Product warranty remains even if retailer goes away

By Mitch Lipka
Globe Correspondent / May 31, 2009
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Q. In October 2008, I purchased a Black & Decker 12-cup SmartBrew coffee maker (DCM2500) at Linens 'n' Things. The coffee maker started to leak from the bottom of the brewing unit and did some sparking as well. I called Black & Decker to see what they could do as the unit was only six months old and had less than one month of actual use on it. The person I spoke with on the phone asked me several questions, and I gave her the information she was looking for. She advised me that since I had purchased the unit at Linens 'n' Things and they were out of business, they considered it a "liquidation purchase" (even though the store was not in liquidation in October) and therefore it has no warranty. Could you be of any assistance in this matter?

Kelly Ferguson, Marstons Mills

A. The response you got seemed absurd, and, fortunately, Black & Decker agrees. No matter whether you purchased the coffee maker from a liquidator or from Linens 'n' Things, a warranty on a product purchased new should still be honored.

Susan Sherman, a Black Decker official who deals with customer issues, said you should not have been told your machine was without a warranty. She apologized for what she said was an isolated misunderstanding that needs to be dealt with internally.

Sherman said Back & Decker wants to make sure customers are clear that products that should be under warranty, are in fact under warranty.

It seems like you will be getting your coffee maker replaced. Others with similar problems should report any similar problems to the company at the phone number provided with their unit as well as the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (

UPDATE: A reader reported that a long-awaited rebate from now-defunct Circuit City just arrived. So, in case you might have lost hope, it appears the possibility still exists that you could get your money.

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