Frustrated senior struggles with frequent repairmen visits, warranty problems in pandemic
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - There's been a revolving door of appliance repairmen at Joann Dixson’s DeKalb County home ever since her washing machine stopped working properly in mid-October.
“They have been here once a week since October 20. Once a week—except last week, but I’m really irritated about that. They keep saying I need a new part,” Dixson said from her home near Decatur Wednesday.
The DeKalb County homeowner bought a $1,200 extended warranty for all of her Sears appliances three years ago. She's told FOX 5’s Portia Bruner it's come in handy for other appliance repairs and replacements in the past. But in a COVID-19 pandemic, the 73-year-old isn't comfortable with a lot of contractors in and out of the house, especially since she has underlying health issues.
“Once I open the door for them, they're outside in the utility room and I am in the house. We both have masks, but I’m still a little leery,” said Dixson.
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Dixson said replacement parts are the only option Sears has given her at this point.
“I did see him pull something out of a box and he had the machine turned upside down and he was working on it, but it did not work afterward and at that time he indicated it needed another part, another motor,” she said.
FOX 5 News reached out to the Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection. Spokesman Shawn Conroy said it's important to make sure consumers, especially seniors, understand what's covered and what's not covered in an extended warranty. And in this pandemic, Conroy said it's critical to require all contractors who visit your home to wear a mask and remain socially distant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning and disinfect surfaces after contractors leave. Dixson has grown weary of the weekly visits and hopes the situation will be resolved soon.
“With the machine already being old, why do they need parts? I feel like they’ve already covered the cost of a new washer with all the parts they brought out here. At this point, I want a new washing machine,” she said.
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FOX 5 contacted the corporate headquarters for Sears Holdings in Hoffman Estates, Illinois about Ms. Dixson's situation. There was no response as of Wednesday afternoon.
Consumer rights advocates suggest people continue to press to get the most of what your warranty guarantees--especially after numerous repairs. For advice on resolving extended warranty problems or to file a complaint with the state, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 404-651-8600 or online at consumer.ga.gov.
Contact the BBB online at www.bbb.org or by phone at 404-766-0875 to check the reliability of the business. Visit CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/at-home/in-home-services.html for additional resources.
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