Sears Finds New And Exciting Ways To Not Deliver Me A Working Dishwasher



Years ago, in a time so foreign and distant that many of us can barely remember it, Sears was the place to go if you wanted to buy a quality appliance. That’s not the case anymore. Evidently now it’s the place to go if you want to buy a non-operational appliance and take a bunch of unnecessary days off work. Tomorrow morning, Jesse will be waiting for a technician to come by and (most likely) not get his new dishwasher to work. The second, replacement dishwasher that Sears brought after the first one didn’t work either.

When my old dishwasher died, I did my research online. The best reviewed model that had the features I wanted was a Kenmore Model #13909, available at Sears. I purchased it at a Sears Home Appliance Showroom on Tuesday, 5/8, no problem. I arranged for it to be delivered and installed that Saturday, 5/12.

This would prove to be a terrible, terrible mistake.

Repair people show up on time on Saturday. One problem: they can’t get the dishwasher to work. It turns on, but no water comes in. They confirm that the water flow from my pipes is fine, but the dishwasher appears to be DoA.

I’m annoyed, but hey, it happens. I call up Sears Delivery (spending a half hour on hold) and arrange for a replacement to be delivered the following Tuesday, 5/15. I take a half day off from work to be home for the 4-hour (!!!) delivery window. The delivery people show up on time.

Without a replacement dishwasher. They sent the delivery guy out without it. Instead, they sent the guy who failed to install it the first time to try and fix it. Unsurprisingly, he couldn’t.

I call up again. They’re very apologetic, say they have no idea how things got screwed up, but that they’ll get a replacement to the warehouse by Thursday, 5/17, and someone will call me that night between 7 and 9 PM to set up a delivery appointment. I ask for compensation for my inconvenience; the woman tries to convince me that replacing their defective product qualifies as compensation. I am dubious, and come very close to breaking my personal vow against yelling at customer service people. Eventually, they offer a $20 gift card. Fine.

By 9:30 PM on Thursday, having not gotten a call, I call up again. They have no record of a request being processed for a replacement. The woman on the phone is so confused, she has to call in a colleague and leave me on hold for twenty minutes just to unravel how screwed up my account is. Finally, she apologizes profusely, explains she has no idea what the previous person was doing, and promises me a call the next day (Friday, 5/18) from an offline manager to straighten things out and get me a delivery appointment.

Shockingly, nobody calls me. I call back that evening. Again, I’m put on hold for twenty minutes while the customer service rep tries to figure things out. Again, I’m told they have no record of a request being processed for a replacement. Again, the apologizes profusely, explains she has no idea what the previous person was doing, and promises me a call the next day (Saturday, 5/19) to set up an appointment by early afternoon.

Predictably, the call never comes. I call up, and lo and behold, this last person did things right, and I have a delivery appointment for today (Monday, 5/21) between 2 and 6. This means I have to take another half-day off from work, but fine. I get the number for the delivery company and confirm that they’re actually going to be bringing a dishwasher this time.

Monday rolls around, and indeed, the installers come (same guy as the first two times. A bad omen.) He brought a dishwasher; we’re making progress!

And he can’t get it to work. Again, he confirms that the water flow from our pipes is fine.

So back on the phone with Sears Delivery! They stick me on hold for another twenty minutes, and I’m put on with an escalation manager. I ask for a technician to come out that day. She refuses. I ask for my delivery and installation charges (~$150) to be refunded, as compensation for the two half-days I had to take off from work, the general inconvenience, and their complete failure to deliver and install a working dishwasher. She refuses. They offer another gift card. The prospect of acquiring more Sears merchandise does not excite me at this point.

So I have a fourth appointment on Wednesday morning (5/23) for a technician to come and take a look. How will they manage to leave me without a working dishwasher this time? The world wonders.


Edit Your Comment

  1. mikedt says:

    Call them back and tell them to come get their piece of crap dishwasher and that you will be doing a chargeback for any and all fees. And if they object, tell them they can see you in small claims court.

  2. Blackadar says:

    Enough. Tell them to stick their dishwasher where the sun doesn’t shine, get a full refund and go buy it from somewhere else.

    • dorrdon says:

      Unfortunately, based on research, he wanted a specific Kenmore model, and Kenmore is Sears’s house brand.
      Possibly the specific model is a rebrand of another manufacturer’s dishwasher, but likely that model was specifically built for Sears.

      • chiieddy says:

        He should find out what ‘clone’ the model is of. Most Kenmores are GE or LGs rebranded. Just find out what it is and get it elsewhere.

        • dorrdon says:

          Was in a Sears (Canada) store once, looking at refrigerators, quite a while back. The fridge was branded Kenmore on the outside, and GE on the inside.

          Off Topic: Similar story – At the Toronto, international car show, there was a pickup truck badged as a Chevy Silverado on the front, and driver’s side, and on the passenger side, and rear it was badged as a GMC Sierra.

          • Sarek says:

            I saw this *twice* in the early ’70s where the car said Plymouth on one side and Dodge on the other.

      • missminimonster says:

        It’s like you have to research two things: first the best model of the item you’re looking for, then the best place to buy it. Consumer Reports, of course, only talks about the items themselves.

        Honestly, I’ve given up on Kenmore because of myn family’s bad luck with Sears. Even if I see that the item has high ratings, I’ll pass it up for something I can buy elsewhere.

  3. Velifer says:

    Aren’t there laws against this kind of thing?

    • vastrightwing says:

      Yes, but this is Sears. Sears exists in a different dimension. In this dimension, things aren’t as they seem. The appliances are not actual appliances as one would expect in this world. They are actually disguised inter-dimensional transportation links: otherwise known as StarGates. The plot is to get enough of these installed into people’s homes so the aliens can take over the world. Unfortunately the plan is being ruined by un-compromising people who expect the appliances to do earthly tasks such as clean dishes, mow lawns and make ice. They are not able to install enough of these star gates to get their army into place.

      What? Have a better explanation? Let’s hear it!

    • Lyn Torden says:

      There are loopholes for corporations, though.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    “The second, replacement dishwasher that Sears brought after the first one didn’t work either”

    Does Sears follow the replacement policy of cell phone companies and replace your unit with a used one that has been refurbished?

    • vastrightwing says:

      Sears, here’s a tip: why don’t you try the dish washer in the service area BEFORE delivering it so you don’t look so stupid and waste several people’s time. I know this sounds stupid, but It works. Oh forget it. Keep doing stuff the way you are. it’s fun to read about you here.

  5. GOInsanity says:

    I’ve lost all sympathy with people that shop at Sears. I think now they’re just doing it to see if they can top the last story.

    • vastrightwing says:

      Just Sears? how about Best Buy?

      • GOInsanity says:

        Oddly, Best Buy doesn’t bother me as much as Sears. Not to say that I like Best Buy, but it seems with them, you can avoid buying the problem items there (optimized laptops, etc). You can still get some stuff okay. And at least they don’t feel like I’ve gone back in time 10 years whenever I step into one. Seriously, I have yet to find a Sears that actually feels like a newish store. Or even up to date. They just feel depressing and dull inside. Not somewhere I’d ever want to shop.

  6. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    I wonder if the “Sears Public Relations” person is going to post here with an empty promise to make things right and keep OP on hold for another hour before offering a $10 gift card and more empty promises for all of the trouble. Sears, you may have been a good company in the 1970s but you have lost your good people when they lost their commissions, you failed to integrate new technology, and I am afraid anything K-Mart touches turns to crap. Competition is usually good but the sooner you and K-Mart are gone, the better. Your void will allow competent competitors to fill your void in the marketplace.

    • Scooter McGee says:

      They are very good at copying and pasting their replies on Facebook. It almost looks automated.

    • scoosdad says:

      Major Tom Coming Home, this is Sears Bob from the Social Networking Action Squad at Sears. We are sorry to read about your problems with Sears Quality Appliances. If you would be so kind as to reach out to our executive response team at we’d be pleased to look into your particular issue with your recent purchase of a Sears [insert appliance name]. Thank you for shopping at K-Mart and have a great day!


  7. ecuador says:

    WTH are you still dealing with them? Tell them to come pick it up and refund you.

  8. SkokieGuy says:

    Jesse, exactly what will Sears have to do to you to make you cancel this transaction and go elsewhere?

    Based on this post, you have another appointment, so you are continuing to be willing to do business with Sears.

  9. Razor512 says:

    if possible tell them you don’t want the dish washer and want it picked up and returned immediately and that you get a full refund for all charges, then after, call your credit card company and have a chargeback done on all charges

  10. scoutermac says:

    Stop shopping at Sears.

  11. jeadly says:

    Once I bought a chest freezer from Lowes. The truck arrived on time and the freezer had a dent in the side. I refused delivery and drove to Lowes to refund my purchase. On the way home I stopped at Home Depot and bought a different chest freezer. They delivered it the next day without issue.

  12. CrazyEyed says:

    You failed when Sears was first mentioned

  13. winstonthorne says:

    What research led this poor man to believe that buying anything from Sears was a good idea?

    • scoosdad says:

      I’m betting it was something in the Consumer Reports annual ratings. The 2012 Buyers Guide has Kenmore in 2 of the top 4 positions for conventional dishwashers.

      I sure hope the benevolent overlords of The Consumerist at Consumer Reports are taking note of the increasing complaints about Sears and their appliances here, and start to adjust their ratings accordingly.

  14. ColoradoShark says:

    I’ve commented on this before:
    A bit over ten years I bought a Sony TV at Sears, and I thought I had won the ‘buy a quality product at a quality store’ derby. The extreme downfall of Sony and Sears makes me feel sad and old. It makes me feel old more than my children’s graduation.

  15. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    The obvious problem is there is a cat in your dishwasher. The picture tells me so.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Hair clogs?

    • Martha Gail says:

      That’s how dishwashers work. First the cat licks off all the food, then the sprayers clean the cat’s tongue. Then he goes back with his clean tongue to rinse the dishes. Duh.

      • scoosdad says:

        That’s why they tell you not to rinse the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher anymore. Cat takes care of the rest.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Or maybe they left the cat out and that’s why it won’t work.

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

        Yeah. Obviously cat has been trying to tell the Sears repair man he’s doing it all wrong.


    • Holden Caufield says I'm a phonie says:

      The free cat or 1 year 0% finance has got to be one of the most misguided offers Sears ever had.

  16. parabellum2000 says:

    Is there any good place to buy an appliance now days? I’ve seen horror stories about Sears, Best Buy, and Lowes. That doesn’t leave many options for most people. Who is the most trusted vendor in this field?

    • dorrdon says:

      In 2007 I ordered a fridge from Home Depot.
      When the delivery guys were taking it off the truck, they noticed a dent in it, they insisted that it be replaced, even though I said I would take it. They had another one out to my place the next morning, BEFORE i normally leave for work, so I didn’t have to take off any time.

      Not that everything goes right with Home Depot, but whoever they have contracted for home deliveries in Scarborough, ON is tops.

      • sjgarg says:

        Home Depot at Warden/Ellesmere?

        Service there is pretty decent, they cut a bunch of lumber for us and did a great job. Their stock on some items though has led to us shopping more at Lowes in the Golden Mile area.

        • dorrdon says:

          HD @ Markham Road & 14th (Kirkham Drive)
          I lived in Scarborough, but the store was in Markham.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Buy your appliance anywhere (with a credit card), borrow a pickup truck to move the appliance yourself, and install the appliance yourself. That seems to me to be the only course of action anymore… It’s unfortunate.

      Also, it sounds like OP might have installation problems rather than problems with the actual unit.

      • parabellum2000 says:

        I think I’ll take your advice. Most I’ve got a truck and trailer. Most appliances aren’t difficult to install anyway. I’ve always valued the delivery primary for hauling away the old stuff. After looking at these stories a trip to the dump doesn’t seem so bad.

    • Sinabu says:

      I personally like HHGregg, My mother bought her fridge and washer/dryer from them. All installed the next day with no issues.

      I purchased my fridge from them replacing an old one that died and started leaking badly. When the installers arrived with it we found it had a small dent on the side. They asked me If I wanted a new one or would I be willing to take a $100 off the fridge. I took the $100 off and since the fridge sits next to a wall yo can’t see the small dent anyway :D

      • parabellum2000 says:

        I’ve never really liked HHGreg, but only because the sales people are so pushy at my local store. I guess I’ll give them a second look.

    • chiieddy says:

      I’ve bought thousands of dollars of appliances from Best Buy without issue.

      Probably your best bet is your local/regional chain or mom & pop appliance shop. In the Boston area there’s Sozio, Yale Electric, etc.

  17. spartan says:

    “How will they manage to leave me without a working dishwasher this time?”

    They’re Sears. That’s how.

  18. Jules Noctambule says:

    Get the one in the picture! Judging by those sparkling dishes, the Calico model of Catwasher does a fine job.

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

      I believe a refurbished Strey version of the Calico model has proven to be heavy-duty.

  19. CrazyEyed says:

    I blame the OP. The cat’s rough tongue is more than sufficient to get those dishes clean.

  20. Silverhawk says:

    This sounds like an installation problem. Exact same issue on 2 examples of the same model that was installed by the same guy? I have to wonder.

  21. bkdlays says:

    I’m glad every person in the USA has to have a terrible experience with Sears before they stop buying things from them, never mind actually use their delivery AND install services.

    Kennmore is just rebadged something else. I am very confident the OP could have found a comparable dishwasher at any one of the other retailers.

    Sears stores are closing all over the place. You WILL have trouble getting parts for this fake Kennmore brand eventually. Their staff don’t care, Their systems are terrible,. They cannot perform the most simple functions.

    WHy do people shop there again?

  22. nishioka says:

    > Eventually, they offer a $20 gift card.
    > They offer another gift card.

    “Sorry we suck so bad, here’s a gift card you can use to shop with us again!”

  23. asmbimom says:

    Similar thing happened to me last week with a Sears Kenmore vacuum cleaner. It came sealed in a box but none of the parts fit, nor did it actually work — you know — suck dirt….So I bring it back to a Sears appliance outlet that assured me I could return it. Two hours of hassle [they couldn’t figure out how to credit my credit card] and 10 minutes before closing, finally, finally, they gave me my money back. I spied last year’s to-rated Kenmore in the store at a reduced price. I took a chance and bought it. Thankfully, this one had all its parts fit and it does work. What’s going on with Sears?

  24. Starrion says:

    Has anyone considered that the component failure occuring here may be the installer?

    Two DOA dishwashers that fail in exactly the same way suggest to me that the installcritter may be missing a step and that is why they are having the same problem.

    Companies, are loathe to pay to hire quality people to do these kinds of jobs which is why I suspect that someone will find both these dishwashers actually work fine.

  25. mik3y says:

    The OP mentions that the installer checked his pipes and water flow but he never mentions that he checked the power. Was it plugged in and breaker switch on?

  26. SearsCares says:

    Dear Jesse,

    My name is Stephanie L. and I am with the Sears Social Media Escalations team. Please accept our deepest apologies for the multiple failed attempts to get a replacement dishwasher delivered to you, we understand your concern seeing you have paid for an item and it has yet to be delivered. We are especially sorry for the poor customer service you have received. We understand your time is valuable and waiting at your home for deliveries that were never scheduled can indeed be an inconvenience. We value you as a Sears customer and we would like the opportunity to speak with you further and go over the options we have to see your delivery takes place as scheduled. At your convenience please contact our office via email at and a dedicated case manager will contact you directly. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number your dishwasher was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide your screen name “Jesse” you used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

    Thank you,
    Stephanie L.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

    • Major Tom Coming Home says:

      Why does this person not get any help until their story is posted to consumerist? You are a day late and a dollar short K-Mart. Sears used to be the first place I would go when I wanted appliances, but now I won’t even consider getting a large ticket item from your company. Too much ineptitude and hassle.