Sears Replaces Your Dishwasher With A Defective One, Then Says "See You In July!"

As part of a full kitchen upgrade, reader Sean purchased a $1300 dishwasher from Sears. Shortly after he received the unit, he realized it was defective. Sears directed him to an outsourced service company called OneSource. During the phone call to OneSource, Sean logged over 3 hours of hold time and was bounced around to 11 different CSRs, but they did nothing to help. Eventually, he got with Sears Executive customer service who said that they couldn’t replace the washer until July. Now, Sean can’t even wash his dishes because his hot water isn’t connected and his garbage disposal leaks water. Sean’s letter, inside…

This past weekend, I purchased a $1300 dishwasher from Sears.. They delivered it Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after order. Great! However the dishwasher that they delivered was defective, I immediately called the store where I purchased it, and spoke with the Sales lady.. She told me that Sears has outsourced their customer service to a company called OneSource and that I that she couldn’t help me..

I called OneSource and was put on hold for over 3 hours. After talking with 11 different people (yes 11!) I was told that they couldnt help me and that I would have to arrange a pickup through the store to get the exchange. I called the store back and talked to store manager Olivia, she told me that I would have to talk to the sales girl, talked to her, she said she couldn’t help me and that I would have to go back to OneSource.. I spent 2.5 hours in the store talking with various managers, no resolve and no assistance whatsoever.

I left the store upset and bewildered as to why I was told that they couldn’t arrange a pickup. Mind you that Sears came and took away my old PERFECTLY FUNCTIONING dishwasher, as the new dishwasher was an upgrade for the remodel of my kitchen.

I called Sears Executive customer service who listened to what I had to say, and then transferred me to delivery department, delivery department told me that it would be until July 1st before they could get an exchange out here. In the meantime, I can not wash dishes except in my bathtub upstairs because the hot water had to be turned off to the kitchen sink and that the garbage disposal leaks water without the dishwasher lines connected to it.

I told delivery that their answer was completely unacceptable, and that I wanted some sort of resolution other than “I’m sorry” … the answer I got was to be transferred BACK to OneSource… OneSource told me that she was “so sorry for the inconvenience” and that she would have to create a case for me and that the best they could do was offer me a pitiful $75 gift card…

$75 doesn’t pay for my time to HAND WASH my families dishes in the fricking BATHTUB for the rest of the month until which time as sears can get off their lazy butt and bring me a non defective dishwasher… They also told me throughout all of this that they were unable to bring back my old dishwasher because they destroy them moments after getting back to their delivery facility!

Even executive customer service has let me down on this one! Can Consumerist help!?

That sounds like a tough situation, Sean. We’re becoming convinced that Sears is nothing more than some phony storefront facades with a few long distance phone lines connected overseas that are in cahoots with some shady warehouses that deal in wonky merchandise. We don’t have the highest hopes, but you could try launching an executive email carpet bomb which could perhaps get the attention of an employee who is competent and cares about your problem. Since you have already spoken to Executive Customer Service, you may as well try their CEO at alewis1@searshc.com. Otherwise, we suggest taking that $75 gift card and buying some paper plates and plasticware.

(Photo: jritch77)

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  1. chiieddy says:

    July 1 is less than 2 weeks away. I’m not saying it’s at all excusable for Sears to leave these people high and dry for 2 weeks (and who knows when they submitted this to Consumerist), but let’s be honest about the minimum time frame here.

  2. EdnaLegume says:

    a hard way to learn an important lesson….. don’t shop at Sears.. and for heavens sake, don’t spend 1300 fricken dollars there and expect said item to work.

    I started buying my appliances in a local mom and pop and I get stellar service every time. It’s not guaranteed of course, but certainly much more likely.

  3. Three words. SMALL CLAIMS COURT. Your first mistake was going to Sears for anything more expensive than a set of screwdrivers. It’s OK. People make mistakes; it’s why there are erasers on pencils.

    Now you have to understand that Sears has elevated incompetence to an art form. They’ve spent the better part of three decades becoming the most incompetent large corporation in the world. They have honed their institutional incompetence to such a blunt ‘edge’ that they managed to get themselves bought out by K-Mart (the then-reigning champion of incompetence), or all people.

    The only thing they understand is being hauled into court, so I suggest you stop wasting time reading my Sears rant and just do it. Today.

  4. Dobernala says:

    If you bought this on a credit card, perform a chargeback. I bet they’ll get their ass into gear.

  5. cybercjh says:

    Why oh why do people continue to shop at Sears?!

  6. ViperBorg says:

    @cybercjh: My thoughts exactly.

  7. dualityshift says:

    My wager is on them not hitting their July 1st date.

    Chargeback immediately. Buy a Dishwasher at a respectable store (are there any left???) and have the new delivery people put the Sears crapcan on the curb. Let Sears know it’s on the curb, and if they want it, they better hurry up and get their piece of crap, as it’s considered public property once it hits the curb.

  8. sleze69 says:

    “In the meantime, I can not wash dishes except in my bathtub upstairs because the hot water had to be turned off to the kitchen sink and that the garbage disposal leaks water without the dishwasher lines connected to it.”

    Sorry that Sears is screwing you BUT it is NOT hard to hook up the hot water to your sink and either remove the dishwasher coupler or put a temporary plug on it. I am FAR from being handy but I was able to figure out how to install garbage disposal and hook up hot water lines.

    So stop whining, go to home depot and get a plumbing book and fix your sink.

  9. Carabell says:

    Sears screwed this up big time, they suck and need to fix it.

    However: Washing dishes in your tub is gross… go to the store and pick up some Chinet

  10. pegr says:

    Clue: Go to your favorite home improvement store (the insides of which you have likely never seen, apparently) and get whatever it takes to plug the inlet for the dishwasher in your garbage disposal for two weeks. Total cost will be less than $10.

    My gawd, he’s hauling diskes upstairs to wash in the tub. I’m sorry, but that is stupid. Please, don’t be stupid.

  11. IrisMR says:

    My only solution is… don’t shop at sears anymore. I think they’re stuck with their problem now…

  12. If Sears can delivery a new unit within 24 hours of purchase, waiting two weeks for a replacement is unacceptable. Even if they didn’t have any more in stock of the same unit, how about a similar one?

  13. Pro-Pain says:

    I love Sears. Best store ever! Oh, wait, it’s not 1975 anymore is it? Damn.

  14. Starfury says:

    My appliances that I bought at Sears arrive (supposedly) on Saturday.

    I don’t see the point in a $1300 dishwasher though…does it put them away when it’s done?

    As for the leak: just plug the hole up until the dishwasher is replaced. It’s not rocket science. People have become so helpless when it comes to basic maintenance/home repair it’s scary.

  15. friendlynerd says:

    Though I disagree with their wording (rude, accusatory) I agree with the above posters that suggest plugging the hole in your garbage disposal while the Sears business gets sorted out.

    Any hardware store would have what you need – basically a rubber plug with a clamp.

  16. CharlieInSeattle says:

    Sheesh, it would take very little time to plug the hole. I agree sears is wrong, but geeze man don’t act like a helpless newborn.

  17. Consumerific says:

    1) Ask credit card company for charge back;

    2) Send letter/fax/e-mail to Sears stating they can pick it up by a certain date and that you are charging sears for storage of $y per day if they fail to pick it up;

    3) Buy a new dishwasher elsewhere.

    Also, see if you state has the equivalent of Massachusetts’s 93a consumer protection. If it does send them a registered letter of fax (make sure you keep teh sent fax time receipt) if the law allows this following your state’s consumer protection act.

  18. savvy999 says:

    Holy crap. If I buy a dishwasher for $1300, she better know English.

  19. WakefulD says:

    My mother worked at Sears for about 4 to 5 months about a year ago… in that time she was the best sales person on the floor in appliances for three months in a row. She was finally forced to leave because every other person in that store was vindictive, cared only about the bottom line/their commission, and would royally screw a customer just to make a buck. She hated it so much she cut up her Sears credit card (which she’d had for quite some time), will no longer shop there and will tell anyone looking for an appliance to look elsewhere.

    Frankly I’m surprised people continue to shop there at all. It’s just like our President says… “fool me once.. shame on …. shame on you. Fool me twice…. can’t get fooled again.”

  20. BeastMD says:

    I worked at sears in the 80′s and even they sucked. There was so much theft and merchandise abuse it was shocking. The manager that got me fired for refusing to work off the clock ended up getting canned for ordering herself an entire bedroom set for free. They used to stack washers, dryers, dishwashers 3-4 high and some of the guys there thought the most effective way to get them down to deliver to customers was to simply push them off. Wonder why we got so many back.

  21. You-Me-Us says:

    This is the beauty of American Express. You call them up and tell them you have a defective product and Sears won’t resolve the matter, they credit you with the full amount and charge it back to Sears. You have the merchandise, Sears has no money. And I’ll bet at that point somebody at Sears would sit up and take notice in a hurry. Or if they don’t, so what?

  22. Sidecutter says:

    @chiieddy: The story being posted today does not imply that the story is current to within a few days. it may only have been sent in to Consumerist after multiple go-rounds trying to resolve it. Which means that the month named was probably accurate at the time of writing.

  23. barty says:

    @sleze69: No joke. Have our home repair skills as men deteriorated to the point where someone can’t figure out how to get their sink to stop leaking while the dishwasher is out?? Its called a 6″ piece of plastic or stainless pipe to remove the current “T” section where the dishwasher hooks up. $4-5 at your hardware store and about 10 minutes to swap it out. Then, for the hot water (assuming the dishwasher has its own hot water connection, usually they don’t), they have these little neat things called PIPE CAPS.

    Of course this is someone stupid enough to buy a $1300 dishwasher and probably hasn’t done much more than install a lightbulb in their entire life. For $1300, it better load itself, wash the dishes, then put them away afterwards.

    I am a little perplexed as to why it seems to be the norm for about any appliance place to deliver your appliance in less than a week, but if you need a replacement, it takes them 2-3 weeks to get out there to swap it out. This is NOT just a Sears thing, I recall similar stories involving other appliance retailers being posted here not long ago.

    To those suggesting going to court. Grow up. Yeah, their service sucks, but where is the tort? Sears said they’ll replace the dishwasher and unless there was something in the sales agreement that said they had to replace a defective one in a given period of time, he’s wasting his and the court’s time, not to mention the taxpayer’s money, by dragging this into court. Consumerific’s suggestion is probably the best one in this situation and is probably along the same lines as what I’d do in a similar situation, after fixing the sink of course.

  24. Kostadinos says:

    Sears sucks…

    About 4 months ago the motor on my 2 year old, $800 dishwasher went out. I had purchased it from sears and it was under warranty. It took over 2 months for them to fix it. (2 techs, 3 Saturdays, 1 Thursday (lost day of work) and about 15 hours of my time in total.)

    Their customer service is a joke. I will never shop at Sears again.

  25. Ein2015 says:

    Ummm… it’s 2 weeks!!! Take the $75 and get the disposable kitchenware.

  26. STrRedWolf says:

    Chargeback or small claims court for the replacement dishwasher from a different vendor. It’s gone too long. If your electrical company has a home appliance department, you may want to peruse them (Baltimore Gas and Electric has BGE Home).

  27. pantsonfire says:

    @savvy999: …badump bump

  28. dkush21 says:

    If it’s new, email them, so you have it in writing, that you want a pickup issued immediately and money refunded. Do not replace it with another piece of their crap.

  29. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Dishwashers are not particularly heavy appliances. Remove it yourself, and return it to the store. Be sure you have proof of speaking to them previously, so that Sears won’t accuse you of breaking what they delivered to you already broken. Use a wagon. Take the kids. Take the neighbor’s kids. Speak loudly but politely when you explain the problem. Enlist the help of other shoppers.

    If you can’t manage this, stand outside Sears with the above mentioned kids and a sign or two describing your problem. Hand out fliers. A photo of you washing dishes in the tub would be a lovely addition.

    Or call a local TV reporter or newspaper columnist who does consumer reports. Tell them you have a great opportunity for a story, and that yes, you’d be happy to wash dishes in your bathtub on camera for them.

    Or do a chargeback.

    Regardless of which you choose, promise one thing: *never* purchase anything from Sears again.

  30. HighontheHill says:

    I haven’t shopped at sears for years. They screwed me royally on an appliance purchase and I was given a vista from which I viewed clearly the depth and breadth of their ineptitude. The only business I conduct at sears nowadays is to return for new the old craftsman handtools I purchase at tag sales. I am far settling the score with them, but getting closer.

    Sears has one redeeming characteristic in that it doesn’t matter how old, rusty, bent or broken the tool is, if it says craftsman on it they will replace it for new. Yay!!!

  31. whoareyou says:

    This is why I usually DIY everything. Even the “pros” can’t install anything right anymore. Get a screwdriver, tighten the hose clamp on the dishwasher discharge, and get back to grinding up potatoes in your disposer.

  32. LJKelley says:

    The only thing I could think of is why is the Dishwasher disconnected, and if so how does the purchaser know its defective? It doesn’t seem like he knows how to disconnect, plug, or connect things under his sink and I doubt Sears would come out and disconnect. And why would you disconnect until it was replaced unless the defect was leaking connect lines (which can easily be replaced) or possibly the dishwasher isn’t properly turning off the water supply.

    I need more info, but i’m gonna blame the OP and say he needs to provide more info or its probably not a defective dishwasher.

  33. madsuperninja says:

    @HighontheHill: If I’m not mistaken, this policy has virtually nothing to do with Sears. All craftsman tools are sold with an unconditional lifetime warranty, and Sears just happens to sell Craftsman. If I had to guess, Craftsman probably has some setup where retailers can return the tools fairly quickly and easily.

  34. Disturbedearth says:

    My beloved Sears has clearly gone to hell…

    Regardless of his abilities as a repairman – I would be pissed too if I had paid that much to have work done and still had to take the time to redo it correctly due to incompetence. It’s not ability – it’s time. I pay to have things done because the time involved is better spent elswhere.

    I had a similar issue with BB that I won’t go into but the time involved – due to their mistakes, including time off work – totally voids the whole point of delivery and installation.

    It seems so many things these days are just a consumable good – even major appliances… It’s just easier to buy another than to deal with customer service and BS warranties to try and get something fixed.

    Lastly, with the death of the ma’ and pa’ business – where is a reputable place to buy appliances anymore?

  35. rellog says:

    I’m guessing the $1300 includes installation… which is obscenely overpriced, as is the washer he bought.
    I have to agree that there is plenty of blame to go around here…

    For the OP…
    -you wrote to the Consumerist… so YOU KNOW SEARS SUCKS!!!!
    -Why didn’t you have the unit tested BEFORE the installer left?
    -How hard is it to get your sink back up and running? Be a man and fix it for Christ’s sake

    None of this excuses Sears which should just plain sucks. Why people continue to use them is beyond me (as my Mom continues to do, after my repeated warnings…)

    And finally people… anytime you use a store’s install crew, you’re asking for trouble. They pay for crap so they have crappy employees. I’m not saying all installs go bad, but plenty do. Home Depot has an installer for doors in the Milwaukee area that is notorious for ripping off the customer, yet they still use him for installs. FYI, if you have a Eastern European coming for a quote from HD in the Milwaukee area, run (don’t walk) away…

  36. What’s with all of the, “anyone stupid enough to buy a $1300 dish washer”, and “if I bought a $1300 dish washer it aught to ” Who cares what kind of dishwasher he bought, he’s getting shat on. Being that I have a cheap dishwasher, I’d give my left nut to have one that, one, actually got food off of dishes, and two, I didn’t have to yell over from 1 room over.

  37. Concerned_Citizen says:

    So sears is wasting your time with replacing the defective(possible damaged in their warehouse by them) dishwasher and you are not just doing a return why?
    The second the store manager told you to call a 3rd party customer service company to deal with a sears problem is the second you should have said you want to return the item. Sears clearly is a very dangerous place to buy anything from if the people in the store cannot do customer service of any kind.

  38. APowerCosmic says:

    It’s good to know some things never change. This reader has obviously learned absolutely nothing from this site. So with that, I beseech anyone else who reads these articles and comments and thinks “Oh, Sears won’t do this to me..because I’m special and I’ve been shopping there for (insert year number here).” I promise you they will screw you. I’ve worked there. I’ve seen them do it. I’ve watched as customers from 20 on up get treated like garbage because sales people don’t care the unit is sold. Their job is to not have it brought back, because it destroys their commission! Sears is still circling the drain, would someone please flush it one more time?

  39. clocker says:

    “… They also told me throughout all of this that they were unable to bring back my old dishwasher because they destroy them moments after getting back to their delivery facility!”

    I call shenanigans.
    I used to work next door to a used appliance store and they subcontracted with many of the large big box stores to perform the “free takeaway” service.
    Minimal maintenance was performed and the exteriors cleaned up before hitting the showroom floor or (increasingly common) being shipped down to Mexico for resale.

    Besides, it’s obvious that Sears doesn’t do ANYTHING “within moments”, much less destroy old appliances.

  40. alumicor says:

    I too had a bit of an appliance horror story with Sears.

    Purchaced a Gas Stove from Sears, opted for the Pickup option.

    First Stove I got was the Right Stove but wrong Color, loaded on the back of my Truck brought it home and took off the box and it was the right stove but the Stainless Steel Version (Not a big fan of Stainless….it really shouldn’t be called stainless….stupid finger prints)

    Side note the stove that was shipped was more expensive than the White one I ordered but as I stated I dont’ like stainless.

    As I already had a “Working” and i use that term lightly electric stove. I called up sears who then ordered my stove for the 2nd time this time in “White” like I wanted.

    They offered to deliver this one free of charge and set it up for me.

    Well the stove arrived they brought it into the house and put the old electric in the garage…..then I noticed something once again Sears screwed up and sent the wrong Brand this time….I ordered a Maytag and got a GE.

    Once again I called sears back and the once againg gave me the option of keeping the GE stove (it was also more expensive than the one I ordered) this time Sears said keep the one we delivered and we will order the right one and deliver it on top of getting a 50$ gift card as well.

    The let me keep the 2nd stove untill they finally delivered the correct one. All in all the whole process took about 2 months to be completely resovled but I was never really inconvienced too much.

    It did take them 3 tires to get it right but they eventually resovled the issue.

    Side note: The first stove that was delivered was marked on the box as White so I belive the Maytag distribution center made the original mistake not sure if sears had anytyhing to do with the first screwup as the box said it was my white stove I ordered.

    I will not ever buy any new appliances from sears due to this ordeal, I just think I got lucky this time.

  41. BOO_BOO_HOFF says:

    I had an experience like that with Sears in the 80s. I bought a central air unit in the spring and installed it myself. After a week the compressor failed. They said they couldn’t get a replacement until October, at which point, through threats and cajolery, I got them to loan me a high-capacity window unit that managed to cool most of the house for the summer.

    The punch line was that when they finally installed the replacement compressor, I couldn’t get them to come and take the window unit. No one in the store had a record of it. I finally forced them to come and take it as I was selling the house and didn’t want the unit in the window.

    Last time I bought stuff like that from Sears. I don’t think they sell central units anymore anyway.

  42. u1itn0w2day says:

    I would demand the store or One Source deliver a new one even if they have to go out and hire contractors to do it or you want the sale canceled money refunded.

    Or eat the cost of a your own contractor to return it,any fees and go buy a new one else where then sue for every dime it cost you to do battle with Sears and arranging for a new dishwasher.

    If you need that 1300$ you’re screwed.

  43. barty says:

    @johnarlington: There’s finding a balance between a cheap as hell, doesn’t get the job done model and a $1300 rip-off, installation included or not. I’d be pissed to be treated that way, regardless of how much money I spent, but I just don’t see the logic in paying that much for an appliance when something that does the exact same thing with the same results can be had for hundreds less. That said, I don’t think anyone in my family, maybe save my dad’s younger sister, has ever had a kitchen where every single appliance matched each other exactly. I guess some people just paint themselves into a corner trying to be stylish.

    I guess what really sucks about this is that when I was a kid, my parents always called Sears for appliance repairs that my dad didn’t have time to fix himself. They were always there when they said they were going to be, if you got in touch with them early enough in the morning they could often send someone out the same day and the repairmen actually fixed things right the first time! Now like so many other things that have been out-sourced these days, service has gone down the crapper. Really sad.

  44. gemini48 says:

    We purchased a Kenmore (Frigidaire) refrigerator, and it was a LEMON from the beginning! The ice cream NEVER became frozen, the milk was NEVER quite cold enough…this after fighting for my $50.00 rebate for their delivery fee, which I had to send copies of my receipt for, twice, because they said they never received the first set of forms and receipts…this taking 2 1/2 mths!

    “Service” people came to exam the problem 6 times in 2 years! Each had their own theory of what the problem was. I was furious after the first 2 “service” men assured me that the fridge was fixed and shouldn’t be a problem anymore. By the time the third one came to watch the ice cream dripping, I was not a nice person. I asked him about the Lemon Law, and he said, “Lady, Lemon laws are for cars” and gave me a dirty look. The 4th one told me that this fridge was made by Frigidaire, known for “malfunctioning” appliances, and I should never by a Kenmore made by Frigidaire again! Great, so he’s going to help me, right? Oh no, he swore he fixed the problem too, as I was telling him that I was very frustrated, lost several dollars worth of perishable food, and was fed-up with the whole situation! He told me to get a list of cost of lost items and he would put in for reimbursement, which he did do! Of course 2 more “no-service men” were to meet my wrath, and the 6th one finally called the store and stated that this brand new (2 yr old) refrigerator was unfixable, and needed to be replaced immediately. This kind man also informed me he was about to leave the company because he could no longer deal with Sears and their policies, and their unhappy customers.

    I was called by the Sales manager @ my local Sears store and was finally able to pick out the fridge of my choice (not a Frigidaire model)! It was delivered 3 days later, and haven’t had a problem with this one since. However, I will never buy anything else from Sears again!!

    Learned my lesson!!!!

  45. failurate says:

    I’ve charged up the man-o-meter, but I’m not getting a reading.

    My wife can patch up about anything and make it work… for a while. When things need to be done and properly finished, that’s what I do.
    The hell if we would ever go without hot water or water at our kitchen sink.

    Self sufficiency is dead. We’ve been trained to think that we need an expert for everything.

  46. failurate says:

    Another tip… don’t let them haul away perfectly useful appliances. There is a market for that stuff.

  47. Rusted says:

    1300.00 for a dishwasher? Ouch. I also do scratch and dent whenever possible and my own installation. 1300.00 would net me dishwasher, range, disposal, and the fridge.

  48. Bobg says:

    I used to deal with Sears so much that its a wonder that they didn’t charge me rent for being in their stores so much. I haven’t been in a Sears store in 15 years. Its a crime that a store with such a history (not to mention a huge capital investment) hates its customers so much. Why aren’t the shareholders up in arms?

  49. barty says:

    @failurate: Agreed. There are plenty of used appliance places around here that are usually more than willing to take a working appliance off your hands for $25-50. All of my appliances are used or scratch and dent. They work just as well and I save hundreds of dollars. If it breaks in 3-4 years, I don’t feel quite as bad as if I had spent $500 on something.

  50. Mudpuddle says:

    More than this Sears does not pay the employees who work in the appliances department anything per hour 0=Hour they are strickly commision which is only 1-3 percent of a purchase? They alway schedule too many “employees” at any one time. More often than not the employees owe Sears at the end of the day. Thats right! Sears will give them a token 6.00 hour then when/if they make anything on commission they have to pay it back. They rely on a high turn over new hire system. SEARS needs to SINK and stop living off of its ever changing employees. If you cant pay people to work then close your doors. There is a class action lawsuit against Sears. Google com