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PROBLEM SOLVED: Help! My Electrolux refrigerator never worked

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 Myra W.’s Electrolux refrigerator doesn’t work. In fact, it has never worked. Why won’t the company repair it for her?

By Christopher Elliott

Q: I bought an Electrolux Side by Side refrigerator from Home Depot last month. Home Depot delivered it about two weeks later. It has not worked since. I tried to get the refrigerator to work for a week and then called Home Depot after it was clear that nothing could be done to make it function properly.

The repair technician was a no-show for my first appointment. Electrolux rescheduled. A technician determined there were at least four things that weren’t working and would have to order parts and return the following week. The repair person advised me to return the refrigerator to Home Depot because that would be a better outcome than waiting for it to be repaired. 

Home Depot refused to take it back and said it was Electrolux’s issue. 

Electrolux refused to let me replace it without first attempting to repair it. So, a week later, another technician came out. He said the parts he had been sent were wrong. He promised to have the correct part overnighted, a promise he failed to keep. 

Next week we will be at the month mark without a functioning refrigerator. The cost of spoiled food and a steady stream of takeout aside, I’m not sure you can imagine how difficult it is to try to run a household for weeks out of coolers and bags of ice. It is impossible. 

If there is any way to have this refrigerator picked up and the amount I’ve paid refunded so that I can order a new and functional refrigerator, that would be wonderful. I have no confidence that this repair person can indeed resolve the issues. — Myra W., Bountiful, Utah

A: Do I even need to say this? Home Depot should have delivered a working refrigerator, and Electrolux should have quickly fixed your appliance. There, I said it.

You have a few things going on here. First, Home Depot deferred to Electrolux on the repair. And second, Electrolux has a policy to attempt a repair before replacement. Those rules make perfect sense — except when they don’t.

Interestingly, when I tried to look up Home Depot’s repair policy, the site directed me to a page where it tried to sell me a protection plan for my appliance. I checked your purchase, and it appears you didn’t have one of its plans. That didn’t matter. Home Depot and the manufacturer should have stood behind the purchase. 

I reviewed the paper trail between you, Home Depot and Electrolux. It’s a tortured back-and-forth between an increasingly desperate appliance owner and an intransigent customer “service” department. Honestly, the companies should be embarrassed by their behavior.

I’m having some trouble believing that neither Home Depot nor Electrolux could help you. But if you ever run into this problem again, you can find <a href=”http://elliott.org/company-contacts/home-depot”>Home Depot executive contacts</a> and <a href=”http://elliott.org/company-contacts/electrolux”>Electrolux executive contacts</a> on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org.

I contacted Electrolux on your behalf. It agreed to replace the refrigerator, and it assured you that your experience was “an anomaly.”

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at chris@elliott.org or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help

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