Help! My Whirlpool refrigerator caused $4,200 in damage to my kitchen
November 3, 2022
Steven Pearson's Whirlpool refrigerator doesn't work. It's also leaking and has caused $4,200 in damage to his kitchen floor. Why won't Whirlpool respond to his request for help?
I need help with a Whirlpool refrigerator that has damaged my kitchen. I have experienced nothing but issues with the appliance since I got it in 2020. The ice maker doesn't work. The leaky refrigerator caused $4,200 of damage to my kitchen floor.
Whirlpool asked me to fill out a claim form, which I did. But I have not heard back from the company. I am a loyal Whirlpool customer. All of my appliances are from Whirlpool. I want Whirlpool to repair my refrigerator and pay for the damages. Can you help me?
Steven Pearson, Boston
Whirlpool should take responsibility for a faulty appliance and cover any damage the appliance causes. Or should it?
Looking at your warranty, there are two things to note: First, it's a one-year warranty, so your ice maker would only be covered if you reported the problem the first year after purchase. And second, it specifically doesn't cover damage resulting from "accident, alteration, misuse, abuse, fire, flood, improper installation, acts of God, or use of products not approved by Whirlpool Corporation or Whirlpool Canada Inc."
Now that's what I call a broad exclusion. All Whirlpool would have to do is say that you misused or altered your refrigerator, and it's off the hook.
But that isn't the problem. I reviewed your paperwork, and it looks like you had two requests. First, repair the ice maker. And second, cover the floor damage. That may have confused Whirlpool, which is accustomed to handling claims one at a time.
There's a takeaway for the rest of us here. When you file a claim or complain to a company, stick to one problem at a time. A list of issues may cause a delay. In your situation, it created a one-year delay. I imagine someone at Whirlpool put the claim in a file with the intention of getting back to you, but never did.
To get things moving again, I recommend a brief, polite email sent to one of the executive contacts at Whirlpool. I publish the names, numbers and emails of the Whirlpool managers on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org.
I contacted Whirlpool on your behalf. It agreed to repair your refrigerator and cover the cost of your floor.
© 2022 Christopher Elliott