5 On Your Side

Local man's lawnmower spends summer in shop

Posted August 29, 2013
Updated September 12, 2013

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."

Zebulon man waits for refund after commercial mower breaks down Zebulon man awaits refund after mower goes kaput

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. 


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  • superman Sep 3, 2013

    He was far too patient with the company. Thirty days and I would have been kicking their door down. I would have put a license tag on it and asked the attorney general to invoke the state lemon law. I would have purchased a book of stamps and spent hours on the internet complaining and notifying every organization, company that I could find that might could do something. Maye the state consumer protection agency as well as the federal agency. By the time I finished they would remember me for a long time.

  • superman Sep 3, 2013

    If he had paid by credit card he could have disputed the charge and the credit card company would have taken care of the problem. Post a negative review of the companys website if they had one. People dont like negative feedback on the internet. Kinda bad for business.

  • HomeBrewDude Sep 3, 2013

    Wow... thanks for covering this. I will avoid this place - I live in Clayton myself and I like to deal business locally but at the end of the day - do not shift blame - part of running a business is picking up the ball and running with it when the "service center" does not perform. Step up and do the right thing and give this man a new mower already. These small companies want to compete with the big boys but lack business sense.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 30, 2013

    3,500 for a non commercial grade mower? Got to be kidding...

  • wra0627 Aug 30, 2013

    A "Z Beast" is not a commercial grade mower. You get what you pay for when it comes to mowers...

  • crazy2 Aug 30, 2013

    This company is horrible and this story is not surprising. They also own AccessHD - that makes digital tv boxes - google the reviews.

    Good luck to Mr. Sutton in getting his refund. They have a history of being VERY slow to pay their own vendors and employees.

  • makeitright Aug 30, 2013

    Great advertisment for GXI... I've eyed them up a few times going by and after this I'll stay away. Brand new mower and they tell the guy to take it to a repair shop?? What the heck?
    and I thought I was jerked around by the shop I took mine to. With a two week wait and after two weeks, they hadn't even looked at mine.. told them I had to take it to cut my 3 1/4 acres... then went to the back of the line again.. Does anyone give good service anymore?>