Warranty claim rejected: this is a commercial product, not for home use
September 17, 2015 7:45 PM   Subscribe

I bought a microwave off Amazon that quit working most of the time after seven months' use. Attempted to make a warranty claim but the manufacturer says "this is a commercial unit and is not covered for home use". How do I approach getting warranty service or was it just a bad idea to buy a commercial micro?

Bought a microwave. It arrived and did what we wanted... for a while. Then it stopped working unless you get lucky when you close the door. I sent a query about warranty service to the manufacturer and they shot back "that's a commercial unit, it isn't warranted for residential use". Back and forth for a while, and they finally said "it's not UL approved so we don't offer a home use warranty".

The thing is, if you read the warranty statement, it applies to "user" who is not defined.

How do I navigate getting warranty service or a refund for this equipment?
posted by jet_silver to Home & Garden (16 answers total)
Wha? I'd appeal to Amazon about that, if you haven't already. I would get it if you bought a home microwave and started using it in a restaurant and it conked in a year (excessive use), but not the other way around...
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:55 PM on September 17, 2015

Best answer: The thing is, if you read the warranty statement, it applies to "user" who is not defined.

Have you pointed out to them that their reason for rejecting the claim isn't supported by the actual warranty language? That's where I'd start. I'd try also try to work with a different person in the warranty department than the one who rejected your initial claim. If that didn't work, I'd try to escalate to someone higher in their corporate food chain. and at some point I'd let them know I would be filing a complaint with my state's attorney general for failure to honor the warranty. Basically what it boils down to is that you have to make it clear that not honoring the warranty is going to cost them more than honoring it would.
posted by jon1270 at 7:58 PM on September 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Call Amazon up and they'll probably just refund you, honestly. If not...

Did you pay with a credit card? A number of them have automatic warranties on that stuff.

Can you check the back of the microwave and see if it is indeed UL listed? I've never heard of a modern appliance that's not. That seems really odd.
posted by Slinga at 7:58 PM on September 17, 2015 [6 favorites]

And they finally said "it's not UL approved so we don't offer a home use warranty".

Hahaha... what? I've never seen a commercial appliance that WASN'T. They generally have MORE certifications than home units.

I have a feeling this was one of those cases where you get a butthead support rep who oversteps their bounds and doesn't know what they're talking about. Have you tried just calling and seeing who you get, and what they say? Even if it's one of those dumb companies that says "oh, we have a form online for that, thanks, bye" say you had a bad experience with that already and you REALLY need to talk to their supervisor, etc.

You could just go to amazon, but after getting that dumb of a response i'd be pissed off and want to follow through and see how deep i could dig.
posted by emptythought at 8:09 PM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Link the model and manufacturer.
posted by ryanrs at 8:16 PM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

call Amazon.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:33 PM on September 17, 2015

You could just go to amazon, but after getting that dumb of a response i'd be pissed off and want to follow through and see how deep i could dig.

Me too. Sure, amazon will refund you but their response is so totally stupid it warrants follow up. I mean, it works when you get lucky? Oh, that would be so much more convenient for a commercial kitchen wouldn't it? At least poor jet_silver can go and make a sandwich instead of heating his frozen meal or whatever.

That said, jet_silver, if you want the refund quickly I'm sure Amazon will help you out. They promptly refunded DVDs that hadn't arrived their expected arrival date and really they had no way of knowing for sure if I got them or not (especially as they ended up arriving a few months later, tanned and relaxed from their extended holiday. And yes, I told Amazon and we worked out the refund/payment).
posted by kitten magic at 8:34 PM on September 17, 2015

Response by poster: ryanrs: Link the model and manufacturer.


Ah. From the last letter I got: [Company] electrical products are not certified by UL for home use and therefore I am not able to replace your unit.

jon1270, yes, I did tell them that "user" is not defined and I'm the user. It didn't convince them. If Amazon won't help, and I have to go the AG route, that's the best alternative to a negotiated agreement. The communication has been a bit silly. Even I - non-lawyer - recognize the silliness.
posted by jet_silver at 8:46 PM on September 17, 2015

Best answer: nothing on the amazon page says it's commercial only. in fact they say "Whether you are working in a commercial or home kitchen ..."

i'd complain to amazon - you can point out that they are either not describing the product correctly, or not supporting it.
posted by andrewcooke at 9:02 PM on September 17, 2015 [4 favorites]

I don't know if this is the same information that came with the product, but the company's warranty page says at the top:


Also I don't really know anything about UL certifications, but it looks like this product is classified as "Commercial countertop microwave ovens."

So it might not be completely fabricated...
posted by primethyme at 9:37 PM on September 17, 2015

If you bought it using a credit card or PayPal, it might be worth opening a dispute. Then they will chase them down.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:57 PM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Having read a negative Amazon review just now, I'm thinking a refund (via Amazon) might be preferable to having the company repair or replace the microwave under warranty. Their resistance might be a gift, if it lets you get out from under a expensive hunk of junk.
posted by jon1270 at 5:02 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think the company is actually in the right here and that this is Amazon's bad. It's pretty common for warranties to be limited to the intended use of the product. Amazon's description in this case is not accurate. I have seen other products on Amazon that do specify for commercial use only.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:55 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I had a similar issue with Amazon. I bought a Sodastream from a third party and after 3 months it broke. The seller refused to help because it was outside 90 days and Amazon refused to help because I didn't buy it directly from them. After calling Sodastream about the warranty, turns out they third party seller wasn't an authorized seller and the warranty was invalid. I appealed through Amazon and they rejected it and I continually tweeted/emailed and called them until they gave in and refunded me. I will not accept being sold junk and then being told I have to just deal with it. Make them wish to never hear your voice again.
posted by shesbenevolent at 6:59 AM on September 18, 2015 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Yes, primethyme, that's the language they sent me when they were rejecting my claim, but what came with the micro was: [Company] warrants the products it manufactures and distributes... for a period of one year, except as specifically provided below. [...] No exclusion of the kind you mention. When they sent the copy you refer to it was plainly a different document and had I seen that one during unboxing the micro would have gone right back to Amazon.

I'm sure I will get a refund, just not sure from whom, so the CA AG gets a letter and Amazon gets a dispute and the credit card company gets a dispute.

Thanks, all.
posted by jet_silver at 6:29 AM on September 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Amazon came through. All good. Thanks!
posted by jet_silver at 5:42 PM on September 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

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