Last August, Consumerist reader Dan bought an LG dishwasher from Home Depot. When the unit began to exhibit issues, his attempts to deal with LG were in vain. But a well-worded letter to the CEO of Home Depot got the ball rolling and had a replacement dishwasher ready for him the next day.
According to Dan, the dishwasher was “garbage. It never properly cleaned dishes, and to get even close to clean, we had to pick the longest, most energy-and-water intensive cycle (up to four hours for a full cycle.) Not long after we bought it, parts started falling off – the alignment brackets on the door, the wheels on the lower tray.
“LG wanted to charge me for a repair estimate, and the rep basically said that such damage would likely be considered user-inflicted, and therefore not under warranty. Since I didn’t ever take a baseball bat to the unit, I didn’t see how we could have harmed and abused that poor appliance.”
So Dan used some tips he’d gleaned from the Consumerist to compose the following email to Home Depot CEO Frank Blake:
Dear Mr. Blake:
First, thank you for your time in reading this.
My wife and I are new homeowners and new parents, and when we moved in during the summer of 2010, it seemed that we practically lived at Home Depot. Nearly every single item for our semi-fixer-upper came from your store at Figueroa St., in Cypress Park (Los Angeles.) The employees were universally friendly and helpful.
So, I’d like to compliment your entire staff. But, of course, I’m not writing only to praise.
The only item we’ve purchased that has really, truly, not worked out is our dishwasher (LG Model LDS4821WW, in white, purchased in August, 2010.) From the start, it cleaned dishes poorly. But we were able to make some adjustments – we had to use the most intense cycle, which somewhat negates the product’s energy efficiency, one of the reasons we bought it – and we managed.
Unfortunately, the dishwasher is now, literally, falling apart. From the bottom kick panel to the seals on the door and the rails that guide the dish racks, parts have worn out or simply broken. It is now impossible to properly seat and slide the lower rack. I was amazed, upon researching, to find that this isn’t a rare problem with this product.
LG, unfortunately, has been no help – they say that these aren’t warranty issues, but damage. I can assure you (as I’ve assured LG) that damaging a dishwasher is really hard to do, once it is installed, and we’ve used it like any ordinary family does: no abuse. In fact, once we had the not-clean-dishes problem, we were very careful to baby the product.
Right now, we’re pretty much back to washing dishes by hand, since the dishwasher has turned out to be such a disaster in so many ways. I’ve never written a complaint letter to a CEO, so I’m not sure exactly what to ask for, but what I’d really like is for Home Depot to take the product back, used as it is, so we can exchange it for a better (non-LG) model. I am open to other solutions, but both my wife and I feel that we’ve been through the wringer on this already.
Thank you again for your time, concern, and service.
Dan wrote that e-mail on a Wednesday night at 8:00 in the evening. The next morning, he received a reply from a Home Depot “resolution expediter,” who had been forwarded the e-mail from Mr. Blake’s office.
By 8:45 a.m. that same morning, someone from the local Home Depot called to let him know they would replace the dishwasher free of charge:
She told me that she was standing in front of their floor version of the same model, and then she proceeded to go through all of the competing models they had in stock, comparing them feature-for-feature. Basically, I could pick any one I wanted. I finally chose a Maytag. Final resolution: the replacement dishwasher is on order, and will be delivered to my home next week. They’ll install it, and take the old one away, all at no cost to me.
Dan says his experience with Home Depot has been so positive that he plans on making his next major appliance purchase (a washer/dryer) there.