Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Warning about Sears

Last year we purchased a rototiller from Sears. This last fall, my husband was rototilling when the tiller stopped working. I called Sears to make sure it was still under warranty, which it was. A woman at the 800 number instructed us to load up the tiller (no easy feat), and take it into the Sears store (30 miles away) for service. When my husband arrived at the store, he was told that their policy was to have a technician come to our home and they wouldn't take the tiller for service. They acted as if he was lying when he said we were only following instructions from their own 800 number. Finally, they relented and agreed to take our tiller.

That was 2 months ago. We haven't heard a word about it even though they said it'd be ready in December. I decided to call yesterday. Have you ever called Sears? They have the most ridiculous automated calling system. I finally reached a live person who then transferred my call to the wrong person. I called back and waded through the automated system to once again speak to a real person. This guy put me on hold and after 30 minutes, I hung up. I then tried to call the local store which also has the ridiculous automated calling system. After going the rounds with that phone system and ending up with no answers, I called the 800 number again.

The poor woman who finally answered probably didn't enjoy my phone call. I'd been trying to get a simple answer about my rototiller for almost an hour by the time I reached her. She quickly connected me to someone in a back office who wasn't happy that my call had been routed to him. However, he proved to be the most helpful. After being on hold for another 10 minutes, he finally told me that my tiller wasn't ready and wouldn't be until they replaced the transmission. He said they'd call me yesterday to give me an update. Big shock: no phone call from Sears yesterday or today.

So, the new rule at our house is that we will never again buy from Sears. This wasn't our first experience. We had problems trying to get Sears to honor a warranty on a water pressure tank that leaked all over our basement (we couldn't get the part on our own and the only way to get the part under warranty was to pay a certified technician from a city 150 miles away to drive to our house to fix it which was more expensive than buying a new pressure tank) and when our dishwasher malfunctioned (water pump, heater in water pump) the technician they sent (they finally contracted with a local service company) not only did nothing to resolve the problem, he decided, quite rudely, to invalidate our warranty because we have hard water (even though the water had no contact with the self-enclosed water pump). This same dishwasher caught fire in the control panel and could've burned down my house if we hadn't been home to put it out. So, I'm not a fan of Sears, but this is the last time I ever buy from Sears.

You've been warned: if you purchase anything with a warranty from Sears be prepared for aggravation.


Lynn said...

That is bizzare and very disappointing !

I haven't had this kind of trouble but then I try not to shop at Sears for anything because I have heard this from other people over the years...Lousey Customer Service...however my Hubs likes the Craftmen tools 'cause they have a lifetime warranty ! Hope you get you tiller fixed and returned soon !

COOLWHIP said...

I'm sorry, but I have to chuckle. Although I have never had a problem with Sears like that (I also have never bought anything major from them) My brother in law, despises them. He swears vengence on them every time you mention the word Sears. Something about a garage door that they wouldn't honor the wareentee to. hmmm that sounds familiar. We were going to send him a gift card to Sears for Christmas, just to see his face when he opened it.
My husband feels the same way about Mervyns. I guess he's the lucky one right?

Karlene said...

I remember when Sears was THE place to shop, with products and warranties you could count on. It was also the only place I could find pants long enough because I was all elbows and legs as a child. Sad. About Sears, not me as a child.

Kara said...

The "no shopping at Sears" rule came into being at our house about 13 years ago when we needed warranty service on our fridge. I spent hours on the phone trying to get to a human being who could help me. Finally, 2 hours later and after speaking with several incompetent or "wrong" individuals I screamed at this lady and the "buck-passing" stopped. I got what I needed. And we never have done business with Sears since. And never will.

Grady and Marie Lundeen and Family said...

Wow! I've never had that problem with Sears, but thanks for the warning! I'll be careful about buying from them from now on!