Troubleshooters: Appliance Repair Refund

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It took less than 24 hours for the Troubleshooters to see results for one of our viewers. This time the issue involved appliance repair. (WPVI)

It took less than 24 hours for the Troubleshooters to see results for one of our viewers. This time the issue involved appliance repair.

It's happened to just about all of us: that moment when your dishwasher, stove, or refrigerator stops working, so you call someone to fix it. The problem is when you pay the money and the fix never happens.
That's when our viewers call the Action News Troubleshooters.

"The dishwasher, which is over here, was working intermittently, starting and stopping, not getting dishes clean, not even heating up properly," explained Denine Gorniak.

She called an appliance repair company to come out and take a look. She said the technician from Mr. Appliance in Marlton, New Jersey told her the problem was with the motor.

Gorniak also said the technician noticed something with her stove.

"You need a whole new top panel," she said he told her.

The Marlton Mr. Appliance told Gorniak the fix would cost $506.52 for both problems. Gorniak paid a $400 deposit. But she says the repairs never materialized.

"The part's not in. I called again, it's the holidays. Well, now one thing's in but the other thing's not. Then we had a snow storm, well the snow delayed everybody," she said.

After nearly six weeks, Gorniak demanded a refund.

A few weeks later, Action News Troubleshooter Nydia Han went to Mr. Appliance in Marlton to inquire about the refund Gorniak said the company had promised her. She spoke with customer service representative Ellen Garofalo.

"Yes, and she will get that, yes," she said. "We'll get a certified check for her and we'll deliver it to her house if she's home, tomorrow."

Garofalo went on to say, "We really did try to take care of this customer."

Han asked her, "So you were trying to fix her appliances?"

"We absolutely were," she responded.

Complaints about appliance repair aren't uncommon to the Action News Troubleshooters. Mr. Appliance has a number of franchises in our area.
The one in Marlton has an F rating at the Better Business Bureau something Gorniak didn't realize until Han told her.

Tammy Wall, the owner of the Marlton Mr. Appliance sent the following statement:

"A little background on the business, I've only been in business a little over 2 years. The corporate franchise is (a) national service industry that is all over the world and expanding quickly. They have been on UnderCover Boss twice. We do strive on excellent customer service and front line service.

Being a franchise owner has been a learning opportunity all the way around and ironing out kinks as we move forward. So to comment on my company's rating with the Better Business Bureau, I was unaware of the process handling claims for the first year and a half of being in business. So a good portion of that rating is due to no response or comment to the claims that were filed. The Better Business Bureau wanted money for me to increase my rating score. And due to being a new business and other financial obligations I did not pay the Better Business Bureau.

We do receive leads for service calls through Appliance appointment and Home Advisor. And our Home Advisor rating is a five star.

Again we do strive to provide excellent customer service and frontline service to our customers. And my apologies have been given to Ms. Gorniak in reference to the experience she had with my company. She has been issued a refund in full which was hand-delivered to her. Unfortunately at the time of service for her we were going through transition with technicians. We had lost three technicians and training office staff. The office staff thought they were able to control things in my absence and I was unaware of the issue at the time. I was actually out of town for funeral services for family. Regardless, I do understand that this is not an acceptable business practice. We are currently working on hiring an office manager to correct some of the kinks in my office.

The issue has been resolved with this customer. We do have thousands of customers in our data base that are satisfied with our service. We do a lot of work for major manufacturers; Samsung , LG, Lowes, etc."

For Gorniak less than 24 hours after we met with her she had good news.

"I have a check - a check that I never thought I was going to get," she said.

Gorniak received a money order for the full $400. She says she plans to put the money in the bank and start looking for a new dishwasher from a company she says she's going to research.

Han also asked Garofalo, "If any other customers contact us with issues or concerns about Mr. Appliance, can we come back to you and you'll help take care of them?"

"Sure can, absolutely, yes," Garofalo responded.

"We appreciate that, alright, thank you," Han said.

The owner of the company also says the franchise does have thousands of customers in its database that are satisfied with its service.

Click here for access to the seven appliance repair companies in our area that got Checkbook Magazines' top rating for quality and price. The link will remain in effect through March 2.

In the video below, Checkbook's Kevin Brasler shares advice on when to repair or replace an appliance and how you might be able to extend manufacturer warranties for free.

Statement from Melissa Companick, President & CEO Better Business Bureau Serving New Jersey:

"BBB accreditation and ratings are entirely separate from each other. Businesses have to earn their BBB rating, regardless of their accreditation status with us. Additionally, if an accredited business fails to meet any one of our Accreditation Standards, their accreditation will be revoked and BBB will report that in the company's Business Review. Simply put, businesses can't buy their way into the BBB or to a better rating."

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Checkbook's Kevin Brasler shares advice on when to repair or replace an appliance and how you might be able to extend manufacturer warranties for free.

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