Zebulon, N.C. — Editor's note: Sutton received a refund for his mower days after this story aired on WRAL News.
Lynn Sutton bought a commercial-grade mower to get things done quickly, but this spring and summer did not go as planned. Sutton's weekends are busy – there's his yard to cut, the long entrance to his neighborhood and a family property in another town.
So, in April, Sutton bought a Z-Beast riding lawnmower from GXI Outdoor Power Equipment in Clayton. He paid $3,500.
"I thought it would be a big help, a major help in doing yard work," Sutton said. "If I only had it, that's the thing."
A belt broke when he used the mower for the first time in May. GXI told Sutton to take it to a repair shop.
When he got it back several weeks later, it wouldn't go up the small hill in his front yard. So, on June 25, he took it back.
"It's been in the shop ever since," Sutton said.
In the more than four months since Sutton bought the Z-Beast, he says he only used it twice.
"They keep saying, 'Well, we're having an engineer take a look at it,'" he said. "I was so frustrated. So I called (5 On Your Side) to get some help."
Gordon Jackson, president and CEO of GXI, said he understands Sutton's frustration. He blames the long wait on several issues, starting with the first repair on the engine.
"Maybe the actual problem was maybe a little over-simplified by Mr. Sutton," Jackson said. "I think maybe the service center didn't really take a good, serious look at the product when they repaired it. They just put the belt on and sent it back."
With the second repair, Jackson said, the service center repeatedly told GXI that the work was almost complete.
"I do think that after several weeks of it being in for service, probably an escalation at the service center was probably due," he said.
After 5 On Your Side called GXI and the repair shop, the shop told GXI that additional parts were needed.
This week, Sutton got a call saying the company would refund the $3,500 he paid for the mower. Jackson said the check was already being processed.
But Sutton said a company spokeswoman just told him the check won't be processed until the service center returns the broken mower to GXI.
Sutton had not been reimbursed as of Thursday.