Hey Lowe’s, my Sollevare wine cooler doesn’t work! Can I get a refund?

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By Christopher Elliott

Laura Lowry’s Sollevare wine cooler doesn’t work, and neither does the replacement. Who does she talk to about a refund?

Question

Last year, I bought a Sollevare wine cooler from Lowe’s that was supposed to have a reversible door. It was one of the main reasons I bought this particular unit. The cooler I received had no means of reversing the door. We finally got a hold of customer service at Sollevare, who then shipped us out the correct door. 

Within three months of the purchase, the unit started losing temperature and shutting off. I contacted customer service again and I was able to get a new unit sent to me with the assurance that a new reversible door would be shipped separately. 

The door never showed, so I contacted customer service again. What I did notice was the new unit sent to me was different from the original. It appeared to be an updated model. I let customer service know that the unit was the same model but appeared to be updated. I wanted to make sure the correct reversible door showed up at my doorstep. 

Well, the old model door showed up. I contacted customer service again. A representative told me there was a backorder and it would take about three months. 

During this time, the new model started to get ice buildup in the rear of the unit. I contacted customer service again and a representative told me the only thing they could do was send another replacement. 

Now I have two units that have crapped out. My confidence level has dropped and I still don’t have the reversible door for the most recent unit. 

I’d like a refund. Sollevare tells me if I purchased through a retailer I would have to get the refund from it. Lowe’s, of course, says it’s too late and I have to deal with the manufacturer. This has been going on for close to a year. I have been unable to locate the names of anyone in upper management. 

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I want my money back. Can you help? — Laura Lowry, Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Answer

It looks like you bought the wrong wine cooler. And at first I thought that was strange. Sollevare’s wine coolers get high marks (four stars and above) on the Lowe’s site. But pay attention to the number of reviews. There are only a few reviews, perhaps published by  Sollevare employees or their friends. Who knows? But there aren’t enough reviews to be a reliable source of information.

Maybe you should have taken this up with Lowe’s as soon as it became a problem, just to keep them in the loop. Lowe’s might have found a way to replace the faulty cooler or repair it. I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of the Lowe’s customer service managers on this site.

I also have a guide to getting an appliance repaired, replaced or returned. You’ll find that helpful if you ever run into trouble with Lowe’s again (which I hope you don’t).

We’ve had several Lowe’s cases recently. The company does not seem to like consumer advocates getting involved in customer disputes. When has that ever stopped me?

I contacted Lowe’s on your behalf. The company didn’t respond (big surprise), so I contacted it again. And again, no response. Finally, you contacted the California Attorney General’s Office, which reached out to Sollevare. The company apologized to you and issued a full refund. 

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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 Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Los Angeles.

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