NASH COUNTY, N.C. — All major appliances come with warranties. They protect the consumer if something goes wrong, but once the warranty is over, the consumer is on his/her own. When Lisa Abrams' warranty on her broken dryer was about to expire, she called Five On Your Side.
Abrams said she has to take her clothes somewhere else to dry them. She bought the Sears Kenmore washer-dryer set in 2001. Just more than a year later, the dryer broke.
A repairman replaced a belt and removed lint trapped in the back of the unit, which seemed to fix the problem. But almost a year later, the dryer broke again.
"At first, you could smell the stuff. It would smell like it was burning, and then just all of a sudden, it just quit drying clothes," Abrams said.
A repairman came out again.
"We opened it up and it was packed with lint, and we could see where it had caught up a couple of times, so we cleaned it out and he put it back. We called him back again because it filled back up with lint," Abrams said.
In January, the serviceman tried a different fix by replacing the heating element. Abrams called Sears again. This time, she was told the problem was her venting system, not the dryer, so she had a Nash County fire marshal check the dryer.
The fire marshal noted the dryer "appears to be vented correctly" and recommended it "not be used" until the problem is corrected. Since the dryer's three-year warranty was about to expire, Abrams called Five on Your Side.
"I want a whole new replacement because I don't feel safe at all with it," Abrams said.
Five On Your Side called Sears. The store sent the Raleigh service supervisor to assess the problem. He blamed a missing vent flap, saying it allows "moisture" back into the vent, causing the lint to get stuck in the dryer. Since Abrams said she was afraid of the dryer and as a matter of "good customer service," Sears agreed to give Abrams a brand-new washer and dryer.
Sears let Abrams know about the missing vent flap. She told WRAL she replaced it and hopes this time the dryer will work fine.