In August 2009 my wife and I bought an LG LHD45EL humidifier that worked fine until several weeks ago. We used it to keep our finished full basement dry, and it did a fine job until several weeks ago when we noticed humidity rising and a sour smell in the air that we'd never had before. Turns out the unit's fan was running, but not the cooling system.

The unit has a five-year-warranty so we called LG and were told to take it to a service center a half-hour drive away to determine the problem. It was a bad evaporation coil, we were told, and would need to be replaced.

Fine, I thought, LG would OK a replacement by Home Depot where we bought it. Also, time was running short. Humidity was fast getting worse by the day and we had guests coming within a week.

Nope. We talked with three different LG representatives who sounded helpful but really weren't when we explained our need for a replacement soon. I mean, how many people have dehumidifiers without depending on them?

Here's how they honor a 5 year warranty when the unit breaks after less than 2 years: They mail you a form where you choose whether you want "repair and return" or a "reconditioned unit replacement." Then sign and date it and mail it back. I mean, mail it in the Internet age?

Oh yeah, you can fax it. They give a number, but they note that postal mail is "most efficient."

OK, so the first letter took a week to get to us. And if we would have followed through, I'm sure it would have taken another week to get back to them, plus they advised that it would take up to two weeks more to ship a replacement "" that had already been authorized a month before! And what we'd get would be a reconditioned unit just like what we had! Who'd want that? By that time, our finished basement would probably be a mass of black mold.

No amount of pleading would make the LG reps budge. No, we couldn't take the service center's authorization to Home Depot to replace there.

Some friends told us, why don't you just buy another one and junk it "" it's only $200 for pete's sake. Only $200? In these horrible economic times? Sadly, I'm afraid LG may be counting on people to do just that with their convoluted warranty-replacement process. And I'm sure hundreds of people do, saving LG big bucks and headaches.

So what did WE do? We went to the Home Depot store, explained our dilemma and how we'd been mistreated by LG. Finally, a sympathetic department manager offered to replace it right now with another brand, same 45 pint size. GREAT! Like I'm not crazy about getting another LG anyway.

Two days later our Soleus Air had the basement dried out and has been running like a champ for two weeks. So is it a cheap replacement that won't last as long as the LG? We'll see. I'd bet against that. And a big thanks to Home Depot, too.

The LG "please check your best suited decision" is still in my bad-products file, unsigned, so I don't forget next time I might want to look at an LG product.

Product or Service Mentioned: Lg Electronics Replacement.

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