It’s mom vs. Frigidaire. Who will win?

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By Christopher Elliott

Julie Faro’s Frigidaire washing machine is broken. With two kids and twins due any day, she needs it fixed — pronto. Does she have a fighting chance?

Question

I have been trying to get Frigidaire to replace a washing machine that I purchased from Lowe’s that has never worked since installation. We have been going through an authorized appliance repair technician for almost two months and six replacement parts! Frigidaire said that it is not their responsibility to sell a working appliance, only to try to repair that appliance, if still under warranty, no matter how long the repairs take.

We have two kids under six, twins due any day now, a handicapped elderly mother that we care for in our home and a $1,500 non-washing washing machine in our laundry room and no one cares enough to remedy the situation! I’m blown away by the responses we have been receiving. Can you help? — Julie Faro, North Andover, Mass.

Answer

Frigidaire should have sold you a machine that worked. If it didn’t, then either the company, or Lowe’s, should have quickly repaired the machine. While it’s true that manufacturers will work with third parties to repair their appliances, it doesn’t also mean they can wash their hands of responsibility when something goes wrong. I don’t care what the warranty says, or doesn’t say.

Frigidaire, which is owned by Electrolux, implies its products will work. It describes itself as “a global leader in home appliances” and says its appliances are “thoughtfully designed, innovative and sustainable.” Unfortunately, you can’t be thoughtful, innovative or sustainable when your products don’t work.

And what about Lowe’s?

Lowe’s promises that customer service is a “core commitment” in its mission statement. So how was it that Lowe’s passed you off to an authorized appliance repair technician even when you were still under warranty? It boggles the mind.

Lowe’s is a real problem company. We’ve had numerous complaints about Lowe’s, including this one about a broken refrigerator. Our advocacy team downgraded its customer responsiveness rating after this case, in which Lowe’s completely ignored us.

It looks as if you started a paper trail. Good for you. Most consumers forget to put everything in writing, instead making a series of frantic phone calls. But not you. You had documentation.

Southwest Airlines is dedicated to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to providing our employees with a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Unfortunately, you sent the documentation to the wrong people — the lower-level regular customer service channels who simply gave you the same canned answers. You could have appealed this to someone higher up the ladder. I list the contacts for the executives at Electrolux and Lowe’s on my consumer advocacy site.

You’d given Frigidaire ample time and opportunity to fix your washer. Enough is enough. My advocacy team and I contacted the company on your behalf and it replaced your washing machine with a new one. You might want to read our comprehensive consumer guide to getting a repair replacement or refund for your appliance.

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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.

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