I explained that I have a small baby in the house so I am obviously very concerned and cannot switch my fridge freezer off as I need it to store milk. The operator was obviously just sticking to his script told me he would escalate it and someone would get back to me, that was first thing this morning I am still waiting. Very frustrated at their lack of urgency. Just to add to my frustration the model number has actually rubbed off my fridge so I rang Beko initially with the serial number and was told point blank that there was absolutely nothing they could do to check whether my appliance could be affected without the model number even though I had thne serial number, Luckily I did manage to find my instruction book which had the model on it so could then check. It just makes me wonder how many people are going to be in the same position despite having the serial number as they have lost or thrown away the instruction book after a few years Im sure mine is not the only one where the model number has rubbed off after several years of use. I am 4 months pregnant with a baby and could do without this unecessary worry.

Garry says:
29 July 2011

It is now 29th July and 12 emails later and still waiting for the engineer’s to call ………now they have provided a number for the engineers company and I guess are trying to divert the calls and emails away from them and to the company they have organised to do the repairs…………………..it simply is not good enough…?? Will beko pay for the damage if the item goes on fire as the insurance will not cover it now and am sure like other people you can’t just plug your fridge freezer out or afford to go and buy a new one.

Craig says:
29 July 2011

Waited in from 8-6 but phoned call center at 5 as no sign of engineer. They said they could not contact the engineer. I got the run around and had to phone several numbers but one said engineer may come before 8pm. Still no engineer. Complaint has gone to head office. A waste of a day of my life. They said head office will phone me on Monday.