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Old 24.08.2016, 17:26
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Purchased broken fridge

Hello,

I purchased what I thought was a very good fridge at about a third of the original price. The fridge looks immaculate and seemed in good working order. The seller mentioned that he would turn off the fridge for 24 hours before I came to pick it up, in order to make sure it was ok for transport.

The fridge was (very carefully) transported for approx. 20 mins on its side and left to stand for 24-48 hours before turning it on. Another 24+ hours later and the fridge compartment is not cooling at all and the freezer compartment is barely any better. The fridge seems to work, but it simply won't cool.

I called the service company and they confirmed that the suspected issue (gas leak) would not have been caused by the way it was transported and they confirm that a technician should be able to attest to the fact that the issue was pre-existing.

I contacted the seller, giving them two proposed solutions:

1. I bring back the fridge and get a refund
2. I get the service company to fix it and we pay the cost 50/50 (with a max cap on his side for the total amount I paid for the fridge)

Unfortunately, the repair cost could range anywhere from 350-1,000 CHF - Geneva being Geneva.

If the seller does not get back to me, is there any legal recourse if I am able to prove that he sold me a faulty fridge? (e.g. through the Swiss equivalent of small claims court or other legal means)

Of course, my interest is for the most straightforward/quick solution to this issue and - in the meantime - is anyone selling a cheap, functioning, fridge?

Thanks a lot!!
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Old 24.08.2016, 17:29
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

Did you buy it from a private person or in a shop/on a website/Ricardo?
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Old 24.08.2016, 17:29
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

From a private person... unfortunately.
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Old 24.08.2016, 17:35
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

Great user name. I hope you stick around with it...
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Old 24.08.2016, 17:36
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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Great user name. I hope you stick around with it...
Haha - let's see! It does have a nice ring to it... :P
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Old 24.08.2016, 18:20
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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From a private person... unfortunately.
None whatsoever, caveat emptor etc.....unless of course the seller confirmed in writing the fridge was in full working order.

Seeing the fridge was a third of normal price and fridges are cheap, an hour of lawyer time will cost more than you paid for the fridge.

Next time, try it before you pay, it's crap about 24 hours before transport, it's after transport usually. Either move it upright if this is feasible or wait 24 hours before switching it on if you really want too
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Old 24.08.2016, 18:23
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound insulting, but did you actually check if the control knob is set to off, or the lowest possible setting?
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Old 24.08.2016, 18:25
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None whatsoever, caveat emptor etc.....unless of course the seller confirmed in writing the fridge was in full working order.

Seeing the fridge was a third of normal price and fridges are cheap, an hour of lawyer time will cost more than you paid for the fridge.

Next time, try it before you pay, it's crap about 24 hours before transport, it's after transport usually. Either move it upright if this is feasible or wait 24 hours before switching it on if you really want too
The seller confirmed in writing that they used it as a second fridge and that it's still "brand new". In other countries, you would be able to go to small claims court without getting any lawyers involved, but I'm not sure if that's the case in Switzerland (or if there's a simpler way).

I've definitely learned my lesson about turning it off before transport.

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Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound insulting, but did you actually check if the control knob is set to off, or the lowest possible setting?
Yeah - I turned it on and set it to max (i.e. the minimum temperature possible). I also went through all possible troubleshooting steps with the company's technical support over the phone.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 24.08.2016 at 19:16. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 24.08.2016, 18:31
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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Yeah - I turned it on and set it to max (i.e. the minimum temperature possible). I also went through all possible troubleshooting steps with the company's technical support over the phone.
Hmn.

The only thing I can suggest from the technical side would be to go through a few cycles of leaving it unplugged for 6 hours, plugging in and running for 2. There is a small chance that oil has reached parts of the system where it shouldn't be, and cycling may help.

As to getting your money back, how much money are we talking about?
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Old 24.08.2016, 18:34
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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Hmn.

The only thing I can suggest from the technical side would be to go through a few cycles of leaving it unplugged for 6 hours, plugging in and running for 2. There is a small chance that oil has reached parts of the system where it shouldn't be, and cycling may help.

As to getting your money back, how much money are we talking about?
Thanks - I'll try that. Talking to the Liebherr technical guys, they're pretty sure it's a gas leak (in which case the seller must have known and the fridge would not have been working.

It's 450 CHF - I could chalk it up to a life lesson, but would very much prefer to get my money back. I'd also like to make sure this guy doesn't do the same to others..
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Old 24.08.2016, 18:56
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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Thanks - I'll try that. Talking to the Liebherr technical guys, they're pretty sure it's a gas leak (in which case the seller must have known and the fridge would not have been working.

It's 450 CHF - I could chalk it up to a life lesson, but would very much prefer to get my money back. I'd also like to make sure this guy doesn't do the same to others..
If you look in Media Markt you can buy fridges new for less than 450.....
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Old 24.08.2016, 19:06
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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If you look in Media Markt you can buy fridges new for less than 450.....
How would a 450chf fridge help the OP? He bought a specific fridge for a third of the original price, so it was originally over 1200chf. If he wanted a new cheap one he would have simply bought one.
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Old 24.08.2016, 19:10
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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How would a 450chf fridge help the OP? He bought a specific fridge for a third of the original price, so it was originally over 1200chf. If he wanted a new cheap one he would have simply bought one.
Exactly that - the new price was actually 1600, so bought it for slightly less than 1/3. If it were working the fridge would be fantastic!

On a different note - does anyone know a reasonable repair company that could take care of the issue? The range I was quoted was 400-1,000 CHF and while on the low end it would be acceptable, the 1,000 CHF range would make me want to consider a new one.
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Old 24.08.2016, 19:12
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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How would a 450chf fridge help the OP? He bought a specific fridge for a third of the original price, so it was originally over 1200chf. If he wanted a new cheap one he would have simply bought one.
Well I guess the OP got what he deserved then, what appeared to be a great deal. If the deal looks to good there is probably something wrong.
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Exactly that - the new price was actually 1600, so bought it for slightly less than 1/3. If it were working the fridge would be fantastic!

On a different note - does anyone know a reasonable repair company that could take care of the issue? The range I was quoted was 400-1,000 CHF and while on the low end it would be acceptable, the 1,000 CHF range would make me want to consider a new one.
I doubt it's worth fixing, Miele gave us a brand new non working fridge for a set I was filming, the only condition was we got rid of it as it was not worth fixing at CH prices.
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Old 24.08.2016, 19:13
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

never buy from a mod!

Samsung side-by-side fridge freezer

I presume you didn't test the fridge before taking delivery, so it would be hard to prove that you didn't break the fridge.
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Old 24.08.2016, 19:14
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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Well I guess the OP got what he deserved then, what appeared to be a great deal. If the deal looks to good there is probably something wrong.
Many expats do sell stuff for a big discount especially if they are leaving the country and want to clear everything quick. I should know, I have grabbed a few crazy bargains over the years with as yet (touch wood) no problems.

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Hah I was just about to post that!
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Old 24.08.2016, 19:15
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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Thanks - I'll try that. Talking to the Liebherr technical guys, they're pretty sure it's a gas leak (in which case the seller must have known and the fridge would not have been working.

It's 450 CHF - I could chalk it up to a life lesson, but would very much prefer to get my money back. I'd also like to make sure this guy doesn't do the same to others..
There is no guarantee that the leak (if one occured), or any other fault, didn't happen during the transport.

If you got it on ricardo or similar did you check if the seller had a bad reputation?

I may be naive, but I generally find people to be reasonably honest.

Last edited by JagWaugh; 24.08.2016 at 20:09. Reason: minor spelling
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Old 24.08.2016, 19:36
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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How would a 450chf fridge help the OP? He bought a specific fridge for a third of the original price, so it was originally over 1200chf. If he wanted a new cheap one he would have simply bought one.
This reminds me of people who bought B&O video recorders for a huge premium price, inside the B&O case was a cheap AKAI machine. The emperors clothes & all that.

Same is true of flat panel TV's today, most of the panels come from 2 factories.... gearing up is rather expensive so the panels all get bought in & stuffed in fancy boxes. OK software & hardware may be tweaked a bit.
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Old 24.08.2016, 20:07
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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If the seller does not get back to me, is there any legal recourse if I am able to prove that he sold me a faulty fridge? (e.g. through the Swiss equivalent of small claims court or other legal means)
Yes, there is a basic Swiss law that states if you buy something it is "fit for purpose" in that it must be in a functional condition (Unless of course the sale is for spare parts or scrap)

If you have a witness, you can go to your local court and make a claim. It should be straight forward and the seller might back down when faced with extra costs. Your costs are automatically added to the claim, so if you are certain to win, you could use a lawyer.
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Old 24.08.2016, 20:11
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Re: Purchased broken fridge

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Yes, there is a basic Swiss law that states if you buy something it is "fit for purpose" in that it must be in a functional condition (Unless of course the sale is for spare parts or scrap)

If you have a witness, you can go to your local court and make a claim. It should be straight forward and the seller might back down when faced with extra costs. Your costs are automatically added to the claim, so if you are certain to win, you could use a lawyer.
Well there is a very good chance the fridge was damaged in transit, so I don't think getting lawyers involved & increasing the potential loss is very clever. It's not as if the OP has a cast iron case & Swiss courts tend to compromise at best.
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