Did Sears AC Installers Break Window, Or Ignore Cracked Pane?

Rona, ladylike, didn’t tell us her age, but she is a senior citizen. As for many Americans, Sears has always just been where she went when there was an appliance to buy. She and her husband ordered up two air conditioners from Sears.com last month, and Sears contracted some local installers in New Jersey to put them in the windows. After the second installation appointment, she discovered that the window was cracked. One of two things had happened: either the installers noticed that the window was cracked and put an air conditioner in anyway, or they’re the ones who did it, then hoped that no one would notice.

A few weeks ago I purchased 2 air conditoners on line from sears. I made 2 appointments for installation. The first one went quite well. The same crew and company operating under the name of [redacted] came and installed. After they left I went to clean the window and saw the window was cracked. I immediately called and was told they would investigate. They insisted that [the installers] come out and take a look and the owner [redacted] told us the window was previously broken and his company will contact Sears with his opinion.

My husband and I feel that they are responsible. If the installer saw the crack he would have shown it to us prior to installing. The other scenario would be they did it and did not tell us.

I have been getting the run around since. I now have a received a call and was told no one is responsible. I called the company that installed my windows 6 years ago and he
came out and told us they have definitely broken the window. He quoted us 250.00 to repair with taking the unit out and putting it back in the window.

I am a senior with a heart condition and this is really getting to me. I am hoping you can help. Sears has always been my store but I do no think I will shop there again. I am telling the truth and I expect them to take care of this.

That’s the problem, though: even if Rona is telling the truth, Sears doesn’t know that for sure. But they did, at minimum, ignore the crack that was already there and stick an air conditioner in anyway.

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  1. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    This really has nothing to do with whether the installers caused the damage, but why would she assume that they would point out a cracked window pane? If it doesn’t affect their installation and doesn’t let in any outside air, I would think they would ignore it. Should they also tell her if paint is peeling from or chipped off the sill? Maybe if they were smart they would point these things out to the customer and have them sign something that this was preexisting damage just to cover their butts, like you do with a rental car, but that is probably pretty unusual.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      Hmmm… What happens when you put pressure on cracked glass or anything else, the kind of pressure that is exerted by window A/C units?

      That’s why they should have told her when they noticed it. Anything they did to it was going to make it worse.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        What pressure? All the window units I’ve had just had the window sitting on top of the unit, as it sits on top of the sill when closed.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Most of the units I’ve seen are held in place by the lower sash.

        • elangomatt says:

          There is still pressure being put on the glass/frame around the glass. If there was no pressure being put on the part of the window that moves, then you should be able to open and close the window with the AC in the window and not have the AC unit fall out of the window.

      • rlmiller007 says:

        Right on the money! If someone was gonna install a trailer hitch on your car and they found a defect they sure would tell you about it. Same with installing a door or anything else on your house. They’ll almost always CYA.

    • elangomatt says:

      I wouldn’t think it would be unusual at all for an installer to point out something like a cracked window before they start something that involves said window. If it was cracked beforehand and they mentioned it before starting work this article wouldn’t even be posted at all in the first place. Personally, I think the installers probably cracked the window and hoped the homeowner wouldn’t notice until weeks or months later when she really couldn’t blame them anymore.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Sure, but we know that Sears doesn’t exactly hire the best contractors in the area…which both means that they could have caused the damage or they just could have failed to point it out. You say it wouldn’t be unusual for them to point it out if the damage was already there, but is it so unthinkable that they wouldn’t? The point is we don’t know, and unfortunately for the OP there’s no way to prove when the window was cracked after the fact.

    • DogiiKurugaa says:

      Exactly. You tell the customer so you can cover your own ass. Otherwise they can and will say it was not cracked until you did your work and would be able to force you to fix it even if you didn’t do it.

    • Jawaka says:

      A third possibility is that the installers never noticed the crack themselves.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Similar experience. Brought my car in for some routine maintenance, and when I left a piece from the from of my hood flew off. I managed to grab it and see what the heck came off, and it’s a plastic piece at the front of your hood that most people would grab to lift the hood. So, my mind immediately goes to the scenario that the mechanic grabbed it too hard and cracked it.

    I went back to the mechanic and asked what was up. They said it was already cracked when they got it, and didn’t say anything because they thought I knew. Unfortunately, I didn’t know if it was cracked before I went there or not, though I doubted it.

    I did not return to that mechanic again.

  3. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    Redact fail again.

  4. dolemite says:

    I don’t really think it’s the installer’s job to point out flaws in the home when installing something. My opinion would be to take lots of pictures and/or video of any areas workers will be in before having work done in or around the house. Probably takes about 5 minutes with a $50 digital camera.

    • SerenityDan says:

      Wow really? If you are working on a window and you see a crack you’d be pretty stupid not to point out it’s cracked before you start just to avoid getting blamed for it afterwards.

  5. Blueskylaw says:

    Would taking a picture of the window prior to installation with the
    New York Times paper against it (to prove date) be a good idea?

  6. CrazyEyed says:

    If the window was broken beforehand, I would like to think the installer would make note of that to cover their ass. Failing to tell the OP that the window was broken may have been an attempt to completely avoid the issue at all, hoping the a senior citizen wouldn’t notice.

    I’ve read plenty of stories how installers have damaged houses during one of thier projects. Sometimes, its in the nature of their business but they should be held accountable for their mistakes like everyone else. Besides, wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the company to have some form of insurance for the high likelihood of errors?

    My gf’s parents just had a sliding glass door installed at their house from Home Depot. The installer made some mistakes including cracks in the walls and did a poor job filling in holes from opening a wall in their house. In addition the sliding glass door had cracks in some of the panels. You can be damn sure her parents were on the phone with Home Depot to express their concerns. Luckily for them, Home Depot was very responsive and will be replacing the door and repairing what they can. This is why when you outsource a project, its important to have follow up measures to ensure the customer is happy with the work done. In addition they can critique the installer so that the primary company knows what type of people it hire’s to do work on its behalf.

  7. RandomLetters says:

    What about a third scenario where the unit was installed in a window with an unbroken pane but as the unit settled, stress cause the pane to break. The Rona came to clean up and saw the broken pane?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      House settling doesn’t occur as you install a window unit AC. It occurs when after building a house.

      • RandomLetters says:

        Wrong. If you install a heavy window unit on a window sill thats never had anything sitting on it before settling can and does occur. Not a lot but maybe enough to stress crack a window.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        He’s referring to the window settling from the additional stress of supporting a heavy AC unit.

    • dolemite says:

      How about: it was really really hot outside and the house had never had air conditioning. The minute they turned on the air conditioning, the blazing hot pane of glass contracted so quickly (because this was a *really* good air conditioner), the glass cracked!

    • GrandizerGo says:

      AC units shake when the compressor kicks on, I can easily see it shaking and torquing the window enough to break it.

  8. Hi_Hello says:

    this is crazy. People need their house digitally map before anybody walk in there house now??

  9. Pagan wants a +1 button says:

    I find the “installers cracked the window and said nothing” scenario a lot easier to believe. If the window was cracked when they got there, they would have taken note of it to avoid exactly this type of claim.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Or, it very likely could have cracked afterward from the stress of the weight of the A/C. Or, it could have had a tiny chip and cracked from the A/C vibrating the glass. Or, they didn’t really notice the crack. There are other possible scenarios here than the the one where broke it and are denying it.

  10. MrEvil says:

    If the window sash is made of wood. It’s entirely possible that the heavy air-conditioner bent the sash over time causing the glass to crack.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’ve had that exact same scenario happen in the past. Depending on the weight of the unit and the type and age of the window, it’s entirely possible that it broke after the installation.

      Without looking at the window before or immediately after the installation, it’s impossible for anyone to know what happened.

      • RandomLetters says:

        That’s what I was trying to point out with my post. A quick glance at the first page Sear’s offerings online show a low end of 40lbs for a small unit to 125lbs for some of the larger units. Very easily could something weighing 125lbs cause warping enough to lead to a cracked window.

  11. AEN says:

    Bottom line is that she didn’t even know if the window was broken beforehand or not. Non story.

  12. Lyn Torden says:

    And don’t forget, kitty is protesting his window view being blocked by those installers.

    • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

      Kitteh was inspecting the AC. Maybe kitteh was the OP… :3

  13. u1itn0w2day says:

    I’m surprised Sears doesn’t have a policy for their installers much like that of a car rental company where existing problems and conditions are noted.

    That being said many employees simply will not admit to an ooops, they want to keep that ‘perfect’ record and/or perception of themselves. In many cases small incidents aren’t even reported to a contractor’s insurance company they are repaired out of petty cash. It’s when you get into multiple ooops that their job would be in danger depending on the company.

    It also couid’ve been a sloppy or ignorant contractor that simply doesn’t pay attention to detail. Or a slight chance of the home owner not noticing it as well. Alot of people don’t notice squat around their house unless it’s pointed out or highlighted by the fact that something else is going on in the same area.

  14. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    This woman lost credibility when she said that she was a senior with a heart condition. Not only should that make zero difference because all customers should be treated the same, but if something so small as a cracked window pane causes her heart condition to flare, then she has serious emotional issues–it’s a cracked window, not cancer, not your house burning down. It’s one cracked window pane. Also, I call BS on the window person saying they did it. How would they have any clue? You can’t tell who cracked a window. With all that BS she laid out, I cannot have sympathy for her.

    With that said, she doesn’t have any proof it wasn’t previously cracked. All it takes is a small rock being thrown by the lawnmower blade, and you have a window crack that you probably don’t even notice. This is a case of she said they said and nothing more.

  15. Moniker Preferred says:

    Clearly, the complainant does not know, for certain, that the window was intact before the installers began. Otherwise, she would not have any questions about whether the installers did or or whether they just failed to report it.

    Customer fail.

  16. dush says:

    Is that a window they never look at or look out of? How would you not know your windows is cracked?

  17. scoosdad says:

    Who washes the window after the air conditioner is installed it it? You do a mighty poor job that way with most of the overlapping glass surface inaccessible once the sashes are locked in place.

    If this was an older home, you find cracked windows in them all the time. Take it from someone who grew up in an old house and currently lives in one. The installers, if they saw a crack, probably assumed it was there from the beginning.

  18. SearsCares says:

    Good morning Rona,

    My name is Mike and I am a member of the Sears Social Media Support team. I saw your post today and wanted to reach out to you. I am sorry to see that your window may have been damaged during the installation of your air conditioner. I can understand how aggravating this can be as this will now incur an unexpected expense to replace the window. I see also in your post that you have actively been contacting people in an attempt to resolve this matter. If you would allow me the opportunity, I would like to connect you with a dedicated case manager to discuss the situation and come to a resolution. At your convenience, please contact our office via email at smsupport@searshc.com so you don’t have to be upset by this any longer. In the email, please provide a contact number and the phone number the air conditioner was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. In addition, please include your Screen name (Rona) in the email for reference to your issue. Again, we’re sorry for any trouble we have caused and we hope to talk to you soon.

    Thank you,

    Mike D.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support