Furious Whirlpool customers have been left in a spin after their fire-risk washing machines were replaced by faulty ones.
The firm recalled more than 500,000 Hotpoint and Indesit models a week before Christmas because of a fault that had resulted in 79 fires.
But watchdogs and customers say some replacement machines have gone wrong just days after they were installed.
Thousands have signed a petition amid claims that a customer had been hung out to dry when refund offers were withdrawn by Whirlpool.
Health worker Fiona Dodd, 64, demanded her money back after she said her new Hotpoint started leaking and emitting noxious fumes.
She said: “I ran a programme as normal and the whole house was filled with a vomit-inducing fishy smell. I had to open the doors and windows even though it was raining.
“As the programme continued a fault mode flashed up and the door was jammed.
I couldn’t get it to do anything. It was also leaking all over the floor.”
Fiona said Whirlpool promised a refund – at which point she bought a machine made by a different manufacturer.
But, Fiona claims, Whirlpool withdrew the offer and insisted she had a second machine from the company.
Other customers voiced similar complaints on social media about detergent leaks and fishy smells.
And the petition started by consumer group Which? calling for refunds has attracted 62,000 signatures.
Whirlpool launched the UK recall after warning that a flawed door-locking system could lead to appliances sold between 2014 and 2018 overheating.
Owners were advised to unplug them and not use them.
Fiona, of Dorchester, Dorset, swapped her old Hotpoint for a new one two weeks ago and quickly realised something was wrong with it.
She said Whirlpool took the appliance away and offered a £296 refund that she hoped to put towards a Samsung washing machine.
Then, she said, Whirlpool rang to say it was not company policy to offer refunds.
Fiona added: “I feel badly let down. I just want what I was offered. It’s about time Whirlpool did the decent thing.”
Which? said it has been contacted by other customers with similar problems.
It is now calling on the US-owned firm to offer owners an “appropriate” refund.
Whirlpool said: “All owners are entitled to either a replacement machine or repair, free of charge.
Mrs Dodd was incorrectly informed she could receive compensation.
We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience or confusion.
“We have contacted Mrs Dodd to try to arrange to replace her machine with a new appliance free of charge.”
The company said it has located more than 180,000 of the affected machines.
Source: Read Full Article