Warranties: "It's Been 3 Weeks. I Don't Have Hot Water, And Sears Doesn't Care"

Reader Christina has a (broken) water heater from Sears. It’s covered under a warranty, but Sears isn’t willing to replace it. She’s been without hot water for 3 weeks and Sears just doesn’t care.

Name: Christina | Address: [redacted] | City: Tulsa
> >| State: OK | Zip: [redacted] | Country: USA | Day Phone: [redacted] |
> >Evening Phone: [redacted] | Email: [redacted]

I am disgusted about the service that I have received from your workers. I know that sears doesn’t care about its customers nor does it stand behind its worthless products that it sells. I will not waste more of my time explaining this to you for the 100th time, you should be able to look at my account and clearly see that your stupidity and lack of customer service is my problem.

I have been waiting two weeks to get a water heater replaced. I was supposed to get a call yesterday and didn’t. I was supposed to get it installed today and didn’t. Big surprise, you don’t care! I want you to reimburse for the water heater, the permit, the warranty, and to be compensated for the stress of not having hot water for three weeks while you did nothing. While no one called me, no one did anything. I will contact my lawyer, I will report you to the BBB.

You don’t deserve to be in business and hopefully someone will put an end to sears soon. DO NOT CALL ME!!! I refuse to get stressed out listening to your scripted, we’re sorry, we’re going to do everything we can to help you out because your important. If I was, I would have hot water by now. You may email your response, if you can not honor my request you can send this to the corporate office and have the president of sears look at it. if he wont, then we will settle this in court. I fully expect for you to do the right thing for a change and get my water heater out hear within 24 hours and mail my check for my trouble of buying from sears to begin with which I WILL NEVER DO AGAIN!

Sears replied:

Where was this water heater purchased? Was this through your local Sears or over the water heater sales line? If this was purchased through the store, we at Sears.com would not have access to your order and would need to direct you to the store.

If this was purchased through the sales line, what phone number was used and what name would it be under? Did you get a reference number? We would need some kind of information from the order to get the order to pull up. I have even tried calling the installation department as well as the service line and your name or phone numbers did not bring up any results.

I personally have not seen this order and would like the opportunity to try and get this resolved for you. I also understand that you have probably heard that before and do not feel like hearing it again, but I would like to try to help you with this. Even if the order was placed through the store, if you call us, we could even help by doing a conference call to the store and to the installation department and try to figure out what went so horribly wrong and see what can be done to get your water heater installed.

Our number here at the water heater sales line is 800-877-6420. My name is Grant and I am here most evenings, minus Sunday and Wednesday. If you would like to give me a call, my extension is 10093. If I am on a call, you can leave your name and number with whoever you talk to and I can call you back.

At this point and after reading your e-mail, I do not blame you for being angry. If you feel like you need to pursue this further legally, I would need to refer you to the legal department at 847-286-8371.

I know you do not want more apologies, but I do feel sorry that this has happened and do regret the inconvenience that this particular situation

has caused you.

If you feel so inclined to ask for my assistance, please give me a call, or e-mail me back, I have marked your e-mail so I can take ownership of

any further correspondence and will do what I can for you.

Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore, NordicTrack, Craftsman and Reebok.

Grant B. Sears.com Customer Care

Christina replied:

You can not find my information because I have called you all a million times and told you my new number but nobody seems to want to write it down.

The old number is [redacted] The new number is [redacted] The cell number is [redacted]

This is suppose to be a replacement because the other piece of crap water heater I got from you guys broke AGAIN! For God’s sake just look at your own website, nobody has anything good to say about your water heaters. Its all people who are mad because their water heater is doing the same thing mine has. They should last more than a year.

I don’t know why you cant look me up by anything but my number, you had my name and address what kind of shitty customer service is this?

If you can give what I have asked for by all means, otherwise, you will need to forward this on to your corporate office because I will not be swept under the carpet. I will not be ignored, every day I go without hot water is one more day that I take the time to spread the word about how sears has treated me.

Sears replied:

Dear Ms. [redacted]:

Thank you for visiting Sears.com, we appreciate hearing from you.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the information you requested via e-mail. We encourage you to contact our Installation department by telephone, at (800)859-6000.

Thank you for choosing Sears for your home service needs.

Sincerely,

Larry D Sears Holdings Corporation

Christina replied:

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 11:28:21 -0500

I got a call saying that you can not find anyone to install my water heater which is suppose to be covered under my warranty that I paid for. This is unacceptable! I will not pay someone to install your piece of shit water heater and only be reimbursed $219. I have called 5 companies in the Tulsa area and the quotes they have given me have ranged from $500-$700 depending on what all they have to do. You are not going to get away with this.

I want to be refunded to total price of the water heater plus tax, I want to be refunded for all of my warranties, and I want the cost of installation. I will go to another company. I refuse to have anything to do with you ever again.

You can not do this to me, I have the warranty which guarantees you to replace my water heater and installation, not a portion of the installation.

And I don’t want any stupid vouchers for sears!

Christina

You could keep arguing with Sears, or you could just sue them for breach of warranty in small claims court. The limit in Oklahoma is $6,000, which should cover your complaint. You may think suing a huge corporation like Sears is futile, but it’s not. Here’s a story from one reader who sued Best Buy over a defective washing machine and won. We’d also report Sears to your attorney general.

Before you put on your lawyer pants, you might want to try Sears’ public relations number: 847-286-8371.

Comments

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  1. Whitey Fisk says:

    Sears really needs to just go out of business already and get it over with. We’ve been watching them swirl toward the drain for too long now.

    And people need to stop buying stuff from Sears. Really, people, just let them die alone.

  2. unklegwar says:

    What I don’t get is why why why people still buy appliances of any kind from Sears.

    I’m 38 and my PARENTS hated sears because their service stunk. It’s been awful for DECADES.

    If you keep touching the hot stove, whose fault is it you got burned?

  3. Blinkman says:

    These letters are a good example of how not to address the person who you’re asking to help you. What do you get out of abusing someone, even if they’re a jerk?
    I know the process is exhaustive, but no one is going to help them when reading such an unprofessional letter. People are so low class these days, just as low class as these companies that rip people off.
    I guess that’s why I go to stores to only purchase loss leaders. *evil grin*

  4. kborer22 says:

    i think sears has caught wind of the wors company in america contest and is really making a push for the win!

  5. AnderBobo says:

    I understand her frustration and anger but voicing it more eloquently in a complaint goes alot further than spouting off expletives.

    But yeah, take em to court.

  6. krose says:

    I understand why she’s upset, cause this is ridiculous, but if she was as rude in her phone calls as she was in these emails then I’m not surprised that nothing got done.

    Being nice doesn’t always work, but being a jerk definitely doesn’t pay off.

  7. DeepFriar says:

    I’m not defending Sears here, but she really should just go down to the store and raise some hell.
    Yelling “SEARS WON’T FIX THE WATER HEATER I BOUGHT HERE!”
    would probably garner better results.

  8. Nakko says:

    Well, I for one don’t know why people even buy appliances of any kind from Sears anymore. This should be the public’s awareness now:

    Sears does not effectively, pragmatically, even *have* a service department. Items sold by Sears effectively do not *have* a warranty.

    Take this into account when choosing vendors to shop with, o ye public. Emptors, start caveating.

  9. luckybob343 says:

    Having worked a good bit in retail, I can say that many companies have a policy to cut-off all communication from the first mention of the word “lawyer.” Don’t threaten it if you don’t mean it, because as soon as you say it, the company is going to direct you to their legal department.

    That said, I’ve had positive experiences with Sears. Granted, I only buy hand tools and the occasional power tool from them, but I’ve never had a problem swapping out a tool under its lifetime warranty.

    Writing while angry and swearing during correspondance is a good way to get ignored. Also, anyone writing a complaint letter should make sure their grammar and spelling are at least at the 8th grade level. The phrase “suppose to” is 1) misspelled and 2) grammatically incorrect.

  10. mythago says:

    Wait, so in the second email “Grant” provided her with a number, extension and his contact information, but she apparently didn’t follow up on that? What am I missing?

    Yes, Sears sucks, but if a CSR apologizes and says please contact me at this number and this is when I am available–wouldn’t you call?

  11. SkokieGuy says:

    The post also makes the sequence of events nearly unintelligble. After Grant’s offer to help and asking for more information to locate the order, was Christina’s cursing reply sent by email? Sent to Grant’s email or to a generic website email? The reply came a different person.

    Did Christine ever actually pick up the phone and call the seemingly sincere and helpful Grant who provided his direct extension?

    Then, after Sears canned reply from Larry, requesting that Christine calls, the next communication is Christine receiving a call from Sears? Seems like Sears is making an effort to satisfy an hostile customer.

    We don’t know why it took three weeks for the heater installtion, the post doesn’t specify. It seems like Christine is receiving a brand new water heater, not a repair, so that portion seems fair. The only listed fault is Sears not finding an installer and offering a reimbursement amount below what seems to be the local going rate.

    Without the warranty text, it’s hard to know if this is legit or not.

    With medical insurance, often the reimbursement is for ‘reasonable and customary charges” and depending on your doctor and health care plan, you may be responsible for the difference. Could this be the case with the water heater coverage? Perhaps installation is pro-rated?

    If it is full installation, (not a prorated fee or capped at a certain dollar amount), then the only dispute is to get them to cover the full installation?

    Coherent, calm and intelligent communication will make Christine be perceived as a real threat, someone capable of taking legal action, getting media attention, etc.

  12. jmschn says:

    There is a disconnect between Grant leaving his direct info and the response that was garnered…im thinking Christina didn’t follow up directly with Grant? In any case, like someone mentioned already, if you claim you will take legal action, then do it. The company will drop communication to the Legal department in case someone misspeaks (a word taken from the politicians!!)

  13. iMike says:

    Not sure why she’s poking Sears in the eye while trying to get them to do something.

    I’d actually file this under “stupid consumer” rather than “ignored.”

  14. bsalamon says:

    @DeepFriar: and probably have her arrested, although that could work in her favor

  15. ToddC says:

    I really think this should be filed under Bad Customer. While I can understand her being upset (I had a problem with getting a new water heater working as well!), I would *never* swear at anyone, on the phone or via email. Grant was an amazing CSR and I think Christina should’ve tried to follow up with him. Not sure if she did or not.

    Either way, he was polite and even gave you information on how to contact their legal department. At the least, I would have gone down that route and maybe it would have lit a few fires.

  16. aront says:

    @Blinkman: I challenge you to be any more friendly/respectful after THREE weeks without hot water.

    My job is customer care at an enterprise software company and my job is to take care of issues – regardless of how somebody talks to me.

    We have a contract in place that requires us to take care of our clients – just like Sears does with Christina.

    If I were to ignore an issue as “hot” (pardon the pun) as this for three weeks simply because I did not like the client’s attitude I would not only get my company and myself sued; but I would be out looking or a job.

    The fact of the matter is customer service representatives are not paid to have a friendly conversation with someone and help them whether they feel like it or not – they are paid to get their job done.

    It’s a really a sad state of affairs that we as consumers have to bend over backwards to make sure our vendors fulfill their RESPONSIBILITY. I get that this is the way it is – but it shouldn’t be!

    As consumers we pay the salaries of the people working at the stores where we shop – shame on any company that doesn’t realize that.

  17. Aladdyn says:

    keep in mind shes been dealing with sears for three weeks prior to this (with no hot water) for all we know she could have been very polite, and even used grammar correctly (Although I’m not sure why some you think that grammar would make a huge difference, for the first few times she contacted them.

  18. Buran says:

    @bsalamon: For what? If you’re standing on a public street in front of the store, they can’t touch you. And neither can the cops, as you have free speech rights.

  19. sirwired says:

    As a random side note, that washer thing was a bit suspect to me. The biggest “evidence” for the washer having been used previously was water sloshing around inside. This is normal, as there is a liquid-filled ring attached to the top of the basket that helps keep the basket balanced. You’ll hear it slosh, even with one fresh out of the factory.

    SirWired

  20. oakie says:

    she embodies the stereotypical midwesterner.

  21. oakie says:

    @Aladdyn: somehow i doubt it. very few people suddenly “crack” like that.

  22. iMe2 says:

    People really need to stop attacking the victim here. Yes, Grant wrote an adequate letter, but a reasonable person can figure out what took place thereafter:

    - In the last post she said she finally received a call from the number she provided where Sears told her she would only be reimbursed for a third party installation, and only for $219.

    - She did her homework and received several quotes for well over that amount ($500-$700).

    Just because she doesn’t provide every last detail doesn’t mean she’s a bad consumer. I would be in the same state too if I was given the runaround for 3 weeks(!) over the very basic service of heated water.

  23. sirwired says:

    @aront: Customers that yell and scream at me over the phone get hung up on. I am a support professional, and I expect my customers to also be professional.

    Customers that are a general pain in the rear, but don’t actually cross the line into unprofessional behavior get their problems fixed, but don’t get any special favors. All other factors being equal (problem severity, acct. dollar value, etc.), PITA clients get pushed to the bottom of the list.

    SirWired

  24. gqcarrick says:

    My mother had a problem with her washer a long time ago with sears. The problem was the tray that you put the detergent/bleach wouldn’t rinse out so the next batch that went in may end up ruined. They sent out 3 different repairmen out, they replaced everything inside the washer. They were out to the house over 10 times, and refused to just replace the washer. Finally my dad ended up fixing it, all it ended up being was the water hoses going to the washer had the wrong inside diameter, once he changed them the thing worked great. No Sears person thought of that simple fix, idiots!

  25. Peeved Guy says:

    As with many other stories on The Consumerist, we have been given only a mere fraction of the whole story. No rational person could even pretend to form an informed opinion about his debacle.

    It really raises many more questions than answers.

  26. ecwis says:

    @luckybob343: Yeah, it’s actually quite comical when people threaten lawsuits. It’s also extortion if you’re threatening them in order to get something in return (e.g. a new water heater).

    I don’t see how “suppose to” is grammatically incorrect. It is spelled improperly and should be “supposed to” but there is nothing wrong with the grammar, at least in that part of the sentence. :-)

  27. I really hate it when companies have separate customer service departments for purchases made online and offline. That appears to be the case here. She was emailing the sears.com customer service while she bought her water heater from an actual Sears store.

    The sears.com customer service rep knew nothing about her purchases and the customer didn’t understand the difference (even though it was explained to her).

  28. unravel says:

    @iMe2: Some victims deserved to be attacked. While I understand how awful it is to be on the receiving end of bad service, and have a company prove completely useless at a time when you desperately need them to come through, there’s really no reason to approach a *person who isn’t responsible for your problem* with such language, and such tone. People should be called out on bad behavior regardless of which side of the counter they fall on… and I think that customers who AREN’T, are part of the reason that I get shitty service when I do.

    That call might have come from the Sears store that’d she’d been dealing with for three weeks. Perhaps, if she’d called Graham, he could have pulled some strings with that store, or gotten enough information to direct her to a more appropriate venue to air her grievances.

  29. tortcat says:

    Well, while obivously the poster is upset..it looks like a rep from sears did offer a direct dial number, yet it was not taken advantage of.

    Not “everyone” at every company is “evil”, looks like Grant was trying to help the customer, but needed the customer to reach out…/shrug

  30. lesspopmorefizz says:

    “This woman was rude and had bad grammar” = NOT an argument that is going to fly in court if Sears did not fulfill a legal contract.

    And because we don’t know all the details…why is everyone so insistent to blame the individual rather than a company with a track record of horrible customer service? Note that these letters come from a person who hasn’t gotten a response for THREE WEEKS and has been without hot water. Would YOU be in a patient, forgiving mood? I doubt it.

  31. lesspopmorefizz says:

    @Peeved Guy: And yes– you’re totally right. But it’s no reason to jump to conclusions in one direction OR the other.

  32. thalia says:

    That’s what you get for buying from Sears, lady. And if you sound that bitchy every time someone tries to help you, no wonder they “forget” to take down new information! Seeing how you write, I shudder to think how you speak!

  33. attackgypsy says:

    Years ago, my Dad told me there was only 1 thing to ever go to Sears for. Craftsman tools, and the lifetime replacement guarantee. Any Craftsman tool that ever broke. You just brought it in, and they took one off the shelf. No muss, no fuss, no receipt.

    Then the guarantee ended. That’s when I stopped going altogether.

  34. SuperJdynamite says:

    @aront: “My job is customer care at an enterprise software company and my job is to take care of issues – regardless of how somebody talks to me.”

    Why are you encouraging puerile, non-professional behavior? Especially towards yourself? It’s like a chef saying “I sometimes get burned on the stove, so I encourage people to throw cups of scalding hot water on me, because getting burned is part of my job.”

    “We have a contract in place that requires us to take care of our clients – just like Sears does with Christina.”

    Service level agreements and ongoing support arrangements are nothing like product warranties. At all.

  35. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    @sirwired: Then get a new job. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you think. Your job is to resolve the f*cking situation I call about. Sadly, you have no right to expect ANYTHING of someone that calls you. Do everyone a favor and get a new job.

  36. warf0x0r says:

    Is that an add at the end of the first response email?

    What a joke.

  37. bsalamon says:

    @Buran: I thought they meant inside the store…either way, the charges wouldn’t stick

  38. KogeLiz says:

    People still shop at Best Buy?

  39. katylostherart says:

    funny, we have a busted waterheater from sears (here before we moved in) and it’s also kind of broken. should be a 30 gallon tank yet only puts out about 10 gallons of hot water before running completely cold.

    what was sears’ response despite having a full warrantee?

    $190 to LOOK at it.

    i hate them. they are just such a shitty company.

  40. katylostherart says:

    i type good!

  41. gig says:

    My sister-in-law had a very similar experience with Sears last year. She bought one of those big professional front loading washing machines and it was defective. It wouldn’t agitate. She had a repair person to her house multiple times and the problem could not be solved. They also missed appointments and would not call her back but she kept persisting. Still the problem was not corrected. She wanted a new machine or her money back and she was totally blown off. They can’t fix it and they won’t replace it. It is really unconscionable. She is suing them in small claims. The machine was very expensive and was covered under a warranty which should have been honored.

    I understand this poster’s anger. Dealing with incompetents, being treated with indifference, not having a hot shower for three weeks, or hot water to wash the kids or dishes can certainly push even the most mild mannered person over the edge.

  42. Smegzor says:

    It seemed to me that the customer never read the response from that guy at Sears. If she’s just ignoring it, she lost all credibility with her next rant. If someone’s prepared to go the extra mile for you, its time to put away the trash talk and work with them towards a result.

  43. Buran says:

    @Blinkman: Yeah, it’s unprofessional and I wouldn’t do that, but honestly… considering Sears’ past track record around here, I’m just laughing at finally seeing them get called on their behavior.

  44. Buran says:

    @bsalamon: Nope. Most they can do is boot you out.

  45. GearheadGeek says:

    @ConsumerAdvocacy1010: Wow, I’ll be you always get GREAT service with that attitude. You have to remember that the people whose job is to resolve the situation you called about are PEOPLE. In most situations, they didn’t CAUSE the problem. They probably don’t even know the person who did. If you can’t muster enough civility to at least start off in a professional manner, you deserve to be low on their priority list. Now, if you are the sort who screams obscenities at customer support personnel, has a million-dollar account and is lawyer-happy, you probably get good service even though you’re acting like a spoiled jerk.

    Now, if you start off civil and get jerked around, that’s another matter, but that’s not what was being discussed by the customer service rep you attacked.

  46. apotheosis says:

    @Whitey Fisk:

    people need to stop buying stuff from Sears. Really, people, just let them die alone.

    …but I like Craftsman tools. :(

  47. Empire says:

    @ConsumerAdvocacy1010: Actually many companies have policies specifically instructing CSRs that they do not have to deal with harassment, intimidation or abuse by customers. The last company for which I was a CSR did. The CSR is there to solve your problem in a professional manner. You should not subject them to abuse any more than you should kick a puppy because you happen to be frustrated. You have a responsibility to behave like a decent human being. If you will not do it out of a sense of ethics, then do it out of a sense of self-preservation: CSRs have a great deal of power to make sure you get trapped in bureaucracy forever. Frankly, given your attitude, if a CSR has actually ever helped you with a problem, you should consider it a gift.

  48. angryoaf says:

    Just an FYI
    Dont threaten a company with a BBB complaint. It’s one of the most amusing threats possible.

    The BBB is just a private company that provides ratings for consumers.
    They have no legal authority what so ever. In addition to this, the BBB actually charges companies to be ‘members’ and they are more lenient with their ‘members’ though they’d probably claim otherwise.

    If a company’s lack of service forces you to contact an agency like the BBB, it’s not very likely that a BBB complaint will do much to rectify your situation. The only thing a BBB complaint might do is bring the issue to the attention of someone who might not have seen it but has the power to do something… like a manager or PR dept or some other sort of executive.

    Either way, if you do follow that course of action, it’s better if you simply do it. Don’t ‘threaten’ the action. It just kills any good will or sympathy the person who received the threat might have felt towards your issue.

  49. SuperJdynamite says:

    @katylostherart: “funny, we have a busted waterheater from sears (here before we moved in) and it’s also kind of broken. should be a 30 gallon tank yet only puts out about 10 gallons of hot water before running completely cold.”

    Sometimes water heaters have multiple heating elements. If one of them breaks it can cause the symptoms you describe wherein you have much less hot water than you should. This happened to us and it was a pretty simple fix for the plumber. We stuck the landlord with the bill.

  50. D.B. Cooper-Nichol says:

    I’m sure that Sears screwed this up, but she sure sounds like a crazy person.

  51. LJKelley says:

    You know some of you are idiots. Sometimes you do have to be ‘rude’ and being nice will get you nowhere. A few years back I got the run around between Sprint and BellSouth over a Sprint Long Distance billing error on my BellSouth Bill.

    I finally stated to the Sprint CSR that if I wanted a pain in my ass I would call my BF and that quickly shut him up and got my $300 bill to $30 in 10 secs. I’m sorry, WHAT ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSE TO DO when you spend hours on the phone in polite manner and you get nowhere. And I was much younger back then, not it seams like a lifetime of rude CSRs that I try to spend an hour being polite too.

    It too easy for most of you to judge harshly after 3 weeks of hell.

  52. christoj879 says:

    What a low class piece of trash. If I were Sears, I would promptly tell her to go fuck herself. Well, in more words and with eloquence. And correct spelling/grammar.

  53. scoosdad says:

    @angryoaf: Yeah, I almost always lose any respect for someone whose complaint letter includes the threat “I’ll report you to the BBB”.

    @warf0x0r: nope, it was an ad. Add is what you do to one and one to get two. :-)

  54. rellog says:

    @katylostherart: Sounds like you might have a dip tube issue. It’s the rod that runs down the inside of the tank from the coldwater inlet on the top of the tank. It many have broken and is now flooding the top of the tank with cold water. I just finished repairing that very issue on mine a couple months ago.

    Also, the hot water heaters at Sears, Lowes, Menards, and Home Crappo are pretty much ALL junk. There is an issue with the vents clogging leading to premature failure of the heating unit. There is plenty online about that issue.

    As for Sears, I just wish their time would come already…

  55. greghayden70 says:

    Christina, I hope you are able to read this in a timely manner. Go directly to a civil court and file suit, it will probably cost about twenty dollars, on caveat is that you will need proof of purchase and all other related costs. Don’t go for 6000 dollars though, the judge probably wouldn’t go for that. They will settle with you before dispatching an attorney to go before a small claims judge.

  56. gatopeligroso says:

    @ConsumerAdvocacy1010: Who else thinks ConsumerAdvocacy1010 is a real douche?

  57. Rwarchol says:

    It seems as if we’re missing some information here. First off, who did she contact when her tank stopped working? Call 1-800-4-MY-HOME and they send a tech to the house. They say the tank is broken and authorize a repair/replacement. She then takes the receipt that the Tech gave her to the store and they set her up with a new tank/installation. Now, let’s not forget ONLY the TANK is covered under the warranty not the installation itself. The CUSTOMER pays for installation. Sears said they’d reimburse her $219- what Sears charges for installation. (Depends on the market- usually between $199-$219) It doesn’t matter if she called some private plumbers and they said they’d charge $500-$700.

    Duh, they’re trying to make money. So for Sears to give her everything for free is more than enough considering we don’t have the entire story. When I worked at Sears I did a few Water Tank exchanges and they were all done within a few days. It’s how the customer handles it and how they go about it. For her to ignore the personal email she received is her own problem. I believe Sears has done more than enough and that’s saying a lot considering the terms I left them under.

    On a side note- my Power Miser 6 from Sears was bought in 1994 and still works fine.

  58. prameta1 says:

    this woman has to be the most stupid consumer on the planet. she’s just as bad as that 11 year old kid from the best buy post, if not worse.

    i couldn’t possibly have any less sympathy for this woman, and i’d be willing to bet that she’ll end up going without water for another few weeks if not months.

    look, everything comes down to people like it always does. sears isn’t the borg, okay? one employee can’t possibly know every little detail about your account.

    this woman is such a fool! she finally stumbled upon a legitimately helpful sears representative, and managed to completely alienate him into apathy. what’s with all the profanity? for heaven’s sakes, toddlers show more restraint. waaaa WAAA BLAAA!!

    i don’t blame anyone at sears for throwing her nasty letters straight into the trash. enjoy that cold water. when will people learn? be civil! don’t you want their help?!

    look, i’m not blaming the victim. she deserved a smooth transaction, but it didn’t happen that way. her problem is that she’s sabotaging any chance of them helping her with her obnoxious behaviour. they’re not the borg! what did grant ever do to her?

  59. trillium says:

    Unfortunately it is why I stand by the cardinal rule that if I can’t carry it back to the store myself, I won’t buy it from a nationwide chain store.

  60. Southern says:

    @LJKelley:

    I *completely* disagree.

    If the CSR had been rude (or cursing) at YOU, you’d be here screaming your head off to have that person fired. What makes you think they want to put up with that type of attitude from you anymore than you would from them? (And don’t say “it’s their job”. It ain’t. Their job is to help fix/solve your problem, not put up with abusive customers.)

    [consumerist.com]

    There are 15 ways to help escalation & resolve your issue, and strangly enough, none of them mention rudeness, profanity, or personal attacks.

    Imagine that.

  61. GearheadGeek says:

    @Rwarchol: I agree that there are some details that are unclear or missing, but she seems to be saying she purchased some sort of service policy (she refers to it as a warranty, but says it’s supposed to cover installation.) Sears can’t seem to get someone to do the installation in a timely fashion, hence the problem. She *SHOULD* take them up on the new water heater and just have it installed, then pursue them for the excess cost, but she’s too busy cutting off her nose to spite her face to be able to see that path to hot water.

  62. olivia2.0 says:

    Wow – I am NEVER buying from Sears. Ever!

  63. Rwarchol says:

    @GearheadGeek: The only way she could have installation costs covered was if she purchased a protection agreement. She doesn’t state how old her tank is or what the warranty is so it’s hard to divulge the situation. So let’s give her the benefit of the doubt say she does have a valid PA on the tank. Then why is she calling Sears.com? They don’t handle service, only Service themselves can check the tank, authorize a replace and get the new one installed. It seems as if Sears is having a problem finding an installer in her area as well. For the longest time we didn’t have an installer for one of the counties near where I live because they all require certain licenses. So if they don’t have an installer, I can tell you what- Sears isn’t going to eat the cost of over-inflated labor charges of some Private plumber.

    What this woman doing is equal to calling Kmart and asking them to replace a lawn mower you bought at Walmart. She’s not even calling the right people!

  64. sirwired says:

    @ConsumerAdvocacy1010:

    In one way, you are absolutely right! My job is to fix problems with the stuff you bought from us. It is NOT my job to act as a punching bag for your unresolved emotional issues. If you want that, find a therapist.

    It is not my job to let customers unleash a torrent of abuse on me. I didn’t break the product, I didn’t sell it to you, I didn’t configure it, I didn’t design it, I didn’t install it. In 80% of my calls, the real problem is the fact you didn’t buy $5k worth of training to learn how to use your $1M+ worth of product.

    Your purchasing my company’s products includes a product warranty, which entitles you to prompt, courteous, skilled service. The product warranty does not include a license to abuse technical support personnel who are trying to help you.

    I don’t require customers to kiss my ass, nor do they have to be happy about their problems. I do not require them to not be frustrated.

    I DO require my customers to treat me as a fellow professional. If that is a problem, they can go buy from our competitors, as you are likely costing us more money than we are making from you, and we would MUCH prefer you go waste our competition’s time and money.

  65. maines19 says:

    I bought a water heater from Sears a few years ago, and it didn’t work on Day 1. The installer left, told me it was defective and I should call the customer service number (which he gave me), which I did. Customer service told me to call the repair number, even though it was a brand-new product. I did. The repair people said that since it was new, they couldn’t help me, call customer service back. Which I did. Where they told me to call repair again, and that if repair couldn’t help me, that wasn’t their problem.

    Finally, after more back-and-forth-and-around, the manager of the Sears store called my house and reached my husband. He said, “Your wife sounds like she has purchased a chicken and found she has been handed a serpent!” Which statement, in addition to defusing the anger by its odd charm, pretty accurately captured how I felt. He promised to have installers at the house the following morning, prepared to either fix the existing water heater or replace it with another one. He was good as his word.

    I would not go back to Sears again because I don’t have the time or energy for what it took to get to this guy, but I do appreciate that he finally solved my problem. Hope he went on to a job at a company that doesn’t suck.

  66. mythago says:

    @iMe2 – I don’t think anyone is *blaming* this consumer for Sears selling her a defective water heater. The problem is that the information is very disconnected. We can guess what MIGHT have happened, but as it is, it makes no sense – there’s a very helpful email, but no indication that she ever responded to it, much less that she did and got nowhere. Yes, she has a right to be pissed off, but if a company says “we screwed up, we’re sorry, please call this person who is available at these times” AND YOU DON’T DO THAT, then it stops being simply a matter of the company jerking you around.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I just had a SEARS Hot Water Heater Repairman here last week. I purchased a 50 gallon tank two years ago from SEARS and it has NEVER worked well. We get less than 1/2 tub of hot water in the bath.

    The repairman that came to my home said I need to heat up the hot water heater first because I do not use it often enough!! this was the most archaic thing I have ever heard.

    The hot water cuts off, I never get even close to what I should with a 50 gallon tank. NEVER. Sears is incompetent and unworthy of business from anyone.

    I will call for the fourth time to see if they can send a competent person to my home.

    SEARS IS NOT WORTHY OF ANYONE’S BUSINESS.

    Peggy