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Best Buy agrees to cover porch repair after fridge delivery causes $8k in damage



Updated: July 16, 2012 6:20AM

Dear Fixer: I had ordered a replacement refrigerator from Best Buy after my first one broke down while under warranty. The problem is the delivery men caused more than $8,000 in damage to my porch when they brought it inside.

This was on Feb. 2. The deliveryman dragged the refrigerator across my composite porch, unaware that metal screws were protruding from the bottom of the pallet that the fridge was on. I obtained two quotes to repair the porch: one of $8,030 and another for $8,800.

Best Buy says the delivery company is responsible. The delivery company, Optima, says the subcontractors are responsible.

The delivery guys’ insurance company said their policy does not cover this damage, but that their auto insurance should. The auto insurance adjuster made a settlement offer of $4,117, including depreciation of $620. Depreciation? My house is four years old and the composite porch had a 30-year warranty (which, of course, doesn’t cover this type of event). The adjuster later raised the settlement offer to $7,270, but that still is $760 short of what I need to repair the porch.

This is ridiculous. Best Buy should be taking care of this, not me. I didn’t hire this delivery service; they did.

Kimberly Miller, Shorewood

Dear Kimberly: Your story reminds The Fixer of our recent column about the cable guy who unwittingly drilled a hole in a wall and went right though the antique china cabinet on the other side. Whoops!

Stuff happens, but the key thing is how the business responds. In your case, we have good news to report. Once our contacts at Best Buy took a look at this, they agreed that you shouldn’t have to bear this hassle any longer. They are working with the insurance company, and they promise to cut you a check for the difference between the insurance settlement and your contractor’s estimate. Best Buy senior executive resolution specialist Elizabeth Lamae also told us she will send you an additional $200 gift card to apologize for the trouble.

Clever retort

The Fixer is always impressed by how savvy some readers are at getting their own problems fixed. One person who couldn’t get assistance through the normal channels took to the Internet and plastered his problem all over the company’s Facebook page. His problem got fixed in a hurry.

Now comes Fixer reader Bob Richards, who was ticked off when an air conditioner repair guy came to fix something and ended up padding his bill with a $10 “fuel surcharge.” Bob was annoyed, but he soon came up with the perfect solution.

“I sent the clown a check for the full amount, less 25 bucks, and in the lower left-hand of the check I noted a $25 ‘parking surcharge.’ I had to open a gate to get him into the back side of the building where the A/C was located and he was parked there for about three hours.

“He called to complain about it and I told him that he was parking on my property and the charge was 10 bucks an hour and I was nice enough to only charge $5 for the last hour since it wasn’t quite a full hour. If he didn’t like it, he could file suit. Never heard from him again.”

AG goes after door company

Last fall, we wrote about a couple of Fixer readers, Andy Christmas and Hagen O’Brien, who lost $1,551 they’d paid to Family Security Door & Window for a security door and wrought-iron gate before the business suddenly closed. We pleaded with Family Security owner Robert Starr to give their money back, but he and his attorney said he wasn’t financially able to do so. Luckily for Andy and Hagen, they ultimately got a refund from their credit card company.

This week, Family Security got more bad news: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against the company, Starr, his brother Michael Starr and two others. The suit claims the company took in more than $90,000 in down payments for orders that were never fulfilled — including some payments accepted at the same time the company was going under.

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