All that Consumerist reader Jill wants right now is a fridge with a working ice maker. Alas, after four repair visits and months of finger-pointing and runaround from Sears, her 6-month-old fridge still lacks a functioning ice maker and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon.
Jill purchase the fridge in March from SearsOutlet.com and soon thereafter, the ice maker went kaput.
A call to the Sears Outlet 1-800 service had a repairman out, all covered by the 1-year warranty. Unfortunately, the repair didn’t stick and Jill was without ice a couple weeks later.
A second call and second repairman resulted in a similar band-aid fix of 1-2 weeks before a third call to Sears was required. The third repairman managed to get the ice maker working… for three weeks.
So Jill called Sears and requested an exchange for a fridge that works. She got bounced around on the phone for a bit before ending up at Customer Solutions:
The agent agreed to let me exchange the refrigerator, but I would have to pay a 15% re-stock fee, because I am outside of their 90-day returns/exchanges window (This was in July, which is 4 months after the purchase).
I explained to the agent that I took so long to ask for an exchange because we spent so much back-and-forth with the repair men.
The agent was very understanding and offered to waive the15% re-stock fee and the delivery free of the new refrigerator. I happily agreed to continue with the paperwork to process an exchange.
After waiting on hold for 15 minutes while the agent wrote up the paperwork, the agent came back and told me that she was a “Sears” representative, and not a “Sears Outlet” representative, and issuing exchanges was outside of her jurisdiction.
Her suggestion: Go to a Sears Outlet store front and talk to the store manager.
Of course, since Jill had purchased her fridge through the Sears Outlet site, she didn’t know which store had actually shipped her order. After a conversation with the manager of her local Outlet store, she was able to talk to someone at the proper store, 60 miles away.
Here’s Jill again:
That store manager said that he will be able to issue us a refrigerator exchange if we can get a repair man to look at the ice maker and declare the ice maker as “unrepairable”. Then we need to bring the “unrepairable” note to the Sears Outlet store in-person. At that time, an exchange will be issued and all we have to pay is an additional delivery fee to deliver the new refrigerator and remove the old one.
We made an appointment with repair man #4 to come declare our ice maker as “unrepairable”.
Repair man #4 was actually the same guy as repair man #3! He remembered changing our entire ice maker, however, he said that he *cannot* declare the ice maker as “unrepairable” because he would be fired.
No repair man will be able to declare as our ice maker as “unrepairable”.
Great… now what.
I am tired of being sent in circles trying to get a working ice maker.
UPDATE: After seeing the story on Consumerist, a Sears Outlet rep reached out to Jill and a new fridge is set to be delivered this weekend. “We always strive to take care of each and every customer,” a Sears rep tells Consumerist. “We regret that our technicians were not able to resolve this situation, but hope that the customer is now satisfied with the outcome.”