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Samsung RS21 fridge (Watchdog)

Posted 8th Apr 2008
Samsung RS21 fridge

7 April 2008
Heather Lloyd thought the RS21 would be the perfect choice for her new kitchen and new family. She bought the fridge from Curry's in July 2005 and paid £600. She started to experience problems with it just before Christmas 2007. The water dispenser stopped working and there was a vibration coming from inside the fridge. She noticed that the temperature inside the fridge had gone right up and the food was starting to spoil. When Heather contacted Samsung, it said that her fridge was outside the two-year warranty and that she would have to pay for the repair herself. Fixing the problem would have cost her up to £200.

Simi Owodunni bought her RS21 from Comet in August 2000. It was only a year before her fridge started to display the same symptoms as Heather Lloyd's. As it was still under a two-year warranty it was repaired for free, but a year later the same problems happened again and Simi found herself having to defrost her fridge every week to stop food from going off. When she called Samsung again she was told that this time she'd have to pay to fix the fridge herself. Which, not surprisingly, she wasn't keen to do.

The RS21 has a digital display panel on the front which is supposed to tell you the exact temperature inside the fridge. We gave Simi a digital thermometer to test the temperature. And although the display panel on the outside of the fridge claimed it was a chilly one degree, in fact it was a much balmier 15 degrees, at least ten degrees more than a fridge should be.

Sharon Tettersall bought her fridge for her young family and to help keep her diabetic son's insulin cool. If insulin isn't kept refrigerated it loses its effect and a diabetic who's dependent on it could become seriously ill. Like our other contributors, Sharon noticed that the fridge started to make a funny noise and that the temperature was rising. She tested the temperature and found that her fridge was also at 15 degrees. Sharon paid £125 to get it repaired, but the fridge broke down again just a few weeks later. Now she's had to borrow a fridge to store her son's insulin.

Consultant engineer Malcolm Robbins explains: "This fridge has a fundamental design fault because water which drains from the evaporator coil during defrost cannot escape. Ice forms on the coil, grows back to the fan, hits the fan blades and stops the fan running. After that the fridge won't work." Malcolm said he didn't think it was right that customers should have to foot the bill for repairs and that the fridge was not 'fit for purpose'.

We contacted some fridge service engineers and seven out of the ten we called were familiar with the problems with the Samsung fridge.

It's all very well for an appliance to look smart in your kitchen. But some of the people who fell for the Samsung RS21's sleek good looks and 'unique cooling technology' now wonder if it might not be more at home in a fridge scrap yard.

Company Response
Samsung Electronics would like to personally apologise to any of its customers who have experienced this problem with an RS21 Side by Side fridge-freezer.

Samsung Electronics identified this manufacturing problem with the RS21 through its ongoing quality control procedures. Samsung Electronics has subsequently introduced an improved model of the RS21 and notified all Samsung certified service engineers of the improvement process and parts required.

Having reviewed these particular cases and its service policy with regard to the RS21, Samsung Electronics will provide an extended five-year warranty from date of purchase in respect of this fault. This will entitle any customer experiencing this fault to receive a free service engineer's visit and repair. This extended warranty will be in effect immediately.

Samsung Electronics would ask any customers who have this problem with their RS21 to call this freephone number, 0800 988 0123, to arrange for it to be fixed under this extended warranty. Samsung Electronics would like to reassure all customers of its commitment to quality customer service and would ask anyone with questions to call the number above.

I was effected as I had one of these and also hjad the same prob.
Community Updates


Every deal that comes up for any RS21 (well actually any Korean made refrigeration appliances) ive put this up saying not to buy one because they are flawed.

And its what the trade have been saying for years!


I can only show the public post though

I have refused to sell any Samsung refrigeration products ever since I had to have virtually all my stock of RS21's repaired in 12 months.

There is no way they didnt know abouts its problems before they released these RS21 and they went and sold them to us anyway. The design flaw is with the Water dispenser this kicks off all the problems.

I just feel sorry for Repaircare who do the servicing for Samsung done an excellent job with any issues that my customers had under warranty.

Sorrt to say but Samsung, LG & Daewoo just havent got a clue how to make a fridge/freezer. Daewoo are actually making theirs in Spain now so hopefully these will better.
I know.. I have this one and last year mine broke down and they had to do this for me. I asked for £150 for foodwastage and then they said no. I called for 3 days and today they offered me a replacement model lol worth £1150. I said to them if you have to offer me 5 years support and if it breaks down every 2 years its no good for me and i won!

If you have one of these i would refuse the 5 year and say you want a replacement. its easy done! if they wont give me a pm and ill send you my customer code for you to quote! this machine will break down.

They offered me model rsh1dlmr which is a new one not out in the shop yet lol
we have the very said fault featured in watchdog ,have made the initial contact to samsung and they are sending out an engineer wed 16th . in your post you said they replaced yours how would i go about this as we cant afford to be replacing a £700 fridge because the extended warranty only applies to the fault featured on the tv , and by the sounds and reading comments we cant expect to much from this appliance in regards to long life
just phone them and say you dont want it repaired you want it replaced as the fix you offer will not fix it
also had this problem over a year ago,

engineer came out and knew exactly what was wrong and made drainage hole slightly larger so the excess moisture could drain freely, he explained that the drainage hole was simply not adequet for the size of fridge and was a design fault.

to give a better idea of what had happened the water in the back of the fridge had built up and frozen around the cooling fan, so the back of the fridge and the fan were completely covered with ice.
fridge has never had a problem since.

There is no way they didnt know abouts its problems before they released … There is no way they didnt know abouts its problems before they released these RS21 and they went and sold them to us anyway. The design flaw is with the Water dispenser this kicks off all the problems.

just wondering - the rs21wasm doesn't have a plumbed water dispenser and is on the fridge side (just a simple bottle mechanism) - would this problem affect this model?
Sorry it affects all RS21 models just the water dispenser accelerates the issue. On the new models that are 'slightly' better cant remember which way round but they swapped the dispener level around ill ask around to clarify which way round the old/new versions are.
I have a four year old RS21 that has recently iced up: fridge compartment, circulation fan makes a noise as it hits the ice building up, then stops - fridge heats up. I've dismantled it and de-iced it once.
Rang Samsung (0800 98 0123). Absolutely no problem. Immediately booked a service engineer to come and fit the required modified part. Original two year warranty extended by a further three years.
The test of the supplier is not just whether you have a problem, but how well they fix it. On that count, ten out of ten for Samsung.
Just read all these complaints and ditto! I have an identical problem with my RS21 WASM fridge freezer model for the 2nd time in 5 years.Bought my fridge in 2007 & this fault 1st occurred in 2010 and was fixed by a Samsung engineer. Roll on 2015 and the same problem has re-occurred. I called Samsung on tel Nr 0800 988 0123 and they politely told me that I am not entitled to get this 2nd reocurring fault fixed. Not at all happy and will complain bitterly to Samsung as this is very poor for a fridge that cost the best part of £1000.00. I feel as though they have stolen my money.
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