Sears’ Frosty Home Repair

Apparently, we’re not the only ones who’ve had Sears repair people not show up for their appointments. Meet Jim, a man with a broken fridge. Not knowing how to fix a fridge himself, Jim called Sears Home Repair and scheduled an appointment. He was given a $65 estimate and a four hour repair window. Jim waited patiently, earnestly, for his hero to arrive. Guess who didn’t show? Jim says:

“They had no idea why the repairman was a no-show. [They told me]”Maybe he didn’t show up to work today, but we have no way of knowing that.”

That’s right, they didn’t even know Jim got stood up like it was the junior prom. Annoyed, but still in good spirits, Jim decided to try to collect a $65 “inconvienience fee” from Sears to compensate for having to sit around for four hours waiting for the repair douchebag. From Jim’s email to Sears:

“Also, please be informed that I have a no-show charge of $65.Please let me know if you’d like to pay by check or credit card. Payment is due within 30 days of your receipt of this e-mail, and late payments are charged at the current prime rate per day.”

You can imagine how Sears took that. Read highlights of Jim’s email exchange with Sears after the jump.

From me:
Now that my technician is 26 hours late, any word on when he plans to show up?

Also, please be informed that I have a no-show charge of $65.
Please let me know if you’d like to pay by check or credit card.
Payment is due within 30 days of your receipt of this e-mail, and late
payments are charged at the current prime rate per day.

Reply #1:

We have forwarded your message to the local and regional manager of the service unit assigned to your service order. Please allow one to two business days for them to research and respond to your issue.

We appreciate your business, and value you as a Sears customer. We certainly hope you will continue to make Sears your choice for quality and value.

Kevin R.
Sears Customer Care

My reply after several days went by:

I scheduled a refrigerator repair visit for a four-hour window.

A repairman never showed up. I still have not been told why. Nobody at Sears seems to know why…or even care.

Today, I received a phone call from a polite Sears appointment rep asking me if I’d like to reschedule. I’ll pose the same question to you that I would to her: If you were me, would you reschedule?

Should I reschedule because Sears made a mistake?
Should I reschedule in hopes that half of another beautiful spring Saturday isn’t wasted on Sears?
Should I reschedule because Sears repairman are normally punctual, polite, and trustworthy?

She couldn’t offer me a good reason, and I suspect you can’t either.

When I moved in my new home in 2001, I bought several thousand dollars worth of new appliances from Sears on a brand new Sears credit card, as I imagine many new homeowners do. In the past five years, all of my appliances have required service and parts. The refrigerator I purchased–one of the most expensive you sold at the time, has required five service visits for five different malfunctioning parts.

So now I’m wondering: Why should I ever shop at Sears again?

Sears Reply #2

Please allow the service manager another one or two business days to contact you. Please relate your concerns to the manager. We
apologize for the service appointment which we missed, and the inconvenience which this caused you.

Kevin R.
Sears Customer Care

My reply, days later

Kevin-

A service manager called today and asked if I would like to schedule an appointment. She was completely unaware of the exchange below. I
asked her why a repairman never showed up 10 days ago. She had no idea why, but told me she’d “track it” and get back to me. I’ll let
you know how that goes.

Sears Reply #3

We apologize that the service manager that contacted you seemed to be unaware of the circumstances. When your inquiry was referred, it was
referred verbatim, as shown below. The entire email string was forwarded. Please advise, if we can be of further assistance.

Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore, NordicTrack, Craftsman
and Reebok. Shop sears.com now to pick up great products for the season.

Dennis F.

Awesome! I’d love to hear more about those exciting innovations from Reebok. But about that refrigerator repair…

It has now been 17 days since my service request, and I still have not been told what the status of this repair might be. Please advise if the repairman is en route. Since my refrigerator is no longer functioning, it’s becoming more difficult to prepare food for my one-year-old son, and we’ve been forced to forage for nuts and berries in the local park. (I worry my son is beginning to go feral.)

—–

At this point, I was given a number to call their “Executive Service Department” which had no idea why why repairman was a no-show (as expected) and was asked again if I’d like to reschedule. I asked for a guarantee that a repairman would show up within that four hour window, and was told “we can’t promise that.” Beautiful. So, Sears expects its customers to set aside four hour blocks for appointments, but can’t promise that anyone will show up in that window, nor even explain why if they don’t?

Finally, I repeated my request for payment on my personal “Inconvenice Fee” of $65, and asked who I should send my invoice to. After several confusing back-and-forth exchanges where I had to explain that this was MY charge to Sears, not the other way around, I was angrily transferred to “someone who will take care of this for you,” which, I learned, is the customer service rep slamming the phone down and disconnecting me.

The repairman still has not shown. I wait by the window, hoping he’ll call…