What to do when Your Lemon isn’t a Vehicle

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It happens to all of us sooner or later: we buy a new stove, TV, or stereo only to have it malfunction long before expected. While Lemon Laws protect us when it’s a vehicle problem, what do you do when an appliance doesn’t perform as expected? Here are some tips to help you out:

The best intervention is prevention. Shop at a reputable store or website, such as P.C. Richard. Look for a company that stands by the products they sell so if you have a problem you can call customer service and get immediate action. Often online purchases cost less than in stores, and you can save even more by using a P.C. Richard coupon when you buy.

Keep all of your warranties in one place, and when you buy a new appliance note the place and date of purchase. Your warranty is often your first recourse when a product malfunctions and you need to be able to check the date to see if the product is still covered for the problem you’re facing. It’s a good idea to staple a copy of your receipt to the warranty paperwork.

Contact the manufacturer if the item is still under warranty. Often you’ll be able to have it repaired or replaced at little or no cost and you’ll be back in business.

If you’ve bought online call the service number on the website for directions on returning defective items. Most large companies know the value of a satisfied customer and will go out of their way to keep you happy in order to continue doing business with you in the future.

If you can’t get satisfaction from the manufacturer or store you may have to go to small claims court to get satisfaction. Depending on the state you live in, if it’s a major purchase you may want to contact an attorney and go to court to get compensation for a defective purchase.

Remember, consumers have rights and you shouldn’t have to swallow the cost of an appliance or other product if it doesn’t work as advertised or is defective. Keep track of your paperwork in case you need to repair or replace before the warranty runs out!