7 On Your Side

Couple feels frozen by refrigerator's ice maker problems

Friday, March 29, 2013

When you buy an expensive appliance, you expect it will work properly. But just the opposite happened to a Bay Area couple who paid $3,000 for a refrigerator.

This is a case where an extended service plan came in handy. It gave the couple all the free repairs they could ask for. But when the appliance still didn't work, you won't believe what a repairman told them to do.

Maria Morlino of Oakland says from the day it was delivered, the ice maker on her new refrigerator started making weird noises and stopped working. First no ice came out and then an alarm went off. She had an extended service plan from Lowe's so the company sent a repairman, who put in new parts.

But then, there was a new problem.

"We found the seals were bad," Morlino said. "It leaked; the water was all over."

Another technician came, and so did another problem -- the electronics circuits were not working properly and the ice maker still wouldn't make ice. A block of ice was covering the dispenser. Technicians kept replacing the part but it kept freezing over again.

Finally, a repairman said there was only one solution  use a hair dryer to defrost it.

That's when the Morlinos contacted 7 On Your Side. We contacted Lowe's and the company came through with a full refund for the refrigerator plus tax. Lowe's issued a statement saying, "Ms. Morlino purchased an extended protection plan, and under the benefits...(she) qualified for a refund of the purchase price of the refrigerator. Lowe's stands behind the products and services we sell and we apologize to Ms. Morlino for the problems she encountered. "

The couple received a check for $3,488.

Lowe's service plan says customers are entitled to a refund or replacement if the appliance needs the same major repair more than three times in one year. That's common to many service plans.

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