The fridge in question required a GE RPWFE refrigerator water filter. It has an RFID chip, which the fridge uses to verify the authenticity of the part.
This sort of nonsense exists widely with printers, now refrigerators are doing the same thing.
The difference between RWPF and RPWFE is that the RPWFE has an RFID chip on it. The fridge reads the RFID chip off your filter, and if your filter is either older than 6 months or not a genuine GE RPWFE filter, it’s all “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t dispense any water for you right now.”
Such practices are illegal in Canada but given the global nature of appliances, laws have little meaning. Blocking third party parts is illegal.
So besides printers, refrigerators are up to no good as well.
GE KNUCKLES UNDER
Many refrigerators have built-in water filters that filter sediment and contaminants from the water to the dispenser and/or the icemaker. If you do not need or want to use the water filter, a bypass plug must be used in place of the filter.
If the plastic bypass plug was not supplied with the refrigerator or has been misplaced, one can be ordered at no charge by calling 1-800-GECARES. In Canada, call 800-561-3344.
Here are instructions on how to install the bypass. You must use the filter bypass plug when a replacement filter is not available. If a filter is not in place and the filter bypass plug is not engaged, neither the dispenser nor the icemaker will operate.