Sears Repair Doesn't Show Up, Claims You Weren't Home

After reading the article on consumerist.com about SEARS and their CEO’s agreement that after 14 days they would “receive a letter from our CEO, along with an extension of the term of their product warranty or service contract” I knew I had to write in.

I’m not actually concerned with receiving an extension on my warranty as I just purchased another 5 year warranty from Sears on my fridge. Which brings me to my point…

Two weeks ago, our refrigerator went out so we called 1800-4-my-home( Sears service center ) to get a service technician to come out and help. Their response was that they would put us on the emergency list, and that it would be 2 weeks or so before they could make it out. For whatever reason, after a little banter back and forth, I agreed on a date of December 21st. They said he would be out at my house between 8 and 5 that day. Fine.

All day, up until 3pm, I was at my home waiting. And just in case, I put a note on my front door saying Ring Door Bell or call cell ( With my cell number ). At 3pm, I received an email saying the repair man came out and no one was home. Mind you, it’s been over two weeks now since my refrigerator went out and I have an 8 month pregnant wife… not been fun.

So I called the 1800 number again, spoke with a Michelle, stated my case, and got transferred back into the same queue. I waited for the next available agent… again.. for 10 minutes.. and when I did get a hold of Charise, she listened to my situation, put me on hold for 5 minutes, came back and said, sorry, our technician has gone home for the day. I was very upset that I have 1 day to meet this guy before I leave out of town and this is what I was hearing. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she said, “Sure, 1 second.” “Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish.. ” is all I heard. For the 2nd time I was transferred again.

All in all, I’m through with SEARS. I spoke with a Lowes in my area that said they would give me a 5% discount to purchase my next appliance from them instead of SEARS so off to greener pastures I go.

I hope this will open some people’s eyes to the truth behind Sears which is they only care about initial purchases and once they have your money, they are not willing to earn your repeat business.

Jared

Sears’ CEO has apologized to his customers in Boston. If you’d like an apology from Sears, send your story to us at tips@consumerist.com. Put “Sears Apology” in the subject.

You may not get your apology, but venting is healthy and we’re good listeners.

(Photo:meghannmarco)

Comments

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  1. m4ximusprim3 says:

    This is slightly tangential, but it occurred to me while reading:

    Can anyone bilingual tell us whether the hold times for option 2 (spanish) are usually better or worse than option 1 (english)? I would assume the service is the same (or worse, give our national penchant for marginalizing minorities), but I was curious about how long it took to get a spanish CSR versus an English one.

    Back OT, sorry about your broken fridge/pregnant wife/sears experience, Jared. Hopefully at least one of those gets fixed in the near future (and by fixed, I mean resolved. I don’t want your wife to get fixed. I’m sure you make wonderful babies.)

  2. smbfl says:

    It is a shame to see what has become of Sears. Might I suggest that instead of leaving Evil Empire 1 (sears) and buying from Evil Empire 2 (Lowes) look for the local appliance place that has been around the last fifty years and actually understands that people need a refrigerator repaired quikly when it breaks. This type of place often has pricing as good as or better than the big chains and you aren’t left hung out to dry when they break.

  3. iamme99 says:

    I’ve had this crap happen with UPS deliveries a few times where the delivery person claimed no one was home when I was home all day. I just call up dispatch and tell them they have a liar working for them.

  4. DrGirlfriend says:

    In my experience, the Spanish line can often have shorter hold times, and since the reps should be bilingual, they can assist English speakers. I’ve done it a couple of times when regular hold times get a little long.

  5. Nighthawke says:

    Sears has mounted GPS modules on their dispatch vans. so you can dispute their denial and make a casual mention that they can check the van’s GPS logs as to see if they were even close to your home. This will most likely sink the spurs into their rumps and set things rolling.
    $50 says they’ll deny it, but the Qualcomm units are distinctive and are hard to miss.
    Sears wants to get stupid about missing appointments, then they just dug themselves a nice hole if those GPS logs are parsed, showing their techs to be no-shows.
    [www.qualcomm.com]

  6. Hawk07 says:

    Reminds me of the UPS Harry Potter snafu.

  7. 8abhive says:

    @Nighthawke: GPS verification is great until employees don’t care. How many times have people reported finding the delivery/repair guy hanging around eating lunch without ever coming to the door?
    -Been there.

  8. Trick says:

    @8abhive:

    @Nighthawke: GPS verification is great until employees don’t care. How many times have people reported finding the delivery/repair guy hanging around eating lunch without ever coming to the door?
    -Been there.

    Or until the boss or district managers don’t care… Though I guess GPS *CAN* help. NY Taxi drivers were all upset over the GPS issue. Probably because they couldn’t rip people off as much.

  9. Stuff like this is why I keep telling my friends that they don’t want to work for Sears. They don’t want to believe me that Sears is going to shit and is an awful company to be associated with…

  10. KogeLiz says:

    ::shrugs::

  11. In canada the “press 2 for french” option is always the better one, no way you’re getting India on that one. And they all speak english anyway.

  12. Aphex242 says:

    …this is precisely what I’ve been dealing with re: FedEx for a week now. The tracking info keeps saying “Customer not available for delivery, delivery exception”. Thing is, I am. And I’ve confirmed the address with FedEx directly.

    They claim they’ll get back to me in 48 hours.

    The kicker is the package was shipped a grand total of about 50 miles.

  13. Binaryslyder says:

    To any Sears execs that are reading this (and I know for a fact that you do):

    You just lost $1,400 from me. I’ll be buying my new fridge from Lowes or a local store near my house.

  14. HOP says:

    we now buy from a local appliance store that has been in business forever….sears has become a big disappointment as to their service…..

  15. alexanderpink says:

    UPS has done this to me. The day I waited for my HDTV I was home all day long by a window just studying, and the guy never came. This happened 2 days in a row!

  16. stevegoz says:

    Here in the ‘burbs west of Chicago, I’ve actually had fairly good luck with Sears repair over the past several months. The fan went out on our kitchen fridge in October, and while it took four business days to get someone out (I didn’t raise a stink because the basement fridge was still going strong), the tech made the repair window and fixed the unit quickly, and even took the time to trace out the fridge’s water line down in the basement and told me how to hook it up again (for some reason the previous owner hooked up the water line but then disconnected it — something we didn’t realize until we’d lived here for a while). A few weeks later we had another tech out to fix our snow thrower, and he was fast and professional as well. With the fridge, I bought an extended warranty over the phone while making the appointment, while the snow thrower was covered by the extended warranty we opted for at the time of purchase. Anyway, I’m not a Sears apologist — just someone who has been “so far, so good” with them.

  17. vastrightwing says:

    I see a trend here: “you weren’t home” has been echoed not only by Sears, but UPS as well. My wife was waiting for UPS and caught them red handed leaving a “sticky” note on our door that we had missed them! The driver had a hard time explaining why on earth he was filling out the “we missed you” note on our door and he never bothered to ring the bell. His explanation was he didn’t think we were home. Guess he missed the part of his training to knock or ring the door bell to find out. What on earth is going on?

  18. Curiosity says:

    @Nighthawke: Good idea. Though the company will not care it is the sort of thing lawyers love to sink their teeth into.

  19. TXBuBon says:

    Same happened to me – twice.(mine was a Kenmore washer) The first time I was lucky. Saw the truck pull up. As I opened the door there was a repairman speaking on a cell looking very surprised, or maybe disappointed. Later I heard his voicemail on my work number claiming I was not at home. The next time, I waited to long to call asking the whereabouts of the repairman. Again he was using my work number, rather than my home phone. He never came to the house. When I requested they send a repairmain within 24 hours, I was given attitude. Rather than wait for Sears to fix the washer at their convenience, I called an independent repair company. They arrived with 3 hours and were able to keep the washer on life support for a few more weeks until I found a replacement. That was 2 years ago and I have not purchased so much as a gift card from Sears. Have no intention of shopping there again and that includes K-mart and I guess soon Restoration Hardware. Found a place online to purchase generic bags for my Kenmore vacuum. I think I’ll get rid of the carpet and replace it with tile and wood. Anyone need a used vacuum?

  20. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    Sears repair is a joke. We had purchased a 32″ TV from them about 8 years ago, before the days of plasma and LCD TV’s being dirt cheap. It was $600 so it was a major purchase at that time. After about 3 years it started to go out. Its still under warrenty so sears comes out. They check it out and find out its the transformer going out. They supposedly fix everything but that part, then tell us that they have to order it which is covered under warrenty but it will cost $50 for them to come back out and install it because he doesn’t have the part on hand.

  21. Tank says:

    @ M4XIMUSPRIM3: the hold times may or may not be similar, but i bet with the indian (or pakistani, or sri lankan) accent, the spanish is unintelligible.

  22. nuthatches says:

    Sears was supposed to come repair our stove yesterday. We were called and they confirmed the appointment. Then the repair guy called, asked a couple of questions, and decided *not to show up*. He was like, “eh, it will probably need a new circuit board.” Are you saying you won’t come look at it? Yeah. NICE.

    We called someone else to repair the stove.

  23. bdgbill says:

    I caught my cable guy red handed claiming I was not home when he came. I had taken the day off to wait for him and never left my apartment for a minute all day.

    I live in a high rise downtown. The security camera from our building entrance is piped into our cable system. I recorded this channel all day (which conveneintly includes a time stamp).

    Dispatch wanted to make me wait 2 weeks for another apointment. I told them their installer was a liar and I had proof. Also told them that I would spend the rest of my day off utilizing my dial up connection to complain about videtron all over the net. The installer came by at 8:00 PM, glowered at me and got it done.

  24. dantsea says:

    Sears: The brand name that’s now a warning label.

  25. barngoddess says:

    If the refrig had medicine in it, they could have expidited your service call and MAYBE they would have actually shown up! Call the Lemon Line for Sears at: 1-800-927-7836 and learn a few things about what they could do (BUT probably won’t given my experience). The lemon line is very selective and you have to have something like 5 service calls in a 12 month period for different parts to qualify.

    I am now waiting for the 3rd repair guy to come for my dryer ($800+ is what I paid a year ago) which cuts off ater 1 min. It has been almost a month with no dryer…all through the holidays. The first guy misdiagnosed the problem and said it was a bad part. Had to wait for said part to arrive 1 week later and then schedule another repair guy…another weeks wait. Second guy comes out and it wasn’t the part after all. checks out everything else and says the vent is blocked (30 feet above the ground) and I call out yet another person to clear vent. That was NOT the problem, dryer still cutting off after 1 min. I pull the dryer out from the wall and it is exhausting in to the room directly, so no chance there is an obstruction…still cuts off after 1 min. Call Sears yet again…can’t get out here for another week. Call Lemon Line to get help…no help, not enough repair people. Don’t qualify YET for Lemon replacement or loner dryer. Lemon lady thinks it’s the main circuit board (never buy a fancy dryer…just the basic kind!) So will next repair guy bring said board? NO, we first need to make sure that is what it is! Another week to wait for a part?…no longer! I call and find out board is back ordered for up to 14 days. I may never do another load of laudry again but for sure I will NEVER buy ANYTHING from Sears again!

    As for those shops that have been in business for ever and provide service, where does one find something like that anymore…that is a fantasy that doesn’t exist in metropolitan cities anymore. Moral of story: buy super simple and learn how to use the tools in your tool box or try fighting the phantom that is Sears. No one at the company takes any resposibility or has any authority AND you cannot get to a higher up exept through snail mail and that won’t dry your clothes or keep your pregnant wifes food cold. Kafka couldn’t have written a more frustrating HELL than Sears today!