Action 9 gets results after consumer says new appliance was a lemon

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. — Imagine paying $1,000 for a new appliance that keeps breaking down. That's why a Merritt Island woman contacted Action 9 claiming every attempt by Sears to fix her new stacked washer and dryer unit failed.

“We ran it, then it wouldn't drain,” said Alice Parzek. She paid $1,000 for a new Sears washer and dryer she can't use.

“How frustrating is it?” asked consumer investigator Todd Ulrich.

“To the point where I want to kick something, and that's not my nature,” replied Parzek. She bought the stackable washer/dryer from Sears online, three months ago.

“How much has it been used?” asked Ulrich.

“Two times,” said Parzek.

“That's it?” said Ulrich.

“That's it,” Parzek replied.

It's been one breakdown after another. She's documented five separate repairs that failed. “I spoke to five different managers, and I still don't get the results I'm looking for,” said Parzek. She calls the appliance a lemon the company refuses to replace.

This is an extreme case, but other customers told Action 9 their Sears warranty didn't fix serious appliance breakdowns. Twenty-one consumers contacted Action 9 about Sears appliance repairs that dragged on for months; some were new appliances and others were covered by extended warranties.

“It's a lemon in my books after the third visit,” said repair expert Mike Mannino. He says all repair companies are having problems with defective new parts, and when repairs keep failing, total replacement should be the next step.

“They've already paid for that machine three times over. It would have been far cheaper to replace the machine for this lady,” said Mannino.

Ulrich contacted Sears' national office. A company representative said Alice Parzek had only three failed repair attempts, not five. But 48 hours later, Sears installed a new washer-dryer and gave her an extended warranty.

“That would be delightful,” said Parzek. “Clean clothes again.”

Nationwide Sears is rated B-plus by the Better Business Bureau. It has 11,000 complaints for its products and warranty, but the company does respond.

Sears did help most of the customers who contacted Action 9 about appliance repairs.

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