Sears Dishwasher Includes Free Live Snake, Customer Is Unhappy For Some Reason

I’ve shopped in enough pet stores to know that people will pay good money for snakes. One Sears customer in California got all upset yesterday when Sears came by her house to deliver a new Kenmore dishwasher from It was missing a few parts, which annoyed her. Oh, and there was a live snake taped to it.

The lucky recipient tweeted a photo of the snake and updates on the situation, and had to figure out what to do next. What are the protocols when a department store delivers you an appliance with a snake trapped to it? It had certainly never occurred to us to write a “how-to” guide for this situation.

She first called Sears, spending hours on hold and speaking to an alarming number of people before learning that Corporate was closed for the day and no one could help her. “Sears continues to apologize, but of the 15 people I have spoke with, none are able to actually resolve this problem,” she told Business Insider. Local Animal Control allegedly couldn’t come remove the animal because the snake was already contained: that is, taped to the dishwasher. Hours later, someone from Sears came and took the dishwasher and the snake back, and a new one will arrive next week. A new dishwasher, that is. They had better not send a new snake.

Knowing the priorities of our readers, let’s get this out of the way: we don’t know what happened to the snake, and will update you when we find out.

A Sears Customer Was Delivered A Dishwasher With A Live Snake Taped To It [Business Insider] (Thanks, Wayne!)
A photo for everyone. [Twitter]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ovalseven says:
  2. MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

    Maybe they just included it in case the drain gets clogged?


  3. RandomLetters says:

    I know a lot of people don’t like snakes at all but that one looks to be a California Striped Racer. It’s completely harmless. She could have just carefully removed the snake and let it go in an outside area.

    • Mr. Fix-It is trapped in a collection of half-working appliances says:

      I would’ve suggested keeping it as a pet maybe, but since the OP obviously doesn’t like snakes…

    • nodaybuttoday says:

      Spiders are often pretty harmless too, doesn’t stop people (like me!) from freaking out around them…

    • Shinzakura says:

      Also looks like a Common Eastern Garter Snake, which if it came from Tampa is just as likely. Also harmless but probably shouldn’t let it outside.

    • Damiana says:

      It may be harmless but some of us are absolutely terrified of snakes regardless of their venom or lack thereof.

  4. We Have a Piper Down says:

    Oh my god. It’s a little garden snake. Go get any random 10 year old boy from a neighbor and let him have at it. They’re not poisonous. Come where I live where even the lizards and spiders can tear your head off and then get back to me about your teeny tiny garden snake.

    I don’t see why she needs a new dishwasher for a few missing parts.

    • chancyrendezvous says:

      You may know it’s not poisonous, but I don’t. I can hazard a guess that it’s probably harmless, but I still wouldn’t want to set a snake loose in my neighborhood not knowing for sure that it wouldn’t bite someone and cause harm.

    • TerraSin says:

      It may not be venomous, but I’m pretty sure that’s one pissed off serpent. I would not want to be on the receiving end of his jaws once freed. Not everyone is Steve Irwin and can handle a cranky snake.

      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        Fair enough. Animal control would likely dispose of the snake (I had a snake removed from my garage, it was a rat snake. They killed it onsite). Why not do that here?

        That snake is trapped in clear plastic. You couldn’t ask for a better chance to identify and decide how to handle it.

        My Rat snake was hiding it’s head and tail. It can vibrate it’s tail against objects and sound like a rattle snake, and the coloring is very similar. The species is also know to be aggressive and ill tempered, so not much of a pet even if it won’t seriously harm you.

  5. Harry Greek says:

    “She first called Sears, spending hours on hold and speaking to an alarming number of people before learning that Corporate was closed for the day and no one could help her.”

    What was Sears suppose to do, remove the snake for her? Them coming to pick it up was plenty good as far as I am concerned.

    Also, when you dial Animal Control, you don’t tell them to the sucker is already ‘contained’ just start screaming there is a wild animal in your home. When they arrive, let them deal with it. I am pretty certain the dude-ette who shows up would have taken care of the situation.

    With that said, I am not certain the warehouse staff did anything to ensure the snake was ‘de-taped’ and safely set back out into the wild.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      Because animal controlses are increasingly strapped for cash, they will make all sort of excuses not to roll a truck or not do do anything to help you. Some excuses I’ve heard: We don’t take kittens without the mother, we don’t pick up wild animals (skunks), we don’t take animals in a contained area, which included cages, traps, barns and houses. They will ask questions and basically any answer will let them off the hook.

  6. ovalseven says:

    Her boyfriend is the one who noticed it. Why didn’t he do anything?

  7. axhandler1 says:

    Not sure why the snake being there necessitated getting a completely new washer. Why couldn’t the guy who came to pick it up just grab the snake and let it go outside somewhere?

    • PercussionQueen7 says:

      Sweet baby Jesus, this. There was conceivably nothing wrong with the dishwasher. If you’re scared of snakes, then go ask your neighbor or something to help get it out of there, but this is completely blowing the problem out of proportion.

      /Is it just me, or are more and more of the stories on here about complete and total whiners who just want to complain and not actually have their problem solved expeditiously?

      • PercussionQueen7 says:

        Wait, I reread. Yes, there were parts missing. That would be worth sending the dishwasher back, provided it wasn’t just the silverware caddy or something that could easily be shipped to her. But for the snake? Totally lame.

        • axhandler1 says:

          Whoops, I missed the part about the missing parts too. Fair enough, as long as it wasn’t solely because of the snake. I would find that outrageous.

        • STXJK says:

          I wonder about missing parts – if they were parts that she noticed, then it almost had to be things like a silverware basket or something. My intuition tells me that most consumers don’t know enough about dishwasher installation to notice when a washer or connector or something is missed… I will happily admit if I’m proven wrong though.

          • hoi-polloi says:

            The linked article references panels and handles. I’d think handles could be bagged and packaged inside the dishwasher, but this consumer obviously wasn’t going to find out.

      • STXJK says:

        Yes. The answer is yes.

  8. dwasifar says:

    I think it’s a little misleading to say the snake “was taped to” the dishwasher. That makes it sound like someone did it deliberately. If you look at the picture it’s obvious the snake crawled into the gap under the tape and then got stuck. I do kind of wondering how a snake and a new dishwasher prepped for shipment wound up in the same place, but still, this looks like just a weird accident.

    • dwasifar says:

      *wonder. Darn auto correct.

    • jeepguy57 says:

      My guess is the snake was after a mouse in the warehouse. I wouldn’t be surprised to find a mouse in an appliance. So I guess it’s logical to then assume you could find a snake there.

      • humphrmi says:

        Of course, for that reason, the mongoose that came in my dishwasher was no surprise. But I was a bit troubled about the jackals that were there to eat the mongoose, and the eagle that was chasing the jackal.

        • jeepguy57 says:

          Can’t tell if you’re being snarky or not but my post was simply addressing your question as to how a snake and a dishwasher could end up in the same place. I’m not saying it’s right, appropriate or justifiable. But my parents found a snake in their basement last year. No mongooses, jackals or eagles though.

          And no old lady swallowing a fly either.

  9. noahproblem1 says:


  10. benminer says:

    1. Put on some gardening or work gloves,
    2. Grab the snack
    3. Show it the door.

    Why waste hours of your life on something that could have been taken care of in less than 5 minutes? Is there a Consumerist Pink P*ssy award? If so I nominate this person.

  11. jeepguy57 says:

    Why all the hate? I am an avid outdoorsman and while I have encountered plenty of wildlife in my day while hiking and camping, snakes are still my only real fear. Sure, its irrational but that’s how it is. I would lose my $hit if this came with my dishwasher.

    My first call would be to Sears to have them deal with it. But knowing how long that would take, I would probably call someone I know who isn’t afraid of snakes to deal with it.

    I would certainly want Sears to at least acknowledge the issue. It sounds like it was missing parts, so that might warrant a replacement, or at least delivery of those parts. If the dishwasher was fine otherwise, I don’t see why you wouldn’t keep it.

    I would give Sears the benefit of the doubt and assume the snake was after some mice in the warehouse when it got stuck there. I can’t imagine some idiot warehouse worker actually taped the snake there.

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    Maybe Sears is trying to break into the lucrative movie business
    with their new hit film: SNAKES IN MY DISHWASHER.

  13. dwasifar says:

    I disagree with the people who say this would be easy to deal with. You can’t just pick that snake up; you’d have to unstick it from all that tape without injuring it, and I guarantee you it would not be cooperative.

    • noahproblem1 says:

      This, and we don’t know if the snake is poisonous (the article didn’t mention the species).

      • Velifer says:

        Have we completely lost all connection to the non-human world? How could you live in an area and not know which animals living in your neighborhood were harmful? OP should be taken on a very long snipe hunt.

        • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

          Have we completely lost all connection to the non-human world? How could you live in an area and not know which animals living in your neighborhood were harmful?

          It didn’t come from her neighborhood. It came from wherever the dishwasher came from.

      • RandomLetters says:

        I identified it in under two minutes and I don’t even live any where near California. It’s a harmless species that eats small animals like mice. It would actually be a benifical species to have in the neighborhood. And as for removing it, a little soap mixed into some water in a spray bottle, spray the tape on either side of the snake very well, and slowly work from the tail end up, spraying the freed portion of tape so it doesn’t restick to the snake.

        • dwasifar says:

          The more of the snake you freed, the more of it would be whipping around at you while you worked. Eventually you’d have four feet of soapy snake flying around with the head still stuck.

        • MuleHeadJoe says:

          Not everybody is a herpetologist. I know there are scads of snake species living in my home area, but being able to tell that a snake is a rattlesnake or not is the extent of my species recognition powers. Based on it’s morphology (narrow head, big eyes), I would presume this particular snake was non-poisonous, but that’s only because I’ve read a few books (kid-level picture books) in my lifetime about reptiles, and I still wouldn’t have a clue as to it’s species.

          That being said … I don’t think it was a California snake to begin with. It’s a Florida snake that was delivered to California (check the original article, the washer was shipped from a distribution center in Tampa). Damn Floridians sending us their excess reptiles! Like we don’t have enough of our own?

          • RandomLetters says:

            It took two weeks for delivery (maybe they hand carried it from Florida?) but in that two weeks it had to have been transfered from a shipping truck, to a warehouse and then to the van that delivered it. Thats when the snake got stuck to the tape. I don’t think a snake that size could surivive two weeks with no water.

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      You’d also have to know the snake is not dangerous. I guess she could have killed the snake, but I’d understand if she found that too upsetting a thing to do. I’d definitely return an appliance if it came with live animals stuck to it and I’d expect the company not to require me to be spend several hours on the phone with 15 people to get someone to resolve the situation.

    • raitch says:

      Yep. I’m not scared at all of snakes- I WOULD be scared of inadvertently hurting the snake as I tried to un-stick it from the tape.

  14. cactus jack says:

    These little rascals will get into anything. I remember setting up cans at a shooting range and noticed something moving around inside. Wasn’t too happy we shot it and it’s home up. It was a Christian camp so I’m sure Jesus forgave us.

  15. TastyBeverage says:


  16. STXJK says:

    Somehow I don’t think she’ll be cooking salmon in her dishwasher anymore.

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

    Why couldn’t it be a free kitten? Or a pot-scrubbing pooch?

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

      It’s harder to de-lint a dishwasher. Easier to de-scale it.


  18. Bodger says:

    Get over it. Dr. Who had “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” and he did just fine.

  19. hoi-polloi says:

    For those worrying if the snake is venomous, there are some common differences between venomous and non-venomous snakes. This snake has a rounded head, while most venomous snakes have a more triangular head. Non-venomous snakes generally have round pupils, while venomous snakes have slits. This traits aren’t universal, but as others have said it’s easy to look up the types of snakes in your area. I’d handle this little guy without qualms. This is probably a California Striped Racer or gartersnake:

    Returning the dishwasher is another matter. The linked article said she was missing panels and handles. I could see these being packaged inside the unit, but it’s unclear if they were able or willing to open the washer after discovering the snake.

  20. RedOryx says:

    All the haters need to just take a step back and realize that irrational fears are called that because they are IRRATIONAL. The logic of it being a harmless snake isn’t going to override the phobia of having one in your house, even if it is “contained” in a dishwasher. Plus, I’m just taking a guess here, but I’m thinking a snake that has been trapped for an extended period of time is going to be pissed off and not cooperative.

  21. samonela says:

    Sears Repair Technician: Looks like your washer needs a new Serpentine Belt.

  22. PaRa02 says:

    Back when I worked at Sears Outlet I do remember that same exact type snake hiding in a cooktop when we received it at our store. My boss thought it was a kids toy and played with it for 5 minutes before realizing that it was real when it started crawling around the register. We gave it to some kid in the mall who wanted it.

  23. Fishnoise says:

    Snakes and dishwashers? Meh . . .

    Talk to me when you find a trout in the milk.

  24. energynotsaved says:

    In the late 1990s, my youngest spent her birthday money on a bookcase sized, all in a box, stereo system. When we opened it, there was a small, ring neck snake. We finally got it outside (I hate snakes.) The poor thing died. I think it must have been boxed at the time of packing. However, it scared me.

    I think a snake in an appliance is cause for abject terror.

  25. Cerne says:

    The snake may be harmless, but it’s obviously eaten the beginning of this articles first sentence.

  26. Aliciaz777 says:

    Snake!? EEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!! OMG!

    Excuse me while I jump around to shake off the heebee jeebees.

  27. awesome anna says:

    Poor snake!!! I hope they didn’t kill it when they picked up the dishwasher and brought it back to the warehouse :( I would have totally rescued it and let it go. They prob just ripped the tape right off the poor snake too… I have more sympathy for the snake than anyone else in this article.

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

      It may have been dead already… I’d pick up a long stick and poke at its exposed tail a bit, just to see if it’s still alive.

      If not alive, grab some tongs and scissors to cut tape and dispose of snake.

      If alive – AIIIIEEEEEE! Once my heart rate goes down I’d probably rescue it, as long as I have decent protection just in case it tries to bite in panic. I’m pretty sure the thing is just as scared as I am.

  28. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Oh no, the poor little snake. :'(

  29. Emily says:

    Jeez. Just reach out gingerly with a pair of scissors and cut the tape below the snake… see if he can escape on his own. Wear gloves if it freaks you out.

    Poor snake. He got the worst customer service in this situation.

  30. NotSearsFan says:

    I am not at all surprised that the woman no luck dealing with Sears customer service, whether or not they were the best equipped to immediately solve her snake problem. Sears is the worst, and my family is currently going through our own Sears drama which will cost upwards of $25,000.

    We got a new dishwasher installed by Sears and due to the negligent installation it flooded our downstairs, destroyed our entire first floor of hardwood floors, flooded our oak cabinets and drywall. When we realized that the water seeping up from the boards was caused by the dishwasher, we immediately called Sears which said they couldn’t come out to fix it for 3 weeks. Obviously, we got an emergency plumber and water damage company out immediately.

    The best part? Sears refuses to deal with our claim through their own insurance. Rather, they’ve kicked us to the installer’s insurance saying it is “Sears’ policy” to not address these claims. Really? Tell that to your customers who think they have a 1 year labor warranty when we get Sears to install. It is a bogus warranty when Sears’s policy is to not deal with claims regarding installation.

    Thanks Sears. If only we had a snake delivered instead of your negligent installation.

  31. SearsCares says:

    Dear Unhappy Dishwasher Customer:

    Jessica, we’re very happy that we’ve been able to assist in resolving this. Your case manager will be in touch soon to follow up. You may also reach us directly at for any additional concerns.

    Susan R.
    Sears Social Media Support.

  32. NorthAlabama says:

    it’s just a sears promo for new drain snake service with installations…

  33. jaazzman says:

    Why is it SearsCares only cares after something has ended up in the media? How about caring when the issue first arises? There’s a reason your company is hemorrhaging customers….

  34. km9v says:

    There’s no extra charge for the snake.