Fridges, stoves and vacuum cleaners

It’s a hot summer, so why not write about expensive new fridges that don’t work?

After I did so, I heard from other readers whose kitchen appliances were on the fritz and whose patience was wilting fast.

As usual, Sears’ name came up. This once mighty department store has a new philosophy: Satisfaction is not guaranteed, nor is your money refunded.

Readers wanted to know why some major appliances were lacking in durability and built not to last. Was this a plot to sell more extended warranties? And why did retailers wash their hands of products they sold after the first year?

Vacuum cleaners, luckily, are not designed for built-in obsolescence. But a new model, Airider, caught the attention of a Star freelancer, Vicky Sanderson, who wrote a positive story this year.

Unfortunately, the company behind the Airider, based in Barrie, Ont., has been unable to fulfill orders quickly or give money back to customers. The owners keep promising refunds, but don’t deliver. So, I figured it was time to air this story, so to speak.

This is not a fly-by-night company nor a scam, says vice-president Phil Wright. But what do you call a firm that cashes cheques from customers and gives nothing in return?

You can read more from Wright and his frustrated clients below.

Author: Ellen Roseman

Consumer advocate and personal finance author and instructor.

21 thoughts on “Fridges, stoves and vacuum cleaners”

  1. NB:

    Do not forget that if you pay for things using a credit card that is independent from the company from which you are purchasing, you can give the card issuer a call and sometimes it can deal with the merchant.

    With too many complaints, the merchant may lose its credit card provileges.

  2. +1. Agreed with Marie. If you purchased a product with a credit card, reverse the charge. Call your credit card issuer and explained that you’ve been a victim of fraud. With enough complaints, the vendor will lose their merchant account.

    Do the same thing if you paid with Paypal. Call Paypal and tell you’ve been a victim of fraud. Refer their investigating team to this website. They too can suspend the vendor’s account if enough complaints arise. Perhaps with the inability to accept credit card payments or Paypal the seller would finally not be able to take new orders.

  3. My entire ice maker broke on my fridge when it was still relatively new! I was so upset. And I totally agree, companies that already cash in on their clients’ orders are so shady. Before I ever buy anything now, I always check for really good reviews and ratings from fellow consumers so that I know whether or not they deserve my business.

  4. I work in the heating and air biz, sometimes someone comes up to me and asks me to go and repair their window a/c. I tell them to go ahead and buy a new one, the price of reparing would exceed the price of a new unit. We live in a throw away society with cheap product everywhere.

  5. I have been reading all the stories about the fridges, freezers, vacuum cleaners etc.

    It would seem I am not alone with the Airider vacuum problem. After approximately 1 year, and many calls, to the very same numbers mentioned, I have still not received my Airider vacuum or my $451.98 refund.

    Many promises, but no results.

    But I have not given up the ship yet and now that I know “I AM NOT ALONE”, I will continue in my efforts with renewed faith.

  6. I bought a Kenmore Electric Range (Model 970-50602), 30″ for $650 (before taxes), from Sears Canada in August 2009.

    After 2 years, a weird thing happened. The heat light was still on, even after we turned off the stove.

    We worried about fire safety issue. Therefore, we had to move the stove and unplug the power cord from the wall jack every time we left the house. We didn’t want to cause a fire that would burn our whole house.

    Plus, one of the bigger stove elements fell off, even a year after we got the range.
    We really missed the old product of Kenmore.

    The old range we got lasted over a decade. Unfortunately, we didn’t buy the extended warranty the time we got this new range.

    I considered writing an email to Sears and reporting what happened. We’re really not satisfied about the quality of products from what we paid.

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