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help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

Posted by sherilynn (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 30, 07 at 13:43

FYI: I did not go to a warehouse for my appliances. I bought from three dealers locally for the best prices. Please read, learn, and give me constructive advice. I am so overwhelmed and spent here. I need real advice, not admonishments.

I have had a mess with my kitchen appliances. Nutshell version: I bought ALL new appliances. I have had several issues. I need advice on what you would do if you were me.

In 2004 we started building a home. Crooked Custom Cabinet Maker demanded I own all appliances before he made our custom kitchen. They all sat in storage in a garage locked up until install 9 months later. So, appliances did not go into service until August 2, 2005. All appliances have extended warranties for additional 4 years.

#1: Thermador Dual Fuel 48" Range with grill & griddle has had constant problems with burners and circuit board or electronic panel of some type. Well, service professional came out last week to fix the back burner that wouldn't light, ignite, nor would gas come out of it. He took the burner apart and messed with another burner, which he broke, so now I'm down two burners. He obviously had little experience with Thermador because he had to call several times for help just to get the knobs back on the fron that he took off trying to figure out how to get into the machine. Anyway, he 'diagnosed' that the potentiometer' (spelling) is gone out and that's what needs to be replaced. GE service contract people call me and says, "We're so sorry, but they don't make that part anymore. We can't fix it. Call us again if you have any other problems." WhOA NELLIE! Hold up! Let's go over this again!.... Haggle, then had to 'get your supervisor' conversation..and the "BEST" they could do was do a "nationwide search for a part" for this stove. Other than that, I'm out two burners. Obviously, this is not a solution, but I'm totally $crewed here if they don't come up with a part.

THIS IS TOTAL BS. This is a recurring issue and I don't even want to tell you what I paid for this machine. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

#2: I bought two undercounter U-Line refrigerators. One with ice and the other with a freezer. The one with the freezer went out. Service tech said to call U-Line to get authorization for a new compressor/freon/or replace the unit. They wanted me to FAX my receipt. I did, but the year was left off this handwritten receipt FROM THE DISTRIBUTOR. U-Line wanted a full date, which I don't blame them. Contacted distributor who says, "Oh, those models we sold you were older models and you bought them 'as is with no warranty'. I DID NOT. When I bought them, they did tell me that there were newer models out, but these still HAD a warranty, brand new, in the box. "No different than buying a year end model car," is what they said. I said my receipt said no such thing as not having a warranty, but it DID have my check number on it. They asked me to FAX my receipt, they claimed it was not an invoice but a purchase order...and they're invoices are computer generated. They then Faxed me an invoice with misinformation on the invoice and now it says 'as is, no warranty.' It had my check number, and information that it was shipped to an old address, which it was NEVER SHIPPED. My husband and I went across town and picked these up ourselves. The key here is I paid them by check. My check was dated on 8/14.04 and cashed on 8/16/04 and is on ALL of these receipts (mine and their fictitious receipt). This receipt they faxed to me that they said they gave me was dated 8/23/04, which is totally BOGUS.

I thought, forget them, I still have five years on the compressor, so I took my check and faxed it to U-Line with my receipt. U-Line said that ...and I'm silently screaming here, that my unit was manufactured 14 YEARS AGO AND IT'S OLD FREON, they don't have parts, and they will not warranty this unit.

I do have the distributor's company in a 'lie' about the receipt, but U-Line says I need to deal with them. I'm out a machine. I have a 24" 'hole' in my cabinet space and the other unit is acting up. I wish I NEVER BOUGHT these U-LINEs NOW. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

#3: After those issues above, I double checked my other BRAND NEW appliance manufacture dates. My GE Advantium 240 oven was manufactured in 2000! I noticed that the door coating was peeling and called them out, they replaced the door that first day.

#4: Fisher & Paykel DD603 has been a PITA. The company is replacing it this Tuesday through perseverance.

It just seems it's been one thing after the other with these high end appliances. I've seen more appliance repairmen these past two years than I have my entire life for ANY MACHINE, House, and car repairman all put together! I almost wish I had just bought Whirlpool Gold appliances!

So, I truly do need advice. I'm slap out of gripe venom. It takes so much energy to stay after these companies to do right.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

The serial numbers should reveal the true manufacture date. You have your check as confirmation of the date you *purchased* the items. Perhaps a lawsuit would do some good? It'd be your word against theirs for what was said and by whom during the purchase process. But your check date vs. the serial numbers may carry weight in regards to being sold "old" merchandise.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

#1 T'dor range. Call them and ask to schedule a service call with someone who knows their unit. Prob. is you have GE contract which is an insurance policy. Insurance CO.'S are in the business of tqaking in $$$ (premiums) and limiting outgoing $$$ (clainms) plain and simple. Make the service bozo pay for what he broke.

#2 Just like in the car game, if it's not in writing, it's not true or didn't happen. Keep copyies and don't leave the site if there are errors. Ditch them and move on.

To everyone: buying new/old stock is a gamble, be sure the price is reflective of the risk. Get serial #'s and verify with the manufacturer about build date and warranty if any, BEFORE YOU BUY. High end stuff is not necessarialy more trouble prone than middle of the road kit. Older models, used, demo, and secondary goods in general are more trouble prone - that's part of the reason they are in the secondary market. Think used car. A Mercedes with 10k on the clock at 30% off list is not going to be as reliable as the brand new equivelant. The dealer is not going to give you the same consideration/warranty as they will with the new model.

MOST IMPORTANT: no one is going to give you a deal or discount. You will EARN it. This might be through your time invested in searching, settling for a used model, forgoing features or a warranty, selecting a lesser quality model or less appealing design, or waiting for the market to saturate so the price comes down with increased volume.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

Did I read this correctly? Do you have a service contract with GE for the Thermador?

I had a service contract with GE for a GE trash compactor. A small plastic part inside the compactor broke off and GE no longer made the part, and the machine was unusable. Under the terms of the agreement I received a brand new compactor.

This was 3 years ago and I don't know if the agreement has been re-written. But check your contract for replacement.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

Hi Again. AntSS: I DID NOT BUY USED ANYTHING. I bought BRAND NEW U-Lines, with warranties. I have the paperwork. One year parts and labor, five years compressor and freon, bottom-lining it.

When I bought my appliances, I NEVER have EVER asked anyone anywhere, "What is the manufacturing date on that appliance?" Have YOU? They were brand new! They were not from a 'discount appliance place either!" I never THOUGHT TO ASK about manufacture date. Has anyone else here? I only ask when I buy a car!

The Thermador Range was brand new! It sells for almost $10,000! It had a one year warranty for parts and labor and I bought an extended warranty. The business that I bought it from sold me an additional four year warrantees on every single appliance I bought from him. I bought a GE Monogram compactor, Advantium 240 oven, 48" Thermador Range, Kitchen Aid warming drawer, Zephyr hood liner.

So, the Thermador warranty work is scheduled through GE, but GE doesn't work on the Themador. They supposedly send out techs that are trained on my appliance. This time, the guy wasn't so hot from this company that usually works on it. I'll call them tomorrow and see what they say. I'm also going to call the guy I bought it from and then Thermador. All of this about the Thermador happened on Friday afternoon, so I didn't have time to deal with it then.

It's the U-Lines that are really irritating to me. A small claims lawsuit may be my only option right now. I have my paperwork and check and witnesses. My husband was part of this deal so he knows what happened. AND my father was with us, too, and he knows because he considered buying a fridge for his bar but decided he didn't need it.

Any other suggestions?


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

usually the law works against those limmiting there liability. Meaning if you hav e receipt stating nothing about no warranty, and there paperwork is questionable you will most likely win the law suit. Take them to small claims court!


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

The point I was making is that you can have the serial numbers on the appliances checked NOW to determine if they *really* are "old" as the seller is claiming.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

Seriously, Sherilyn, have you thought about going to small claims court to get your money back...or seeing an attorney?


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

You may need to look at small claims court, and you may want to talk to the local DA about a claim against at least the appliance dealer for the U-lines. To me, it sounds like may have had you fax what you had so they could use the information to manufacture the alleged receipt. Once legal action is pending, you would have an avenue for checking receipt numbers and seeing if they were in sequence with the date of the original purchase or the date of the fax. Keep pressing.

Because of the brand differences, you may have to work a little harder at getting the Thermador range repaired, but you should get there. Insist on getting someone who is capable and trained to service your range amd on getting the right part. If they insist they can't, you'd beter see what your contract says about replacement of the unit. I would also be talking to Thermador about what they can do to help you get the aprts needed or a replacement.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

dadoes, U-Line told me the manufacturing date. I can't even find one on the machine. I faxed them a photo of the silver sticker inside the machine and it has no date.

I just believed that the sales person, which was the owner of one of the local distributorships here in Jacksonville, Florida. She advertised that she had 7 or 8 year end models that she had reduced so she could clear out those models. They did come with a warranty, she said, and I wasn't going to get any better warranty buying from someone else. So, I bought them. We didn't 'see' the catch. NOW I find out that I can't even get freon for this machine because the EPA doesn't allow it to be used in refrigeration anymore...or something like that.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

Sherilynn, I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. I remember reading about your previous problems with the cabinet rip-off artist, and now this. You must feel like this is salt in the "still raw" wound. Of course you are angry, as any of us would be.

I agree with the advice above regarding the Thermador. If you persist, you will prevail and either get your range fixed properly, or a new range. Press on until you get one or the other.

Regarding the U-Line refrigerators, I consider it absolute fraud for a company to sell 14-year-old ANYTHING, whether used OR unused without FULL DISCLOSURE. That alone may be all you need to prevail in small-claims court.

One other suggestion I have is to check your state's environmental regulations with respect to freon. Back in the early 90's when freon was phased out, I seem to remember that it would no longer be legal to sell *new* appliances or refrigeration equipment such as air conditioners, with freon. This does not mean that one cannot sell their *used* freon-containing items on Craigslist or whatever, but I am almost sure that it is illegal to sell new items that use freon.

Like I said, check your state's regulations, and that may be your ace in the hole. If the store sold you an illegal product, they could be in deep doo-doo.

Again, I am sorry for this aggravation you are experiencing. But I do have a feeling you will prevail.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

sherilynn: I can't believe that after CFG you have this to deal with now! What a drag.

I think that eventually you will get satisfaction re the Thermador, if you just keep bugging them. You might consider writing a letter to the CEO of the Thermador company telling them what happened and asking him what he plans to do. It's worth a try. (I've personally have had good success with this method)

Re the U-lines: You said that you bought extended warranties on all the appliances. Why would the U-line distributor sell you an extended warranty on an appliance that cannot be fixed? What date is on the extended warranty for the U-lines - those should correspond with your purchase date. What date did you pick up the appliances - before or after the date on the bogus receipt?

How can these people sell a 14-year old appliance without disclosing the age? That is just so wrong.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

I have posted several times today out of frustrations. Ok...I do NOT have the extended warrantees on the U-Lines because I bought them from a different distributor than the guy that sold my other appliances. The U-Lines come with a one year parts & labor and five years on compressor and freon. According to U-Line, when I bought them, they would have been 11 years old UNBEKNOWNST to me. Then they sat in storage for almost a year, then put in use in August 4, 2005, until it died. The 2nd unit has been working fine, until last week when it seems that the thermostat appears to be not working right and everything is a bit warm. If I adjust the temp to make it cooler, then the ice maker won't work if I adjust it cooler. These things are finicky.

The Thermador range was bought with my hood liner, compactor, Advantium 240 oven, F & P DD, and warming drawer: all of these have additional 4 year warrantees (full coverage, so to speak).

I hope this makes sense.

I had already started research trying to find out if there were any laws preventing selling those machines, brand new, as new.... I even have a hand written receipt on company letter head by the owner, so she can't claim she didn't know anything. She literally 'sold' us on the deal she was making us, which was probably close to half price for the two of the U-Lines. And it made sense to us that if newer models came out that she would reduce the price of these machines just to get rid of them. In NO WAY would I have bought an 11 year old machine. My father was an electrician and worked on airplanes and autos. I **KNOW** it's not good for any motor to sit like that and not be used. I just wouldn't have done it...not in our retirement home and brand new kitchen!

And I am STILL working on finishing my cabinets. There has just been too much going on and now this...

I would cry if it weren't so pathetic. I'm praying that it all works out to the good and soon. Please keep the advice coming because I am so overwhelmed with helping parents and with my family. I will not go through another holiday with my kitchen not done.

Thank you,

Sheri Lynn


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

Sherilynn ... so sorry to hear of your problems. For what its worth, I think GE should stand behind the service contract.

I had a service contract with GE Warranty for a Maytag Neptune washer I bought in Jan 2000, and was glad I did. Maytag replaced the poorly designed door, but GE had to pay $425 to replc the lock assmbly & control board in Apr'02. I questioned the wisdom of fixing an obvious lemon but they said it was cheaper than replacing the washer for $999.

I just looked at the old contract (California Service Contract Terms & Conditions) and under 'Non-Repairable Products' it states, "If GE, in its sole discretion, determines that a covered product is not repairable, GE will replace the product with a product of like kind, quality and functionality. This Contract is deemed fully performed by replacement of the product ..." I hope Florida has a lemon law like California.

If you decide to take the seller/distributor to Small Claims Court, my advice is to be prepared. I once filed a Small Claims action against a prior tenant for property damage. I'm not good at public speaking and knew my time would be limited, so I created 3 packets for the Judge, the Defendant and myself. The cover page listed the parties, the amount of my claim and an index of the Exhibits. Next was a copy of my speech to the Judge (Plaintiff's Stmt to the Court) giving my side of the story and explaining each exhibit. Last was a copy of the Exhibits, conveniently marked with a tab. I figured if I couldn't say everything I wanted to say, at least he could read it later. In our county the Sm Claims Judges don't give their decision in court - they take it under submission and mail their decision. That way they avoid fights on the Courthouse steps.

Good luck to you !!


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

Hi sherilynn, wish I lived closer I would come by and take a look for you. First I have to say I can understand your frustration and I would certainly make a call, as someone suggested, to your local DA about the appliance distributor. Problems like this are usually not isolated.

Now let me ask you a few questions. You said no gas and igniter is not working either on at least one burner. Forgive my next question but one can never assume anything. Have you or the tech made sure that the plate that sits on top of the burner is not a tad askew. These stoves are very sensitive to that part being positioned properly. Next is does your stove have the X-LO simmer feature. If so it is a bit more complicated but would explain both the spark and gas absence. The potentiometer controls the spark not the gas so I have my doubts about the tech. BTW they may not produce the part anymore but it can still be had. You can find the part at either a local appliance repair parts store or on the internet, so don't lose hope.

As for the U-Lines I am also suspect to the techs diagnosis. Fridges in my experience don't usually have compressor or freon problems. Most times it is a selenoid or sensor that goes bad. Sadly, just like so many other fields, the technicians become parts changers and have no interest or knowledge in the troubleshooting field.

I'll end with this and I guess it's no solace so I'm sorry. I do the electric for a lot of high end kicthens, so I see and wire these applainces all the time. I am appalled that after spending a small fortune on these Big Brand names so many of these units have problems right out of the box. I have seen several 6 burner stoves where one or more burners didn't work on start up. Honestly most times they send someone out and if it's simple it's fixed first shot. If it's not an easy fix I have seen some problems go on for months. I don't do applaince repair for a living but have stepped in when I feel bad for my customer after getting jerked around. Had one a few months ago where a DW wasn't working. They couldn't fix it and said it needed to be replaced but wouldn't cover it because of time elapsed(long kitchen delay story) Anyway I offered to look and found a micro switch that was bad.......a $12 part...and fixed...hence my lack of confidence in appliance repair techs (not all of course)

So again,wish I could help and I'm sorry but keeping my fingers crossed that you will prevail.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

I just can't imagine having all those problems with new appliances. I really feel sorry for you.

In regards to your Thermador, you have the GE extended warranty. If they can't fix it, they will have to replace it. No question about that.

In regards to your U-Lines...The law did not say that refrigerators with freon could not be sold. It said after the effective date, they could no longer be manufactured. No one broke any law selling you those U-Lines.

Warranties are from manufacturers not stores. A store can not strip away a manufacturer's warranty. The warranty starts on your date of purchase. The fact that the store is now claiming that they were sold without warranty is a nonissue. Don't waste your time on that one. You do have manufacturer's warranties.

What needs to be researched, is if the problem relates to needing more freon. I didn't think anyone could obtain freon anymore for refrigerators. And how does this affect the manufacture's warranty.

I would obtain some paperwork and supply it to the manufacturer and put in a claim under the manufacturer's warranty. You do have one. If the issue is freon, wait until you hear from the manufacturer how they intend to handle this. Can they get freon or do they have to give you a new one? Was part of the law that manufacturer's are exempt from their warranties in regards to freon? This was so long ago, I don't recall the details but the manufacturer will tell you. I would not panic until you get a final word from them. Write them a formal letter demanding specific performance on their warranty. Send it certified mail return receipt requested.

Either they will change their tune or at least you have locked them in as to the exact reason for their refusal which will be most useful if you pursue legal action. It will also speed up the time required by a lawyer to research it versus you telling him this blow by blow story.

It looks like the problems with the other items have been resolved.

This is the strange part. It makes no sense why you purchased these items so far in advance and kept them in a garage. I wonder if the prolonged storage has anything to do with some of these problems.

How is it possible that you shopped at different places and all these places sold you such old appliances? Something doesn't make sense there. There is nothing wrong with stores selling old appliances. And stores do not have to tell you when appliances were manufactured. Some people were actually requesting to purchase refrigerators with freon because they didn't trust the new method. You could have easily looked up the model numbers and found out how old these appliances were. How can a 14 year old refrigerator look like the new ones. It generally is pretty obvious based on the styling. The same goes for other older appliances. I find it hard to believe that you were totally clueless that these appliances were old...not saying that you thought they were that old. You said the sales person said they were year end models or whatever. They did tell you that they were not current.

You must have thought you were getting a deal on the price. That should have alerted you. Maybe your husband or father knew the scoop and you didn't. Some people think it is good to purchase out dated appliances because of the reduced cost.

In any event, when spending a lot of money like that, people should do their research first before purchasing. Its that old buyer beware thing.

Good luck.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

It's your gas burners that are out on the Thermador and they say a potentiometer needs to be replaced? I'm surprised that a potentiometer is involved with the gas burner. Is this some smart burner? Sounds like time to insist they send someone out that has a clue about your range.

If they can't fix it, I would think they need to replace it. Time to get out the service contract and check what it says.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

As far as the GE contract on a Thermador appliance, if they can't send out someone who knows how to service the range properly, talk to them about you calling out a Thermador service rep, getting it repaired and having them reimburse you. Would cost them more than doing it themselves (at least, if they could fix it and do it in fewer calls and without breaking things) but it would be a lot less than a replacement.

On the Ulines, you may also want to ask the DA or an attorney about them selling you a unit so old without more disclosure than inferring htat is was the end of the current year model on its way out. Ultimately, you may need to replace one or both yourself and decide whether it is worth it to go after a sleeze in court. Keep in mind that if you can't trust them out of court, you can't trust them in court. They will lie and cheat there just as they appear to have done with you so far -- so you'd better be able to catch them at it and prove it. Then you have to collect on any judgment.

One other thing you could try (in addition to DA, manufacturrer and small claims) would be to contact a consumer help reporter -- TV, radio (Tom Martino is one who is on many radio stations and online) or newspaper. A DA may not have any intrest if you ar the only one complaining, but someone like Tom Martino or a local reporter might be able to help you get the pressure you need to get it resolved -- with U-line if not with the dealer.

Press U-line. Supposedly this is one of their dealers and it is definitlely their product. You can document the purchase and the fact that it was installed after a remodel with your contractor. They won't like it, but they should stand behind this.

If you can;t get U-;ine to step up,even with some pressure from a radio/TV sort, it may be worth your time and sanity to just replace them, move on and chalk it up to lessons learned. It sounds like you are working yourself into a real frantic mode, and the rest of your life will suffer. You'll get the Thermador issue worked out, and it's been a royal pain to have so many appliance issues -- the others are done, so it really boils down to the unresolved Uline issue and what's it worth to battle a scumball. And then what happens if you have another issue?

I've learned some lessons in my remodel. Wish I hadn't, but I did. And as long as nothing is lurking behind the walls, I'm still happy with my new kitchen. I hope you will be with yours too.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

We too had serious issues with both our kitchen cabinet build and appliances (and paint, too, but that's another story). It felt (feels) like no one does anything right and definitely has you questioning how you ended up in this mess after doing research, etc.

It's not pleasant, or even terribly helpful, but you may indeed have to contact someone and take legal action if all you've said is true and the retailer remains unresponsive. You might also see if your local newspaper or TV station has a consumer action line. Something like this might very well be right up their alley--make a good story--and would definitely elict action on the part of the retailer. File a Better Business Bureau complaint and even just telling them you're going to contact the media, might very well at least get a dialogue going.

I actually had something kind of similiar happen once. I purchased a "floor model" washer from Sears for my first post-college apartment. Looked totally new and only somewhat off-price (and supposed still under warranty). After I met my husband and we moved in together, four years later, the washer quit working. We had a repairmen come and look at it and he said it was more than ten years old so we should replace. Now, it was a basic model, hadn't been terribly expensive and I got almost five years of use out of it, but certainly had no indication what-so-ever that was buying a five year old product from the get go. (Nothing went wrong during the "warranty" period, so who knows if they'd have honored it.)

-Susan W.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

Just an update so far on Issue #1 above, the Thermador Range. G.E. was the extended warranty company on the range. For some reason they "could not buy the part directly from Thermador," so, they prorated the stove deducting two years use and sent me a check for $9,319 dollars. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? It took them three weeks to get me a check, but I had to keep after them.

The also let me keep my range and it's up to me to find someone to fix it. I have someone looking for the 'potentiometer kit' right now. Someone on this forum said the parts can be bought, so we'll see. Any way you look at it, the range is worth more fixed than not, so if I do decide to replace it, it will be fixed. I so hope I can get the parts to it.

Now on to the next issues... I will post updates.


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RE: help! advice needed! i was sold 'old' appliances!

Big problem appears to behte U-line fridges.

Question to al: Did U-line even make undercounter fridges 14 years ago? I thought they were a newer appliance. I hate to say it, but this is probably a case for an attorney. Other options would be a consumer reporter from a local TV station or the district attorney's office. Both are free, but would likely take a lot longer than a private attorney. The lack of a year could easily be pushed as a sign of potential fraud on their part.

Good luck!


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update!

Please read about my update about U-Line on a new thread! Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/appl/msg060852484799.html


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