NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Imagine buying a brand new refrigerator and then two months later, it stops working!
That's what happened to one angry North Las Vegas couple. They tried to get it fixed but got the runaround.
That's when we made some calls and delivered results.
"I've been very frustrated. Very mad about it," says Ranie Ahenakaw.
FRIDGE NOT COOLING
She and her husband Jim just want a refrigerator that works. They bought a Kenmore at American Freight on Lone Mountain Road and North Decatur Boulevard back in December.
But in February... "I noticed the refrigerator wasn't cooling," says Jim.
He made a quick call and a service tech was sent to the house. The culprit was a bad motherboard and fan. But getting replacement parts would take some time.
"They said they would have the motherboard here by March 15th. That never happened and we've just been without a fridge," says Ranie.
WARRANTY: NO HELP
The couple had to throw out spoiled food. They bought a mini-fridge to keep items in, including medication. Meanwhile, Jim made more calls but wasn't getting anywhere. The couple even paid for an extended warranty, but that didn't help.
"I went as far as talking to the finance company who we financed it through and they did a three-way call with the warranty center and they got the runaround as well," says Jim.
On top of everything else, Jim and Ranie were still having to make monthly payments for a fridge that doesn't work.
"Basically paying for a dead horse so to speak," says Jim.
He was running out of patience with the store, the financing department and the warranty company.
"There were some screaming matches back and forth. It was just to the point of, nobody wanted to take responsibility," says Jim.
13 MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
That's when Jim reached out to 13 Action News. No one with Sears-Kenmore would speak with us for our story. But a few weeks later a new upgraded GE refrigerator arrived.
Jim says Channel 13 made all the difference. That made us wonder, was the $400 extended warranty on Jim's fridge even worth it?
"Most extended warranties for appliances and consumer electronics are not worth it," says Consumer Rights Attorney, Peter Aldous, with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.
He says save your money.
READ WARRANTY CONTRACT
"On average you're going to spend a lot less money repairing things when they break instead of getting a warranty on everything," says Aldous.
He says if you're looking into a warranty: Read the contract in full. Find out when the coverage begins, whether it's immediately or after the factory warranty period. Understand how mechanical failures are covered versus accidental damage. And don't feel pressured to make a quick decision.
"Because you actually can buy a warranty after you purchase the product. You can buy it from a third-party company," says Aldous.
In the end, Jim is happy to have his new refrigerator but says he's disappointed with the lengths he had to go.
"Knowing what I know now, I would've gone somewhere else to purchase the item... You pay for a product and they're supposed to stand behind the product," says Jim.
A deeper look into this story in the Daily Debrief: