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I bought a Smeg Fab 30 a few years ago as I loved its retro styling and ratio of freezer to fridge.
Unfortunately within 12 months we had to replace the glass shelving at £12 per shelf. Not ideal but we thought we were just unlucky. So imagine my delight when I needed to replace them again a year later. I contacted Smeg and the shelves now cost £48 per shelf. It is ludicrous to think that for the cost of the replacement shelves, I could buy a new fridge! I asked Smeg if there was any reason the shelves kept breaking and they asked me what I was putting on them!!! When I complained they did agree to send me out 2 shelves free of charge but actually only sent me one. I have since taped the shelves together using parcel tape as I refuse to continue purchasing new shelves.
Other problems are that the back of the fridge freezes, so items stick to it. Water also builds up on the bottom shelf and needs to be wiped down on a daily basis. Recently the door shelves have broken. I must stress that it has not been subjected to heavy use, we have no children and generally look after things and I of course expect normal wear and tear.
I would not recommend this product at all unless you are happy to keep replacing the shelving at £48 per shelf. It looks great but thats not enough to recommend it.
Please ensure you do plenty of research before you buy as I didnt. I depended on it being a luxury brand and presumed it would be of excellent quality. Read reviews from people who have owned the product for a year as if I had reviewed it straight after purchase I would have given it rave reviews.
A few months ago we returned from a week away to discover our 4 year old Bosch fridge freezer had died. I had filled the freezer to capacity before going away to ensure we would not have to shop for a while on our return. All was ruined. Luckily the fridge was empty but the smell on opening the door was not pleasant! Our local engineer confirmed its death, citing the compressor as the cause. We were informed that it would be cheaper to buy a new fridge freezer than to have it repaired.
I trailed around the local electrical showrooms to see what was available. I looked at another Bosch but felt annoyed that our old fridge had not lasted long so decided to choose another brand.
I really liked the look of Miele, as although expensive the build quality seemed superb. The models I looked at seemed well designed and a friend had highly recommenced the company in general. As I was leaving our local Comet having decided to check out the price of my chosen Miele on the Internet I spotted a real thing of beauty. I stopped and marvelled at the gorgeous black retro fridge freezer before me. On opening its huge door I was immediately hooked and knew no other would do. What was it? A black Smeg fab30 NE4!
What you get for your money
Smeg is an Italian company and are renowned for their innovative designs. In addition to a beautiful looking fridge freezer you also get a high quality interior consisting of-
7.3 cu ft of fridge space-or 243 litres if you prefer!
3.65 cu ft of freezer space-or 68 litres.
3 adjustable glass shelves in the fridge. These are made of safety glass and feel very thick. They are easy to remove for cleaning.
1 salad crisper-again easy to remove for washing.
2 adjustable thermostats-1 for the fridge and 1 for the freezer and a temperature indicator allowing you to check all is well.
1 covered storage box made of good quality clear plastic- idea for storing cheese.
1 high quality chrome wine rack.
In the door there are 2 butter compartments, 2 small shelves and a large shelf for milk etc. I buy the 2.2 litres plastic bottles of milk and can comfortably fit 2 in plus 2, litre bottles of fruit juice.
The freezer compartment is situated on top of the fridge and has 1 shelf and an ice-cube tray included.
The fridge freezer is 168 cm tall 60 cm wide and 66 cm deep. It is crucial that you allow a gap of 175mm to the side of the fridge freezer to allow the door to open.
The fridge freezer comes with a 1-year manufactures guarantee and an instruction booklet.
This appliance is available in several colours including blue, red and pink. I chose black to match my kitchen. It is described as a 50s retro model and has thick doors and rounded edges. There are 2 large silver handles and the name Smeg in silver writing completes the 50s look perfectly.
Unlike many other manufactures Smeg fridge freezers do not have door hinges that can be adjusted. The models come with either left or right hand opening doors and the model number for each is different, so ensure you know which you are ordering!
The fridge defrosts automatically but the freezer does not. It takes about 15 hours to defrost. The energy efficiency is A rated meaning it is efficient! It uses 420 KW/h of electricity per year, which is about £30.
I have not had cause to use Smegs after care thankfully, but when I phoned their customer service to ask a technical question they couldnt have been more helpful.
This is not a cheap model and it pays to shop around. I bought mine from co-op electrical on line and paid £902.99 plus £19.99 for delivery. The prices vary according to the colour you choose and whether you need a right or left hand opening door.
Smeg is available from many electrical suppliers, but I found few actually had 1 on display. I would advice you to phone ahead to check there is one on display before visiting!
I think the appliance looks stunning and many of my friends do too! It looks chunky and well made and I love the shinny back finish and the chrome handles.
The choice of colours is amazing and I dont know of any other company to rival them.
The chrome wine rack is a nice touch, although a know Miele includes one in most of their models too.
The fridge freezer works efficiently to keep food at the right temperature and the temperature indicator allows you to ensure that it is running at the correct temperature.
You need to allow a fairly large gap (175 mm) to allow the door to open. This can make positioning this model difficult. You could have it standing away from the wall but this is not the best situation.
For the size of the appliance the fridge is not that big. The salad crisper is quite small too. It is possible to remove the wine rack to create more space if needed.
The plastic storage box is a nice addition but the lid is very awkward to close properly. Im sure Smeg could have designed this better with a bit more thought!
Although the fridge automatically defrosts the freezer doesnt. I think for the cost the freezer should be of the frost-free variety!
This was an expensive fridge freezer and I think Miele probably offer a superior product as far as build quality and technical features go. However I bought this make purely because of its looks! It does the job of keeping food cold well as you would expect, but if you want something a bit different that will enhance your kitchen then take a look at the Smeg, you may find yourself hooked as I did!
Freezer Volume / Short name: Smeg FAB30