CHICAGO (WLS) -- Getting home appliances repaired has been difficult, as the pandemic causes delays on parts or in some cases they are just not available.
"I'm disgusted. I'm unable to get to the laundromat. Because of this, and my legs. I've got six to seven weeks of laundry," said Elmwood Park resident Louise Deprizio.
Deprizio is is disabled and has been burdened with a broken washing machine since September. She said she's spent hundreds of dollars on laundry service while waiting on her washer to be repaired under her Sears warranty.
The washer and four other appliances are covered by a Sears warranty that costs $700 a year. Deprizio said she's spent hours on hold and sometimes gets disconnected.
"I can't see why anybody should be treated like this. One way or the other, give me an answer. It's in writing that I have your contract. At least abide by the contract," she said.
Sears did send a repair person to Deprizio a few times, but they couldn't fix the washer.
"The parts didn't work, none of them," Deprezio said.
Our sister station WTVD in Raleigh-Durham, reported that one Sears consumer waited months for parts before Sears offered her a new refrigerator. Sears said that many parts and production have been slowed by the pandemic
Sears does not attribute the pandemic to Deprizio's wait but told the I-Team, "The satisfaction of our members and customers is our top priority. We value Ms. Deprizio as a loyal customer and we regret the delay in resolving this issue. After two months of attempting to repair her washer, we determined it was not repairable, as the needed part was no longer available."
But Deprezio said Sears' customer service is a disappointment.
"I grew up with Sears. I've been with Sears for so long. And then when this happened. I don't trust them," she said.
In November, Deprizio said Sears told her they would cover a new replacement washer and she finally got it in December. But she said she had to pay more than Sears would cover. After the I-Team contacted Sears, they said they would reimburse her for the difference in cost and help her on another matter, which was also not included in the contract.
"They also gave me this check for going to the laundromat," Deprezio told the I-Team. "You guys helped a lot."
If you're dealing with a wait, or if parts can't be found for a repair, you may want to ask a representative for a replacement product. However, there could be delays on entire appliances too; one recent study said from an industry group indicated that only 10 percent of businesses felt prepared for pandemic related delays
Full Statement from Sears:
"The satisfaction of our members and customers is our top priority. We value Ms. Deprizio as a loyal customer and we regret the delay in resolving this issue. After two months of attempting to repair her washer, we determined it was not repairable, as the needed part was no longer available. We immediately authorized her for a comparable replacement model valued at $650 on November 4th. However, she did not select her replacement model until December 16th and the model she selected was $999, exceeding the comparable value of her original washer. In addition, she was aware that the model she chose would not be delivered until Jan. 9th, even though we did have other models available for delivery sooner. While Ms. Deprizio did not ask to be reimbursed for any laundry expenses (as this is not a benefit that is part of her service contract), as a courtesy, we did reimburse her for cost of the laundromat."