Sears Left Me Without A Refrigerator For 18 Days

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.

Thank you

Sincerely

William

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)

Comments

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  1. Hambriq says:

    That sucks.

    This actually happens a lot at our pharmacy. Lots of extremely low/fixed income patients who either can’t afford to pay their electric bills so it gets shut off, or their refrigerator breaks and they can’t afford to get it fixed. I would recommend that anyone who is on maintenance medication that requires refrigeration to take the following precautions:

    Always keep a small, styrofoam cooler on hand. In your freezer, keep about five of those freezable, reusable “ice” blocks. Total, it should cost less than 10 dollars. If you think that you won’t have refrigeration for an extended period of time, break open the cooler, put an ice pack on the floor and one on each wall, and then fill it about halfway up with ice. Stuff the empty space with newspaper, paper towels, toilet paper, whatever, and then put your insulin, Byetta, Xalatan, etc. etc. into the cooler.

    The ice blocks will retain their cold temperature more efficiently than ice, and even when they thaw, still leave them lining the walls of the cooler; they’ll still be cold enough to provide ample refrigeration, which in turn will make the ice melt less quickly. Using this setup, you should only have to replace the ice once every four to five days, depending on how hot it is where you live. In Texas, it gets pretty hot, but ice is dirt cheap down here, so this system only costs about 8 bucks a month if you use it as a long-term solution. And sadly enough, some people have to.

    But anyway, if you ever find yourself in a situation like this guy, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about your medicine. But definitely use that as cannon fodder when it comes time to file a complaint.

  2. bohemian says:

    Our local used appliance guys who also do repairs generally can get out to fix something within a day.
    There is also an appliance repair parts warehouse that carry parts for just about any model of home appliance. If they don’t have it they can get it overnight shipped.

    Why Sears took almost 3 weeks to deal with this is not excusable. I quit doing business with Sears for repairs a few years ago. I took a microwave in about ten years ago and the staff were so rude I swore I would never go back for repair work. I went in for tires on a car about five years ago. The tech tried to sell me on a bunch of suspension repairs the vehicle didn’t need. I tried to order a part around the same time. The parts department told me to just go order it online.

    Is there anyplace that actually gives any resemblance of decent customer service anymore?

  3. jamesdenver says:

    @Hambriq:

    I’m a type 1 diabetic and I never refrigerate the insulin I’m using at the moment. Stored insulin yes, but whatever bottle I’m using is just in my messenger bag on the go with me.

    I think the poster played up the “MY INSULIN!!!” card. It’s an afterthought, and like Hambriq said a $3 cooler and some ice and keep your previous insulin safe. (said by someone who takes insulin daily.)

  4. Jon Mason says:

    If its that big a deal, go to walmart and buy one of those little beer fridges for less than $50… problem solved. I know it’s frustrating that things take time to be repaired and maybe the first guy was a jerk but this would definitely be an easy/cheap backup.

  5. Scuba Steve says:

    Whether it’s excusable or not I’m not going to argue with, but I’d say it’s more common than you think.

    Take a big place, say, New York City. You buy from a Sears there, and only Sears technicians are allowed to do the repair work (under warranty), and suddenly you have way more people calling in with problems than you have slots to fill, and work builds up.

    Another place with long repair wait times are islands who only have transportation by boat. We actually had to schedule an appointment with our technician for 2 or 3 months away simply because of the small window he had available to actually get to the island.

    Most repairs happen within a (business) week, and I’ve scheduled service same day twice (although most likely the TECH called the customer and rescheduled, as they have the right to do) since we’re generally not supposed to schedule same day service (it’s almost never an option).

    Personally I think having a backup plan would be prudent in any situation where needed medical supplies were at risk.

  6. joemono says:

    Our fridge broke and after we were told it be a week before they could come out to fix it, we went to Target and bought a mini-fridge. It wound up being a good idea because it was actually 3 weeks before we had a working fridge. The bonus was that when they finally fixed it I put the fridge on craigslist and made all of my money back.

  7. catnapped says:

    @bohemian: Sears was busted years ago for upselling unneeded auto repairs (and had to give out store credit to make up for some of it). Good to know they still haven’t learned their lesson

  8. lorenjfisher says:

    1. Please advise, where in your contact with Sears does it say that Sears must provide you with a “courtesy refrigerator” to use during periods where your fridge is under repair?

    2. You are a very bad diabetic. Are you not aware that an opened vial of Insulin can be stored for 28 to 30 days at room temperature. It would be possible for you to store your Insulin in your basement or in your non-working fridge.

    Are you not aware that storing your Insulin in a bucket of ice or between ice packs is just as bad as storing it in high temperatures?

    3. Brian had every right not to provide you with his last name and you had no right to prevent him from leaving your property.

    4. Most extended warranties for refrigerators (including future shop, best buy, etc) DO come with insurance coverage that explicitly covers spoiled foods/goods, and this would cover the cost of replacing your Insulin!

  9. alice_bunnie says:

    JamesDenver…
    Came in here to say that I never refrigerate my insulin unless I have more than a 30 day supply. They’re playing unnecessarily on sympathies.

    That being said, 3 weeks is ridiculous. My experience with Sears has generally been good ones. Many years ago my parents had a chest freezer from Sears. When it was about 6 months old it broke. Got a repair man out there and it was fixed. The third time it happened, they told us if we bought a different one then they’d credit us for the old one. They delivered that one and picked up our old one. I think they didn’t need to do that, but their policy was that if they had to repair it more than twice, they’d replace it.

  10. spryte says:

    @lorenjfisher:

    1. It probably doesn’t say that anywhere, but there is that quirky
    concept of a company actually doing something decent to help a customer
    out in a situation like this. I know, silly huh?

    2. He is not a bad diabetic. He is not a diabetic at all. It’s his
    wife and child who are the diabetics. And anyway, if he’s using the
    phrase “requires refrigeration” perhaps it says that on the medication
    package and he’s simply following pharmacy recommendations. I know,
    what a kook.

    3. Maybe the whole “preventing the elevator door from closing” thing
    was a bit loopy, but there is nothing wrong with wanting the full name
    of a repairman who comes to your house. Most places like this have
    hundreds of customer service reps, technicians, repairmen, etc, and
    there may very well be more than one Brian working there. Keeping track
    of exactly who did what in a series of events like this is perfectly
    logical.

    4. I don’t think it was so much the cost of the medication he was
    concerned about. Do those insurance policies cover diabetic shock?
    Probably not…

    /vent off

  11. wring says:

    I’m beginning to notice that most of the comments defend the big companies over the consumer. Is this still CONSUMERIST.com?

  12. hubris says:

    @wring: Blindly defending consumers is as bad as blindly defending companies. There are always two sides to the story, and in cases like this, the consumer would most likely self-edit what actually happened. Maybe he got in the repairman’s face, maybe he swore at him. We don’t know. Maybe that didn’t happen.

    But blindly defending consumers who abuse the system makes it harder for people who are legitimately screwed over. Which William might very well have; but that’s certainly not a given.

  13. Hexum2600 says:

    @wring: Yes, because being a good consumer doesnt mean thinking the consumer is always correct.

    If I walk into a gas station and say I had trouble with the pump so i should get my gas free, is that reasonable? And no good consumer would think so.

    A good consumer is one who wants decent treatment and pricing from a company and in return will reward that company with patronage. Its a 2 way street, I don’t expect a company that is guarenteed to only get my patronage one time (although what kinda company that would be i don’t know) to treat me well, but the places people go they have the potential to come back or not.

    Consumerist.com, where people who want a system of good customer service where we feel comfortable returning and spending more money because of how they treat us.

    not

    Consumerist.com, where we expect every business to cater to our every need and treat us as if we deserved more than anyone else.

    What a stupid comment.

  14. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Okay, already. If nobody in this man’s family had been diabetic, would the service be acceptable? NO. The repairman was rude and incompetent, and nobody at Sears was willing to do anything about it.

    I doubt William started complaining about the insulin right off the bat — why would he? It wasn’t until Sears blew him off that he brought it up to try to goad them into acting right. It didn’t work, but I can’t blame him for trying.

    Bad service from a company is always unacceptable, but when they can’t even rouse themselves to make the slightest effort in a special case, it’s a clear sign that they’re not going to care about any of us normal schmucks.

  15. TurboWagon00 says:

    My 5 year old Sears (rebadged Amana) fridge died this past June, two weeks after its parts warranty expired. What transpired after was a shitstorm of Biblical proportions. If my post gets accepted, maybe I’ll tell all my consumerist buddies about it. Long story short (three weeks, two trips from a tech, day and a half off work, at least 20 phone calls). I was able to beat a $20 giftcard out of them and since I reversed the charges on my “extended warranty” I actually came out ahead $$.

  16. amoeba says:

    I had experienced a similar situation in the past with Sears. At my local Sears store, they sell what is in display and they don’t bother to bring a new one, unless you have to wait 2 wks to arrive (the Main store is in a big city close to my town – about 35 miles or more). After my washer broke after 3 months and nobody dared to fixed it, I sold it and I bought a new one at Lowe’s. So, I decided to do my shopping else where. And yes, William needs a momentary replacement and a big apology from the repairman; besides his “diabetic” problems (may be he needed to make up a story to rush the new fridge).

  17. Jean Naimard says:

    Sears suck big time.
    A friend of mine asked me to help when he moved into his new condo, for which be bought appliances, and had the cabinets custom-made to fit.
    The installers came in first, then the appliance delivery guys. One of the fresh squirts said that “the fridge is not going to fit in there”, and they did not bring the fridge up.
    The installation guys installed everything else, then they said they could come back for the fridge, but (of course), not at the same time they would deliver it.
    The jokers came back the next day to deliver the fridge, but it could not be installed.
    When the installers came, they said that it’s not their job to move the fridge.
    Now, that’s typical private sector featherbedded employees not doing their jobs.
    So we move the fridge, without proper strapping and in doing so, we scratch the brand-new flooring while the fucker installers watch and not help.
    To move the fridge in place, we had to undo the doors (at least, the installers did that).
    Eventually, the fridge gets installed, with a nice bonus scratched wooden floor.
    It took six months of bitching to finally have Sears compensate my friend with a cheque that basically covered half the cost of the appliances and “installation”…
    His floor is still scratched badly, though.

    This all boils down to some asshole in Sears head-office who has a diploma on his wall with the letters “MBA” on it.
    Those assholes know sweet-fuck-all about the Universe, yet companies hire them and pay them extravagant salaries to think of pretty stupid ways to do business that run accross common sense, like hiring different subcontractors that each do a tiny bit of the job and whose sum clearly is lower than each’s worth.

  18. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Can anyone tell me why if this guy’s refrigerator was so important to him that once he struck out with Sears, he wasn’t on the phone with Kenmore directly? That might’ve been a good idea. You have to understand Sears is just a broker – they don’t make the products, they just sell them. Kenmore has a more vested interest in keeping you happy to keep buying their products – Sears could care less.

  19. EvilSquirrel says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: Kenmore appliances are actually rebranded appliances made for Sears. You are basically stuck talking to Sears in some way unless you want to pay someone else to fix it.

    If you know what is broken, it couldn’t hurt to see if any of local appliance repair places carry the part in stock. If you call early enough, they might be able to fix it the same day.

  20. wring says:

    the consumerist: shoppers bite back. Not shoppers bite and judge each other. I’m so sad for all the self righteous ‘our shit don’t stink, we don’t overdraft’ trolls.

  21. ShadowFalls says:

    I’d say you would be better of getting a GE fridge from Home Depot, at least from my experiences anyways. But in any regards William, maybe you forgot that Sears is now own by Kmart, a company known to cut corners when needed, their customer service certainly leaves much to be desired.

    The wait time is pretty bad, but if you are worried about these issues, maybe getting a mini fridge just in case is a good idea, I have seen some go for $50-$70 and they would be good enough for simple items.

  22. MustyBuckets says:

    I cannot stress it enough – shop local!

    While some parts are not available directly from a warehouse, and need to be ordered from the company (probably whirlpool or LG, in this case), the ten days waiting for a part is exactly what might happen anywhere. The part was obviously not the problem if there was a hole in the sealed system, and all the refrigerant leaked out.

    Sears techs get paid each and every time they stop out to your house, so there is no motivation to fix it the first or second time.

    While this could just as easily happen with a local business, most local businesses (at least all the shops in my area, including mine) have loaners that you can take in case of something like this happening.

    Also, buying a non Kenmore brand means that you can argue with the company you bought it from (Sears) but if you get stuck there, you can call customer service for their brand directly.

    One last note – you are only locked in with service from Sears under warranty if you get a kenmore. Food for thought.

  23. Jon Mason says:

    @wring: Yes, this is a consumer website and with any consumer complaint there are two sides. Just because someone says they have been ‘screwed over’ by a company doesn’t make it so. Being a good consumer means understanding how corporations/complaints work, and when complaints are valid or not – not just one-sided whining. This is the Consumerist, not the WhineyBitcherist…

  24. veraikon says:

    I’m always amazed at how these customer complaint letters start off coherently enough, but almost always devolve into self-righteous, barely understandable rants. People seem to think that repeatedly mentioning the extreme distress/pain/hardship/stress the company has caused is requisite for customer complaint letters. Maybe people don’t think they’ll get attention if they’re rational and polite?

  25. KIRZEN2007 says:

    I’m sorry, but you immeadiately lost my sympathy when you began demanding he contact his office using your phone, then refused to allow him to leave the premises until he divulged his first name. You’re lucky he didn’t introduce your face to the floor, in his shoes, I -WOULD- have grabbed you by the shirt and pushed you across the hall if you jammed the elevator so that I couldn’t get on with my business.

    Does it not strike you that he was voicing company policy? He doesn’t make these policies, he doesn’t even have any input in regards to these policies… and I’ll be willing to guess that there is a similar policy against offering your name to the customers (when I was working for AT&T corporate we were simply not allowed to divulge our last name under any circumstances).

    These policies are in effect for a reason, and although you may feel things weren’t handled fairly, you acted in an unreasonable, demanding, confrontational and offensive manner. Rather than simply thanking this man for his time and calling the repair center to complain directly, you made a complete ass of yourself, congradulations.

  26. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @ShadowFalls: Vice versa — Sears bought KMart, not the other way around. KMart doesn’t have enough money to buy a lemonade stand.

  27. Eilonwynn says:

    @cumaensibyl:

    No, shadowfalls was right – Kmart bought sears, as improbably as it sounds – [money.cnn.com]

  28. Eilonwynn says:

    improbably = improbable. First post, then drink.

  29. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Eilonwynn: WTF?? I could have sworn I saw something in the KMart the other day about how they were recently bought out by Sears…

    Wow. How bad off must both of them be to think this is a good idea?

  30. HaxRomana says:

    What’s the big deal about “Brian” there not giving out his last name? I absolutely never give my last name out to customers for any reason, despite the fact that there are three people with my first name at my store. A first name and maybe an initial should suffice. I’ve had enough stalkerish customers to know better than to give out any more identifying information than I have to.

  31. Eilonwynn says:

    A place my significant other worked at for awhile had a good solution. They weren’t required to use their real name, but they WERE required to ‘register’ a pseudonym with the company. This was so that if a customer had a problem with “Barbie Buster” then they were actually talking with Skipper Smith. If there was a problem, blame fell on the right shoulders, but if a customer got weird (and some of them did), nobody could get stalked.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I sell appliances for sears and I will not make any excuses for the original posters repeated calls to the customer service line or their issues with the service tech. However, I do have a few issues or comments with the situation (similar to other comments about being a smarter consumer).

    1.While I don’t sell fridges, I do sell maintenance contracts and I have never ever heard of a 10 day policy for parts/repairs. Is it possible he misunderstood that the part was not in stock for 10 days or that their appointments were already booked 10 days out? I will definitely ask at work tomorrow.

    2. He stated that he purchased a maintenance contract, did he know or read the fine print on the contract that he may be entitled to a loaner and up to a certain amount of money back if he had food spoil? I would think that the sales person selling the maintenance contract might have used that information as a selling tool with fridges. Why did he buy the maintenance, did he know he needed to depend on it for the medication being refrigerated? Seems like this would have been key when buying a fridge/maintenance.

    3.Did he never call the store to try to resolve the issue with them? My experience with my store (and this can probably vary with each stores customer demographics) is that when the customer calls the store to complain to the manager or sales person, they often times are taken care of or aided. Especially when you have purchased maintenance, my store is usually more willing to replace a machine for you or work something out to upgrade when you’ve had poor service issues after your manufacturer’s warranty expires. At the very least, they may have been able to see to it that the customer had a loaner delivered.
    4. I talked with the head of the service dept locally and he said their job is pretty rough because people are usually pretty pissed off that their appliance isn’t working, even more so when they have to pay to fix it. The customer sounded like the situation got pretty heated, my guess is he didn’t handle it as well as he could have. The guy had to give him a copy of the repair slip/receipt and I would think it had his name or something on it to identify the tech. The service dept should also be able to look up who was at his house.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the company is perfect and there is a lot of room for improvement. One person hit the nail on the head about having too many subcontractors and departments that don’t work together like they should. I feel that frustration everyday. However I also see the other side of what customers expect to get which is often times unrealistic. Another piece of advice if you have problems is to call the national customer relations line for sears to voice a complaint, they seem to hate to have calls escalated to that level and managers usually take notice of that.

    Lastly, yes we were bought by Kmart although our officially company name is now Sears Holdings Corp. Some might recall that Kmart sold a bunch of their stores to sears prior when they were having financial problems, then they reacquired them. Kenmore is a sears product (they can be manufactured by many companies though like Whirlpool). I personally think you would get farther with sears service rather than calling the manufacturer. With many or most of our products, they get a cheaper rate on them because sears agrees to service the normal one year manufacturer’s warranty. This means that if you bought the product at Best Buy or elsewhere, if you have a problem within the first year you have to contact the manufacturer and not the store.

  33. Buran says:

    @KIRZEN2007: That’s going too far. You can use some force to resist detainment but you can’t go assaulting someone using more force than necessary. The guy did the right thing by moving away so that he was no longer being detained.

  34. ablestmage says:

    I really wanted to have some sympathy for the complainer, and I really did try, but it just wouldn’t budge. This might be a legitimate complaint if you lived in Uzbekistan and there were no other fridge retailers that a reasonable degree of travel could reveal. However, the gentleman appears to largely base his complaint on his own lack of ingenuity.

    I agree completely with KIRZEN2007 — the gentleman here is the irrational party, not Sears. This is another case of someone trying to pin their own inability to remedy a situation with simple common sense — he hypocritically states that insulin is a significant enough reason to speed up repair, yet doesn’t think it is quite severe enough to suck it up and buy a minifridge. You’re going to need one as a backup someday anyway, might as well get it now even though the big fridge is fixed. Don’t raise a stink with customer service for an indirect circumstance that they have nothing to actually do with — your health problems are exclusively your concern.

  35. feduponmaui says:

    I don’t care what the problem was or what someone had in their refrigerator, a repairman should be polite and honest, and capable of doing his job. If this repairman made these people wait 18 days for a problem that didn’t even need to be fixed, while ignoring or not diagnosing the appropriate problem, he should be fired for incompetence. Period. The fact is that he made them wait a ridiculous amount of time for a part they didn’t even need, and which would not have solved the problem, which could have been solved the day of service if he had been remotely capable. He always had the option to call in and find out what might be done to expedite things given the situation. He could not be bothered. That equals lousy service.

    The fact is also that Sears does a woefully inadequate job of training these guys, most of whom barely graduated from high school (you all will remember the losers who routinely got C’s and D’s in high school-that’s these guys) and have NO SOCIAL SKILLS, and are therefore inadequate to the job, where flexibility and compassion should have a place. It could also be argued that most of these people are low income schmucks who are envious and resentful of those of us who have homes and appliances that they could never afford, again, because they are losers. So screwing consumers over is their petty little way of exercising some control. This kind of pettiness is very common in “professions” where people have little control, i.e., secretaries, low level customer service reps, fast food waitrons (you’d be surprised how much of the food you order gets spit on, or wiped with unwashed hands fresh from the toilet), etc.

    I have been waiting over seven (yes, 7) WEEKS just to get someone to come and look at the problem with my appliance. I have had three appointments, all no show, no call. I paid full price for a master protection agreement, and Sears will not honor it. If you are thinking about signing up for a service contract with Sears, DON’T DO IT!!!!! Better yet, go to Sears and get all kinds of info from the sales staff there (i.e., pick their tiny little brains for all you can get) and go buy the appliance somewhere else. And let the sales rep know why. When a sales rep spends time on a customer, and then loses the commission, they are NOT happy.

  36. feduponmaui says:

    @veraikon: Yes, that is often the case. When you are polite and reasonable, you are ignored. The only time these people take any notice is when you have a screeching hissy fit. Sad but too often true. Also, usually by the time it gets to this point, people have been given such an extensive runaround and are so frustrated and angry, being polite and rational doesn’t seem like such a great option. Of course, these people count on that, hoping you will give up and go away. Once they have your money, their incentive to do their job is limited at best.

  37. balstic says:

    I just experienced a similar situation. We called Sears for service on a Kenmore refrigerator that was under warranty for a leak in what ended up being the water despensing system. The technician came and determined it needed a part that cracked. Part was put on order and he left after telling my wife to call when the part arrived. The next morning she discovered that everything in the freezer had thawed out and the refrigerator was getting warmer. Coincidental, I wonder. She called Sears and they led hear to believe they would be out on Monday, this was Thursday. I called over the weekend to confirm they had the issue on the ticket and they had not made the entry so I had them enter it while I was on the phone. I called on Monday and that is when they informed me they would not be out until 9/30, 14 days after the breakdown. They said that is when they would come out to install the part for the water dispenser, they did not care that we were without a refrigerator for medicines and food for a small child. I told them I would get someone else to repair it and was told they would not reimburse me for that even though they were unwilling to repair it in a timely matter. They are also hesitating reimbursement for the food loast, even though it is covered under the warranty. I have submitted a complaint with BBB and am soliciting an investigation by a local TV station. I will use every forum to promote an investigation or boycott of Sears. I do not intend to purchase anything else from them. I am a 35+ year customer.

  38. BoDawli says:

    Sears is a consummate nightmare.

    Once consumers decide NOT to deal with them, they will just finally go down the tubes.

    Really, this is about just not using their appliances, their service, their clothes, or whatever.

    If you patronize them, you’re just contributing to the problem and saying it is okay for them to behave the way they do.