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A Tale of Two Refrigerators

In the beginning of March, Lauri and I bought a new refrigerator to replace a roughly thirty year old unit. The old fridge still ran but was beginning to make odd noises and the door wouldn’t always stay shut. It seemed likely that it was running on borrowed time and we began to search for a replacement. It was the last of the original appliances in our condo to go.

We settled on a 20 cubic foot LG french door style refrigerator in Stainless Steel from Sears. Our space for the fridge was very small and we didn’t have many options, particularly for nicer units. The woman at Sears in Fair Oaks pointed out this unit and after a couple of weeks of checking around and doing some research we decided that was the unit we wanted. Home Depot had it at a cheaper price but we wanted to give the commission to the woman who pointed out the unit to us. Sears matched Home Depot’s price and we set a delivery date for March 23rd.

On the afternoon of the 23rd, the new fridge was delivered and all seemed well. The next morning we began to realize that something might be wrong. Both the refrigerator and freezer sections seemed warm. We cranked down the temperature control to their coldest settings and hoped that things would cool down. Later that afternoon, Lauri called me to say that the food in the freezer had thawed out. We definitely had a problem.

We called the woman who sold us the unit and explained the problem. She directed us to another number where they would arrange an exchange. All went well until we asked about the lost food. They offered us $50. This was only a 1/3 of the actual value. They said they would have to send a technician out to verify the loss. Also, it would take two days for us to get a new fridge.

The next day the tech came out and asked if I wanted him to try to fix the unit. I said that I was willing to accept a repaired unit so long as we had confidence that the unit would continue to run. He opened the back panel and exclaimed, “Oh my god!”

The compressor was completely off its mount. It was clear the refrigerator had been subject to some pretty strong physical forces. He tried to set things right but the compressor would not work. He verified our food loss and in a few weeks I should get a check.

The next morning the new fridge came and it worked. The only problem is that the delivery guys have scuffed up and in a couple places gouged the walls in the stairwell. The stairway is tight but the first delivery crew made it without incident. No other delivery crew has caused damage. It’s fixable but this new purchase has had a lot of collateral damage associated with it.

I am a bit peeved that Sears would transfer us around to three different people to deal with getting a replacement and then question us on the cost of the food loss. Particularly when the tech who “verified” the loss simply asked me for the number. Now I have to contact Sears again to let them know the damage their delivery people have done to the walls.

It will be a long time before Sears gets my business after this.

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