I have run into a very confusing problem with Frigidaire/Electrolux. I am hoping someone with experience in this type of issue can guide me towards a resonable settlement.
Because of a lack of communication from Frigidaire customer reps I know have no extented warranty on my side by side refrigerator. The real problems developed when I would talk with them over the phone; it seems that we speak a different language or that I am supposed to be able to read their minds whenever Frigidaire reps say what they are doing.
I opted to try and communicate with Frigidaire reps by email through frigidaire.com after a few unpleasant conversations because I figure they cannot go back on their words once they put it in writing.
The following emails explain the situation in a little more detail (I make iterations upon each communication within parentheses):
I had an unpleasant exchange with Tamara, manager of your customer service department. We need to come to an understanding as to why we had this unpleasant exchange.
On friday, July 30, 2004, a repairman from A&E Factory Service showed up for his appointment to work on a part that had broken down three times previously. The repairman decided to call Electrolux to get a decision about the repair. The repairman informed me that Electrolux would call me back the same day with a final decision.
There was no call back the same day. On monday, August 2, 2004 I called Electrolux customer service to get the status on this decision. I was informed by a call center representative that Electrolux is "replacing the unit" and that my next step is to wait for a call from the store where I originally made the purchase, Best Buy of East Palo Alto, California.
I waited the entire week of August 2nd and there was no call.
On monday, August 9th, I decided to call the Best Buy store. Between August 9th and 10th there were several calls and altercations between myself, Best Buy corporate headquarters, and the retail store in question because there was much confusion about if, when, where, and who knows about the necessary records for this transaction. Hazel of your customer service department did her best to help me with Best Buy.
When the Best Buy retail staff finally started to deal with my situation of "replacing the unit" I discovered that, in fact, Electrolux is only crediting Best Buy with the original purchase amount (which was on a discount on the day of original purchase) and that Electrolux will not even cover delivery and haul away charges because they took more than a year to decide that my present unit is defective. (Frigidaire reps claim that they could not pay as quoted from their unwritten law.)
Unfortunatly, I cannot afford to deal with this proposal of Electrolux.
If the Electrolux Customer Service Rep had bothered to explain all the necessary details of "replacing the unit" during that call of August 2nd, then there would be no unpleasant exchange.
If your customer service rep had bothered to explain that Electrolux is only issuing a credit for the original purchase price to the Best Buy store OR if Electrolux Reps had bothered to put the entire proposal of "replacing the unit" in writing, so I know the exact details, then there would be NO unpleasant altercation.
If you had provided the exact details of this transaction on the outset, then I would have politely refused and discussed alternatives with your customer service rep.
Instead, because of Electrolux Reps' lack of professional decorum in providing timely and succinct information to me as the customer, almost two weeks of my time have been wasted going back and forth between Electrolux and Best Buy.
Since Electrolux has already reneged on my present service contract because they consider my present unit junked I would have dealt with the defective refridgerator myself with no further qualms against Electrolux.
I cannot read people's minds. We cannot assume that we are on the same page because we're "buddies." When an Electrolux Rep says "replacing the unit" this leads to a legal retail transaction where there is supposed to be an aggreement between the company and the consumer about what "replacing the unit" entails.
There was NEVER an agreement.
I should not have to "squeeze" Electrolux Reps for information, guess my next step, or find unpleasant surprises around each corner, but this is what happened.
If Electrolux Reps could not provide all the necessary details of "replacing the unit" over the phone, then Electrolux should have provided timely, complete, succinct details of the offer in writing. According to your manager, Tamara, I have no choice but to comply with this proposal - of which I am sure I do NOT have all the details yet.
Should I include my pain and suffering from all those times the freezer in this unit stopped working just a few months after purchase? I lost count of how many times I had to load and unload food from that freezer.
A lot of time, energy, and money has been invested in my side by side fridge to get it working. Except for the cracked filter housing everything works fine. If you really stand behind your product, then you would not be junking it; you would fix the defect - which is obvious.
I really thought that Electrolux was all about good people standing behind a good product. I had no idea you would cut your losses and set a customer out to dry; it seems unreal.
I am sorry that I was wrong about you. I hope that other people discover in short order what Electrolux is really all about.
I hope that Electrolux uses this as a learning experience to side with the customer when all else fails instead of what you are doing now.
(I received no call or communication from any Frigidaire/Electrolux reps after this letter. I decided to email them again at their website on the following date.)
It is unfortunate that Electrolux has decided not to respond to my email letter of August 12, 2004. Your inaction only reflects your propensity for unprofessional decorum concerning this case. In spite of your careless disregard of this issue, there is important information you should know about this refrigerator unit in consideration of the present litigation against Best Buy for misrepresenting their products. I believe that this unit was also misrepresented by Best Buy when I made the purchase.
On May 6, 2003, I was told by "Barry," supervisor of major appliances of Best Buy, East Palo Alto, California that this unit was a floor model, therefore, at a deep discount. I noticed several bruises and a dent on the right side of the unit among a few other imperfections as if it had been moved around a lot.
Several days after the purchase and mailing in the registration card for this unit I noticed that the model and serial numbers did not match the numbers inside the unit. (Therefore, I registered the correct numbers through your webserver.) You should take note that another unit is probably registered to me with model #FRS3355AW1 and serial #LA12002749; this is because I was provided with the wrong registration card. This registration card was with the literature package which was attached to the unit - not carelessly thrown into or on top of the unit - attached with adhesive tape.
If you see that noone else has registered a unit with the above model and serial numbers, then it is most likely that my present unit is a second hand unit from a previous owner and NOT a floor model as represented by Best Buy; it seems to me that Electrolux should also have record of a previous owner for this unit if this is true.
Electrolux has to understand that all the repairs that went into this unit were necessary because it was made defective by whomever owned the unit before. (There were more than ten warranty repairs in 2003.) The present litigation against Best Buy points to the likelyhood that this is a second hand unit.
For me, personally, and from now on I expect nothing from Electrolux because I know that corporate America is sinking fast into third world ethics. But I can only hope that Electrolux lives up to some kind of moral obligation to look into this matter rather than misrepresent terms like "replacing the unit" and reneging on the service contract, so they can ignore their customers. I have nothing to gain except the hope that there is some shred of decency left in Electrolux's "customer service" to do the right thing.
(A few days later I finally received an email from Frigidaire reps on the following date:)
From: "Frigidaire Webfeedback"
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 16:22:15 -0400
Subject: Re: Product Questions and Problems - ssrefrig
"Thank you for contacting Electrolux Home Products. We apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced. We have noted our Consumer Care Center has already offered assistance to you. We are sorry if you do not feel their offer was fair. We are not trying to cut our loses by any means. Our warranty is for repair, but usually customers do not want the hassle of more than three major repairs during the warranty period, and we understand this, so if they inquire about replacement at that point we will begin the process of reviewing the product for replacement. We credit the dealer for
the purchase price of the product. which normal equals an even swap out for our customers. Unfortunately if you happened to buy an item that was specially reduced item, such as a floor model, then we cannot credit that
store for more than what you paid for it. We are giving credit towards what you paid. We are sorry if you have to pay the difference now, but we cannot change this policy, if you want to see if the credit can be reversed
so you may keep the current refrigerator and go with repair please call our Consumer Care Center back at 1-706-860-4110 (option 7)."
(Part of the unpleasant conversation I had with Tamara, manager of Frigidaire customer service on 8-12-04, was that she adamantly stated that Frigidaire WOULD NOT repair my fridge and that I MUST return the warranty contract for refund because it was no longer valid. You think that's bad? Something even worse was happening: You see that reference number, #3363924A? Frigidaire gave me that as a customer number so any and all communications and transactions under that number would be recorded for any rep to see in their computer system. I found out that no information was recorded under that number since 2003 - more on this later.
Here is my response to their email on the following date:)
In response to your email of 8-27-2004:
It is very clear from this email that I do not have all the necessary terms of your offer in front of me. If I was given the opportunity "to see if the credit can be reversed so I may keep the current refrigerator" on 08-02-2004, then I would have chosen this option. Indeed, if your customer service rep had explained the terms of "replacing the unit" during that conversation of August 2, 2004 and provided all the options, then I would have made an educated decision.
During my conversation with Tamara, manager of Electrolux Customer Service, she gave me a different set of terms for this situation: She told me that Electrolux would not repair my fridge and that I should mail my contract back to Electrolux Warranty Corporation for a prorated refund. I contacted EWC on August 12, 2003 to confirm exactly what I should do and I received the following message:
From: "#EHP-NA Service Contracts"
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 13:44:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Information on Service Contracts - ssrefrig
"Thank you for contacting Electrolux Home Products. We just need the
contract mailed back with "cancel" written on it."
Electrolux Warranty Corporation
P.O. Box 212378
Augusta, GA 30917
Therefore, I mailed the contract back to EWC as instructed. I have already inquired about the status of my refund. To this date, I still do not know when or how I am supposed to be refunded.
Now, you are offering me to "go with the repair." Does this mean that Electrolux can reinstate this contract on the condition that the credit can be reversed - or something else? I'm still in the dark. This is why I asked Tamara on 8-12-04 to put all the necessary information and all my options in a letter, so I could make an informed decision. I have yet to receive such a letter. (Frigidaire/Electrolux has yet to put anything in writing as of the date of this rip off report.)
Electrolux took nearly two weeks to respond to my email. In fact, I expected no response from Electrolux because Tamara had already given me the idea that my present fridge would no longer be contracted for repair and that my service contract for this unit is cancelled.
I was pretty sure that Electrolux had abandoned me, so I have already taken it upon myself to replace the defective filter housing in the two weeks time that it took you to respond. THE REPAIR HAS BEEN DONE.
Nevertheless, I would like to thank you for your email. I'm sure that you are being as gracious as you possibly can be with your offer, but I need Electrolux to understand the problems I have been caused because I was not offered all the necessary information up front. I need Electrolux to understand how deeply irritating, time and energy consuming, how draining this entire situation has been because of this bad business practice by Electrolux of harboring information instead of stating all the terms up front. What stopped your rep on 08-02-2004 from saying, "Let's talk for a bit because you need to hear our offer concerning Replacing the Unit."
In fact, I am unable to completely interpret the terms stated in your email of 08-27-2004. In my perspective, the only "assistance" I have received, thus far, is the offer stated in your email. As you see I cannot even interpret what you mean by "assistance" by your customer care center because "Tamara" gave me the idea that Electrolux would only give credit of the original purchase price; your offer of 08-27-2004 contradicts what I heard on 08-12-2004.
In fact, I cannot find any of the policies given to me over the phone concerning this unit written anywhere including manual and service contract. I need this in writing from you because it is obvious that I cannot trust whatever policy or terms that are stated over the phone.
I need to know if Electrolux is willing and able to reinstate my service contract. If this cannot be done, please let me know when and how I will receive my refund.
I expect a timely response from Electrolux on this matter. Thank you for your time.
(I have never received a reply to this email.)
On September 9, 2004 I decided to go ahead and call the Electrolux Warranty Corporation to find out the status of that refund instead of waiting ad infinitum for an email replay. I spoke I spoke with someone named Chia at ext. 7362 who told me that my credit card would be credited within the week.
Curiously, on October 8, 2004 I received a postal, a reprinted contract of the extended warranty, so I decided to call Electrolux Warranty Corporation again to find out what's going on.
I tried to get Chia on the line. One person said she was trying to find her. Another said that she was at lunch. Another acted as if she no longer worked there. I got paddled around like a ping pong ball between customer service and the warranty division because they had no information about what was going on with my account; according to their reps this is because there was no information recorded under my customer reference number, #3363924A, since 2003 - so they say.
The last person I spoke with of Frigidaire customer service was Pam at ext. 7430 who said that Frigidaire was switching over to a new computer system which is why no past information was available. I told Pam that noone was answering my emails, so she promised to call back the same day with information; she never did. Unfortunately, this was nothing new.
I forget who I spoke with last in their Warranty division, but she told me that it would take eight to ten weeks to process my refund. I don't know why I did not record the lady's name (maybe I was confused from getting bounced around so much), but I asked her how much my refund was and from what date it was being prorated. She said she had no information.
Any and all comments are appreciated. Thanks.
Mountain View, California
United States Minor Outlying Islands Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Frigidaire Electrolux