McGraw, Sears settle

John O'Brien Aug. 7, 2008, 2:35pm


CHARLESTON, W. Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw has settled allegations against Sears Holdings Corp. that the company was failing to fix problems with the products it sold.

Sears agreed Thursday to comply with state warranty laws, improve customer service operations, respond promptly to complaints filed with McGraw's office and quickly resolve consumers' concerns.

McGraw said his Consumer Protection Division received a large number of complaints that claimed problems with top-dollar televisions, refrigerators and stoves, among other household appliances.

In some cases, McGraw said, Sears attempted to fix the problem but was unsuccessful. He also said consumers waited years for Sears to fix installation problems.

One family had to live without access to its kitchen for more than three years, McGraw said.

Sears will pay $20,000 for consumer education programs.

Another McGraw settlement involves Sears. His agreement with Visa and MasterCard will create three sales tax holidays on appliances that carry the "Energy Star" label and cost less than $2,500.

Sears has already settled with the two credit card companies.

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