Why I'm Never Shopping At Sears Again

Reader Chris writes the CEO of Sears to let him know why he’ll never step foot inside Sears ever again.

Dear Mr. Lewis,

We are writing to you to document the abysmal experience we recently had with Sears following break-down of our Kenmore refrigerator/freezer.

The unit broke down on November 2nd, less than 1 year since we purchased it, and we called for repair service under the factory warranty. We were surprised to find that it would take a week before a technician could come to take a look, but we treated this as just ‘bad luck’ and resigned ourselves to throwing away 100′s of dollars of frozen and refrigerated groceries.

The technician came out on November 10th and replaced what he thought was the problem part and left. Within hours the unit was no colder and so we immediately called Sears again and were dumbfounded to be told that it would take another week for someone to come out again!

This was not acceptable to us and so we emailed you to request assistance and as a result were contacted by Carla in Sears Executive Office. When we spoke to her it transpired that she was unable to get our local Service department to respond to her. She said that she would call us back if and when they got in contact. As we did not hear back from her we can only assume they did not respond. If the Executive Office cannot get in contact with the Service Department, we as customers surely stand no chance!

At this point we waited until November 17th until the technician came out again. This time he diagnosed that the compressor was broken and that he’d have to order a new one. The earliest appointment we could get to install it was quoted as November 26th . This would mean that we would have been without a fridge & freezer for some 3 ½ weeks and our big family Thanksgiving Dinner plans would be ruined.

We decided to approach the Sears store that we purchased all our appliances from to see if they could help. The floor manager on duty was extremely unhelpful :

* She said that she couldn’t help us as, in her opinion, this was purely a Service issue and the Service department “is a separate organization”. Clearly your employees do not feel that they represent Sears Holdings as a single entity.

* She said that Kenmore appliances were very reliable but that we should have paid extra for the Extended Service Agreement to get timely repairs. It is extremely annoying to be told this when we already have a broken appliance and are trying to it repaired UNDER WARRANTY.

* She said that if we wanted to buy a new refrigerator she could give us a 10% discount. You can perhaps imagine how angry we were to have it suggested that spending another $1100 on a fridge was a good solution to Sears not being able to repair our existing one in less than a month.

* Understanding that her powers appeared to be limited, we tried to be flexible in accommodating any reasonable alternative approaches to addressing the situation, but even when pressed she could not suggest how we could escalate the issue other than calling the 1-800 number again

We can only hope that this is not how Sears would wish to be represented.

We contacted the Store Manager, who is our one positive experience with Sears in all this. He was very apologetic, and really made an effort to listen to the problem and try to find reasonable and creative ways to address it. He made some calls and we were in turn contacted by Executive Level Customer Support who modified the service date to November 21st (still a huge 19 days after the original problem occurred). Although apparently only having been an employee with Sears for a month, we really feel that the Store Manager treated the issue as his own and with respect, unlike other Sears people we had dealt with until this point.

We hope you would agree that there seem to be some serious problems with Sears Service, and the communication lines between them and the rest of the company. While the Store Manager is a good representative for your company and did his utmost to restore our faith in Sears, we see no indication that we would not encounter a similar situation with Sears Service in future. We were without refrigeration for 19 days, which is bad enough, but if we hadn’t engaged in vigorous, time-consuming and stressful chasing of this problem we may have been without this crucial appliance for nearly a month. We know from frank conversations with everyone involved in this (from Sears technicians to executive customer support) that our problems with getting timely service are not unusual exceptions, but are persistent and endemic.

Your Vision Statement says that “Sears Holdings is committed to improving the lives of our customers by providing quality services, products and solutions that earn their trust and build lifetime relationships.” For us, you have failed spectacularly on all counts.

Our entire family has purchased from Sears for many years based on your historical reputation for good customer service, but they will no longer make any purchases in your stores. We hope that by bringing our problems to your attention it will allow them to be fixed promptly and permanently for the good of other customers. We will not be buying from Sears again.

Yours faithfully,

Chris

As Meghann mentioned in a previous post, SEARS customer service is hard to crack. Each division might as well be in another dimension. In fact, their warranty repairs are, they’re in the outsourced division. Lowest bid wins! That’s why Sears corporate can’t rein in the repair guys, they’re not even on the company payroll.

(Photo: j2dread)

Comments

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  1. ElizabethD says:

    My husband vowed years ago never to buy another appliance or tool from Sears. He observed that the formerly legendary quality had gone down the toilet.

    That being said, I have fallen in love with the Lands End store inside our local Sears. (Irrelevant, I know.) And I just purchased three pairs of glasses in the Sears Optical Shop for very reasonable prices, with good service.

    Ben, please stop saying “step foot” !!! It’s “set foot.” Thank you. Love from Mme. Editor.

  2. theninjasquad says:

    I don’t understand why the first tech didn’t make sure that the fridge was working before he left the first time around. It would have only taken a few minutes to see that no cold air was coming in. Thats pretty shoddy.

  3. scalv says:

    If you got the warranty then you would have been compensated for the loss of food.

  4. donnie5 says:

    We abandoned Sears when they would not waive a $30 shipping on a $1500 matching washer and dryer set, but would give us 10% off a dryer hose…that was $35…
    Yea, Sears is worthless.

  5. headon says:

    I will not STEP FOOT into Sears again either. I was without a refrigerator for 43 days. Same kind of issues as in the post. They are IMPOSSIBLE to deal with. The Sears Holding Company has ruined a great brand name. They have perfected poor customer service. Any company wishing to sink to their level should consider Sears the benchmark to strive toward.

  6. sixsnowflakes says:

    I’ve had good luck with the Sears Automotive Departments. You can get road hazard coverage for $6 per tire. I bought tires and insurance in Utah, drove over a nail in New York, and paid only $6 for a new road hazard warranty on the new tire (one time use policy). I’ve also found them to be cheaper and faster than Jiffy Lube for routine oil changes; plus, they remember to put the plug back in the bottom of your oil pan!

  7. Buran says:

    I have a 50s/60s era Kenmore dryer (!) inherited from Grandma as part of the family-house package and I won’t be replacing it with another Sears appliance when it finally dies.

  8. Quellman says:

    I gave up Sears also. When I have to see signs in Spanish hanging from the ceiling and on the items- I get frustated at my elected officials and then I get pissed at Sears. So I now avoid a once American Company for simply being un-American.

  9. Buran says:

    @sixsnowflakes: But do they put the plug back on with am impact wrench?

  10. Sanshie says:

    Sears just delivered a new refrigerator to my sister that they knew wasn’t working properly, they just basically dropped it and ran. She was too distracted by movers to properly supervise them. (Should have you to supervise them?) Oh, and they forgot to deliver the new flat screen that was on the same order. Again, their experience with the store manager was positive, he really tried to help, but Sears service/delivery was oh so “FU we really don’t care that 30 are coming for Thanksgiving in two days did you really expect a new fridge to work right off the bat?” Yep, naively, they did.

  11. timmus says:

    Interestingly I had this same problem with Sears in 1991 except it was an electronics item. I had the usual problem with one department not talking to another and general all-around incompetency. The coup de grace is it took 4 or 5 months before their headquarters in Chicago sent a reply to my complaint.

  12. protest says:

    this is sort of unrelated: whenever i order something from Sears online and go to the store to pick it up there is ALWAYS a problem. 3 times in a row, in the span of a year they either could not find my item in the warehouse, or my order number was wrong and i got stuck waiting more than an hour for them to find my stuff. you’d figure their spiffy computerized order system would speed things up, but all it does is cost everyone involved time and money. i no longer shop there.

  13. headon says:

    @sixsnowflakes: See you have identified the problem you had “Good Luck”. Getting quality service from a company should not be predicated on luck. It should be the odd customer that has bad luck not the other way around.

  14. Myron says:

    My experience with Sears fixing a 1.5 year old washing machine was similar. Wait a week for the guy to come out, wait a week for him to come back with the part, etc. It was out of warranty, however, so it was a much simpler decision to hire an independent repair guy, get the the machine fixed that day, and tell Sears to go piss up a tree.

    So here’s the problem with a warranty, you have to deal with the manufacturer to get a fix. And they could give a shit how long it takes or whether you’re satisfied. A recent experience with my Honda Accord has reinforced this sad fact for me. (I love Honda cars but there must be a special place in hell for for their dealers, all of them)

  15. ideagirl says:

    @sixsnowflakes: last time I went to a Sears automotive dept., they disconnected wire in my engine, then put it on a tester and “showed” me how the alternator needed to be replaced. The alternator was only a few months old, so I decided tio take it over to Pep Boys. The Sears tech freaked out about me driving the car off the lot. The tech at Pep Boys showed me the disconnected wire. He did not know I had just been at Sears.

  16. Pylon83 says:

    @Quellman:
    Wow. That’s quite possibly the most bigoted comments I’ve ever read on this board. Are you serious? God forbid the stores seek to accommodate anyone who does not speak english as their native language. How does seeing Spanish writing injure or upset you? Perhaps you should look around the community in which you live. If Sears has found it necessary to put up signs in Spanish in order to bring in business from what is likely a large hispanic community, it is likely that your community as a whole is rather dependent on the work that those people do in order to earn the money to shop at Sears. I’d suggest that you come out of the 1950′s and be a little more open minded. I imagine that you were also upset when they desegregated the drinking fountains and bathrooms as well? God, I can’t even convey how dumbfounded I am that they are people who are intelligent enough to read some of the big words on this site that have opinions such as yours.

  17. Starfury says:

    I’ve had good luck with Sears appliances over the years. We’re going to be remodeling our kitchen so that means:

    New stove (ancient)/oven (13 yrs old)
    New Fridge (Also 13 yrs old)
    New Dishwasher (7 yrs old)

    This will not be cheap and stuff like this makes me wonder if Sears is the place to go. They don’t make any of the stuff; it’s just Whirlpool or some other companies equipment with a Sears tag on it.

  18. Zelle999 says:

    @Quellman: Wow, I hope that was a joke.

    There are plenty of reasons to avoid Sears. Spanish tags on products shouldn’t be one of them.

  19. yetiwisdom says:

    We bought all of our home appliances at the Sears “scratch-n-dent” Outlet in Christiana, Delaware. There are some phenomenal deals to be had there – items as much as 50% off for cosmetic issues but it’s caveat emptor and you have to come prepared to schlep the items away. Of the outlet items we bought (fridge, washing machine, dryer), the (Kenmore) dryer quit a year after we bought it but the others have served us well now for over 6 years. I recently got a Class Action mailer for the dryer – seems that the Kenmore line that we bought consistently quit early and a suit has been filed against Sears for it. Not too surprising – our appliance guy explained to us that the design was flawed – the heating element causes heat buildup on the circuit board, causing failure. He recommended to NEVER buy a dryer with a lint-catcher inside the lower door but to always buy one with the lint trap in the top. We did, and haven’t had a problem with our new (Whirlpool) dryer, also bought @ sratch-n-dent.

  20. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I had TERRIBLE experiences with Sears Auto.

    The worst of many was when I brought in my Trans Am for a replacment Die Hard battery. On my drive home, at night, in the rain, I start seeing sparks flying from my driver side wheel well. My car dies on me, and I coast to the shoulder. It turns out, my battery was loose, slid against the wheel well, and fused to it. I complained to Sears, and the mechanics said that when my car came in it didn’t have the bracket to hold the battery down (it did)…so they just let me drive away with a loose battery, not saying a word to me.

  21. badteaparty says:

    @Pylon83: Well put.

  22. almaden says:

    This sounds *very* similar to the problems I had with A&E Appliance Repair(They are part of Sears, and do outsourced warranty for Whirlpool and Kitchen Aid). I wrote about the experience in a different post, but suffice to say that the stream of bumbling technicians, parts on back order, and going weeks without a working frig is very familiar to me.

  23. Sears hasn’t been the same for, well, decades… The sales force is predatory and unhelpful (when they are even around). The service department is about as functional as a sweet potato.

    I think Sears manages to survive at all because of all the older generations who grew-up with them and use Sears out of habit.

  24. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    @Pylon83: I second that. Well put.

    And a VERY well-written complaint letter by Chris. Kudos.

  25. keainansen says:

    Sears is notorious for having the worst service of all-time. My friends got a t.v. and parents got a washer dryer, both have stories that border hilarious.

  26. ncboxer says:

    I don’t get annoyed with Spanish tags on things in stores- they are there to make money. I do get annoyed at government entities putting up bilingual stuff everywhere. There should be a requirement to read/speak English or bring a translator with you when you interface with the government. Is it my fault that some people don’t want to learn English? I might have a large German community in my area, but I don’t see the government putting up things in German all over the place. If I speak Swahili, should the government be required to have everything there to accommodate me? I disagree with it because I think it is a waste of money- my money that I pay taxes with.

  27. esqdork says:

    @Quellman: What Pylon83 said because I’m without adequate words in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese or the numerous other languages that must upset you.

  28. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @protest:
    this is sort of unrelated: whenever i order something from Sears online and go to the store to pick it up there is ALWAYS a problem.

    When I went to pick up my microwave a couple of years ago, there was a woman crying – sobbing – in the pick-up area. They had told her she could pick up her whatever in the late morning & it was mid-afternoon, she had driven from an outlying area, and her whatever was not to be found despite them promising her over and over that it would be “just a minute”. The “minute” had dragged on for hours & she was past the point of reason. She was telling anyone who would listen. I felt so guilty when my microwave was there & ready to go in a few minutes.

    We stopped buying at Sears when they told a friend that they’d have to send a repairman to diagnose an (obviously) broken part and that it would 1). cost her a $100.00 service call to tell her what she already knew about her (still under warranty) appliance and 2) it would be days before they would come out.

    There are too many other places to shop that give good service at a reasonable price.

  29. DrGirlfriend says:

    @Quellman: How are the signs in Spanish affecting you? Are they taking the place of English-language signs so that you can’t read them? You think it’s un-American for people to not speak the same language as you, and for that fact to be acknowledged? Good luck with your patriotism then, buddy, because I don’t think there has ever been a time in this country’s history where all of its inhabitants only spoke English. Seems to me you’re thinking of another country altogether.

    Signed,

    One of the many Hispanics whose native language is single-handedly ruining your Sears experience. Bwa. Ha. Ha.

  30. Dibbler says:

    I’ll continue to buy their hand tools as long as they’re made in the US. They’re slowly moving the manufacturing to China so I always check to see where the tool is made before I buy it. If it’s a China product I’ll just go someplace else and buy it cheaper. Their power tools are all made by the cheapest bid so the manufacturer changes monthly, it seems, so most are junk. It’s sad to see the guys who own Kmart running Sears…

  31. Freedomboy says:

    Got to make this issue noticable. So if the fridge dies, save that pile of meat, eggs too if possible, nothing says lovin’ like somethin from the hen’s oven, set it aside and let it rot. Seal it it up in a few large zip locks and then when the bags inflate with the gas, well now it’s time to go discuss the quality of the service you are not getting.

    Having the power to show, er…expose, the damaged food to the entire sales floor will perhaps not get you much but boy will that event …… linger in the hearts, minds and nostrils of the store for days.

    No jury will convict I am guessing.

  32. badteaparty says:

    @ncboxer: Is it really costing so much more to put up an extra sign? There are LOTS of things the goverment spends my money on that I disagree with, starting with this neverending deficit-expanding war. I will never understand why people in this country get their panties in a complete twist if they have to so much as look at a different language. Horrors! You might even become somewhat proficient in a globally useful language! People around the world tend to know at least token bits of English. It’s useful to them. We may not be the dominant world power much longer, so perhaps we should stop covering our ears and hiding under the table every time we are exposed to another language, hmm?

  33. JessiesMind says:

    I ordered some items from Sears.com over the weekend. They told me I would get a confirmation email. Well, come Monday, I received an email saying they did receive my order but due to the high volume of shopping, they were behind on sending out confirmation emails. Sure, no problem.

    Then today, I received this:

    Dear Jessie,
    Thank you for shopping at Sears.com. Unfortunately, due to either the demand for the item(s) that you ordered or the method of your payment; we were unable to process your order. Consequently, we will be canceling your order for the item(s) listed below and refunding your purchase.
    (They listed the whole order and entire payment for refund.)

    Do what, now?!? Pick a problem to present to me, won’t ya! It’s like playing Idiot Roulette.

    So, I gave customer service a ring and she told me that of the four items I’d ordered, three were out of stock. However, it looks like I will be receiving the one item that is in stock.

    Okay…? So, why does the email say I’ll be receiving back a full refund? She guessed that it was just a “generic” form letter. Huh.

    Fine, so why does the site still have my entire order listed as “processing”? Well, it must not have updated, yet. This was around 8 am this morning. As of a few moments ago, I am still in for the whole order and it should arrive in five days, according to my account page.

    I hung up feeling rather bemused. For giggles, I looked up my items on Sears.com. They’re still listed as “in stock and ready to ship”.

    Well, we’ll see. I’ll be eagle-eyeing their site and my credit card statement like crazy over the next few weeks. Honestly, I’m guessing I’m in for a big ol’ Charlie Foxtrot.

  34. SaraAB87 says:

    This is good to know as my family will be purchasing a new stove before Christmas and we will not be purchasing it at Sears, instead we will be going to a local appliance dealer. We purchased a fridge from them last summer and its still going strong with no problems, and it was only a 500$ fridge.

  35. crazyflanger says:

    Warrentys and extended service maintnence, are an easy way to help an item sell, or upsell the item with out a service contact. However, after the sale is made, the “servicing” is now seen as an expence. We all know how large corperations feel about expences. That should show how large corperations feel about servicing items.

    I think part of being a smart consumer in today’s day and age is seperating people from the company they work for.

    “She said that she couldn’t help us as, in her opinion, this was purely a Service issue and the Service department “is a separate organization”. Clearly your employees do not feel that they represent Sears Holdings as a single entity”

    In today’s world this is how companies work. They are modular, and not every department is on the same page. The people in sears store most likely earn bonuses from sales…not from servicing. The floor manager had nothing to gain from talking to you about your fridge. Well she tried to sell a new fridge? Seriously? That right there shows she couldn’t care less about your problem. I don’t blame her…she doesn’t get a insentive from helping you with your exsisting item.

    It isn’t her fault either…it is the company. If they paid her more and didn’t get out sales insentive, then she wouldn’t be wasting time with you, she would be doing her job. Pay for performance doesn’t benifit anyone except the company. They save some money on people who produce less. It is like walking into a car dealership and having them give you a discount on a car that is already over priced.

    The store manager couldn’t help you either…but he tried. Most likely because he earns bonuses from how well his store does every quarter. You aren’t wasting his time because he isn’t going to get make a sale instead of talking to you.

    Bottom line is you shouldn’t set high expectations from any company, for any product or service. I’m not saying the timeframe sears took to fix the fidge is reasonable..it isn’t. I’m just saying that this is how consumers are going to be treated, from a servicing perspective. An expence doesn’t get top priority. A sale does.

  36. savvy999 says:

    I actually love reading signs in both languages, it’s like finding yourself in a real-life Dora the Explorer episode. ¡vamos a los lavavajillas!

    I also like Sears, but I’ve also never had anything break down to the point of requiring a housecall. I’ve ordered lots of parts for my Kenmore appliances and grills, my Craftsman mowers, from the Sears service site and it’s gone extremely smoothly.

    The sample points in the comments here are pretty small– how do other major appliance manufacturers/resellers do in terms of repairs? Equally shoddy?

  37. SavageATL says:

    Thank you Pylon, someone needs to call out the ignorant racist bastards. Some people need to crawl out of the bomb shelter they’ve apparently been living in, and see what Mexico is like to understand why people are coming here. Dude, part of what makes America great is a little something called “liberty” which means people want to come here to live better lives, people whose skin colour is different from yours and speak different languages. Get out and learn something about some other cultures. It’s fun!

    Anyway, about Sears- we haven’t had quite the battle with Sears that some other people have had because when they were stupid we went to Lowe’s. My dad’s dryer died, he went to Sears and bought a new one and it took them 2 WEEKS to get it to him. My refrigerator died and I bought one at the outlet store in Atlanta which they then refused to deliver up the back stairs, with the !helpful! suggestion that I come pick it up myself- yeah, right! If your professionals can’t get it up stairs, then how the hell am I supposed to. So I went to Lowe’s which gave me free delivery and they came the NEXT DAY, no trouble. Cheaper than the outlet store too and no scratches, dents, etc. You also have to watch out for the outlet store as frequently their products are actually Frankenstein products assembled from a bunch of broken appliances. Not necessarily the great deals you think they are.
    Never again will I buy an appliance at Sears.

  38. winux says:

    Similar experience. The delivery was supposed to bring me a new washing machine on a Saturday, and when it got near the end of the time frame they were supposed to deliver, I called and was told it had been rescheduled the day prior–they never even called me to let me know, and said it was my responsibility. So when I rescheduled, it had to be for next weekend since they couldn’t do it on a Sunday due to overbooking. The entire delivery service is also contracted out, and when they didn’t show the second time, they said they lost the washer on their truck. I talked to about ten different people at sears and at the delivery agents, and finally someone budged and said they would deliver the next morning, which they did. The Sears customer rep said the same thing as above–they are a different entity and have no control over them.

    Sears really needs to up their ante in customer serive AFTER the purchase, instead of just the actual purchase. It’s like selling me a new car, giving me the keys to it, and teling me to find which key fits which car in their lot, good luck.

  39. ncboxer says:

    @badteaparty: It is not just signs- most government agencies now have to have a Spanish translator in house. Schools have to employ a ton of Spanish translators for the influx. All of this stuff affects my property taxes that have raised 30% in the last few years.

    Yes, I have the billions of dollars that go to a never ending war myself- and I intend to vote with my conscience on that aspect. Because it is significantly less money than the war- I shouldn’t complain? Why not? It is my duty as a citizen to complain about wastefulness in the government and hold our officials accountable.

    I have no problem being exposed to other languages- I took years of French, German, and Spanish in school. I encourage everyone to do the same. It is important to open yourself up to other cultures and experience different things. I just don’t agree with spending government funds to accommodate everyone that comes to this country and doesn’t learn English.

  40. 5h17h34d says:

    Sears tried to repossess a dryer from my mother 10 years ago after my father had died leaving a balance on his Sears card and no estate. The card was in his name only and the dryer was bought several years previously. The thugs on the phone bullied her and when the phone was turned over to me they could not tell me how an appliance bought years earlier became collateral for a credit card balance. I eventually threatened them with a lawsuit (all phone conversations recorded including Sears threatening her with financial ruin) and they quit bugging her.

    I have not set foot in a Sears store since and never will.

  41. copterchris says:

    CRAZYFLANGER I disagree with your comment : “Bottom line is you shouldn’t set high expectations from any company, for any product or service.”

    I know this is a reality in many companies, but that attitude is just a license for companies to walk all over you. I don’t “expect” good service but it will make me come back to a company if they give it. Trying to saving money on customer service is the worst mistake a company can make.

    Canon has been a great example for me. First time, I bought a printer that did not work properly and they overnighted me a new one with a prepaid shipping label to return the old one. Second time, my 4 year old camera was recalled for a defect and it was less than a week before I had it back again, with not only the problem fixed but also all the external faceplates replaced to address some cosmetic issues (scratches/dents).

    Guess which company will be first on my list to buy products from in future?

  42. Landru says:

    I bought a washer/dryer from them about 10 years ago. I have had 3 experiences with service.

    The first time was fine – the guy was able to fix it without a second trip.

    The second time, the guy arrived before the part, just like other folks.

    Third time, all he had to do was replace the belt on the washing machine, and he actually had the belt with him. Even though he was able to do it all in one trip, with an easy part, it cost about $50.00 more than the other service calls that required real parts, almost $200.00, just to change the belt.

    He complained the whole time about the new management at Sears and then tried to up-sell me all sorts of soap products. It was kinda of creepy.

  43. Quellman says:

    @ all:

    Part of my comment was lost in copy and paste. I type in Word for spelling correction; here is what it was supposed to say:

    I’ve had problems getting replacements on their ‘Lifetime warranty’ Craftsman tools. You would think it would be cut and dry. When I was going to go there the other day though, my friend said, I gave up on Sears. When I have to see signs in Spanish hanging from the ceiling and on the items- I get frustrated at my elected officials and then I get pissed at Sears. So I now avoid a once American company for simply being un-American.

    I don’t know what that later part had to do with the discussion so I wasn’t going to copy it. I intended to use the first two sentences.

    I generally just stop by The Consumerist throughout the day and make a comment or two. My intention is not to offend or create this consumer forum a place for Politics. I’ve lived in New York near the Canadian border and now Florida. I’ve seen signs in French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Besides, the more customers there are the better. Keeps prices low. The views of my friend are NOT mine. Hence the intention was to leave it out.

    I am sorry for the error. My promise to you the forum friends is to be sure to double check my comments before posting. I don’t want to be known as the guy who stirs up trouble.

  44. othium says:

    After a couple bad experiences at Sears, I vowed to never enter one of their stores again.

    I had to modify that statement a bit as the nearest DMV is located on the second floor of the Sears rather close to me. Getting my car registered took far less time and the service was faster, more professional and pleasant than what I had to go through at the Sears return desk.
    (The DMV for crying out loud! How bad is Sears that they can be beat by THAT one?)

  45. zentec says:

    I had one of their vacuum cleaners burst into flame a day after taking it out of the box. The local Sears store considered it a service issue. My credit card company begged to differ and reversed the charges.

    The store wouldn’t accept the damaged vacuum, so it sits, boxed in my basement and will sit there until the credit card company says I can throw it away, drop it on their doorstep or seven years passes. I don’t know what the time limits are, seven years sounds pretty official.

    Sears is just K-Mart wrapped in shiny clothes.

  46. SaraAB87 says:

    On the other hand I bought a TV at Sears in 2004 and it was fine (it still is, no problems). I did not purchase a warranty on the TV. But that was also before the big Kmart Merger, perhaps customer service tends to go downhill after mergers, just look at what is happening with Gamestop. They did call me an awful lot though trying to sell me more stuff, I made the mistake of registering the TV which I should have never done.

    The online order system is pretty screwed up, but it worked for me on black friday. I ordered a pair of sneakers for in-store pickup so that I would not have to go during the rush and battle the crowds to get the low price on them. I already have one pair of these sneakers so I know they would fit and I went to the store well before black friday to see if they had my size in stock which they did. I strolled in at 8pm at night and got the sneakers without having to battle the crowds thanks to the order online pick up in store system. Everything was easy. Guaranteed it was only a pair of sneakers, a relatively low demand item for black friday.

    My friend who was trying to order a DS Lite bundle for shipment to his house didn’t get so lucky though, the website was showing the item as in stock but was rejecting every address he threw at the form because it was not valid, thankfully he got the bundle off amazon when they started selling them. He called a sears rep and she said that the system starts doing weird things when an item is sold out and that it doesn’t update properly when an item is sold out. Their website is seriously glitched and doesn’t show accurate quantities of an item.

    I also gotta say I love sears for mismarked items, I scored Zelda Twilight princess for Gamecube for 19.99 because it had a 19.99 sticker on it (and so did other copies of the same game). The game is 50$ everywhere still. Turns out this particular electronics department mismarked all their games but they still honored the 19.99 price tag.

  47. MENDOZA!!!!! says:

    uh oh. I just bought a fridge AND washer/dryer there last week.
    Sounds like I might as well give up on the warranty and eat the cost of service.

  48. iotashan says:

    For the record, their extended service plan does NOT give you a better place in line for service dates.

    In our case, we had a Kenmore washer that died, and it was a year-long process to get the machine properly fixed. The sales person had told me that if the machine had to be repaired 3 times, we’d get a replacement with the warranty. Unfortunately, when I called up Sears for my replacement after the third repair didn’t work, they told me that the repairs had to be for the exact same problem, and within a 12 month period. I was calling on month 13.

    So yeah, their service just sucks in general.

  49. EnderVR46 says:

    I bought a lawnmower from Sears recently, but it didn’t work properly. I went through 3 before giving up on them. The rear-drive wasn’t working properly on all three. Reviews on their site started showing the problem at around the same time as I was buying, so I didn’t see it until too late. They were nice and made the process easy, but that was just a good worker being good.

    Sadly, bad CS is a huge trend I’m finding. I’m currently fighting Dell because they sent out an order in duplicate to me, charging me twice. By the time I got the e-mail stating the duplicate order existed, it had already shipped causing me to have to wait for it to arrive, ship it back, and wait 30 days for a credit. It took a week and a half to get to someone in Corporate CS and they just pawned the problem off as “it happens but is rare”, wait the 30 days and you’ll be all set.

    In fact, I think the last three or so major purchases that I’ve made have had some sort of problem.

  50. Charles Duffy says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Mind the distinction, please — that’s nationalism, not patriotism, though the former often calls itself the latter.

  51. Dibbler says:

    @SavageATL: Lighten up Francis

  52. vastrightwing says:

    Sears and Best Buy are similar. The Big box stores are only good at selling things cheap and that is it. Never expect service and never buy the warranties from either of them. It is pure profit for them and useless for you. Even if you have the warranty, you will spend more time trying to get them to honor it and when they honor it, it still won’t be fixed any better than all the reports above. Buy the cheapest item you can. When it breaks, THROW it away and get a new one. I’m sorry, but we live in a throw away consumer society and that is the way it is.

  53. ElizabethD says:

    @SaraAB87:
    This is the correct answer, Sara!

    We started buying major appliances from a small, local independent store about 20 years ago (we’re on our third house in that time period, new appliances with each move). If there’s a problem, Joel gets it fixed. If it’s not fixable, he brings a new stove or whatever. Of course, most of the appliances are brands he recommends from personal experience, so we seldom have major problems anyway.

    In many cases the small independent merchant will approximate the big-box sale prices.

  54. hbgrrl says:

    I had a compressor issue with my upright freezer that I purchased at the Sears outlet. When it failed less than a year after purchase,the repairman told me that I had the option to return the unit completely, and get another one. I did.

  55. sakimotokitty says:

    wow-i’m purchasing a house and have to purchase several big ticket items. Guess I’m not going to Sears.

  56. Uh oh... Cleveland says:

    Why do I think that the only Sears employee who will be punished for this fiasco is the store manager?

    Sears–a sad decline to a truly legendary and important American institution.

  57. deserthiker says:

    No problems with Sears here but I don’t know why the author didn’t take other steps to preserve the $100s of dollars of food in the fridge. I don’t know if they stocked up on Filet Mignon or lobster tails but it sure seems like a lot of $$$ for groceries. Personally, I have a second fridge because I stock up on sales and it more than compensates for the extra energy used. And if both my fridges went out at the same time, we’d have a huge party. I hate wasting food.

    Now about the sub-thread regarding second language signage. Second language signage really does a disservice to those living here who do not speak English. If a non-native speaker wants to succeed in any country he would do well to learn the native language. I work at a business with many Hispanics and you do not get promoted unless you speak English. We have many Mexican-American managers but ALL speak English. They are proud of their heritage but also have chosen to live here and want to succeed.

    My father-in-law, who was born in Italy, gets very frustrated with those who do not make the effort to learn English. It is themselves and their families that they are hurting. He came to the US when he was 18 and did not know English. He learned it so well that English is the main language spoken in his home and my wife, while she understand it, does not speak Italian. She does speak Espanol, however. It helps in the Desert Southwest.

    Bilingual signage does not bother me. I’m happy to know if there’s a PISO MOJADO that I’m walking on but if someone lives in this country for over two years and doesn’t speak English–at least a little–they are really not trying.

    For the sake of your familia, learn Inglese.

  58. vildechaia says:

    I have boycotted Sears since March 1962, when they refused to allow me to have a credit card in my own name (womens’ lib hadn’t arrived yet!). All the above leads me to believe I wasn’t wrong.

  59. gingerCE says:

    Quellman, I don’t normally shop at Sears but last Christmas I got some gifts from them and I brought them back to exchange. I was told to pick out what I wanted and just get in line with a cashier. Well, the line was incredibly loooong post Christmas, but I got moved to the front because most of the people in line were waiting for the Spanish speaking associate and ignoring the English speaking associate so I got moved up to the front of the line because I could speak English. Even I noticed I was the only non-Hispanic in line. I live in California and this has happened to me in the bank also, where I got moved to the front because everyone else was waiting for a Spanish speaker. So sometimes being in the minority in terms of speaking English is a good thing.

  60. JayXJ says:

    All I need to know about Sears quality I learned driving an 18 wheeler for a company that handled a lot of their freight. I watched a craftsman riding mower (in shipping carton) dropped about 10 feet off of a loading dock. Then it was loaded on my rig while the warehouse guys were giggling about it. When I got it (and the rest of the load) to the store it went to I mentioned it to the manager. The response: “If it doesn’t run they can file a warranty claim”. I’ll buy Craftsman tools, I have had good luck out of them. They can keep anything more complicated than that.

  61. badteaparty says:

    @ncboxer: I see your point about a required translator, ESL etc. I live in a heavily Spanish-speaking community myself. Of all the things that waste my money this one doesn’t bother me, but I understand where you’re coming from.

  62. braindesign says:

    WELCOME TO AMERICA….YOU MUST BE NEW HERE

  63. Quellman says:

    @gingerCE: see @Quellman:

  64. FightOnTrojans says:

    Wow, talk about a timely post. The wife and I were considering purchasing a new refrigerator and have been hitting the Sears website and ads for a couple of weeks now. Not anymore…

  65. Zimorodok says:

    How’s this for a plan:

    1. Put in for repairs on the refrigerator
    2. Go to Sears, take them up on their offer of 10% off a new fridge. Make sure delivery in 1-2 days is part of the deal. Pay with AMEX.
    3. Install new fridge, move your perishables over.
    4. Wait for repairs on the old unit.
    5. Move foodstuffs back over to old, repaired unit.
    6. Clean out new unit and return it to Sears.
    7. If they won’t take it back, sic AMEX on them for a chargeback.

  66. jcoldslabs says:

    About three years ago my wife and I purchased a Kenmore range from Sears and it turned out to be a nightmare. I bake a lot from home, especially pizza, and this requires a 500 degree oven. Our old range (that came with the house when we bought it) was piss-poor but it was able to get to 500 degrees. The new oven would not. It was off by about 75 degrees to the negative. Dialing it to 500 netted a 425 degree oven.

    We had FIVE service visits to fix the problem, and a different tech showed up each time and each one tried something different. When I finally tried to resolve it with the store manager, asking for a replacement or an upgrade, I was insulted and brushed aside.

    I used Sears’ “90 Day Satisfaction Guaranteed” clause to return both the range and a dryer we had purchased at the same time. I asked the store manager if he was willing to lose the sale of $1,200 worth of merchandise by his refusal to work with me to solve the problem, and he said yes.

    The appliances went back and I have not shopped at Sears since and will never do so again.

  67. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @badteaparty:

    Seeing as English is the language of business, science & computing I don’t think we have a whole lot to worry about either. Yet. And no, I don’t mind seeing signs in other languages. I’m like, “Hey, free foreign language lesson!”

  68. yg17 says:

    A lot of people don’t know this, but the United States does not have an official language defined anywhere. Not in the constitution, not in any of the laws. Nowhere. English is no more of an official language here than Klingon is. So next time you whine about someone speaking another language, just STFU.

  69. tadowguy says:

    The official language of Sears sales associates is “bullshit” and the official language of the service department is “lies spoken with a disdainful tone”. So I’m not sure where Spanish comes in…

  70. Buran says:

    @yg17: Nuqdaq yuch Dapol?

  71. el_smurfo says:

    My Kenmore fridge needed multiple cheap plastic parts replaced over its one year warranty period. The last one broke again, just days outside the period and they would not replace it.

    Also, found the dryer I bought at Sears selling for $70 less at Costco. Luckily Sears would price match, but I will be buying my appliances at Costco from now on. I’ll take limited selection over crappy service any day.

  72. HOP says:

    we had the same thing with our refridge…only this happened in july when it was hot as hell….said no one could come till 8 days…..i can understand waiting for a tv or stereo etc…but a fridge in july….unlike the story, our unit was repaired properly, but we will never buy another appliasnce from sears…we bought a new fridge from a local appliancnce dealer…i told him about the hassle with sears and asked him how ling it would take his outfit for service…he said if we called early enough he would get someone out the same day..if not the next for sure…..might pay a little more, but the peace of mind is worth it….sears is no m ore for us….

  73. Crymson_77 says:

    @zimorodok: I like <– his idea…

  74. groucho1062 says:

    Not a lot to add to this discussion (which won’t stop me from posting!) except to note that we bought a Kenmore side by side a few years ago, and won’t buy another Kenmore appliance. The workmanship is just plain shoddy. Without abusing it, we’ve got chipped shelves, a broken ice dispenser, and a door “thingy” (that’s supposed to keep the door from opening too far) that cracked off.
    Just sad.

  75. invaderzim says:

    I would have bought the biggest/best they had and returned it after the repair. I see others here had the same idea.

  76. Charmander says:

    @Quellman: You don’t like the Spanish language signs. Because Americans don’t speak Spanish? Get real.

    That said, I have had only positive experiences with Sears and have bought all our major appliances from them within the past 10 years. They have always been able to give me a “deal” – free shipping, upgraded model because the warehouse was out of the one we wanted, etc.

  77. DrGirlfriend says:

    @Quellman: Saw your explanation of the c&p issue. Just wanted to mention it because I know sometimes explanatory posts get missed in the outrage.

  78. texasannie says:

    My parents had a really bad experience with getting service for a washer AND a dryer purchased at Sears. Parts that took months to arrive, then were defective when they finally were installed, the whole bit. They finally bought new units somewhere else and wrote off Sears appliances for life.

  79. SaraAB87 says:

    Thankfully our fridge slowly died on us, so we had time to replace it before it was totally dead, that fridge lasted 25 years! Our fridge was also replaced in the summer. It is truly a disaster to lose a fridge though so I understand what everyone here is going through. We have a separate freezer so we threw mostly everything in there while transferring although some things don’t freeze well, like mayo.. yeah. There was only a few things that had to be thrown out thankfully.

    As for the local places there is a reason they are still in business, the prices are competitive and service claims are handled within about 2 days if not less, sometimes they send someone right away if you are having a problem and there is someone available. If the prices were that much higher people would just go somewhere else and the place would be gone. Most local non-big box stores here have been in business for probably 50 years plus so they have obviously been able to change with the times and stay in business for a reason.

  80. theycallmetak says:

    Service depends on which Sears you go to. My brother is a PM tech, and a friend does refrigeration repair for the local Sears store.

  81. HalOfBorg says:

    @ncboxer: I agree about the government signs/forms and such. Do them in english.
    Having people take citizens oath in their native language because they haven’t learned english is th worst example of that I know of.

    As for private companies, if they want to spend their $$ on signs in Swahili, that’s fine with me.

    As for the service, does Sears have control over who service contractors do work for? Can the Sears people be Lowes people tomorrow?

  82. kakashisan says:

    I hope Sears is reading this…

    Here’s one more customer who’ll never shop at Sears again. Whenever I hear a lot of horror stories about a company, why would I take the risk of buying from them?

    Of course it doesn’t help that my parents have had problems at Sears too…

  83. MustyBuckets says:

    It’s nice to see people realizing buying from Sears isn’t a great idea, but I’d like to reiterate a point I’ve made a few times before.

    We all know there isn’t a good reason to buy items from stores that have awful service, but why buy something from stores that have no service, such as home depot, best buy, or lowes? Buy from local appliance stores that service their own items. Generally, prices are competitive at worst, or for high ticket items, much better than a big chain store, and you get prompt service that relies only on the time it takes to get the physical part in.

    My business gets refrigerator calls all the time, and they are either same day or next day service. You can live without a dishwasher for a week, but a refrigerator is needed.

  84. seandavid010 says:

    The Sears I remember from my childhood and the Sears of today are VERY different, indeed. The salespeople are far less helpful, and my mom no longer drags me there to buy dress slacks (the worst torture an eight-year-old can bear)

    But on the whole Spanish/English thing: I lived in South America for just over two years, in Ecuador, Peru, and for awhile in Colombia. No one made any special efforts to put up english signs for me, or to make it easier to get my visa extended. It took me about six months to learn the language, but I busted my ass so I could fit in and be a contributing member of society. I don’t see why our expectations should be any lower here.

  85. TexasScout says:

    @Pylon83:

    I also am offended by Spanish AND French on packaging, signage or any other type of printed matter in stores. This is America damn it! English is the language of this land. You don’t see English on products sold in Mexico, or Europe. If you want to live in that Country, learn the language or go away.

  86. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @vildechaia:
    I have boycotted Sears since March 1962, when they refused to allow me to have a credit card in my own name (womens’ lib hadn’t arrived yet!). All the above leads me to believe I wasn’t wrong.

    I thought I was the queen of “I’m never going back there & I mean it”. but I bow before you. That is all kinds of awesome. Thank you for sharing & I would have done the exact same thing.

  87. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @TexasScout:
    I also am offended by Spanish AND French on packaging, signage or any other type of printed matter in stores. This is America damn it! English is the language of this land.

    So, can we all assume that you’ll be the one walking door-to-door to collect names to change the name of the country. It’s named after an Italian, dammit! Amerigo Vespucci.
    So, yeah. English only, dude.

  88. TexasScout says:

    @marsneedsrabbits:

    NO dipstick, the CONTINENT was named after him, this contry is the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.

  89. Willhc says:

    Funny that I’ve had almost the complete opposite experience at Sears. I’ll actually never buy anywhere else. Home Depot and Lowe’s have all been crap for service and Sears was much better at pricing than the local dealers. I’ve bought 2 refrigerators and a set of washer/dryers from them in the last 6 years all with their extended service plan. In all cases I was able to get their pricing down less than other stores, including the warranty and free shipping. Installation has always been on the day I asked for and the crew was friendly and moved everything right where asked, hooked it up perfectly, checked it was working and moved older appliances when needed.
    I had a few problems on our original Maytag fridge and the server folks came out quick (within a day) and fixed it right away. When they didn’t have parts (on one occassion) they were back the next day. No problems what so ever.
    I’ve also purchased a Dyson from them and my wife was able to get it exchanged without problem after a few months of use from the store directly after it cracked, no questions asked and a price break on it. I guess it all depends on your particular store or who you get.

  90. krom says:

    OK, so Sears sucks. But where should we go then?

  91. Rachacha says:

    I agree with an earlier poster who said that it sounds like A&E Factory service is the repair company. A&E is owned by Sears Holding. I recently spent 7 MONTHS trying to have a dishwasher repaired by A&E. After 7 service calls, several missed appointments and installing over $1000 in parts (for a $500 dishwasher) and refusing to install parts that the original technician ordered that I had in my possesion, they “fixed” it with a strip of duct tape. After countless phone calls and letters to the manufacturer I was able to get a new diswasher which a technician installed, and nearly started a fire in my kitchen in the process when they forgot to install a wire-nuts on the bare wires.

    A&E is the preferred “Authorized” repair service for Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Jen-Air, Amanna and I believe that they were negotiating w/ GE. Anyone in Consumerist land have Executive contacts for A&E? The only way that I was able to get a response was to file BBB complaints against Sears Holdings as the parent company (That did not want their reputation tarnished).

  92. UnnamedUser says:

    In 1977 I bought a refrigerator from Sears to replace a refrigerator that died, having been on its last legs for months. I had just bought my house when the fridge died, so was broke. Normally I would have, could have bought the new fridge for cash, but had to buy it on credit. Sears insisted that I get the “major purchase” account. I had asked for a standard revolving credit account.

    I dutifully made payments for a few months. I got a bonus from my employer and decided to pay off the fridge. I was horrified to discover that the “major purchase” account calculated interest according to the “Rule of 78″ (or something like that). In any case, that form of interest calculation is illegal now. In effect, I paid it anyway, paying almost twice the sticker price of the fridge to get out from under the debt.

    At the time I told Sears that I’d never buy anything from them again. I’m proud to say that since the summer of 1977 I have never bought a single thing from Sears. It might be another 30 years before I consider doing it too.

    Assholes!

  93. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @TexasScout:
    And the word is Italian, so if you want to get rid of languages-other-than English, start there, potty mouth.

  94. edrebber says:

    The letter was a waste of time. The OP should have attached a monetary value to each offense and demanded compensation from Sears.

    After the first failed repair attempt, an independant repairman should have been called in. Again, send Sears the bill and demand compensation.

  95. Hoss says:

    I skimmed through the 90 comments so far — non seem to address the issue. Why not hire a local repair service? It’s wasting time and food $ to be dealing with Sears.

  96. Rachacha says:

    @Hossofcourse:
    I can answer your question on why not deal with a local repair service. It seems that A&E/Sears repair have such a bad reputation that the GOOD local repair centers “Will not touch an appliance ‘repaired’ by A&E/Sears with a 20 foot pole” (Exact words used by a local service center when I tried to get my diswasher repaired after I was forced to use A&E/Sears)…the reason, they do nat want to tarnish their reputation as they do not know what sort of hidden damage the Sears techs have done when attempting repairs. This puts consumers in a tough situation once they have started down the path of dealing with “Sears Authorized Technicians”…either give up and purchase a new appliance, or hope that Sears will some day, get around to repairing your appliance. For those who are in need of repairs, go with a local repair service if at all possible.

  97. MBZ321 says:

    Kenmore stuff is pure junk. 20 years ago, stuff was decently built no matter what name went on it. A lot of middle/lower end Kenmore fridges for example are made by Fridgidaire, who was never known for real high quality products. I had a Kenmore dryer burn out after only 9 years, and a Kenmore washer which quit around the same time, after being repaired numerous times.
    So when I bought replacements, I went to a local appliance store, and bought a commercial-quality Speed Queen washer and dryer (after doing heavy research). Kenmore stuff is just plasticky junk now a days. It pays to spend a few hundred dollars more at a local store and know that you are buying something that will last for many many years.

  98. yg17 says:

    @TexasScout:
    “You don’t see English on products sold in Mexico, or Europe”
    Yeah, I guess they don’t speak English in England. The language is named after the country, but that doesn’t mean anything, does it?

    And when I was in Mexico, many products did have both English and Spanish, and several of the people there did speak a decent amount of English.

    Idiot.

  99. afterimageB says:

    I’ll never use Sears Automotive Dept. after an incident I had several years ago at their Lindale Mall location in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At the time I owned a ’93 Chevy Lumina Z-34 and needed a battery for it. I called them and told them exactly which year, model, engine size etc. I was asked to confirm the info 2 more times and I finally got a price for the battery and told him I’d be there in about 20 minutes. I drove there and went to the counter and told the guy at the counter that I’d just spoke to someone on the phone about about a battttery and I was here to have it installed. He asked for my vehicle info (again) and I told him the same info I’d told the person on the phone, a 1993 Chevy Lumina Z-34 with a 3.4L engine. Sure enough they had the battery but now they wanted to charge me another $15 to install it since it was more difficult to install than a regular Lumina. I asked him why I wasn’t told this on the phone when I’d given them every bit of info they needed to determine price. He told me he didn’t know. I asked to speak with a manager and a few minutes later the automotive dept. manager appeared. I explained to him how I’d told the person on the phone the relevant information about my car 3 times on the phone and then once I got to the store there was going to be an additional $10 charge for installing it. He said he didn’t know why but there was nothing he could do about it. He asked me if I still wanted the battery and I said “Sure, if it’s for the price I was quoted on the phone.” He still said no. He told me he could install the battery for the proce I was quoted plus the additional $15 fee. I then asked him if I should drop my pants and bend over too and I was then told to leave the store immediately.

  100. afterimageB says:

    Sorry for the typo’s above. The additional fee was $15, not $10 like I typed in the middle of my above response.

  101. trollkiller says:

    Ok can ANYBODY name the race that speaks Spanish? Careful it is a trick question.

    So the comment by Quellman was NOT racist, besides he explained that it was a copy/paste error and the comment was made by a friend.

    Let’s deal with the comment, no matter who wrote it. Look at the comment and you see 1) the writer gets pissed at his elected officials, 2) he gets mad at Sears.

    What these two things tell me is 1) the writer does not the influx of criminal aliens, 2) does not like stores accommodating them. That is his right. That does not make him a racist.

    I stopped shopping at Sears when they cost my Mother-in-law her franchise by demanding $50,000 worth of upgrades on a small town store that was not producing that much in a year. The store did not need the upgrades, it was in good repair and clean. She got a raw deal and it put her into bankruptcy. Thankfully she was a smart woman and recovered by opening up a sucessful used appliance business.

  102. yg17 says:

    @trollkiller: Not everyone here who speaks Spanish is an illegal alien…..

    Racist? No. Bigot? Yes. Asshole? Yes.

  103. trollkiller says:

    @yg17: I am glad you agreed about the racist part, I will have to disagree with the bigot and asshole part. We just don’t know if his friend is a bigot or an asshole, he may be just going by what he sees.

    I live in an agricultural area, we have a very high percentage of criminal aliens vs. legal aliens. The Spanish/English signs in my area are attempting to gain the business of the Hispanic customer, and most of those are criminal aliens, not legal. So in effect the businesses are accommodating the criminal alien more than the legal alien.

  104. gsmumbo says:

    Wait so let me get this straight. You bought the fridge from Sears. You chose not to get the extended warranty through Sears. It has almost been a year since you made the purchase. It is now messing up and you are mad at SEARS? The manufacturer warranty is just that. The MANUFACTURER warranty. That is handled through the manufacturer. Yes, Sears should stand by the products that they sell, but that is why they have the return policy. If it is out of the return policy, it is now in the manufacturers hands. The fact that Sears is willing to send a tech under a warranty that isn’t theres is good in the first place. As for having to wait each time for a new appointment what do you expect? If they were to say “oh, okay. Well let me push these people back so I can go back to your house tomarrow” then nothing will get done. If they were to operate this way then your appointment would probably have been moved back for someone else who has the same kind of problem. So before you start complaining about Sears take a look at the situation. You are angry at Sears. They are servicing your product even though it is under only the MFG warranty AND you turned down their extended warranty. In reality they don’t have to do squat. They sold you the product, they give you the return period. Past that, they are done unless you purchase an extended warranty. Be glad they are even working with you under the MFG warranty.

  105. Chocotanya says:

    I’m now on the “never go to Sears again” train, even though I’ve been shopping there since they were Simpsons-Sears. I recently purchased a winter coat, and the zipper “split” below the zipper pull on the first wearing, so I returned to the store, and was directed to the Alterations department. The Alterations staff stated they didn’t want to replace the zipper as it was not damaged and had just become unzipped as a fluke. I should have known better, but left with the coat, and the next time I tried to wear it, the zipper broke again – so I went back to the store and after a long wait, got a manager who insisted that it was necessary to let Alterations have another go at the coat before I would be entitled to a refund. 40 minutes of verbal combat later, I finally got my refund, emailed Sears to complain, was emailed back asking for my address and phone number so that I could be contacted by a customer representative, provided it, and was sent a form-letter type of email as a response (“Thank you for contacting us at Sears. We’re sorry for any inconvenience…”). Not a big deal, or an expensive item, but when you find out that the “Sears Guarantee” is not worth the paper it is printed on, why continue to shop there, when there are so many other stores with worthwhile customer service and a hassle-free return policy?

  106. thomamas says:

    @gsmumbo, if it’s a Kenmore refrigerator then Sears is the manufacturer, at least as far as the warranty is concerned. It’s not the customer’s job to worry about the OEM.

  107. bdgbill says:

    This post came just in time for me. I am buying a plasma TV sometime before Christmas. I have been including Sears in my research but I do not need these kinds of problems.

    We used to be a Sears family. When I was a kid, all of our furniture, appliances, bicycles, Tv’s, tires and car batteries etc came from Sears. My mother never had a Mastercard or Visa in her life but always had a Sears card.

    I have not bought anything at Sears in ages except for a few tools.

  108. meeroom says:

    There is nothing bigoted about wanting people who make America their home and country be able to speak English!

  109. Boberto says:

    Yeah, ok so no one will ever shop at Sears, Best Buy or fly this Airline.

    The reality of it is that, most people will shop and buy anywhere they can save even a small amount of money.

    This is the engine driving poor customer service in America today.

  110. louisb3 says:

    @ncboxer: It’s not your duty to “complain” about anything. If you don’t like how your taxes are being spent, do something about it. (Good luck with that.)

  111. guymandude says:

    @Pylon83: Dude… we live in the United States… English is spoken here. When I’m abroad I don’t expect people to accommodate me by speaking english. Fuck em if they can’t learn English.

  112. jenl1625 says:

    AFTERIMAGEB, I had the same experience . . . . I needed a new alternator, and didn’t have good experiences with my dealer, so I thought I’d take it to the Goodyear (where a colleague’s husband worked).

    I called them and gave them all of my information – heavily emphasizing that I did not have a “normal” Taurus, I had the performance package with the larger engine and dual overhead cams. I asked if that made any difference to the price they were quoting me, and they said no.

    So I jumpstart the car, and nervously drive it into town (1/2 hour drive) to drop it off. I signed papers specifying a price!

    It’s early afternoon, and they say it’ll be a couple of hours, so I have my dad drive into town and pick me up. I get home, and get a call that it’ll cost an extra $100 or so, because it’s harder to get to than they expected – because I don’t have the normal Taurus. Never mind that I told them that before they gave me a price. Never mind that I’ve got paperwork specifying the lower price.

    I wound up having to go BACK into town and have them jumpstart it for me so that I could take it to a shop down the street – where it wound up costing me $20 less than the original Goodyear estimate.

    Haven’t been back to Goodyear for anything since.

  113. TexasScout says:

    “Not in English or French or Mexican”

    George W. Bush

  114. TexasScout says:

    @yg17: “yeah, I guess they don’t speak english in England. The language was named after the country, but that doesn’t mean anything does it?”

    The latest proof that the English no longer speak it: “Fans pelt telly perv at footie”

    [www.thesun.co.uk]

  115. Pylon83 says:

    @TexasScout: @guymandude:
    What is it with the closed-minded, bigoted rednecks on here? I cannot believe that people with these radical opinions read such a liberal-leaning blog. We live in The United States of America, land of the free…This country has no official language because it is a melting pot of cultures. While English is the de-facto official language because it is (by far) the most commonly spoken, that does not mean that anyone who doesn’t speak it is wrong (nor illegal). Your broad generalizations are offensive, narrow-minded, and antiquated. I imagine neither one of you believe woman should have the right to vote either? I’m not advocating that the government, or private enterprise, be forced to accommodate those who don’t speak native english to any level, but where is the harm in putting up signs in both languages or offering a translator in areas that have a high population of people whose native language is not english? Some of them speak some english, but read and understand their native language better, and can make purchases/government transactions better and more confidently if they understand entirely. If you go to another country, you don’t necessarily EXPECT or DEMAND that you be accommodated, but typically anywhere that classifies as a tourist destination will likely have english speaking citizens (some), take the US Dollar, and if nothing else can find someone to translate for you.
    And by the way, “mexican” is not a language. “Mexican” people speak spanish.

  116. yg17 says:

    @TexasScout: Looks like English to me. Jackass.

  117. trollkiller says:

    @Pylon83: You know for someone that is bitching about broad generalizations I find it both odd and amusing that you paint with such a broad brush by calling those that disagree with you “bigoted rednecks”.

  118. TexasScout says:

    English children’s literacy levels ‘among the worst in the Western world’

    [www.dailymail.co.uk]

  119. TexasScout says:

    @Pylon83:

    I have no problem accommodating those that come here, visiting, not speaking English as a first language. Sure they need help and should be. What I can’t stand it the ones that come here and REFUSE to learn English even though they plan to live here the REST OF THEIR LIVES! They expect, nay DEMAND, we accommodate them. This is just plain wrong and we should not spend money and time catering to these people.

  120. FredtheBlackLab says:

    Try being online and shopping at Sears. I had items in the ‘cart’. I
    checked and found they just put 5 Wiis out. I got one and put it my
    ‘cart’. Over several minutes passed and it was still there. Sears gives
    you 30 days to complete the sale. There were several messages about the
    system being busy and to try later on anything I did. But then it let
    me do the sem commands. I went to check out and it slowed again. Then
    they emptied my ‘cart’. Yep – had to keep those folks on ‘Wii-bay’ and
    ‘West Nile’ supplied with Wiis so that they can rip folks off. It was
    in my ‘cart’. Dell gives you 15 minutes and when their system bogs down
    in traffice you can call and complete the sale. Took an hour with
    Sears. Then they said they didn’t have any. And that it’s S.o.P. to
    empty the cart when the stuff is sold out. Well kiss my big fat hairy
    behind! I didn’t know that! Everybody eles must have it wrong – when
    it’s in your ‘cart’, it’s yours to get to checkout…

  121. pattymc says:

    From Bloomberg.com 11/29/2007 :: Sears Holdings Corp., the largest U.S. department-store company by sales, reported quarterly profit that fell more than analysts estimated on lower revenue. The stock declined 9.7 percent in New York.

  122. ViolentAcres says:

    @Quellman: Don’t feel bad, Quellman; not everyone is an apologist. My ancestors came from Switzerland, and they not only learned English, but raised their children to speak it as well. That’s part of the “melting” in the “great melting pot” that this country used to represent. If the US had had German signs in all the stores back in the 1800s, who knows? I might be speaking it today, and unable to buy crappy appliances without a translator. Rock on, bro.

  123. Zenbenny says:

    As a former Sears employee I can tell you exactly wear you went wrong. You said you had the “factory” warranty right? That means that the responsibility to fix the machine falls on the manufacturer.

    But Kenmore is made by sears right? Wrong… Kenmore is a name of a product line made FOR sears. The refrigerator you purchased was MADE by frigidare and it is their warranty that you have. If you had purchased the extended warranty then it would be the responsibility of Sears… otherwise Sears has a 90 day policy. You opted not to get it yet demanded to be treated like you had it… in other words you wanted something for nothing…. but instead you got very little for nothing.

    This is not a legitimate complaint against Sears… You may have more luck barking up frigidares tree (check the warranty… should have the numbers).

  124. yg17 says:

    @Zenbenny: If Sears isn’t responsible for this, then why did they send a technician out, twice, and supposedly order a part, instead of just telling the guy to call the manufacturer in the first place?

    Since Kenmore is made for Sears and is a Sears-only brand, they likely have a deal with whoever makes it that Sears will do all repairs and bill Kenmore for it. Much like how your dealer does warranty repairs on your car and then bills the manufacturer. If that is not the case here, then Sears should’ve told the guy right from the start to call Kenmore.

  125. techforumz says:

    Kenmore! You’re kidding right? They’re the most UNRELIABLE applicances EVER. With the exception of those chinese wal-mart clones.

  126. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, all, for your SEARS stories. I won’t bore you with details, but my refrigerator quit tonight 6 weeks after the 3-year warranty expired. After reading your posts, and speaking with “customer service” at 1800 4myhome (what a joke- he isn’t even located in the U.S.), I can’t expect to get any satisfaction. This is obviously not the SEARS of my grandparents and parents. But thank you for your experiences, I will purchases a different brand – and never a SEARS product again.