KPRC 2 Investigates: Customer finds hidden refrigerator damage, waits 6+ months for answers

Plus, what you should be doing the day you get an appliance delivery

Part of her brand new fridge broke just days after delivery. Now, months later one Huffman woman says she still hasn’t gotten the help she needs. Our KPRC 2 Investigates team is on the case!

HUFFMAN, Texas – Part of her brand new fridge broke just days after delivery. Now, months later one Huffman woman says she still hasn’t gotten the help she needs. Our KPRC 2 Investigates team is on the case! And what we learned while dealing with Sears is something we all should be doing after an appliance delivery.

Door damage found on refrigerator on the first day

When the brand new fridge arrived, there was a small ding in the door. Sears quickly sent a replacement. All seemed fine but turns out, that was just the start.

“You see in there where it’s cracked in the back,” Ruth Bischoff says while showing us the damage inside her refrigerator.

KPRC 2 Investigates refrigerator shelf issues. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

You might not notice unless you removed the shelves. Ruth Bischoff is a cleaner, so when she pulled out the shelves in her brand new Kenmore/LG refrigerator, she saw the problem.

“I noticed the tracks on the inside white molding of the refrigerator,” she explains. “You can see the foam in the insulation of the refrigerator.”

Ruth can hardly use these shelves for fear they will collapse. The back of the shelves is already tilting.

“It’s a matter of - I’ll have two shelves left to use once those breakthrough,” she said.

Ruth says Sears sent out a technician two different times. Both said the same thing.

“This is not repairable. This is either a factory defect during making it or it happened during shipping,” she said.

The one-year warranty spells what should happen. In part, it says, “If the appliance cannot be repaired it will be replaced free of charge.” Ruth says Sears agreed she needed a new fridge. But then that’s when the communication went sideways.

“I have called in excess of 35 times to the service number. They keep telling me to wait for 35 and wait 72 hours. I’ve called the store salesman. I’ve called the regional manager. I’ve emailed I’ve done everything. I finally threw in the towel.”

KPRC 2 Investigates fridge shelf issues. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Warranty doesn’t cover delivery damage

In a statement Sears said the cracks and exposed foam are not usually caused by a defect - so it must have been done during transport.

“That would make it delivery damage which is supposed to be reported within 72 hours of delivery so that a claim could be filed.”

Delivery damage is not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

“I have a problem with my appliance. You should technically as a consumer, give me what I need. I’m not asking for more than what I need.”

Because of all of the confusion, Sears did agree to send Ruth a new refrigerator. But this is a good lesson for all of us to thoroughly inspect appliances inside and out when they are delivered to your home and report the damage or even file a claim.

Here’s a checklist of additional things you can do when you have appliances delivered.


About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.