Can’t Repair Leaky Terrace

(WSVN) - There is a sense of excitement when you buy something new, and a lot of irritation when it doesn’t work the way you expected. But what happens if the company selling it can’t repair it, time after time? When do they have to give up and replace it or return your money? Here’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

There is one word that Marilyn Schneider never uses at work. A 10-letter word called … retirement.

Marilyn Schneider: “I’ve worked with these people for 22 years. They said, ‘You can’t go anywhere.’ Some of them don’t even say that word in front of me. I don’t want to hear about it.”

Marilyn’s friends don’t have to worry her calling it quits, because she enjoys her job.

Marilyn Schneider: “I enjoy working being out there, being with people, especially young people, and feeling needed.”

One benefit of continuing to work — she has the money to update things at her condo.

Marilyn Schneider: “I did the granite tops there. I’ve painted. I’ve gotten new appliances, the floors, and I can do that because I’m working.”

And one more thing: Marilyn’s terrace was open, so she hired a company to enclose it.

Marilyn Schneider: “I did sliders on the terrace, so that I can be there 12 months out of the year. It’s nice in the evening, during happy hour, to have a cocktail out there.”

But before she could toast her new terrace, it rained.

Marilyn Schneider: “The first heavy rain, I had a lot of water out there. I ran to my daughter’s house, and I had to get a WetVac from her to get it off.”

Marilyn called the installation company. They sent a guy out.

Marilyn Schneider: “And they told me that my frame was never sealed, should have been sealed before my acrylic portion went in.”

They sealed. Then, like it always does in South Florida, it rained again.

Marilyn Schneider: “And I had water down there.”

They tried to fix it. Again and again and again…

Marilyn Schneider: “I’ve had at a minimum 10 visits, with three or four different guys coming out.”

Marilyn’s had enough, and told the company supervisor, since they couldn’t stop the leaks, they needed to replace the frames. Their reply?

Marilyn Schneider: “‘You think you are getting a new frame? That is not going to happen!'”

Well, Howard, whether it’s windows or washing machines, how many times can a company fail to fix their product before they have to replace it?

Howard Finkelstein: “While there is no number of set times, the law says, what’s reasonable within the industry standard. What does that mean? In my opinion, three to five times. If they can’t repair it after that, they have to replace the product or give you your money back.”

We contacted the company. They quickly went to work, re-measured the frame, ordered the equiment and installed it. Best news: Marilyn says, when it rains, it doesn’t leak.

Marilyn Schneider: “I did get my new frame.”

Howard Finkelstein: “If a product is defective, the warranty should cover you. But if it’s a case like this, where the equipment is fine but installed improperly, it’s not the manufucturer, it’s the installer who has to replace the product or return the money.”

After work, Marilyn can now retire to her nice cool terrace. She is happy, which means we are happy.

Marilyn Schneider: “Oh, I am thrilled I called Help Me Howard. All this is the result of Help Me Howard stepping in.”

Glad we could help, Marilyn. And what happens if the company who can’t fix a faulty product refuses to refund your money or replace the product? Don’t give up. Contact the manufacturer. They can replace it themselves, or put pressure on the business who sold it to you to take care of it.

Enclosed by a situation thats pouring in on you? Ready to retire the problem? Contact us. Hopefully we can open a window to a nice, cool solution.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
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