Washing machine warranty woes frustrate consumer

December 6, 2011 6:56:23 PM PST
No one wants to get stuck with a lemon, not with a car or any other big purchase, but that's exactly how an elderly woman felt after dealing with her broken down washing machine for five years.

Long-time Bay Area resident Gerry Timmons has been dealing with this problem since the week she bought her washer. Fed up, her family called 7 On Your Side.

Timmons is quite an independent woman despite her advancing age. The 84-year-old great-grandmother lives alone and manages most of her own daily needs.

"I love the washing machine, but it just doesn't love me," she said.

The washing machine broke down two days after she got it. Her warranty company, Surway, promptly replaced the washer with a new one. However, she says the replacement hasn't been any better.

"It will work maybe for a week or two, and then something else would go wrong with it," she said.

Timmons says the repair company has come out so often she's lost track. But her daughter hasn't.

"Oh, my goodness. It's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 [times]," daughter Laura Wehrlie said.

Each time it's usually a different problem.

"We had problems with the lock, water leaking, one of the flow valves, a drain hose, a drain pump a belt drive, the mother board twice," Wehrlie said.

Timmons said she had reached her limit.

"So I said I'm just going to go out and buy a different washing machine. Not fooling with it anymore," Timmons said. "Life is too short for that kind of aggravation"

But that didn't sit right with her daughter. She called the warranty company and it promised to send someone out to determine whether the washer should be replaced. But that didn't happen.

"We're going around in circles. I said, 'Mom, 7 On Your Side is the one that can help you. Let's call and see what they can do for you,'" Wehrlie said.

They did and we contacted Surway. Several weeks later, it sent her a check to buy a replacement washer.

"You people were good enough to do what you did for me," Timmons said. "When there's no place else to turn, that's what you do."

We attempted numerous times to contact Surway for comment, but the company did never responded.

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