My GE microwave never worked. What can I do?

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By Christopher Elliott

Donette Plaisance’s GE microwave oven is cursed. Sometimes it stops mid-cycle. Sometimes it continues to run, but without any lights or heating. Can she return it?

Question

I bought a GE 24-inch sensor cooking microwave oven from Home Depot last fall. It never worked. We have had service call after service call. We’ve had parts shipped to our home. It has been a never-ending issue, and now I want my money back.

The appliance does all kinds of crazy things. Sometimes it stops mid-cycle. Sometimes it continues to run, but without any lights or heating. The only way to shut it off is to go into the basement and flip the breaker.

Every time I call GE for help, it is weeks until they can come. And then they don’t fix it. I have spent hours on the phone and stayed home from work waiting for the technicians multiple times. Still, six months later, we have never had an operational microwave. 

I want my money back. They can take the microwave. Can you help me get a refund for the $1,528 I spent? — Donette Plaisance, Newark, Del.

Answer

You received a cursed microwave! GE should have worked with Home Depot to replace it quickly instead of sending a seemingly endless parade of technicians to your home. 

Home Depot recommends that you check your appliance carefully when it’s delivered. I guess that means you run the microwave to make sure it doesn’t suddenly stop or start. Once you accept delivery, Home Depot only allows a return “if the defects and/or damage are identified and reported to Home Depot,” it notes in its return policy.

In the paper trail you provided between yourself, Home Depot and GE, I don’t see where you notified Home Depot in writing about the defective microwave. But you later clarified that you did, indeed, contact Home Depot right away. You should have been able to get a quick exchange if you’d brought the issue to Home Depot first.

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By the way, I publish the executive contacts for both GE and Home Depot on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. Again, contacting one of them might have stopped the parade of technicians.

A closer look at the microwave you purchased shows that while it looks sleek and functional, it is neither. It rates four stars out of five on Home Depot’s own site, but customers have complained that it is easy to break and poorly built. Or, as one reviewer put it, “A WASTE OF MONEY!” (Related: My Frigidaire microwave stopped working. Why won’t they honor my warranty?)

If nothing else, your case underscores the importance of avoiding shoddy appliances through careful research. Remember, manufacturers give themselves the option of a repair, replacement or refund when something goes wrong with an appliance, as I noted in my complete guide to an appliance repair. And they almost always choose the cheapest option: the repair.

You reached out to my advocacy team for help. I contacted GE on your behalf, and it chose door number two — a replacement.

I hope your next microwave isn’t possessed. But if it is, now you know whom to contact.

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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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