Battle Over Brand New
Help Me Hank: Battle Over Brand New
Look at Joan's dining table, high fashion gleaming glass with not one streak. She has Sleek leather chairs without one scratch, the highest tech of microwaves and not one smudge of bacon grease.
Joan Kremidas, Fridge Owner
"I like things modern and I like things clean and simple and uncluttered."
Glossy granite countertops with no watermarks, brilliantly shining stainless steel brand new fridge, its surface unmarred byÖ wait a minute. That looks like a dent on the door.
"And when I look at the refrigerator door with that dent I see clutter."
In the scheme of the universe, political upheaval and hurricanes and elections -- Joan knew her dented door wasn't huge, but frankly it cost more than $2,000 and the sample she saw at the store sure didn't have a dent.
"I bought a new refrigerator, I just want a new refrigerator. I want it in place and thatís it."
She complained to the store and they sent guys out to look at the damage.
"They looked at the refrigerator and said yes it's dented, you need a new door."
So with the shrink wrap still clinging to the icemaker, Joan gritted her teeth at the dent and waited for her new door.
"I thought that within two, probably three weeks I'd hear from them and have a new door on the refrigerator."
Thanksgiving came and so did Christmas -- no door.
"I didn't start off angry, I started off reasonable."
The new year arrived, but no new door.
"Oh, I was totally frustrated, I couldnít get anyone on the phone to listen to me."
It seemed the eyesore refrigerator was destined to become a permanent fixture.
"So I called, actually e-mailed, Hank Phillippi Ryan."
Whether you paid $2,000 for a new item or $20, Massachusetts consumer protection laws say you must get what you pay for in the quality and condition represented. In this case as we reminded the store -- a brand new undented fridge.
First they told us the bad news, turns out they couldn't order just a new door, then the good news, they would replace the entire refrigerator.
"I think itís wonderful."
And soon after it was out with the oldÖ
"I think itís great."
Öand in with the new.
"I'm absolutely thrilled."
No smudges, no spots, no grease and no dents.
"I have a new refrigerator and hopefully itís the end of the story."
Some people actually print out the shopping rights guide from the stateís consumer Web site and carry it with them when they make a purchase.
For a guide to your consumer rights as a shopper in Massachusetts, check this Web site: http://www.state.ma.us/consumer/Pubs/shop.htm