Just read through the thread about Jeannie's troubles with her suitcases. Must have been awful. I think I would have been in a straitjacket after two days! Then the freezer thing too. Well, this has just happened to me.

We had a huge chest freezer in the garage. Just into the New Year went into the garage for something else, and noticed that the lights on the freezer were not on. Opened the lid. OMG! The food was about half way down and all soft and squishy. Must have been off for a few days. So, I opened the plug. The fuse was in bits, so changed it. Plugged it in - nothing. The plug looked a bit ancient (like me!) so decided I would change it for a new one. As I started to pull it out of the socket, there was a bang - and the motor sprang into life! Good (thought I), then heard a funny noise. Looked round and the motor had burst into flames which were licking up the side of the freezer. My husband pulled the plug out quick. There was an enormous flash, but as luck would have it, the fire went out.

It was Sunday. No engineers could be raised, except one. He said he could come out next day, but if he could not fix it, then £35. call-out charge. Spent most of the day on the internet and found a new freezer at a reasonable price. Bought it. Delivery 7 - 10 days. Great! Spent the next few days emptying out horrible rotting food! Took eight black bin bags to the tip. All that money!!!

Then we got the snow. Telephoned the company, who said we are delivering next Monday, but if this is no good ring by noon on Saturday. On Saturday the snow was still too much to take delivery. Guess what? Got a recorded message saying their hours were Monday to Friday. So sent an email saying do not deliver.

At 06.30am Monday morning, the bell rang. Large lorry, man says "got a freezer for you missus". He was not very happy that I had to refuse delivery. Our garage has two doors which open outwards and had about a foot or so of snow up them. Then my car had to come out to get to the old freezer at the back. Impossible! So they took it away.

Rang when they opened and had a moan. Re-arranged delivery for Friday, weather permitting. We had a slight thaw, so got my car out and manhandled the old freezer out (jeez was it heavy!). Stuck it at the side of our house. I telephoned my son (white van man) and said come and take it away. A few minutes later the bell rang. Man standing there saying, "do you want to get rid of the freezer lady?" Result! He had his missus with him, a lady built rather like a lady wrestler. They just picked it up and threw it on the back of their lorry.

So for the last week or so, I have been trying to replace the lost food. Tried our insurance company. Apparently they will cover for some of the lost food (minus policy excess), but want receipts. As if! I asked if we could submit new receipts, but this is also fraught. Obviously we cannot refill the new freezer in one go, but they are not prepared to wait a while until I have various receipts.

We do have another freezer, but the food was too horrible to try and save. We have an insurance on that one with a separate company. Sod's law eh? Couldn't make out it was that one which broke down as they have the make and serial number on the policy.

Jeannie, you didn't say if your breakdown cost you anything in lost food etc., but this must have been the last straw for you after the horrible experience with lost cases. I do feel for you. Good start to the year eh?


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