My GE microwave never worked. What can I do?

Illustration by Dustin ELLIOTT

Donette Plaisance’s GE microwave oven is cursed. Sometimes it stops mid-cycle. Sometimes it continues to run, but without any lights or heating. Can she return it?


Q: Last fall I bought a GE 24-inch sensor cooking microwave oven from Home Depot. It never worked. We have had service call after service call. We’ve had parts shipped to our home. It has been a never-ending issue and now I want my money back.

The appliance does all kinds of crazy things. Sometimes it stops mid-cycle. Sometimes it continues to run, but without any lights or heating. The only way to shut it off is to go into the basement and flip the breaker.

Every time I call GE for help, it is weeks until repairmen can come. And then they don’t fix it. I have spent hours on the phone and stayed home from work waiting for the technicians multiple times. Still, six months later, we have never had an operational microwave.

I want my money back. They can take the microwave. Can you help me get a refund for the $1,528 I spent? – Donette Plaisance, Newark, Delaware

A: You received a cursed microwave. GE should have worked with Home Depot to replace it quickly instead of sending a seemingly endless parade of technicians to your home.

Home Depot recommends that you check your appliance carefully when it’s delivered. I guess that means you run the microwave to make sure it doesn’t suddenly stop or start. Once you accept delivery, Home Depot only allows a return “if the defects and/or damage are identified and reported to Home Depot,” it notes in its return policy.

In the paper trail you provided between yourself, Home Depot and GE, I don’t see where you notified Home Depot in writing about the defective microwave. But you later clarified that you did, indeed, contact Home Depot right away. You should have been able to get a quick exchange if you’d brought the issue to Home Depot first.

By the way, I publish the executive contacts for both GE and Home Depot on my consumer advocacy site Again, contacting one of them might have stopped the parade of technicians.

A closer look at the microwave you purchased shows that while it looks sleek and functional, it is neither. It rates four stars out of five on Home Depot’s own site, but customers have complained that it is easy to break and poorly built. Or, as one reviewer put it, “A WASTE OF MONEY!”

If nothing else, your case underscores the importance of avoiding shoddy appliances through careful research. Remember, manufacturers give themselves the option of a repair, replacement or refund when something goes wrong with an appliance, as I noted in my complete guide to an appliance repair. And they almost always choose the cheapest option: the repair.

I contacted GE on your behalf, and it chose door number two – a replacement. I hope your next microwave isn’t possessed. But if it is, now you know whom to contact.


Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy (, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Email him at or get help by contacting him at

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