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Help! My Kenmore refrigerator won't work

The freezer section of Lorra Manuel's new Kenmore Elite refrigerator doesn't work. She wants a replacement, but Sears and a subcontractor called Transformco are taking their time with her case. How can she persuade them to hurry up?

I recently bought a Kenmore Elite refrigerator from Sears. I purchased the Master Protection Plan, which extends the coverage on the new appliance.

The freezer didn't work. I called Sears and it sent a technician, who replaced a filter and recharged the unit. But that had no effect.

Sears and the company I'm now dealing with, Transformco, have been hard to reach and not very accommodating. It turns out my refrigerator has a recall issue.

I'd like to get a refund for this refrigerator. Can you help me?

Lorra Manuel, Chicago

Look, Sears should have delivered a working refrigerator. And if it didn't work, then Sears should have fixed it quickly.

I've reviewed the lengthy paper trail between you and the technicians at Transformco. It looks like you had problems with the freezer section, but also lengthy delays and difficulties reaching the company. And while it's true that Sears has had a series of problems recently, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic, the fact remains: No company should sell an appliance it can't service.

I list the names, numbers and email addresses for the Sears executives on my nonprofit consumer advocacy site,

Your case raises an interesting question: How do you persuade a company to escalate your complaint and take it seriously? Do you call? Write? Threaten to sue? How do you underscore that you need a working refrigerator without sounding like a whiner?

Well, I think you did exactly what you should. You put your complaint in writing. You were polite, but firm. You didn't give up.

I could see that you were already in the process of escalating your case to the Sears executives, so I decided to wait until the process ended. It took a while, but Sears and Transformco finally approved a replacement refrigerator for you. You're still pursuing a claim for the loss of your frozen food, but with your persistence, I'm confident you will prevail.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at [email protected] or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at

© 2021 Christopher Elliott.


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