Sears needlessly left William and his insulin-dependent wife and daughter without a working refrigerator for eighteen days. For three weeks, William chilled his food and life-saving medication with bags of ice, waiting for Sears to send a part that their intolerably rude repairman insisted would take at least ten business days to deliver. When a second repair team arrived to install the part, they found leaky copper tubing – a problem the first repairman could have easily fixed.
William sent a letter to Aylwin Lewis, CEO of Sears:
Dear Mr. Lewis,
In the summer of 2003 I purchased a Kenmore Refrigerator from the Sears store in Brooklyn, New York. Since that time this refrigerator has needed to be repaired three times the last time being August 23, 2007. I have a service contract with Sears. I called to have the refrigerator repaired and on August 28th a repairman came to my apartment. After examining the refrigerator he determined the part that was needed had to be ordered. He said that it was Sears’s policy for the delivery of the part to take ten business days. At that point I informed the repairman that my wife and daughter are insulin dependent and their insulin requires refrigeration. The repairman then replied that it was Sears’ policy that the delivery of the part to take ten business days. I asked the repairman to use my phone to call his office to inform his superiors that my wife and daughter are diabetic and their medicine requires refrigeration at all times. The repairman refused to call his office on my phone. He repeated that it was Sears’ policy that it would take ten days and picked up his bag and left my apartment. I followed the repairman to the elevator and asked him to give me his name. He refused. The repairman said I should call the office and state that a repairman had been to my apartment. While demanding that he at least tell me his name I held the elevator door open to prevent the repairman from leaving. The repairman exited the elevator and walked towards our staircase. I asked him again in the hallway what is your name. He finally muttered Brian. I said what is your full name and he replied “JESUS CHRIST!”
I called the service center on August 28th at about 3:30pm to inform your office what had transpired during this repair visit. I spoke to a representative named Manuel who took all of my information about this unpleasant repair visit. Manuel stated he would investigate and try to expedite the shipping of the part that was needed to repair my refrigerator and he would call me on August 29th. When I received no call on August 29th , I called Sears on August 30th to find out how soon the repair of my refrigerator will be completed. I spoke to representatives Gloria, Liz, Abel and Vicky. Each time I called I had to give the information all over again. No one ever called me back with an update on how long it would take to repair my Kenmore refrigerator
Today at 2:39pm August 31st I spoke to Judy. I explained the situation to Judy and she put my call on hold for over five minutes. She returned to the phone and stated that she was trying to contact the service office and could not reach them. Judy stated that she would send the service office an email in order to get a faster reply. I informed Judy that each of the reps I had spoken with during the week had each told me the same thing but none had kept their promise.
Your company, Sears, prides itself on excellent customer service. Other than the representatives apologizing for the behavior of the repairman named Brian I have not received excellent customer service. The bottom line is I bought a refrigerator from your company because I thought Sears would stand behind their product. Instead I spent good American dollars to purchase a product that broke down even before the basic warranty period had expired. It continues to breakdown almost yearly. Something is wrong with this refrigerator. I worked for over thirty years as a customer service rep and trainer. I worked for a nationally known insurance company and that company would not have stayed in business for over thirty years if we had treated our customers like I’ve been treated in the last eight days.
I’m living with a box of ice sitting in front of my refrigerator. Have you ever spent a warm August day with no refrigeration? Do you know what its like to buy bag after bag of ice to keep milk fresh, eggs cold and insulin safe? I don’t think anyone with whom I’ve spoken has grasped the magnitude of the suffering that my family is experiencing. If you’re really serious about providing excellent customer service your company, Sears, should provide a small refrigeration unit in which I could keep essential items until my refrigerator could be repaired or replaced. I do think the refrigerator needs to be replaced at this time since it has failed three times since July 2003. My last Kenmore purchased in 1988 only had one minor repair in nearly 15 years. Please do something immediately so that my and my family’s’ life can return to normal.
Sears finally fixed the refrigerator after William sent the letter:
After 10 business days, as Brian had predicted and in spite of my pleas Sears sent two repair people to my home at about 9:00 AM on 9/11/2007. On September 4th I had told Sears that this was not a good day for me because i had a doctor’s appointment in the morning. On September 10th Sears called and i explained that I still had a doctor’s appointment. Amanda from Sears assured me that the visit would be quick and fast . And that i would be able to keep my10:30 AM appointment.
The only good thing was that after 10:30 they had found the problem & repaired the leak in the copper tubing of my refrigerator. When i asked the technical manager why the first repairman stated that it would take 10 days to order a part that was never needed to repair my refrigerator; he had no answer. The bad thing was that i was very late for the doctor visit. So the bottom line is that I was without a refrigerator from August 23rd, the day my refrigerator stopped working until September 11, 2007 , when Sears finally did something right.
Eighteen days, why? This is a big company, supposedly with lots of money & they treat customers like DIRT. I have not received any type of compensation for their behavior or delays. No letter from Mr. Lewis, the CEO of Sears or his assistant. This situation was treated as if it were a broken sewing machine not like an appliance needed to keep insulin safe.
(Photo: Getty Images)