Redondo Beach Mom Battles Sears Over Busted Fridge - NBC Southern California
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Redondo Beach Mom Battles Sears Over Busted Fridge

California's Lemon Law requires manufacturers replace a problem appliance under warranty if it can't be fixed, a consumer attorney says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Redondo Beach mother says when her refrigerator broke down, Sears tried to stick her with a mini-fridge replacement. She didn't think that was fair and called the I-Team. Randy Mac reports for the NBC4 News on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016)

    Rosalie Flores is used to renewing the Sears protection agreement on her Frigidaire refrigerator. For about $100 a year, Sears had her family's back.

    "I pay my money and so I'm expecting a level of service," the Redondo Beach mother said.

    She needed it when the refrigerator broke down four times in a year. After that, the warranty indicates she should get a replacement.

    What did Sears give her?

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    "I have the mini-fridge that we were compensated with," Flores said.

    She says she got a $100 voucher to buy a mini-fridge. She's had to use it several times over the last nine months whenever the big fridge goes out.

    "This one is always on standby," she said.

    But 2.7 cubic feet doesn't hold much. Measure about 1/8th the size of the big refrigerator, Flores says the mini-fridge doesn't cut it.

    "That's a completely inadequate remedy," says consumer attorney Stu Talley.

    He says California's Lemon Law requires manufacturers replace a problem appliance under warranty if it can't be fixed.

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    "After a reasonable amount of time, they need to replace it," Talley said.

    After the I-Team got involved, Sears sent Flores $1,300 credit toward a brand new refrigerator, saying "the delay was a result of an administrative error and this is being addressed by our management team."

    Flores picked out a new refrigerator to be delivered. Still, she says, it won't save Sears from losing her business.

    "I, for myself, will no longer purchase products from Sears," Flores said.

    Warranties like the protection agreement Sears offers generally say replacement appliances should be "comparable."

    Exactly what that means is up for interpretation. But the mini-fridge should never be meant as a replacement for a full-size refrigerator.

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    Sears apologized to Flores for the inconvenience.

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