Is Paying $400 More For The Same Refrigerator Really A Replacement?

E-mails to Consumerist about Electrolux products typically usually contain expressions of dismay. Customers are upset that appliances that are supposed to be “the best” around and are priced accordingly have failed, even within the warranty period, and the company won’t help. You may recall the story of George from a few weeks ago. After some effort, George got Electrolux to offer to buy back his refrigerator, but not to pay the $400 difference between the price of the unit a year ago and its current price. Here’s the interesting thing, though: somehow he managed to buy two separate warranties that replace defective appliances. Not buy back, replace.

Meanwhile, a new repairman came out to visit and diagnose the problem, declaring it not repairable.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote you about an issue with an Electrolux refrigerator. Well the story has gotten even more impossible. As it turns out, we purchased 2 warranties on this item actually by accident. One from Electrolux and one from HH Gregg where we purchased the refrigerator. The one from HH Gregg was a 5 year, the one from Electrolux was a one year. BOTH warranties promise to replace the item if proven defective and unable to be repaired.

Apparently, after having the second repairman look at the refrigerator the problem was a refrigerant leak going into the sealed system of the refrigerator. Unable to be repaired the repairman said. NOT user malfunction or lack of care to the unit by the owners. Please keep in mind at the first call for service the unit was less than 1 year old.

BOTH Electrolux and HH Gregg have since (I will spare you the saga) come back to us with ‘We will refund you the cost of the unit, ($1799.) not including taxes (which of course we paid) not including delivery and installation (which at the time had been waived by HH Gregg but was a charge of $69.99) and NOT including disposal of the unit which they do not want back. (This unit is almost 20 cubic feet….it is not small and it is heavy)

The cost to replace the unit is now $2199. We have the matching freezer and they are in a visible space in the kitchen so we pretty much have to buy the same unit all over again….now at a higher cost, pay taxes again and pay delivery and installation AND pay to have the unrepairable one disposed of.

How do they get away with this? Our warranty (BOTH of them) clearly states they will replace the unit if not repairable.

Anyone out there have any suggestions? My first inclination is to hire an Attorney but I have been assured by both warranty companies (with a definite smirk in their voices) that I can go right ahead but I will not win. Am I just going to be throwing more $$ after what I have already spent? HOW can they get away with this?

We’d suggest calculating the difference and taking one of the companies (Electrolux seems like the better candidate, but H.H. Gregg did have the longer warranty) to small claims court over the difference between last year’s purchase price and the cost of replacing the fridge. It’s not guaranteed to work, and may require actually getting the appliance delivered and then calculating expenses.

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Even A Happy Ending To An Appliance Saga Doesn’t Leave Customer Happy

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