Call Kurtis: Does Your Warranty Cover What You Think It Does?
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Ravenna Waters admits she loves her new Sears Kenmore refrigerator — with one exception.
“There’s no ice,” Waters said, adding it only makes about one cube an hour. “I’d offer you guys some ice water if we had more.”
The icemaker hasn’t worked properly since Day One, she said, and after four visits from repairmen, Sears offered a replacement under her warranty — but with significantly fewer features, she said.
Waters got the fridge on sale — half off — and she said Sears would only replace it with a comparable model.
To her, comparable means having the same features. To Sears, it’s how much Waters paid. And under her three-year warranty, “comparability … will be determine at [Sears'] sole discretion.”
Sears refused to replace it with a french-door model with the same features because it didn’t sell any for the same bargain price she original paid.
“Replace it at equal value,” Waters said, “so I have the same kind of nice refrigerator.”
“It could be viewed as deceptive,” said Eric Ratinoff, a consumer attorney at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff.
If Sears can’t give Waters a model with the same features, Ratinoff said, he questions the value of the “Peace of Mind” warranty Sears has printed on its warranty booklet.
“It’s not at all what people think they’re getting when they pay for this sort of warranty,” he said.
Sears denied the icemaker was ever broken saying it worked “once it was turned on” during the first service visit.
After CBS13 got involved, the two started talking and worked out a deal where Waters paid a few hundred dollars more for an even better refrigerator, although sears told us it cost them “an additional $1,700 … to do so.”
Ravenna said she’s now enjoying ice cold drinks on those hot summer days although she’s now soured over Sears.
“It’s been a nightmare, I’ll never shop at Sears again,” she said.
Sears claims it offered Waters a full refund including the warranty which she denies.
This peace of mind warranty wasn’t cheap. If you did the math, it was $329.99 for three years.