“ Brand: Prestige / Energy Rating: A / Capacity: 10.2 cu.ft / Shelves: 4 „
Last year we moved into a house that came with all kitchen appliances except a fridge. Knowing that my husband had always wanted a tall fridge and that we now had the space to fit one in, we took a trip to Comet to check out our options. After half an hour or so browsing with two extremely grumpy children we decided to go with this one, a tall silver fridge which we bought on special offer for £309 (including delivery). According to the Comet website its RRP is £619.99 but it is currently retailing there for £369.99.
I hadn't realised at first just how tall this fridge was, or how heavy. Its 1.75 m tall, which means that whilst I at 5 ft 6 can just about reach things placed on the top, as well as the temperature control panel - my poor mum at 5 ft 1 has to use the children's step stool even to reach things on the highest shelf. The control panel requires a chair, luckily it isn't necessary to reach it very often. It displays the current temperature inside the fridge in degrees celcius, with two buttons to increase or decrease the temperature. There is also a Supercool button which gets the fridge to the required temperature much faster - which is useful after a complete clean and emptying. I couldn't find the weight listed, but it's a two person job to move it into place and a two person job to adjust the feet at the bottom. One negative here is that the feet do not adjust very well and we have resorted to wedging the bottom with old pieces of flooring to get it level.
Inside are four safety glass shelves, a bottle rack and one large plastic drawer at the bottom. All of these are easily removable and easy to clean. We have had this fridge for a year and they haven't got scratched or damaged at all, they still look as good as new. In the door at the top is a clear plastic shelf with a hinged lid. This came with two egg holders which will hold 6 eggs each. Then there are three normal sized door shelves, with a larger sized one at the bottom, which will hold larger mild and juice cartons. All of these door shelves lift out for easy cleaning.
The internet gives you the cubic capacity of this fridge but if you are like me you will find it hard to visualise exactly how much it can hold. Obviously every household is different but this fridge will swallow our normal weekly shop for four people with two shelves to spare. In the summer I have a massive jug of water in there keeping cold without noticing any lack of space. Everything is much easier to find with all the extra space, no discovering out of date food or mouldy bits at the back wedged behind other things.
When it comes to cleaning it is much easier than our previous small fridge even though it is much bigger. There are no tricky nooks and crannies to dig stuff out of and the back and sides are flat so they can be done with a couple of wipes. Everything slides out quickly and easily, washes easily and goes back easily, making it relatively painfree. Once done you can put everything back in again and press the SuperCool button to get it back to the right temperature quickly.
It is a very quiet fridge, I am currently 2 metres away from it and I cannot hear it at all, it occasionally hums but I have to have the TV off, the children silent, windows closed and the room completely quiet before I can hear it. This Prestige fridge is also A rated for efficiency which is good for the environment and electricity bills!
Hmmm, first negative has to be the door seal which is very efficient after the fridge door has been opened and closed. Usually this would be a good thing, but if you have forgotten to put something away having just closed this fridge is stubborn. A firm yank won't do it, a strong pull won't do it, holding onto the handle and screaming at the fridge whilst yanking won't do it- you need to physically break the seal with your fingernails, or wait twenty minutes until the fridge decides that you are deserving enough to be able to open the door again. My children are now trained to hold the door and stop it from closing until I have finished putting everything away.
Second negative is the door beep. Leave the fridge door open whilst you are loading the shopping in and if you are longer than 3 minutes or so it beeps. Beep beep beep beep.....beeep beep beep beep. Which is annoying, even more so because it only makes the noise when the door is wide open. Occasionally I have come into the kitchen to find the door seal hasn't quite connected and there is a gap.....but no annoying beep.
Third negative is that the door handle is loose and can't be tightened any further. I suspect this is related to the aforementioned yanking of the first negative point. A minor annoyance but an annoyance nonetheless.
Fourth negative is that it is quite a damp fridge, especially at the back and bottom, much more so than any previous fridge I have owned. Part of this is down to the fact that the drainage hole at the bottom blocks at least once a week; easily solved by inserting a cotton bud, but it can be damp again within an hour of unblocking and the whole fridge being wiped down inside. Careful placing of food inside the fridge means that any damage to produce can be avoided, but this careful placing does limit the actual usable space inside the fridge. It is also noticeably cooler and damper at the bottom of the fridge - things go off faster at the warmer top, but things rot quicker in the bottom.
*Would I buy it again*
No. I would buy a tall fridge again without a doubt, but not this brand or model. I love it but it has several little niggles that detract from the experience. In addition whilst it has positive reviews on many sites, owners who have had this fridge for longer than a year report problems around the 13 month mark, primarily with refridgerant leaks, followed by expensive repairs. We have not had any problems yet but the build quality of this fridge does not feel particularly good and it is easy to believe that it won't last as long as a similarly priced Smeg or Bosch. I would have given this fridge five stars in the first few months of ownership, but it doesnt work as well as it could and it has several annoying niggles, so it gets a paltry two stars from me now.
Cooling Type / Short name: Prestige PRT33