Monday, February 26, 2007
Help Me Howard: Warranty
A South Florida family buying all new appliances for their kitchen, and, wisely, they also got extended warranties. But after their oven broke, months later, a company repairman still hadn't fixed it. Now they're calling "Help Me Howard" with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- When Carol decided to redo her kitchen a couple of years ago it made perfect sense.
Carol Mollenthiel: "My family and I enjoy cooking quite a bit. My daughter particularly liked baking cakes quite a bit on the weekends for her friends."
While remodeling, they got all new appliances -- and, to protect themselves, bought a five-year warranty on them, which was a good thing.
Carol Mollenthiel: "Sometime in November my oven stopped working."
Carol called the company; they came out, said she needed new parts, ordered them and then sent the repairman back for the second visit.
Carol Mollenthiel: "The technician arrived with the new parts and said, 'Oh! These are the wrong parts.'"
He ordered the new parts again, and, a few weeks later, a repairman came back out for the third visit.
Carol Mollenthiel: "The technician arrived and said, 'Oh, these parts are the wrong parts.'"
You starting to see a pattern here -- the repairman did, and, before he came out with the new parts for a fourth time, he called Carol.
Carol Mollenthiel: "He asked what's the serial number and model number of your oven and he said 'Oh, that's the wrong part'."
Now three months have passed and several holidays.
Carol Mollenthiel: "Christmas dinner we had to send our turkey over to a neighbor's home to get cooked, to cook it."
Without an oven, Carol has had to use the stovetop a lot.
Carol Mollenthiel: "I've been cooking a lot of stir-fried foods actually."
And ,when they get tired of that, they go out to eat.
Carol Mollenthiel: "At first it was a lot of fun -- eating out -- but now, it's just getting real old and very expensive."
Carol then did what we always advise: Call a supervisor.
Carol Mollenthiel: "He never called back."
Carol is clearly tired of waiting and tired of looking at that nice, cool oven.
Carol Mollenthiel: "I would like either a new unit or my oven fixed."
But what is she entitled to? Your turn, Howard.
Howard Finkelstein: "In this case, the warranty worked. The company tried to fix the oven. That is to their credit, but, if they cannot get the stove working, at some point they have to replace it."
When we spoke to the company's owner he was very helpful.
He told us his people had already made the decision to give Carol a brand new appliance and would call her that day to let her know to come pick one out.
He also said it would have been best if the oven had been brought in for repairs, that way they could have avoided the mistakes and unnecessary delay.
Howard says this case worked out because the warranty was good, but not every warranty is the same.
Howard Finkelstein: "Some extended warranties are covered by the company you are dealing with and others are basically insurance policies handled by out-of-state companies. Look at the details to make sure you are comfortable with the warranty you are getting."
Carol is glad she bought her extended warranty because it got her a brand new oven.
Carol Mollenthiel: "I never thought I would get this excited about a new oven before, but, yes, this is very exciting for my family, and I know we can finally sit down and have a decent meal."
Patrick Fraser: "Now, warranties can bail you out but if you don't have one, don't give up. Many products have guarantees from the manufacturer. Check those out or call the company if something breaks down."
An issue got you all heated up? Cool off and contact us -- we'll try to come in and cook up a solution.
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