MasterCard prepaid card

Dianne Hardina of Middleton has been promised a debit card pre-loaded with her long-in-coming refund for a defective dehumidifier.

Dianne Hardina had just about given up on getting her money back for a defective dehumidifier — despite having both her purchase receipt and a one-year warranty.

So she was pleasantly surprised Jan. 8 when nearly five months’ worth of calls, emails and hoop-jumping finally paid off with a nondescript form email from the “Frigidaire Correspondence Team” and a promise of $177.25.

Hardina, of Middleton, bought the Frigidaire dehumidifier in September 2016 and said that about 11 months later, it started “icing up” and she wasn’t able to change the unit’s humidity setting.

She said Frigidaire told her it would mail her a refund. Instead, what she got was a letter asking for information from a sticker on the side of the unit. That was a problem, because while she still had the unit’s model and serial numbers, she had gotten rid of the unit itself because, she said, no one with the company had told her she’d need the sticker.

Hardina sent Frigidaire a copy of her credit card statement proving she’d purchased the dehumidifier, but that wasn’t good enough.

So in October, she called SOS, and over the next two months, SOS traded email or phone messages with Cory Sale of Frigidaire’s New York City public relations firm, Cohn & Wolfe; “Rita,” at the Georgia office of Frigidaire’s parent company, Electrolux; and Eloise Hale, of Electrolux corporate communications in North Carolina.

Electrolux kept in contact with Hardina as well, and on Dec. 4, Hale told SOS that “yes, we are able to help resolve this for Ms. Hardina” but “we do have to have documentation that she no longer has possession of the dehumidifier.”

She could do that in one of two ways, Hale said: Provide a copy of the invoice from the company that picked it up for disposal, or send Frigidaire a notarized letter attesting to that same disposal.

Hardina did the latter, certified, on Dec. 8, and on Jan. 8 discovered that persistence paid off and that a debit card loaded with $177.25 was expected to arrive in her mail by this week. SOS will follow up to ensure that it does.

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Chris Rickert is the urban affairs reporter and SOS columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal.