NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) - A New Kent family had been struggling without a refrigerator for more than a month. Their new refrigerator broke down, and they've been using coolers and ice ever since.
But the company stepped up to do the right thing after the family called 12 On Your Side.
A New Kent family finally has a working refrigerator, something they'd been waiting on for more than 7 weeks.
A brand new one was delivered about a week ago.
A walk to the refrigerator to get a cold bottle of water seems like a simple one. But it's a stroll Toni Burrell and her family had not been able to take for well over a month.
"After seven weeks, actually over seven weeks, we are elated to be able to have cold drinks, cold food, be able to save leftovers and just be able to have a refrigerator in our home," Burrell said.
Prior to that, they had coolers in their kitchen that could only fit so much and they were in constant need of ice. With three small kids in the home including a nursing baby, it was way too much.
"They've got to have lunches, dinner and breakfast every day, and having to go to the grocery store so many times to get ice and food, even making food runs in the morning before school," Burrell said. "It was a huge inconvenience both financially and physically."
The refrigerator's manufacturer, LG, sent crews to fix it on several occasions but they were unsuccessful. A repairman was slated to come back again when they called 12 On Your Side complaining that they didn't trust a repair, they wanted a replacement. I reached out to LG on behalf of the family and the rest is history. This new unit was recently delivered.
"I definitely want to thank Eric for his hard work and dedication with our story," Burrell said. "He did an awesome job."
And with the addition of a new refrigerator, hopefully, this family will be chilling out for a long time to come.
"If you feel like there's nothing you can do - if you feel like your hands are tied like we did, 12 On Your Side is always there," Burrell said.
The family bought their home in October of last year and simultaneously paid more than $1,500 for a brand new stainless steel LG refrigerator.
"And we thought we were getting the top-of-the-line refrigerator to go along with our new home and new appliances, and we were very excited about the purchase," Burrell said.
Fast forward eight months to Sunday morning, June 3 - it just conked out. Despite the fact that the appliance is still under manufacturer's warranty,
the family has been without a refrigerator ever since - relying on coolers.
"Having to go to the grocery store every day, having to make sure we have ice for the coolers," Burrell said. "We take food over to my parent's house."
Nursing an infant makes it even more complicated.
"With the breast milk, we have to make other arrangements to take it to my parent's house, and then when we're going out somewhere, we have to make an extra stop by my parent's house to get the milk," Burrell said.
So what's the hold up? The family called LG when the fridge first failed. A technician came that week but was unable to fix the problem.
The family says they heard nothing from LG after that, so they reached out again. A second tech came over and was also unsuccessful., so the family called LG again.
Three more appointments were made for repairs, Burrell says. Three times in a row, no technician showed up.
"They want their money when you make your purchase, but the service that you receive after, that we've received, has been horrible," Burrell said.
During one of many conversations, Burrell says a service supervisor told her the company had not reached its limit in trying to repair the appliance.
"[They] would have up to seven times to try to repair before [they] would replace it," Burrell said. "I think that is absolutely ridiculous."
Friday, July 6 was the last time technicians finally showed up at the house. That time they said it was the refrigerator door causing the problem, and they'd order and install another one.
Fed up, Burrell called 12 On Your Side.
"I'm concerned that even if someone is able to repair it, that we may have the same issue all over in the not-too-distant future," Burrell said.
Philips reached out to LG's corporate office and explained the situation in detail. Company reps did not respond to his emails, but within hours they contacted the family saying the company is now considering either replacing the refrigerator or refunding their money.
"I would definitely like to have a replaced refrigerator, versus a repaired refrigerator," Burrell said. "They say that 'life is good with LG,' but it definitely has not been that case for us."
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