In a department or discount store, “hardlines” refers to tools, appliances, and furniture: the items that your parents still shop at Sears for, but that you don’t. Sears has hired a new executive in charge of their hardlines departments, which include the company’s three most important house brands: Kenmore appliances, Diehard automobile batteries, and Craftsman tools. [More]
Black & Decker To Pay $1.57M Penalty For Failing To Report Defects Of Lawnmower That Started On Its Own
Under federal law, manufacturers, distributors and retailers are required to immediately report information regarding possible safety defects to the Consumer Product Safety Commission within 24 hours of obtaining reasonable supporting evidence. That 24-hour window allegedly turned into 11 years for Black & Decker and now the company must pay a nearly $1.6 million fine for failing report safety issues related to an electric lawnmower that started spontaneously, injuring at least two consumers. [More]
Oh, Sears. They sort of want to become a modern retailer, but don’t know how. They just can’t figure out this whole 21st-century retail thing. E-mail reminders? Returning items online that were purchased online? Too confusing. Too modern. Make it go away. Jim is the rare Consumerist reader who has no complaints about Sears, even though he actually shops there. But even he admits that his recent experience returning some Craftsman tools was needlessly complicated and required a lot more steps than it should have. [More]
In this month’s Recall Roundup, light fixtures plummet from the sky, bikes fall apart while you ride them, coffee makers explode from steam pressure, and the Care Bears try to comfort your baby, but could end up choking it instead. [More]
Patrick didn’t say where in the country he lives, but in most of the United States, people don’t need string trimmers year-round. Their grass and weeds grow from maybe late spring to maybe early fall. He bought a new Craftsman string trimmer from Sears back in April, just in time for the plants to start growing. He had a problem with it about a month ago, so he brought it in to the store so Sears could make good on that two-year warranty it came with. That’s when he learned that thanks to the glacial speed of repairs, he’ll be lucky if he sees his string trimmer again before the end of the summer. [More]
We’re still not quite sure what Sears is. It pretends to be a retail operation, but in reality acts more like its existence is an elaborate anti-capitalist prank, aiming to keep consumers from exchanging their money for tangible goods. Take, for example, the case of Michael. He would like to order a Craftsman steel workbench frame from Sears, and Sears is doing its best to prevent him from owning one. [More]
Peter has paid for a Sears Craftsman Lawn Tractor, twice, and two and half weeks later it hasn’t been delivered. He’s gone through the phone gamut, the blame tossing, and the broken promises. With his grass 10 inches high, he just wants his tractor so he can mow his lawn. [More]
Do you like Sears’ brand of Craftsman tools but don’t like shopping at Sears? Well, this might be good news for you. The retail chain has announced you will be able to buy Craftsman wares at Costco stores as early as this coming weekend. [More]
Kristi’s garage door opener is from Sears’ venerable Craftsman brand. When the chain assembly broke, logically she contacted Sears to come fix it for her. The repair-scheduling website was slick and easy to use, perhaps lulling her into a false sense that she was in for a professional and logical commercial transaction. Then, it was time for the garage door repair person to actually show up. [More]
One of our readers works in automotive repair, using a set of Craftsman tools he inherited from his pops. The tools have a lifetime guarantee, so he was shocked when after his 1/8th inch socket split he went into Kmart and they said, “Oh, no you have to go to Sears to do that.” (Kmart and Sears merged in ’05). So he did, by emailing the CEO of Sears. [More]
Reader C.W. is wondering why Craftsman (which is part of Sears) doesn’t have the ability to cancel a duplicate order. Especially since there appears to be a “cancel” button on the website.
Can we tag a story “above and beyond” if the customer service cycle is so screwed up that it eventually works out in the customer’s favor? When jpodbuild tried to get his Craftsman sander repaired or replaced, he couldn’t get anyone on the phone who could actually help him—eventually he would end up back at the first number he’d called. He decided to show up in person and let the store manager handle the phone calls. New sander!
Earlier this month, we noted how a reader was having trouble getting Sears to properly honor the lifetime warranty on his Craftsman tools. Now David Figler, a vice president of the company, has responded and said, “We stand behind the warranty—complete satisfaction—period.” Below is his email, and a portion of the memo he sent to Sears stores on the matter.
When we broke off from our Sears Craftsman warranty saga last Friday, Brian had been told there were no replacements on tools that have rust on them, which wasn’t what Sears told us the last time we had warranty questions. Over the weekend, Brian found more evidence that Sears can’t get its warranty language straight. But there’s some good news, too: he dressed up a little, cleaned off the sockets, and went back to Sears. This time he got a different associate who seemed to have no problem swapping out the tools, and who never mentioned the supposed “three per day” rule.
C’mon Sears, rust isn’t a magic brown fairy powder that you can sprinkle over any warranty issue to deny coverage. Brian was told he couldn’t have his worn-out sockets replaced because they were rusty. He pointed out that he needed them replaced because they were worn out, not because of some cosmetic damage due to oxidation. Now Sears has officially told him that any rust on a Craftsman tool automatically voids the warranty—which is not what Sears told us two years ago.
Brian tried to trade in some old Craftsman tools, the ones that come with a lifetime, no-questions-asked replacement policy. Unfortunately, the Tool Associate at Sears deemed Brian unworthy of the Cratfsman guarantee and refused him. That’s why he’s the Tool Associate.
If you could help me out I would be most appreciative. Please see my contact information at the end of this letter. Here’s the full version…
We asked Sears about their warranty policy on rusty Craftsman tools, and they said the life-time warranty doesn’t apply when the rust is cosmetic.