/ 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
Will says:
7 July 2011

I urge all those who feel that Beko have not fulfilled their legal right to repair, modify, inform or advise them to contact BBC Watchdog, they are awaiting your contact.

[Hello Will, we’ve just removed the caps in your comment as advised in our Commenting Guidelines. Thanks.]

Paula says:
7 July 2011

Yep think that’s my next step !!

Karen says:
7 July 2011

I got through on the 019 number straight away yesterday about 5pm and the lady took my name and number and said they will phone me back – how long did you wait for a call back? bit worried as I gave my home number thinking they would phone back last night and I’m at work today so if they have not called will ring again with my mobile number!

Paula says:
7 July 2011

Hello
What a sham ……ive been trying to call for 2 days solid . pls whats the full o19 number .hope you have sucess. I’m so annoyed now.

Dean says:
7 July 2011

Paula. You prob have the number by now but if not its 01923 818121.

[Hello Dean, we have removed your second phone number as it is for an unrelated company.]

carol rochester says:
7 July 2011

i have one off the affected appliances and have verified online only to be informed to phone helpline that they cut you off after a recorded message very frustrating

Louise says:
7 July 2011

I am also very annoyed have tried to get through on the free number for the past 2 days solid also being cut off after a message stating they are receiving high call volumes. This is not right surely they have a responsibility !! i have small children to consider, My childrens live’s are being put at risk and i am not having it .

Louise says:
7 July 2011

Just to note I also have an affected appliance .

dm says:
7 July 2011

okay bit of an update from yesterday, beko engineer contacted me this morning to tell me they will be out to repair it on 13/07, not very happy as i turned my fridge freezer off as i didnt want even the smallest chance, i know i having been using it up til now and nothing happened but now that i know there is a fault i wouldnt be able to sleep at night if i had left it on and no sleep mum and summer holidays dont mix well. i mentioned to engineer on phone that i have british gas cover for white goods and he told me british gas would be doing some repairs also. so i called british gas, to be told that they couldnt fix it as it was an “upgrade” so i then asked to be put through to the cancellation department as this isnt an upgrade its a fault with the fridge freezer and i didnt see the point to paying £15 a month for white good cover. i now have a british gas engineer coming tomorrow. but was just wondering for others in same situation, where they are given dates for next week but have turned there appliance off, should beko not cover the charge for them to get an engineer out sooner? i would have had more respect for beko if they actually seemed to care about there customers concerns, i can appreciate that its a lot of repairs for the engineers and its not there faults and i am in no way having a go at them, but beko should be bringing in independant engineers to get this problem fixed for there customers sooner. i doubt im the only customer who was given a date for next week.

Dean says:
7 July 2011

Well I finally got through yesterday on the 0800 number as the others didnt work after 5pm, I just kept getting a recorded message asking to try later. After listening to very quiet music and a message saying I was in a queue, my call is important and i could ring back later I finally got to speak to someone after 58 minutes. The woman on the other end was lovely, she took my details and arranged for an engineer to call on the 19th (who she said would be a British Gas engineer ???). Not exactly soon but I guess theres a waiting list so im happy with that. Im not sure why some of you guys are expecting call bvacks to arrange a visit, they should have done that there and then over the phone with you. Hope you all get it sorted in the end.

Jason Kee says:
7 July 2011

I spoke with Beko yesterday before noon and was advised a British Gas engineer would call me the same day. No calls and nothing yet.

Emma Tate says:
7 July 2011

I’ve been trying to get through on the phone for 3 days with no success. After a constant engaged tone, on the second day I started getting a message saying they are busy but then they hang up on you! No queue or anything. I emailed them in desperation and finally got a response asking for details, but not my phone number so I don’t know how they are going to arrange an engineer! They must have known when the story was made public what was going to happen but they haven’t put any measures in place to cope with the volume of calls. For such a potentially serious problem Beko are acting really irresponsibly and worrying lots of people with no idea of when the problem is going to be fixed.

Harold Thompson says:
7 July 2011

Beko has made it almost impossible to contact them. Their 0800 number constantly tells callers the large volume of callers means they cannot deal with the current call and then cuts off; the 019 number is always engaged; their website (apart from the page on which the model can be identified) is down, the relevant page gives no opportunity to contact on-line. I was about to send them a letter when I spotted an email address so I sent them an email ten minutes ago and have just received the message “Your message was read on Thursday, July 07, 2011 12:44:45 PM (GMT+02:00) Athens, Bucharest, Istanbul”.

Let us see what results.

Jane says:
7 July 2011

Having tried for 2 days to get through on the phone line, the frustration of getting no where seemed pointless. Whilst stuck on permanent redial, I was also making attempts to use the checking service on their website, which just kept throwing me out. When it eventually did work yesterday evening, and told me that my fridge freezer was potentially one of the one’s containing faulty parts, it then referred me to the very same phone number I’d been trying for 2 days(!!) or an email address which is fridges@beko.co.uk for anyone who doesn’t have that address & wants to try that route. I emailed them yesterday evening, still haven’t had a reply back as yet, gave them both my email address & phone number & said I’d be available for the engineer to call & replace the faulty part whenever they could send one.

Does seem strange how some people are managing to get through & get an engineer the very next day, whilst other’s are having to wait weeks ~ doesn’t seem to be on any kind of first come, first served basis either. Think it’s pretty poor that this fault has been known about for at least a year, (although as this part was obviously changed in later models, makes you wonder if they have known about it for quite some time?). As my fridge freezer is an 05 model, obviously as it’s older, it’s more worrying that the fault could be building up & despite what they have said about it being only a very few causing the fires, because of the fact that the fire brigade seem to have had to almost force them to do something about this, it doesn’t inspire much confidence in what Beko say. Will keep you posted on if and when anyone ever decides to get back to me.

Patricia jones says:
7 July 2011

I came back from weeks break to find my beko fridge freezer had burnt out the inside of the bulb casing, I then decided to have a look on the Internet then saw the recall ,I rang the help line and was asked did get a letter from them ? No I replied told the lady what happened and she said a engineer will call ,he is booked in for tomorrow,I really don’t have any faith in the fridge freezer anymore even when they fit the part,I would rather a different make,are beko going to give people a compensation ??? I dread to think what could have happened while I was away.

WENDY REID says:
7 July 2011

I have tried calling on the free o800 number and like others have received no reply too busy. I have an affected model -caf7015ffs-0511009915.what do you do. Emailed also twice and had no reply from that. Very concerned going away for a weeks holiday in 1 weeks time and if a fire starts no one will be at home.

Jane says:
7 July 2011

Hi Carole, I’m in Surrey.

Heather says:
7 July 2011

Still trying to get through their helpline, on the third day. Unfortunately if you work, you cannot spend all day hanging onto a helpline waiting for them to answer. I bought the appliance from a small independant local supplier, so can imagine also when I ring that they will say they don’t have my details on line. I don’t care whether they do or not, at the end of the day I have a faulty appliance and they need to fix it. That is if I ever get through to them!!
Three days trying to get through to a helpline is just too much!

sue says:
7 July 2011

inder my insurance if a repair is not done in six weeks i get a new appliance so they had better hurry up ad answer the phone and deal with my fridge/ freezer asap .

dm says:
7 July 2011

Hi Carole, next week was the earliest appointment they could give me, i asked. so i am quite happy for brittish gas to do the repair tomorrow, at least the customer service agents there seemed to be sympathetic to the problem and since the beko engineer said that brittish gas would be helping them with the repairs i can only assume that brittish gas have the right parts to do the repairs. i did call beko back to cancel the engineer coming out to me next week.
for those still trying to reach beko, i seemed to get through quite quickly to this no 08007837892 this morning.
hope it helps.

Vicky gaillard says:
7 July 2011

I got a letter from Beko, I rang them and found out that my freezer was affected and they said they would come out but said the appointment would be from 8am until 6pm and that I would need to wait in (obviously) for the engineer. Because I work I wasn’t able to commit to the appointment at that time. The letter they sent did not imply that it was such a dangerous situation had I known I would have accepted. Now I can’t get back through to the phone line. What terrible customer service. Should I turn the fridge/freezer off??

Hi everyone – thought I’d add a link to some advice just published on Which.co.uk, which pulls together a lot of the useful bits and pieces of advice Carole has been responding to individuals with throughout this Conversation thread. Hopefully it’ll help summarise the key info you need to know.

http://www.which.co.uk/home-and-garden/kitchen/guides/beko-fridge-freezer-fire-risk-qanda/

Thanks and good luck – hopefully Beko extending its call centre opening hours will help to alleviate the long waiting times – eventually…

dm says:
7 July 2011

hi Carole, i’m in scotland, just outside glasgow. phoned my neighbour to see if she could keep some milk for me, she hadnt heard anything about it and has just discovered while on the phone to me that she too has an affected one.

Dayle Cairney says:
7 July 2011

DM I saw you comment and after trying the other 2 numbers without any luck, I tried this one as you said you were from Scotland, Glasgow and after hearing a recorded message about high call levels I waited on the line and was answered in approx 3 mins. I was told an engineer will call on 19th July. As it is a big problem to deal with getting to everyone, I accepted the date. Thank you for posting this number. Anyone else having problems getting through, if you are from Scotland maybe this number will work better for you. Thanks again.

I have been trying unsucessfully to contct Beko since last Friday it’s very frustrating. the modal and serial number of my fridge is listed on the affected list. Surely Beko must have a duty of care to its customers who are at risk- however small. Is there any other agency I could contact to get some help, please?