Best Buy loses woman's fridge during exchange

July 15, 2010 7:16:13 PM PDT
Call it the case of the missing refrigerator. A Bay Area woman's forgotten fridge left her with an expensive problem. It's one thing to have a refrigerator that won't work. but this refrigerator simply disappeared.

Refrigerators are pretty big, so you would think it would be kind of hard to lose one, but that is exactly what happened to Samim Shaikh.

"They can't find the fridge," she said.

It all began when Samim noticed a problem with her refrigerator. Food at the bottom was spoiling, while food at the top was freezing.

"I kept milk, so it used to ice up at the top. At the bottom of the fridge everything was spoiling," she explained. "I was getting moldy food, so the lettuce just used to crumple up. The leaves were withered away."

No problem. She still had an extended warranty from Best Buy. The store sent a technician who adjusted the settings, but it didn't help. Another technician changed a part. Still, she saw either mold or ice, not good when you have four boys to feed.

"In the meantime, I was just buying things on a daily basis," she said. "I kept on telling them, 'I've got four kids.' It's not easy.

After several repairs didn't work, the technician threw up his hands and suggested a last-ditch remedy.

"He wanted to put a piece of tape and just tape the inside," Samim recalled.

That wasn't acceptable, but no one could fix it. Best Buy wouldn't replace it. So, Samim contacted 7 On Your Side. After we contacted Best Buy, the store agreed to take back the broken refrigerator and provide a $949 credit toward a new one.

A delivery truck came, took away the old model, installed a nice new one, and things were great until Samim noticed she never received her $949 credit.

"They just said, 'Give us the old fridge.' And I said, 'but I don't have it. You've picked it up," she said.

Best Buy said Samim had to turn over the old fridge first, before she could get the credit. She tried to explain that the delivery truck had taken it away.

7 On Your Side got involved again and this time, Best Buy not only gave her the credit, but covered the entire $1,800 cost of the new refrigerator, twice the price of the old one. The company said, "Best Buy apologizes for the inconvenience and aggravation that the customer experienced. We certainly did not mean for any additional aggravation during the exchange. We were happy we were able to provide them with additional funds and bring closure to the matter."

Now all's chill at the Shaikh home.

"Yes, I'm happy now, very relieved," Samim says.

So, what ever happened to that lost refrigerator? Best Buy says it was indeed placed inside a warehouse and it was recently located. The company is looking into its delivery procedures to make sure exchanges go smoothly in the future.


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