To begin with, I understand your frustrations. My dishwasher packed up on me when I had a newborn in my house. My kitchen started smelling like sour Similac baby formula until the appliance was fixed.
One of the reasons I decided to open an appliance repair company years back was to handle these types of situations fairly. I was also looking for a solution to these recurring issues.
On average appliances require a service 20% of the time in the 1st year ( we publish the repair statistics, but make sure you read about the appliances that are the most reliable to get an idea). Your problems are probably common, due to the fact that none of the brands are repair-proof.
However, in most cases, the return policies happen to be unclear and will often frustrate you tremendously in the way of wasting your money and your time. The retailer and the factory may also ally against you.
So in this article, we will give you more information on what to expect, along with what is deemed unfair, and tips on the best way to mitigate tough situations. Yet as a business that performs more than 20,000 service calls, I need to ask politely:
Is The Appliance You Purchased Really A Lemon?
Which brings about an issue that I experienced a few weeks back.
A customer called me to tell me that the washer she had purchased was no longer working. She stated that she wanted this appliance “out of her house or else”. I patiently listened to her complaints and then went onto to advise her that I don’t stock a better product, and she wouldn’t be able to find one in any of the other stores.
I offered her a refund, but also let her know that the next machine that she buys will carry on performing in the same manner, if she carried on not using the appliance in the right way. It turned out that she was not using the washer correctly. We sent out a technician to show her the right way to use the washer for free.
We hear this type of story on a daily basis. In some cases, the appliance was installed wrong, or the breakers might be off, or the electrical lines or plumbing may have an issue, and in some cases, it might be the error of the user.
These things happen. We also understand these issues and this is the reason we won’t charge to educate the user ( it costs less than returning the appliance and then still facing the same issue).
When it comes to the other stores, not all of them will provide this same service.
Now, if the appliance really is classified as a lemon, what is regarded as fair?
If we are unable to quickly repair the machine, we will replace it fast. Period.
Many appliances will break or stop working in the 1st year. I regard fast repairs as a reasonable solution. However, “reasonable” is not actually defined, and for this reason, it is open to your own interpretation.
Most of the service agencies in factories will have the expectation of at least 3 service call before exchanging a product. Maybe, they never had a newborn drinking Similac, but these are the return policies they have in place.
It also does not really matter very much to the service-only agencies and the factories as they were not the companies that sold the appliance to you. So technically it is not really their problem, which means they can follow the policies that they like.
The further that the services are from the sales, the poorer your experience will become.
The Remedy For Lemons
To begin with, you need to leverage the store that you purchased the appliance from. Start by contacting your salesperson. Many people that work in this industry will try their best, but if the service is lacking, they too lack the ability to move forward quickly. Here are a few tactics that you can try to help speed up these processes. This is the most time-efficient and best action to take.
A bad review on Google or Yelp is a great tactic, provided what you say is accurate and fair. Most companies that are good will care a lot when it comes to their reputation, yet the companies that are bad do not. A small tip when it comes to this: Always investigate and review a business before you decide to buy from them.
The Better Business Burea
My feeling is mixed when it comes The Burea. They will definitely contact the customers, yet the business is able to close a file by just responding.
Credit Card Chargeback
You can also file your claim on your card. However, the business is able to reverse this claim when they provide the documentation that your appliance was delivered. The Burea does not have any legal authority over this.
Small Claims Court
You may win your money back taking this route if you have time on your hands. This goes the same for the Attorney General, as the majority of these legal entities are severely understaffed.
Always look at the reputation of a store before you decide to buy. You should also try to find out what happens after they have sold their products. Everyone and anyone can sell appliances. Yet what happens after the sale will vary greatly.
If you find yourself stuck, make sure you are persistent when dealing with the store that you purchased from. Don’t be shy to be very persistent as this contributes to solving your problem.
From here, social media is your next best option. The last step is legal action, yet this is always time-consuming and expensive.
Your best choice is to conduct your own research first, to avoid landing yourself in this type of situation.