Elderly couple to get new refrigerator after calling '12 On Your Side'

Elderly couple to get new refrigerator after calling '12 On Your Side'

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - An elderly Henrico couple will get a new refrigerator from Sears after "12 On Your Side" got involved when the pair voiced concerns about their medications going bad.

Cynthia and Richard Collins, who are in their 70s and 80s, said they purchased the Kenmore Elite refrigerator/freezer in 2010, but in the beginning of June it stopped working properly.

"The refrigerator wasn't cooling and not producing ice," Cynthia said. "It has been a nightmare."

Tuesday afternoon a spokesperson for Sears stated, "Our member services team has resolved the Collins' situation by authorizing a replacement refrigerator of similar value."

The situation unfolded when the Collins called Sears customer service in order to get a technician out to service the unit, but said after the work on June 15 it still didn't work.

"We had to wait three weeks for another appointment," Richard said.

While the Collins waited for their third service appointment scheduled for July 21, they had to purchase ice in order to keep the contents of their refrigerator cool.

"We've spent at least $100 in ice so far," Cynthia said. "The ice lasts about a day and then we have to get another bag of ice."

"Watching her go through the inconvenience of me hauling ice and trying to put it in the best area where you can save it… has been a hassle," Richard added.

The Collins said the ice, which they keep in a small cooler, is important for everyday items.

However, they said what is kept in a mini-fridge nearby is most important.

"Being a diabetic I have medical issues and some of the medication needs to be refrigerated at certain temperatures and kept refrigerated," Richard said. "I can't take a chance on the medication if it's not cool," Richard said. "I'd have to throw it away."

The Collins have put some of the meds in the more than 40-year-old mini fridge, but said it doesn't keep everything as cold as it should.

The couple also has a larger freezer in their basement for storing food, but it's also due for service.

"We also have arranged for a technician to inspect their standalone freezer on Thursday, July 12," said Sears spokeswoman Jesse Liszka.

As for the eight-year-old fridge in the kitchen, the Collins did have a warranty on it which they have renewed over the years, and had hoped the new parts purchased because of the warranty would fix the situation.

"It ought to be brand new," Cynthia said.

Collins said they entertained the idea of a new refrigerator, but because they're on a fixed income, they've set aside money for other projects and their grandkids.

"We'd like to stay prepared in order to help them," Richard said.

"At Sears, our top priority is the satisfaction of our members," Liszka said. "We look forward to welcoming [the Collins] at a nearby Sears store to select a replacement… We hope the Collins remain loyal Sears customers and Shop Your Way members."

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