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I recently had to replace one of the old LG window A/C units I was using to help cool down the ol’ homestead during the summer. It was nearly 5 years old and a hand-me-down from another family member. What I ran into was the way the new warranty systems are rigged to run.

The unit had stopped cooling. Since it was much too late to return it to the store, I placed a call to the number located on the side of the case. A very bored customer service rep told me that they don’t service units that small, but they do provide a refund. Sounds great, right? But there are a few hoops to jump through first.

First you must fax a copy of the original receipt (which was tough to find after a few years), the serial number, and the model number to the LG warranty center. No problem. Then, wait about two weeks for a “letter of refund” that states that you can now go out and buy a new model. After you order another one, you are now “eligible” to send in that proof of purchase and serial and model number, then fax that back to LG, as long as they receive the proof of purchase back in less than 90 days. Once that is all sent in and tucked away, you can now wait for your refund that will arrive in some unspecified period of time.

I’m not saying they won’t do it, but they have managed to stretch it out a long way and they make you feel like you’ve tried to cheat them in the process. The big problem I see is, what if this failed or was faulty out of the box? You’d have spent the cash and now must go spend the same money again for something that didn’t work in the first place. That would really piss me off. As it sits, I still await the arrival of the refund check.

 

22 Responses to LG Warranty Replacement Plan

  1. Fong says:

    Sounds like they’re banking on the general public’s inability (as a whole) to follow through on a detailed procedure the same way rebates work to generate more sales.

    Seems if they were legitimately going to provide the warranty, it wouldn’t take much effort to make it less cumbersome. Makes me a bit hesitant to buy one of their TV’s.

  2. george says:

    can’t back it up but i read somewhere that lg was difficult to deal with. this is why i won’t buy their products.

  3. ecrusch says:

    I think they think that about 95% of the people won’t go to the bother of all that.
    I am part of the 5% that will hound the hell out of them until they “yell uncle”!
    Stay on’em Sean !

  4. jgreat says:

    Between my personal experience and that of several close friends, I will not be buying LG appliances again. I purchased a washer and dryer and my friends have had issues with both their dishwasher and microwave. Not that I’m saying other brands are any better, but between ridiculously long waits for service calls and the kind of run around listed above, I’ll be giving other brands a chance when I’m ready to buy again.

    Features may have me try something once, but service is what will keep me (and my money) coming back.

  5. Matthew Gerber says:

    The “G” in LG is Goldstar. GOLDSTAR! Would you have bought a Goldstar *anything* ever?

    I love how people go ga-ga over LG electronics nowadays, not realizing that LG is a conglomeration of two terrible brands hidden under a shiny new name.

    That said, don’t let them off the hook. If the system is in place, and you follow it, they have to come through. They make it labyrinthine on purpose.

  6. zoomzoomjeff says:

    @Matthew–I had no idea they were Goldstar! You’re right, had I known, I would have far less of a favorable opinion of their quality. Goldstar!! Holy crap. Makes me think of 1970’s black & white TV’s that weren’t worth a crap. So they took LG and spun it into “Life’s Good” because that coincidentally was a good jingle. hmm.

    Fong–you’re right. Companies design those policies based on an actuarial type of gamble. When I think of Menard’s and the rebates they offer…I ALWAYS mail them in and have earned back several hundred bucks on home improvement stuff this year. So they lost on me, haha.

  7. Patrick says:

    Extended warranties are just as fun. I bought an LCD TV five years ago, before they were all $250, and bought the extended warranty. Well, about three months before the warranty was to expire, the TV did. They could have replaced the TV for about $300, but they spent $470 to fix it, and the fix lasted five weeks. There was about $80 left in the total value of the original purchase price, so that’s the check they sent me. I told them initially to just replace it but they said their first job is to try to fix the existing set. Even if it’s more expensive, and doomed to fail.

    A-holes. Probably work for the IRS by now.

  8. Toolfreak says:

    Sounds like the whole point of the process is to make sure you replace the old unit with another LG product.

    No doubt if your LG brand unit breaks, and they send you a refund, a great many people would either go out and buy another brand, either because it was better reviewed, or based on price.

    Not that refunding the purchase price of a new unit lets them make any money on the sale, but it does ring up as a sale at the place where you bought it and that it turn contributes to the big picture, making it look like people are all happily buying brand new LG products becase they are so great, which of course lets them market themselves to the retailers and keep their product moving.

    In any case, even if it is a Goldstar, that’s really something if they come through. I’d never expect to get another unit for free or even at a steep discount in trade for a 5 year old one that quit working. I certainly agree thats a lot of hoops to go through, but if the process works and it deters dishonest people from abusing the system, I wouldn’t say it’s bad at all.

  9. Brau says:

    @ Matthew

    You missed “Lucky”! LG was a rebranding of Lucky + Goldstar. Sadly, there’s nothing lucky, good, or golden about them.

  10. Tony says:

    To be honest if I was Goldstar (or anyone else) I’d have told you to go away.

    Warranties only cover the original owner, which you aren’t. It’s a secondhand unit and you’re filing a warranty claim?

    Is it even under warranty anyway? A 5 year warranty is pretty good.

  11. Jerry says:

    I have to agree with Tony on this one. Sorry folks. I have an LG window unit that I have had about five years and it still blasts out the cold air. Made by Lucky? Goldstar? Is it really that important? Most manufacturers make products for other companies as well as their own products. I guess I’m just not so brand-concious as some people. I have had top brands fail just as quickly as those “cheapo” brands.
    My old LG window unit? I had no idea there was a five year warranty but if it died today I wouldn’t expect a replacement. Seems I paid about a hundred bucks for the unit – about twenty bucks a year. Hard to complain about that.

  12. DoItRite says:

    I always stare in disbelief when the sales guy tells me that a product has a 5-year or sometimes “lifetime” warranty (my life or the product’s life?). This, from a manufacturer that has been around for a total of 2 or 3 years?

    I tend to gravitate to Costco for most of those big items that I don’t want to gamble with. I purchased a big screen TV a few years ago and the sound stopped intermittently. A call to the manufacturer stated that they knew about the problem, it was a software bug and they would send a chip to fix it, except that they were out of them and it would be several weeks. When it finally came, I did the download and the stupid thing still didn’t work. Three months since purchase and it went back to Costco – no packaging or boxes, just the receipt and a big TV in a big trash bag. I got my cash back in less than 5 minutes and was purchasing a different brand for less money because the prices had gone down.

    Helps to do as much research as possible before buying with Consumer Reports or the reviews on a site like Amazon.

  13. Chris says:

    I kinda agree with Tony on this one. You weren’t the original owner, and if LG can prove that with any of the documentation you’re sending them, they’d be well within their rights to completely deny a warranty claim unless the warranty specifically says that it’s transferable (which it likely doesn’t).

    That said, I think their “go buy a new one, send us documentation, and we’ll think about refunding your money” policy of warranty fulfillment is pretty stupid. Apple (and granted, they have a totally different retail-consumer interface from a manufacturer like LG) is a great example of how to do warranty repairs the right way — something breaks under warranty, walk into the local Apple Store and get it replaced. No Apple Store nearby? They’ll send you a replacement and put a hold on your credit card until the defective unit is received back. Very hassle-free.

    cl

  14. zor says:

    It’s kind of weird to hear about Goldstar in this day and age. My favorite Christmas gift when I was 14 years old was a color Goldstar 12-14″ TV. From the day I received it until the day it crapped out (contrast problem) 10 years later in my fraternity house people always remarked about how sharp the picture was. I think it was Korean.

    After 5 years you might expect they would have a couple of hoops for you to jump through before returning it. Especiall-in my opinion-considering the difficulty of really knowing how or by whom it was actually manufactured. It’s a good deal: take it!

  15. Costco manager says:

    @DoItRite… Costco doesn’t give refunds on electronic items past 90 days anymore. They were getting burned too often and it became a costly policy to offer a “no questions” refund. Heck, we were seeing 1st gen ipods after 8 years, and people wanting their money back.

  16. Dr Bob says:

    No LGs in my house, and I plan to keep it that way. However, my 20+ year old Fedders window unit is working just fine and has never been serviced.

  17. dave says:

    This is why you read the warranty statement before purchase on any product costly enough you’d spend any amount of time longer than it would take to throw it away (or recycle when applicable).

    … but it was a hand me down, yes I have to agree with the others that unless it’s a transferable warranty, the additional hoop to jump through is convincing the original owner to instigate the warranty replacement.

    Having to spend more money out of my own pocket (besides postage to mail in a _small_ item) in order to get a replacement or refund is something I’d never agree to. If a product carries a warranty like that I would only buy within an assumption that even if it breaks tomorrow I’d never use the warranty replacement program and factor that into the purchase price.

    One thing isn’t clear, what if they don’t made the same product/model # anymore? Do you have to buy any random LG product of the same type? What if they don’t make the same type of product anymore? Buy some different type of random LG manufactured product, or buy some other brand of the same type of product, or would they then issue cash back?

  18. ambush says:

    Hey Dr Bob, my maytag (fedders) window ac unit had an LG compressor in it… Found out when I took it apart after it lost its charge. Probably different for an older unit though.

  19. dvm2dogs says:

    You have to watch all of these warrantees. HD products often have a lifetime warrantee. However, they usually require you to send them the unit (shipping on you) and they will repair or replace the unit. Most recently I had a ceiling fan go out and it has to weigh 30 Pounds. The shipping will be almost as expensive as a new fan. Since they still sell the same model I may just buy a new fan and put the defective one back in the box and return it back to the store.
    I wouldn’t even consider it if the unit didn’t state on the box “LIFETIME WARRANTEE ON THE MOTOR”. Not a very useful or honest statement. These should all state “LET THE BUYER BEWARE”.

  20. Paul says:

    I’m sure many f you know this but in many cases it doesn’t matter which brand you buy you are getting the same product. I have been through and still have some window air conditioners, and I’ve fixed a few out of warranty units for friends. In the past 10 years Kenmore, Frigidaire, LG, Goldstar, and Amana have all sold the same window air conditioners under different labels. This may not be their whole product line, but I’ve taken them apart, the remotes are interchangeable, the parts are interchangeable… They just have a different face.

    But anyhow even if its the same unit the manufacturer named on the unit may treat your warranty claims differently. I’ve have descent luck with Kenmore as far as warrantys go.

  21. Refunding says:

    This is still true, the process is horrid, but you have to stay on them. I’m part of the 5%. Waiting for my refund right now(only been a week),from my TV going out. The panel was discontinued so it couldn’t be replaced or fixed. They wanted me to go buy a new TV, then return the old one, showing my proof of the new one, and then send me a refund. I simply requested for a refund.

    I will say that they did send me a BOL (bill of lading) so I didn’t have to pay shipping to return the TV. I guess because I went thru the Warranty. Either way, I’m done with dealing with the manufactures. I will now buy the warranties from the store itself, that way, I’

    • Refunding says:

      oops. I chose not to have it replaced because I didn’t like how the warranty service worked, so I asked for the refund. But yes, 5 years later, its still the same. I will stick to store warranties, never had to deal with the manufacturer. I guess Flat screens are highly sensitive

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