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Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center / They should not be in business!

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We ordered an Equator #375S refrigerator ($1300+ w/tax and shipping) online through Universal Kitchen and Appliance in Studio City, California around July 23rd, 2005 to be delivered to our home in Northern California. Upon delivery, we immediately noticed that one of the shelves’ plastic side rails that allow it to slide into place was completely cracked off, making the shelf useless. The Equator is a very small capacity unit so the loss of one shelf makes it pretty useless. The top back of the refrigerator was smashed in as well.

We immediately contacted Universal Kitchen and Appliance to report the damage and they responded by promising to send out a shelf replacement immediately, however, the damage to the top was the responsibility of the delivery company. We contacted the delivery company but they refused to take responsibility and blamed it on poor packaging by the manufacturer. We were able to knock out some of the dents but not completely and decided that if we could get the replacement shelf then we could live with the dents.

Weeks went by without any replacement shelf delivered or any word from Universal. We again contacted the company, who said they were having trouble getting a replacement shelf, so they would send a whole new refrigerator. Great! Send it out! After several weeks with no word, we again contacted the company. The story this time was that they were having trouble getting more of the Equator refrigerators from the manufacturer, so we, being reasonable people, practiced continued patience. After several more weeks of no word (we’re 8 months into it at this point, folks), we again contact them for information. They still had no answers and, once again, we were given the run around and the blah blah blah, so we requested a full refund and that they pick up the damaged refrigerator or we would contact the Attorney General’s office and file a formal complaint if they did not do so. Of course, after hearing that, they called the next week to verify our delivery address as a new refrigerator was to be shipped that week (May 19th, 2006). It is now July 11 and, not surprisingly, we never received the replacement refrigerator and they have now stopped taking our calls. We’ve filed a formal complaint to the Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau and are taking action with our credit card company, as well as documenting our experience with numerous consumer websites.

I would steer clear of Universal Appliance as they do not back their merchandise nor do they attempt to resolve any issues in a prompt or professional manner. They should not be in business!

It will be 11 months this Saturday, July 15th.

Stay tuned…


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