Frigidaire refrigerator tampered with - invalid serial number

diginthedirt17February 13, 2012

I posted a few weeks ago about the problems we were experiencing with our Frigidaire refrigerator purchased from Lowes.

It was a customer return after one week - they wanted a counter depth unit apparently. We purchased it for about $500 less than a brand new one.

We have had three separate repairs on the leaking ice maker, and a whole new gasket put around the freezer drawer. The warranty expired two weeks ago and we were told to contact Frigidaire to see about purchasing an extended warranty.

The serial number that I gave them is invalid. It comes up as a number for a cooktop stove. Also apparent now is that fact that the original sticker on the inside of the frige has been removed - there is tape residue all over - and another, smaller Frigidaire/Electrolux sticker placed over it with a piece of tape.

Someone needs to be responsible for this - Lowes I would assume since we purchased it from them. Are they not responsible for selling authentic merchandise? IF it had been tampered with by the first owner, isn't Lowes also responsible for what they take back? The sticker appears to be an authentic Frigidaire sticker, although not the original.

I have contacted the Lowes manager, who claims Frigidaire is responsible, but I want the fridge returned and replaced with a new unit.

Has anyone encountered this? Who do you think is at fault? How should I handle this?

Thank you.

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Just wanted to add that I received a new sticker in the mail today from Electrolux, affixed to a generic form letter.

Ridiculous. Like that is going to fix anything.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 4:50PM
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Sophie Wheeler

You took a chance that everything was OK with a second hand fridge because it was an attractive price. You didn't win that chance. If you had bought it from an individual, would you expect them to be dealing with you a year later? I'm surprised that it even had a warranty. Most used merchandise is sold "as is". The manufacturer repaired it under warranty. They fulfilled their obligation. Your 90 day window of return with the retailer expired long ago. You didn't buy an extended warranty. Either repair this fridge on your own nickel or sell it on Craigslist and buy another one. And hope you don't sell it to someone who will come to you a year later with a problem with it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 5:55PM
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I disagree with hollysprings - Lowes ought to take responsibility. You bought this from an authorized retailer - yes it was an open box return but that doesn't absolve Lewes from the phony serial number on it. That sounds like fraud to me. Are you having problems with it now or is it just the case that you want to buy an extended warranty? Now that you have a sticker with a correct serial number, will Frigidaire sell you an extended warranty.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:06PM
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The leaking icemaker was repaired last week and at the moment it is fine.

The phony serial number on it - along with the old sticker residue - could mean that the fridge could have come from anywhere. Yes I have a new sticker but this is not going to solve anything. It's a lemon in my book and I am asking for it to be replaced.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:12PM
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I'm with weissman on this one. Lowe's isn't some fly by night used appliance company selling stuff out of the back of a truck or something! They represented the appliance to you as something it wasn't, regardless of whether they themselves were duped or not.

I'd raise hell with them and expect they would make it right. At the *very least* with store credit for the amount you paid, not necessarily with a new replacement appliance (although I'd definitely start there).

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Thank you for your thoughts; I understand that we took a chance with a returned item, but certainly did not expect the serial number to be tampered with!

Waiting to hear back from Lowes manager, he said he would call by the end of week. I'll update in case anyone is interested.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 8:38PM
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I agree with weissman and taggie. Sounds very close to fraud - but I haven't seen your paperwork / sales order sheet. If it says you ordered FRIDGE model xyz123 and what you actually received (because of a sticker) was a COOKTOP model abc456, then Lowes is totally responsible.

You need to be a bit more proactive / forceful. Be nice and courteous, but firm, and don't wait for "them" to get back to you. Be persistent and call Lowes every other day. Better yet, go in and see the manage face to face.

You'll also need documentation from Frigidaire showing that you've got a cooktop and not a fridge.

Still, you have some responsibility in this. You got to see the actual unit before you plopped down your cash, and the terms were clearly stated on the price sticker or sales order/receipt. I think you also got 30-90 day return priv. for any reason, no questions asked. So, holly is partially right too.

Lowes still needs to make this right. I'd convince the NGR. to give me a full refund as a credit towards a new fridge from them. That shouldn't be too painful for either party.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Just thought I'd update about the situation. Lowes has agreed to offer a refund of the purchase price towards a new fridge, including delivery.

I'm here researching refrigerators, and thinking of one without an external water/ice dispenser this time!

Thanks for your advice.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 11:15PM
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