Skip to main content

Can I ask for my money back or hold a company responsible for repairs of my appliances bought used under a 90day warranty ?

Los Angeles, CA |

I purchased a stove and refrigerator from a used appliance store. I was given a 90 day warranty. My refrigerator went out and I was forced to throw away all of my food. The stove's oven does not work as well. It was checked upon delivery and there was a complication but the repair man fixed it and it worked for that night only. I have contacted the business via phone and in person several times and have not been helped. They keep telling they will get it taken care of but I believe they are waiting until the warranty time ends to be released from the terms of our agreement. I do not know what to do. I have reached out to them on several occasions and explained the issues.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


Warranty law IS lemon law so, you are posting in the proper place. This law in CA is based on you giving them a reasonable opportunity to repair. You can find ALL provisions in the CA Civil Code online in sections 1790 through around 1795 but mostly your action will be no further than 1793.2. Anyhow, you NEED to document these opportunities to fix and their refusals. A phone call will NOT cut it. You need to communicate ONLY in writing. If they continue to refuse to repair or are simply unable to do so, you will have a winning case where they not only need to reimburse you but also need to pay your attorneys!



Thank you for the response. I am trying to figure out how to only communicate in writing with them. It is more of a mom and pop business. No email or website. So I am thinking write them via certified mail where they will be forced to sign for the document?

Scott Richard Kaufman

Scott Richard Kaufman


Correct. Keep a copy of the communication AND a copy of the return receipt.

Ronald Lee Burdge

Ronald Lee Burdge


Scott knows your state law extremely well. Listen to him and follow his advice. If this doesn't get straightened out, it would be worth his modest consultation fee to have a conference with him, in office or on the phone, so you can find out for sure how to proceed so you don't waste any more of your money or your time. Call Scott and get it done right.


It sounds like you think the dealer should take care of the defects for you. The real question is whether or not the dealer is required to do that because if not, then there may be nothing you can do to make them do it or to pay for it. If the dealer is not required to do anything for you, then you may be stuck. In a sale of used merchandise (like a stove or couch, etc), your legal rights are mostly determined by the paperwork that you sign. The first question is did you get a warranty on the merchandise. Look on your sales paperwork to see if the dealer gave you any kind of warranty or guarantee or right to cancel the deal. If so, then that may be binding on both you and the dealer, on top of the factory warranty. When you bought it can matter too. If you bought it very recently, then you may have more legal rights (again, depending on your paperwork and what representations were made to you when you bought it). But that’s still not the end of it. The next question is did you get an implied warranty. Most states have a law that says that if the dealer-seller does not “conspicuously disclaim” what the law calls “implied warranties” then you automatically get them and usually they last 4 years. You have to look at your sales paperwork to see what it says. There are two implied warranties that can exist. One is called “merchantability” and the other is called “fitness for purpose” or “fitness for use.” The implied warranty of merchantability happens automatically in a sale if the seller is a merchant who routinely sells that type of merchandise. An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose only arises when the seller has reason to know any particular purpose for which the buyer is going to use the merchandise and that the buyer is relying on the seller's skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods for the buyer’s purpose. Merchantability means that the product is fit for the ordinary purposes for which such a product is used. If you got any kind of warranty at all, and there is something defective with the merchandise, then before you can take any legal action most states require the buyer to notify the seller and give the seller a reasonable chance to fix whatever is wrong with the merchandise. If the problem is covered by their warranty then the seller is obligated to fix the problem within a reasonable amount of time and within a reasonable number of chances (both). If the seller fails, then that is a breach of the warranty. If the merchandise is still substantially in the same condition that it was when the buyer got it, then the buyer may have the legal right to cancel the sale. If not, then the buyer still can recover their damages. In most states, that can be the cost of repair or the difference in value (the value of good merchandise compared with value of defective merchandise). So what do you do? Complain. All of this can be confusing. The only way to know for sure what your legal rights are is to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with contract law or sales fraud. You can find a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers at this link ( and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, Or check on Avvo under the Find a Lawyer tab. But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please give it a “Vote UP” review. And vote for the Best Answer too so we can be sure we are doing a good job of answering your question. Thanks for asking and good luck.

This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your state may differ and your best answer will always come from a local attorney that you meet with privately. For a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers, click on this link ( and find one near you


In my opinion the answer is "yes" to both of your questions. You do need to provide the manufacturer with a reasonable number of opportunities to repair the problem though. If you are asking them to do the repairs and they are simply not calling you back then you need to make sure your requests are being made in writing. Your written requests should also have a deadline for the manufacturer to respond. If the manufacturer continues to ignore you keep sending follow up letters documenting this fact, and documenting that nobody is responding to your written requests. If they continue to refuse to make repairs despite your written requests then consult with an attorney to file a claim under the California Lemon Law. Feel free to contact my office for a free consultation if you want to discuss this further.


William Blasser

Lemon law topics

Recommended articles about Lemon law

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer