When Anne Chiapetta’s noisy Electrolux oven requires three repairs in three years, there’s only one resolution that will make her happy: a full refund of the $2,000 she paid for the appliance.
I’m not going to make you wait until the end of this story to find out what happened. She didn’t get her money back — even after my advocacy team jumped into the fray. I need you to tell me if this is a fair resolution.
But there’s an important lesson here about problems and resolutions, too. The punishment has to fit the crime, which is to say, the fix must be appropriate and reasonable. If it isn’t, then even the best advocacy team on the planet can’t help.
Electrolux repaired my oven. And then repaired it. And repaired it.
Chiapetta bought an Electrolux wall oven in October 2015.
“From the time of installation, the fans were very noisy,” she explains. “The fans have been replaced three times and the problem isn’t fixed.”
She asked Electrolux to address the problem, but it will only offer a 40 percent discount on a new wall oven.
“This is unacceptable,” she says. “I spent $2,000 on this oven.”
She wants her money back. All of it.
The Electrolux oven is noisy, but it still works
The problem is entirely that the oven is noisy. Other than that, it’s just fine.
All of which prompts a Car Talk-like question: What did the oven sound like? Was it a wrrr-rrr-rrrr sound, or more like ewwwwwwwwww? Was it so loud that it woke the kids when you were baking bread in the morning, or did it just add a little bit of ambient noise?
Now, if her loud Electrolux sounded like a freight train — I’m talking 100 decibels of raw sound in your kitchen — then she might have a case for getting this oven replaced at no cost. But if it’s just a little frrrrrrrrrr sound and the oven works just fine then asking for $2,000 may be too much.
To the rescue!
Still, Chiapetta made a good case that the oven had an original defect that she’d tried to resolve — and that a 40 percent discount wasn’t enough. She splurged for the “platinum” repair service plan, which should have protected her. My advocacy team wanted to help, even if only to answer the question of whether this particular Electrolux oven was faulty.
Could Electrolux do better?
Let’s get this out of the way first: We publish executive contact information for Electrolux on the site. She could have appealed to someone higher up. That might have sweetened the offer.
I reviewed the extensive paper trail. It looks as if she climbed as high up the corporate ladder as a manager in Atlanta. She probably should have taken it up another rung or two.
A closer look at Electrolux’s warranty coverage, even under the Platinum Star plan, shows that only parts are covered. It doesn’t promise a replacement appliance.
Still, our advocate Dwayne Coward decided to reach out to the company. He received the following response:
We have worked diligently with Ms. Chiapetta to try to resolve her concerns. The appliance is operating as designed and intended.
However, we wanted to help support her as best as possible, so we replaced the fan three times. In an additional effort, we offered her a 50% rebate if she would like to purchase a different oven.
Unfortunately, she has declined this offer. We would like to resolve her concern, so if she changes her mind, the offer is available to her for the next 30 days.
But is it enough?
Chiapetta lives in Connecticut, which has “implied warranty of merchantability” laws that cover the purchase. The laws assume that goods sold are fit for their ordinary purposes. But since the oven itself works despite the noise, Chiapetta may not be able to claim that the oven is not fit for its ordinary purpose.
This Electrolux oven didn’t work as promised, according to Chiapetta. A 40 or 50 percent discount offer may be appropriate, since the appliance was usable. If Chiapetta kept the oven for more than three years, odds are it works just fine. Except for the noise.