GE Wants To Spend $836 For Repairs On My $500 Washer That Does The Harlem Shake

Reader Philip bought a new washer and dryer on sale last year after Black Friday. They were finally delivered when the family moved into a new house last week. When the time came for the inaugural wash, the machine made a loud banging sound and hopped around the room. GE sent a repairman who, on orders from GE, thought that gutting the washer was an ideal solution. Philip disagreed, pointing out that he would constantly fear a dryer motor fire and would prefer a new replacement, what with the washer/dryer set being newly delivered and all. GE would much rather spend more than the replacement value of the appliance.

He writes:

My wife and I purchased a GE Adora washer and dryer for $499 each (regularly priced $659) during their 2012 Black Friday sale.

The washer and dryer were delivered on February 11th along with a GE refrigerator. The delivery guy hooked up the washer and ran it to show me it worked and then had me sign the delivery papers. My wife and I moved into our new home on February 14th. After unpacking and dealing with moving day-type craziness, my wife decided to do her first load of laundry in her new washer (February 18th).

When she turned on the washer it made such a loud violent banging noise that she called me at work to tell me what happened. I came home and thought maybe the cause was the laundry not being properly balanced. I reloaded the laundry and started the washer. The banging was so loud it shook the house and the washer actually hopped! I called 1-800-Homedepot who put me in touch with GE customer care. GE sent out a tech the next day (19th). The tech determined that the cause is a bad motor and would need to be replaced along with several other parts. He also said he would have to rip out and replace the entire inside of the washing machine (his own words).

I pointed out that the display was foggy because of condensation from the washer, to which he agreed that it would need to be replace as well. The total cost to GE for the repairs – $836. I was shocked GE would spend this much on a machine that I paid $499 for. I asked the tech if it would be more cost effective to just replace the unit since it is defective. (After all, I don’t want a brand new ‘refurbished’ washer that will most likely have problems down the road; not to mention the parts won’t be in stock until February 27th.) The tech said he could not make that decision and that I would need to call Home Depot.

I called Home Depot’s customer care department who then put me in touch with the store I purchased the washer from. The [redacted] store put me on the phone with a local specialist named [R]. She asked me what I would like to happen. I said I would like to return the washer and dryer and get something else, or at least get a new washer. She said she would see what she could do and get back to me. Ten minutes later [R] called me and said, “I am so sorry we cannot return the washer because you are out of the 3-day return window and we cannot send you a new one.”

I told her this is crazy and I requested to speak to a manager. She said the manager made this decision. I told her I wanted to speak to the store manager. Since the store manager wasn’t in, she put me in touch with [redacted], the assistant store manager. He said he was so sorry but there was nothing he could do. I explained to him there are so many problems with the washer that isn’t funny for following reasons:

(1) The washer was brand new, so I shouldn’t be dealing with this.
(2) The motor is malfunctioning and I don’t want to use the washer because I’m concerned it might catch fire and harm my family and my new home.
(3) I can’t wash my clothes.

He said he would see what he could do and would get back to me.

The more I thought about this the angrier I got, so I called 1-800-Homedepot again. I spoke with [T] in customer care. I told her my ultimate concern is having a fire hazard in the house with a baby and that I can’t wash my clothes. She agreed and offered to reimburse me the cost of using a laundry mat. I replied that I live in a very rural area of [the state] and that there are no laundry mats close by. Again, like everybody else, she is “seeing what she can do”. I also asked for a loaner washer and was told none are available. I am so frustrated with this situation that I even emailed Home Depot’s CEO, Mr. Blake.

So far I have heard nothing from Home Depot corporate, [the store where I bought the washer] or Mr. Blake. It amazes me how much money I spent buying a new washer, dryer, and refrigerator–and the extended warranties–and that they could [not] care less.

We’ll let you know if Philip’s letter to the CEO has any result. We don’t want to make light of his situation, but it does sort of remind us of a video that’s been popular on YouTube this week. The main difference is that Philip did not throw a brick inside his washer.