In Paula’s letter to Consumerist, she said something unusual that caught our eye. She sincerely wished that she had ordered her new dishwasher from Sears rather than Lowe’s. What makes a person express such crazy desires? She had assumed that the “delivery date” displayed for shoppers on the Lowe’s site stood for the date that the appliance would be delivered to and installed in her home. Not quite.
Isabelle’s $300 Dyson vacuum from Target arrived on her doorstep without some of the parts, and filled with dirt from someone else’s house. Wanting to receive the item she actually had ordered, she dragged it to the nearest Target in a taxi and was told that she was obviously trying to pull one over on Target by returning this vacuum when she so clearly had used it and kept the handle. Clearly.
For generations of Americans, Sears has simply been where you go when it’s time to outfit your new home. (At one point, you could even order your house itself out of the Sears, Roebuck catalog.) They, and their Kenmore appliances, were trustworthy, reliable, and quintessentially American. Now? Is Sears any of those things?
Waiting for the second repair on her two-year-old fridge, Joyce was surprised to learn that her Kenmore is just an LG with a badge slapped on it. Oh, and no one knows when the new compressor is coming, or whether it’s actually been ordered at all.
When the dishwasher that Greg bought at Lowe’s broke down after a failed repair, he called up the store. A manager instructed him to bring the appliance, which was covered under an extended warranty, in to the store and they would exchange it for one that actually worked. Only when he brought it in, the employees on duty treated him “like a criminal” because he had lost the receipt in a recent move. Wait, don’t appliances have serial numbers that they can use to look up warranty information? Nope.
For some reason, Terry expects the GE range with double ovens that he bought just a few months ago to do unreasonable things, like heat up to a consistent temperature, or perhaps cook some food. But his roasts remain un-roasted, and his cakes won’t bake. What’s wrong? None of the technicians GE has sent see a problem with the oven.
Lori’s front-loading Whirlpool washing machine is broken, and has been since the end of November. This would be less infuriating if Lowe’s hadn’t sent six large boxes of the wrong parts to her house, as well as two repairmen who can’t do anything because the correct parts still haven’t shown up. She wrote to Consumerist in what is clearly a laundry-induced rage.
Last week, a reader wrote in wanting to hear from the Consumerist hive-mind if he’d been a Bad Consumer by badgering a carwash into giving him some wiper fluid for damage that might not have been the carwash’s fault. Inspired by that post, another reader wants to hear your verdict — and this time it’s a lot pricier than a bottle of wiper fluid.
John got a great deal on a floor-model washer and dryer unit at Best Buy. But he wasn’t the only one. After he completed the purchase, Best Buy sold the units out to another customer, delivering them to the other purchaser before reaching John. That’s a simple enough error that could have been easily fixed by, say, offering a significant discount on another set of the same model. But that’s not possible at this Best Buy.
Ariel has read Consumerist for long enough that, given a choice, she probably wouldn’t order a dishwasher from Sears. But she rents, and her landlord is not so wise. Here is their sad but familiar tale: lots of delivery appointments, missed days of work, and no dishwasher.
When should a new warranty begin? Reader ournextcontestant wonders this after purchasing a service agreement from Sears for a broken dishwasher. The new warranty begins on the day it was purchased, and not on the day that the appliance is put back in working order. Ournextcontestant doesn’t like this, believing that Sears is robbing him of valuable days of the warranty. Maybe weeks or months of the warranty, considering how long it takes Sears to actually fix things.
Electrolux seems to think that Bridgette wants something completely unreasonable. What she would like is for her sleek stainless steel Electrolux range, an induction stove and oven that she paid more than $3,300 for less than a year ago, to heat up and cook food on a regular basis. It doesn’t. The burners stop working, for weeks on end, seemingly at random. She didn’t drop more than three grand on a stove so she could end up using a hot plate in her own home.
Best Buy sent some real stumblebums to install Amy’s stove, dishwasher. and kitchen range. First, Best Buy sent the wrong kind of workers, then they sent the wrong dishwasher, and then the right guys showed up with the wrong tools. Now she’s going to have to end up waiting a total of five weeks to have all the appliances in her kitchen installed correctly. Kind of a crappy way to treat someone who just plunked down for three major appliances with you.
Best Buy? Above and beyond? Yes, it’s possible! The new refrigerator that Sandy ordered was delayed by several days, leaving her fridgeless for a week. She wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of feeding her family without the modern appliance, so she fired off an email to all of the executives she could get her pixels on, copying us on all correspondence. Suddenly, she was summoned to the store to pick out any fridge she wanted for no extra charge, with immediate delivery. And a present for her son, too.
Stuck with a fancy refrigerator that had a defective, leaking ice maker, Bob refused to accept a future of frequent repairs until the fridge’s warranty ran out. Instead, he took on Electrolux and refused to back down until he had a functioning replacement fridge. Here’s how he did it.
Sears might be doing an okay job with adjusting to doing business in the 21st century if they weren’t stuck with a pesky brick-and-mortar store network. Maybe. When John returned a malfunctioning dehumidifier to his local store, he wanted to exchange it for a working one. He couldn’t, though, because the item was out of stock. Logical enough: dehumidifiers are popular in the summer. Yet he was able to go home, order the item online, and pick it up at the very store he had just been told was out of the item.
The good news: after seven months of repair attempts, Sylvia was able to get Bosch to replace her washing machine. The bad news: she paid big bucks for a matching washer and dryer set not too long ago, and the new washer on its way doesn’t match the perfectly-working dryer at all. Is she being unreasonable to want a warranty replacement that is part of the pretty matched set she paid for?
Remember Ian, whose family was stuck with a series of defective Kenmore stoves and hadn’t been able to cook at home for six weeks? He reports that Sears delivered a new stove to his house on Saturday, and this one seems to be actually functioning. So far. Hooray!
Jason ordered a new dryer from Best Buy, and his experience was so frustrating that he actually threatened to buy from Sears instead. How bad does a shopping experience have to be to drive a man to such madness?