Victoria Sims’s Frigidaire refrigerator has never worked. It’s been almost a year since she bought it — can she get a replacement?
Q: I’m writing to you about my Frigidaire refrigerator, which I purchased for $1,499 less than one year ago. The refrigerator has an irreparable problem with its temperature controls and has never operated correctly.
Food placed in the refrigerator frequently goes bad in a matter of days. I’ve included photographs of avocados and cucumbers in the refrigerator covered in frost and ice crystals to demonstrate the refrigerator is not properly regulated.
Frigidaire has replaced the damper three times, and the sensor has been replaced once. None of these repairs has remedied the problem. I continue to incur damages in the form of spoiled and inedible food.
The refrigerator requires immediate replacement, per Frigidaire’s warranty. Frigidaire refuses to replace the appliance. Can you help me? — Victoria Sims, Washington, D.C.
A: Your Frigidaire should have worked out of the box. Four repairs means you got a lemon, and Frigidaire should definitely replace the refrigerator as soon as possible.
So why won’t it? Like almost every other manufacturer, Frigidaire reserves the right to repair, replace or refund in its warranty. And, like almost every other manufacturer, it strongly prefers to repair the unit (because it’s cheaper).
I have more on how warranties work in my ultimate guide to getting a repair, replacement or refund for your broken appliance. But before you went down that road, you might have contacted one of the executives at Frigidaire to plead your case. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Electrolux customer service managers on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org (Electrolux owns Fridigaire).
It looks like you bypassed the normal Frigidaire customer service channels and contacted the company via Twitter. Nothing wrong with that — and you also kept an excellent paper trail by saving all the messages — but unfortunately, it didn’t work. You needed someone more senior to take a look at your case.
I understand why appliance manufacturers want to keep repairing a defective product. But enough is enough. Your refrigerator didn’t work right, and it was time for a new one. I reached out to Frigidaire on your behalf. A few days later, I received some good news from you.
“I just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know that Frigidaire has offered to refund me the purchase price,” you said. That’s the right call. Better late than never!
Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Email him at [email protected] or get help by contacting him on his site.