Published: Mar 20, 2014 4:41 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 20, 2014 6:31 PM EDT

ESTERO, Fla. - Trish Mauro says she got a good deal at Sears on a top-of-the-line washer because it was a floor model. But she thought a machine that had never before been used, would be in better shape.

Before the delivery man even left, they tested washing machine and nothing happened. The repair man came out next.

"He wasn't there for very long. Presto whammo and it worked that day," recalled Trish. "...Then the next week when I went to use it again, all I get is an error message and it won't run."

Not wanting to deal with a second repair on a new washing machine, Trish went to the store to pick out a replacement.

With nothing else she liked in her price range, she asked for a pickup and refund which according to Sears' website, she could do because she was within her 30 day return policy period. But Trish says that didn't happen.

"Nobody wanted to pick up the machine. It wasn't the stores problem," she told us.

After more than a month of doing laundry at her daughter's house, she made a Call for Action.

"I was at my wits end," she explained.

A week after that phone call to WINK News and it was out with the old and in with the new.

"I don't think I would have been this far if it hadn't been for Call for Action," Trish said.

Sears picked up the old washer then Trish went to a different store and bought a new machine.

After 50 years with Sears, Trish says it'll take a lot to get her back in their doors.

"It would have to be a really, really, really special good deal now," she told us.

About a week-and-a-half after Trish's washer was picked up, she got her money back. We spoke to Trish again this morning and she tells us her new machine is working just fine.

We contacted Sears and they told us they were happy to help the customer and get this problem, resolved.

So how do you protect yourself when making a big appliance purchase?

First, know exactly what the return policy is and have it in writing.

When you buy ask who you'd deal with for a return. For example, can a salesperson handle it or do you have to call a different department? If it's a different department, make sure to have the direct  phone number handy.

Finally, pay with a major credit card not the store's card. If you can't get satisfaction with the merchant, your credit card company will get involved if you've paid for something that doesn't work.