Will Best Buy send me a new refrigerator?

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By Christopher Elliott

Jane Weir’s LG refrigerator doesn’t work and she wants Best Buy to give her a new one. But is that a reasonable request two years after purchasing it?

Question

Best Buy sold me a defective LG refrigerator with a Geek Squad protection plan two years ago. Instead of helping me, Best Buy referred me to LG. After dozens of phone calls, and after a refrigerator technician stood me up and then rescheduled, LG diagnosed the problem as a defective compressor.

I am currently without a working fridge. I’ve contacted Best Buy multiple times and complained to the BBB.

I’d like to exchange the refrigerator for one with a working compressor. I would prefer a different brand instead of having to hope the compressor doesn’t die again and put me through all this again and again for the next ten years. I don’t want to wait for another month to go through LG when I bought it from Best Buy. I want a fridge in my home now. I want reimbursement for the actual loss of food and costs of ice, and meals out while I wait for them to live up to their agreement. Could you help me? — Jane Weir, Middletown, Md.

Answer

Best Buy sold you a refrigerator that doesn’t work, along with an expensive warranty, and then punted to the manufacturer when you had a problem? Welcome to the wacky world of electronics retailing. Best Buy buries the terms and conditions of its extended “Geek Squad” warranty on its site. They’re worth reviewing before you buy your next appliance or say “yes” to the Geek Squad. (Note: I couldn’t find the terms of your purchase, but they are similar.) (Related: Best Buy promised me a $150 refund for my Bosch dishwasher. Now it won’t pay!)

Why read all the fine print before you end up with a refrigerator that doesn’t work? Because it fully describes the coverage you are — and aren’t — getting. The biggest takeaway: Many of your Geek Squad coverages begin when the manufacturer’s warranty ends. So if LG covered your refrigerator under its warranty, Best Buy had to go through LG for a repair first. (Related: Oh no! I bought the laptop from hell at Best Buy.)

For you, the most important part of the warranty was the replacement credit. If your appliance stops working, Best Buy appears to limit you to a $750 credit for new refrigerator. (Here’s how to contact the CEO directly.)

As is so often the case with warranty cases, there’s what’s written — and there’s the right thing to do. Best Buy seems to be following its warranty terms. But the right thing to do, in terms of customer service, is to find you a working refrigerator. Quickly.

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Best Buy agrees to send you a new refrigerator

You could have appealed this to someone higher up at the company. We list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Best Buy customer service executives in our directory at Elliott Advocacy.

But you had waited long enough so I contacted the company on your behalf. The happy news? Best Buy approved your request for a new refrigerator. Enjoy!

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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