NBC 5 Helps Local Grandmother With Oven Repair Refund

Esther Ratcliffe paid nearly $400 for a repair that didn't last

Esther Ratcliffe has a really big family.

One of the ways she likes to show her love is through cooking.

But lately, much of her baking has been done next door because her oven hasn't worked for six months.

"It's annoying for me and I'm sure it's annoying for them," she said.

When she searched online, Ratcliffe found an appliance repair company called A.A.R.C.

She paid nearly $400 to have her oven fixed.

"He (the technician) put the part in, seemed to be working. A couple of days later, it wasn't working," she explained.

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Ratcliffe said the technician told her they'd have to come back with a new part, but they never did.

Esther said she'd left countless voicemails and even contacted the sub-contractor, but he said he couldn't reach the company either.

"I've been waiting all this time and I've got no response," she said.

So, she called NBC 5 Responds. 

A.A.R.C. has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and 11 unanswered complaints.

When we visited the address listed on the website, we found an IT business. 

We called the number on the door and an employee confirmed that they were not affiliated with any appliance company.

So, I called A.A.R.C. and asked for the company's address. An employee told us he couldn't give it to us, but confirmed he was with A.A.R.C.

When we told him we were with NBC 5, the man on the phone said the company was actually no longer A.A.R.C.

He said the owner bought A.A.R.C. and has been cleaning up their mess ever since.

The man on the phone said he was familiar with Ratcliffe's case and would make sure she got her money back.

But it's been a month, and Ratcliffe said she hasn't heard from the new company about a refund.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, she was getting nervous.

"That means turkey next door, bringing it back and forth and I don't particularly want to do that," she said.

Her manufacturer's warranty expired some time ago, but we called Whirlpool just to see if there was anything they could do to help fix her oven.

Whirlpool said they regretted that Ratcliffe had a hard time resolving an issue with her appliance, but they'd look into her case and contact her directly.

That same week, Whirlpool offered Ratcliffe $460 as a gesture of goodwill for her troubles.

Ratcliffe said she'd be using that money to buy a new oven, and felt thankful that Whirlpool was willing to assist her during this frustrating time.

She admits that she made a few mistakes along the way, so some solutions from NBC 5 Responds:

  • When you're dealing with an unfamiliar business, Google the company's name.
  • Check reviews online.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Always sign a contract.
  • Ask if you can pay with a credit card, just in case something goes wrong. 
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