Woman Claims Fridge Sale Ripoff

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A woman from Luzerne County who spent more than $1,000 for a new refrigerator last summer claims a local appliance store never delivered and instead pocketed the money.

Linda Hennigan's living room and dining room could grace the pages of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but in the kitchen of her home in Pittston, 25-year-old appliances show signs of wear and tear.

In August, her old refrigerator stopped running, so she went to Pittston Appliance to buy a replacement.

"I knew the people and I thought, support local businesses," Hennigan said

She didn't like anything in the store, so company owner Shawn Pugliese found something online in a nearby warehouse that he said he could pick up.

So Hennigan wrote a check for more than $1,000 with Pugliese promising to deliver her new refrigerator in four days.

What followed, she said, was a chain of excuses.

"He (Pugliese) said, 'Oh my truck broke down. I`ll be picking it up tonight. You`ll have it tomorrow,'" Hennigan recounted. "He said, 'I`ll be back on Monday. I`ll have your refrigerator on Wednesday.' Every single time I called, it was, 'I`m picking it up today, and you`ll have it tomorrow.' Well there was no refrigerator that ever came," Hennigan recounted.

She felt she had no choice but to take Pittston Appliance to court. A magistrate set an October date, but at the hearing, owner Shawn Pugliese was a no show at the magistrate`s office, even though it`s just a block away.

"We were closed down for a few months because business was slow," said Pugliese, adding that's why he never got a court summons.

A magistrate awarded Hennigan a judgement for $1,100, wwhile Pugilese claims he was still trying to help.

"We went through an online supplier," said Pugliese, "and they took forever to have it come in."

Action 16 checked records at the magistrate`s office in Pittston and found Linda Hennigan is one of four people awarded judgements against Pittston Appliance in 2011. The judgements against the store range from $580 to more than $1,100.

"I`m probably not getting a penny back," Linda Hennigan said, "but I think he should be exposed for what he did."

Hennigan could not do without a refrigerator so she spent another $1,000 to buy a new one from a different outlet.

That's a lot of money for a working widow with a son in college.

"I could not afford to lose this $1,000," said Hennigan.

"I know I owe her the money, and she`s going to get it," Pugliese told Action 16. "When? I`d say within the next two weeks."

Hennigan took out tax lien against Pittston Appliance in an effort to collect whatever she can.