Skip to main content

Your Appliance is Damaged Upon Delivery - Now What?

June 10th, 2022 | 4 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

Learn how to find the perfect kitchen products with our Appliance Buying Guide
Start Here
Your Appliance is Damaged Upon Delivery. Now What?

Before I talk to you about the very real and increasing appliance damage problem, I have important advice.

First, never sign for any deliveries without inspecting the appliance. Second, open every package. Yes, even the small ones.

I will tell you why at the end. But if you do not read another line in this post, just remember to sign only when you are sure your product is free of any damage.

In the meantime, I will tell you why some products may be damaged upon delivery, and here's what to do about it.

Damage could be a good opportunity to save money. It could also be a nightmare and a total waste of your time.

This article was updated because damage is a huge problem with the lack of skilled delivery people. You don’t want to have a problem replacing the damaged appliance after waiting six months for it to arrive.

To be clear, this article covers appliance damage only. We cover damage to your home and those sneaky, hidden delivery charges in other articles. I will leave links below.

Let’s get started.

Looking for answers about Appliances?

Short on time? Download our free Appliance Buying Guide.

Start Here

Why Is Your Product Damaged?

1. Shipping


There are a couple of reasons why your new product is in such rough shape. First, the appliance business used to be in the Midwest, so the shipping was centrally located with a minimal amount of handling.

Now you are buying your products from brands like LG, Samsung, and Miele who are based in different parts of the world. More shipping means more handling and a greater chance of damage.

2. Packaging


Back when I started, the packaging was all-encompassing. You had the cardboard box, Styrofoam, and pallets underneath.

Today appliances are shipped without boxes for many brands to save money, so your appliances are more vulnerable to damage. It’s ironic because damage probably adds more cost for the manufacturer than the better packaging.

3. Free Delivery Service

yale appliance delivery in boston-2-1Good Delivery Service Includes Bringing Your Appliance Into Your Home


Many stores are not charging for delivery, but that's just to the curb. Of course, they will charge you for stairs (yes, stairs), basic installation, removal of your old units, and removal of the packaging. Free is never truly free.

4. Lack of Good Delivery Personnel

yale-service-tech-team-hanoverCori-Certified and Factory Trained Yale Appliance Delivery and Service Teams


Appliance delivery is a serious business, especially in a home with stairs. You cannot trust an 800-pound refrigerator and 300-pound stove to just anyone. You need to hire professionals. Anything less and damage will often occur.

However, as you (and I) know, good people are hard to find. Skilled delivery teams are possibly the hardest position to find.

Now you know some of the reasons why products are damaged (other than this industry focus on the sale and apathy towards every other aspect like delivery).

What you do depends on one question.

Can You Live With a Damaged Appliance?

This would apply to damaged pieces like the side of a refrigerator, for example. The cabinet hides it, so it should not be an issue. Check the interior. Damage should be surface only and not bulging in the interior.

Can you live with aesthetic scratches on the front of the product? For laundry in a basement, then maybe yes. If you have kids and think that it will be scratched eventually, then maybe yes again. I have a five-year-old. I understand.

Unfortunately, if you waited six months for that now damaged refrigerator, you may have another problem. Namely, when will a new refrigerator be available? Many stores are sympathetic and will let you use the item until a new one arrives.

Pro Tip: Always ask for a loaner if needed. Most good stores will have loaners to help customers with hopelessly back-ordered products. Don't be afraid to ask.

What Is Damage Worth?

Cosmetic damage is worth 5-10%. You could negotiate more, especially from an internet retailer or box store.

If you lived in California and bought from an internet retailer in NYC, then definitely hold out for more. The sheer cost of transporting the units back to their warehouses is way more than 10%. Then they can't sell their open units.

Most box stores operate out of RDCs (Regional Distribution Centers), with inventory held by the manufacturer. It's harder with local stores. They could sell the damaged unit easier because everyone is looking for a deal. Their supply chain to their warehouse is the shortest.

Functional Damage

Never, ever accept this...ever. You should refuse products with damage to functional parts. You have a refrigerator with a damaged door? Do not opt for a discount or a door exchange from most stores.

Why? That door will probably never arrive or be installed properly. Any customer can order parts.

Key Takeaway: Sign for Your Appliances Only When Ready

I will finish where I started. When you sign your name to accept responsibility for your appliances, you are absolving the dealer of any responsibility for the damage.

If you noticed the glass door has smashed on your new stove, it now becomes your problem. Read store reviews before shopping. A few good stores will help, but most will not.

We video every delivery, product, and premises because it is a huge industry problem. Do not get caught up in it. Refuse anything suspicious. Sign only when ready.

Then again, be reasonable with minor problems because you may have to wait another six months for that new stove or refrigerator. Ask for a loaner product if your product is damaged. Most stores will help you.

You noticed I said "good stores" several times because the good ones will, yet there are plenty of others who will not.

Your job is to find the best store by checking reviews like Google or Yelp. This way, in case damage does happen, you are not left without an appliance for a prolonged time.

Worried? This is only one problem. We have developed a delivery checklist encompassing waiting times, damage, floor protection, water issues, and installation. Click the link below to learn more.

Additional Resources

Download our Delivery Checklist below and shop it to all the stores like your appliance order and save yourself a ton of hassle and pain later on.


Related Articles:

Looking for answers about Appliances?

Choosing a new appliance can be a confusing and time-consuming experience. We've taken the pain out of the decision process with our guide to choosing appliances.

Start Here

Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.

Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.