Silly Reader Thinks Appliances Should Last Longer Than A Year And A Half

Maura has figured out what the “cares” in “Sears cares” actually stands for: “customers are reliable suckers.” That was the subject line of the e-mail she sent us about the experience she’s had trying to get her Kenmore washing machine fixed. Her washing machine that is what we once would have called “new,” is broken at only a year and a half old.

She writes:

So a year and a half ago when we bought our washer and dryer for our new home, I was pretty excited. We went to Sears on Black Friday and the machines were delivered, and everything seemed great. Then one morning I go to wash my sheets and I see F71 instead of the normal display. I can’t believe a brand new machine is broken.

I call Sears – “Oh, good news! For 300 dollars you can have a year extension on your warranty!” The machine cost $800, and they want me to spend an additional $300 so that it will at least work to be 2 and a half years old? I thought that was the most absurd thing, but I didn’t realize that was just the beginning. It will be a week and a half before someone can come out and I will be charged $130 just for a site visit – parts and labor on top of that. I complain and she gives me a number to call for Kenmore. I call that number; it is not Kenmore. I call back; someone gives me another number. That is also a wrong number.

I complain on Facebook and someone quickly contacts me and says they will be able to come six days out, instead of ten. This cuts my family visit a day short, but we need a working washer since my husband and I are both teachers, about to go back to school and I am five and a half months pregnant.

I wake up at 3 a.m. drive home from NY to sit in my house all day and no one shows. Turns out someone called my husband at noon to say they would be there the following day instead. The gentleman shows up this morning, but cannot do anything since it is a stacked unit. We need to reschedule – at least a week out and now my husband or I will need to take a day off of work – which they better show up on that day because we need our days off for when the baby arrives. Plus, they will probably need to order the part then and come back another day – another day off. How inefficient and incompetent can a company be? It also turns out that this F71 problem is pretty common, but no recall. It costs 250 for the part from Sears, but 180 from a store if we want to try and fix it ourselves. Tempting.

If we can afford it, I think we will just buy a washer from another store rather than invest more money in a piece of junk from a failing company that doesn’t have good customer service.