Dishwasher advice turns costly for couple

January 24, 2011 7:32:18 PM PST
A couple was very upset because a repairman not only steered them wrong, but his advice cost them money, and he never fix the problem.

Dipleen Kaur and her husband Sandeep Kathuria say their new dishwasher worked beautifully for the first three months and then suddenly, dishes started coming out dirty.

"The materials kind of stick to the dishes on the top rack. Yeah, it was disgusting," Dipleen said.

The dishwasher was still under warranty with Sears, so the couple called for a repair and received a surprising diagnosis.

"He came and he said, 'It's not a dishwasher issue you need to have a plumber come in because it's not hooked up to hot water,'" Dipleen said.

The technician left instructions to have a plumber install a hot water valve. However, when the plumber arrived, he said the hookup was already there.

"Two minutes later, he said it's connected to hot water it's as hot as you can get any water, so I don't know why they asked you to call a plumber," Dipleen said.

The couple was upset they had to pay the plumber $60 for a needless house call. They called Sears demanding the company reimburse them for the plumber's fee.

"If you're sending technicians to houses and they're giving wrong diagnoses, then Sears need to take responsibility for that and they said, "Nope it's not our problem," Dipleen said."That's when I ended up calling 7 On Your Side."

So we contacted Sears and after looking into the case, the company agreed to pay the plumber's fee, saying, "We apologize for the misunderstanding. One of our technicians did in fact misdiagnose the problem and ultimately we did reimburse the customer's $60."

So, what about the dirty dishes? Sears said the problem stems from new environmental laws that banned the use of phosphates in dishwasher detergent starting last July. Phosphates prevent dirt from sticking to dishes but they also pollute runoff water. We found reports online from other customers saying their dishes are dirtier now without the phosphates.

Dipleen and Sandeep however, believe their troubles started before the law changed -- although switching from a gel to a liquid seemed to help.

"It's giving us relatively clean dishes now," Dipleen said.

"Actually, we are thankful to 7 On Your Side for taking this case up," Sandeep said.

"Thank you so much. I really appreciate it," Dipleen said.