Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Beware of Sears!
A few months ago I published a post about our newly purchased Bosch dishwasher. Oronzo and I were really excited about getting it, in large part because we had saved up and purchased it free and clear from Sears.

Unfortunately, I think Sears sold us a $1,400 lemon (this included a $300 extended warranty)! If you have the time, read on to hear all about our horrible experience with Sears!

Three weeks after our dishwasher was delivered, it started intermittently running dish cycles with no water. We pulled out the warranty paperwork and called to request service.

Within a few days, a service tech came out to inspect our dishwasher. Keep in mind that Sears wasn't able to give us a time on when to expect their technician. The best they could do was give us a 4-hour window on when we might expect someone. I had to take time off work to wait for the techs arrival (towards the end of the 4 hour window, of course) and then had to wait another hour or so for the service tech to tell me he wasn't sure what the problem was but he was going to order a part to see if the replacement part would fix the problem.

The part took over a week to come in. This time I made Oronzo take time off work to deal with the technician. Once again, we had to accept staying at home to wait for the tech to arrive within that 4 hour window. The tech replaced the part and basically told us he hoped that would do the trick.

No such luck. Three more visits and three months later and the techs still couldn't pinpoint the issue. By the second visit, the dishwasher wasn't working at all! With each visit, Oronzo was having to take more days off of work to deal with the techs, thereby loosing a sizeable chunk of change in lost income!

The last visit took place before I left for Las Vegas and Oronzo was told that they would try to order another part but it was on backorder and the tech didn't know when it would be in.

By this time, Oronzo had reached his limit! He called Sears Customer Service and told them he wanted a replacement dishwasher. They referred him to the Resolution Department. After arguing for nearly an hour on the phone, Sears finally agreed to replace the dishwasher. He was told they'd call him within 3 days to schedule an appointment for the replacement delivery.

A week later, after hearing nothing from Sears, Oronzo went into the store and demanded to speak with the Appliance Department Manager to find out the status on the replacement. Oronzo was told they had no idea what he was talking about, no one from the Sears Resolution Department had ever contacted them.

Oronzo refused to leave Sears until the Manager agreed to schedule a replacement appointment. He had to argue because they were reluctant to do a replacement. They wanted to continue to try to repair it, even after four failed attempts! When the manager finally agreed to the replacement, the appointment was to have happened yesterday morning at 9 AM. It didn't happen.

Yesterday morning, the delivery driver went to pick up our replacement dishwasher and found no dishwasher waiting. He called Oronzo to let him know. Oronzo got on the phone with Sears corporate again and was told that the store was wrong to have promised him a replacement because the model we'd purchased in May was discontinued. They'd have to find a comparable replacement and that wouldn't be available until mid-October at the earliest.

By this point, Oronzo was really HOT! He stormed the local Sears store again, tracked the Appliance Department Manager down, and demanded a full refund of the cost of the dishwasher plus the $300 extended warranty. The manager told him he wasn't allowed to offer him a refund because it was pass the 90-day refund policy. Oronzo told him in no uncertain terms that he was not leaving and he would be following this manager around all day, if necessary, until he gave him the refund that he was demanding.

The manager, anxious to have no further unpleasantness in front of potential customers, finally gave in and agreed to the full refund. A technician was sent to our house this afternoon to pick up the broken dishwasher and we're to expect our refund to be posted back to our account by tomorrow. If it isn't, Oronzo is contacting a lawyer.

Once we have our refund, we intend to go purchase another Bosch from a locally owned appliance center here in town, which is what we should've done in the first place.

You know, our struggles with Sears are not an isolated incident. As we started sharing the details of our troubles with family, friends, and co-workers, we heard time and time again of others having similar struggles. More than once we were told, "Sears customer service and products have really gone down-hill." I wish someone would've warned us before we bought our dishwasher there. I'll tell you what, we won't be making appliance purchases there ever again and we'll be recommending to others that they don't either!

So, have you had any dealings with Sears? If so, how was your experience?


5:00 AM

At 5:03 AM, Blogger Jen said...

I have never had a bad dealing with Sears except with the photography section.....I wont go there anymore....but it sounds as if you have had a terrible time...I'm so sorry.

At 5:06 AM, Blogger Susan said...

Years ago we use to buy EVERYTHING at Sears and then their quality and service began to go down hill big time. We did buy a 27" TV there last year and it has been good. We NEVER buy the extended warranty on anything, anywhere. A big waste of money in our opinion.

At 5:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an awful experience. Luckily the appliances we have gotten from Sears haven't been faulty. I hate those 4 hour service windows too. And everyone does it - cable, phone, etc.... How hard is it to schedule a time? Isn't that what appointments are for?

At 6:52 AM, Blogger heidi @ ggip said...

I haven't had any type of experience like that, but also, we never buy extended warrenties.

I do have to say however, that the Sears coupons they send out are a farce. They have so many exclusions, there is barely anything you can buy with them which makes them worthless.

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We never shop at Sears. They did us wrong on a BBQ years ago.

Yeah! for locally owned and small!


At 7:36 AM, Blogger a/k/a Nadine said...

I've been having bad experiences with Home Depot lately, so I wouldn't recommend them either. I'll need to buy a new hot water heater soon and was considering Sears. Now... not exactly eager. Thanks for the warning.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Sally said...

Ooh, I would have been SO mad...you guys did the absolute right thing by making them take care of this problem...have you been washing dishes by hand this whole time??

I've never had a problem with Sears, but I can definitely sympathize...I've had those problems elsewhere. And come to think of it, I think Sear's is where my sis bought her washer and dryer, and they had a bunch of problems with getting them to deliver the units they'd actually purchased...they kept bringing the wrong things!

I've had GREAT luck buying from Costco and/or Sam's Club...they pretty much give you your money back for anything, at any time...and I've found their brands are just as great as the official name brands out there.

My ILs just bought a new fridge, dishwasher, and washer and dryer from Lowe's...everything is fine now, but they also were delivered the wrong color, wrong size, wrong everything at first.

What is wrong with these companies?? Appliances are not minor purchases!

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Joyful Days said...

Little do they know what "word of mouth" advertising they got from that botched bit of "service."

I hope it all works out and you get a working dishwasher.



At 8:14 AM, Blogger Wendy said...

Wow, sorry for your horrible experience! I've heard that Bosch products sometimes are problematic, too.

So far, my husband and I have had pretty good experiences with Sears - but we haven't had broken appliances that need service either. We re-did our kitchen and purchased all Kenmore Elite products (stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher) and were happy with the delivery and so far with the performance of the appliances.

In general, I think customer service just about EVERYWHERE has gone downhill - and one thing I despise, is having to sit on hold or not be able to get to a "real" person when there is a problem with something!

Hope your refund goes without a hitch!

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Chelf said...

This sounds as much fun as Ron White's experience. You can hear his tirade about Sears on his comedy bit called "Lugnut Day". I don't remember which album that is on. I warn you, when you find it, it is full of words you probably won't say. But... He had to deal with Sears Tire Center, and his wheel fell O F F of his van.

I have only had one issue with Sears Service, they came and replaced the water pump motor on our clothes washer. They gave me an 8 hour window, and I had left the house, because we had plans. I ended up having my father-in-law at the house, missing family plans, to meet the guy. He called ME at 5 minutes after the whole 8 hour window. I was hot. It took us 10 minutes to find out that someone was still at the house, and YES he could show up.

I asked for them to come to "service and maintenance" work on my washer (because it stopped pumping the water out) and my dryer. They didn't clean the dryer, or even instruct me how. They just put a Thermostat in the dryer, and told me it was working fine. Despite the three hours it took to dry one (mini) load. They were apartment sized, the kind you usually see stacked. Yeah, it got hot, but it didn't circulate the air, because it was dirty!

They had to order the part, so I had to do laundry at my friend's house for a week while we waited. The washer works fine now, and every month or so, I take my shop-vac to the vent area in the back of the dryer. I take out the little kidney-shaped lint catcher box, and vacuum behind that.

My plan is to buy a new, full sized set, from our local guy. "You also get Harry as a friend!" They have certified used, as well as new "dent and ding" appliances. But... I have to wait for a house that could support a full sized washer. This old rent house is best suited to the "portable" washer I hook up to the sink.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

I haven't had any problems with Sears, but I know that in the last month, my mother has had a similar situation with Lowes/Pergo Floor and my girlfriend has had a problem with BestBuy AND Home Depot! Glad I am not in the market for any big ticket items right now!

At 9:19 AM, Blogger T with Honey said...

Every single appliance we have purchased from Sears since moving into our house 8 years ago has needed repairs within the first year we owned it, with the exception of the Kenmore refrigerator. The Maytag washer, Maytag dryer and Maytag stove have all had major computer chip failures. There's nothing like waiting 1-2 weeks for a repairman to come out while you take off work to be home during the 4 hour window to find out it needs a new motherboard. Then a month later when the motherboard finally comes in they call you to schedule another 4 hour window but an appointment is not available for another week or two.

Yeah, we're done buying appliances from Sears too - and no more long term warranties. You can find repair manuals online and Honey and I are mechanically inclined enough to do our own repairs.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Tamara said...

I am so sorry you had such a bad experience with Sears. We have had NOTHING but good experiences with them. We have A BRAND NEW UPGRADED oven/stove combo because the computer on the other one broke 2 times. They have been nothing but spectacular with us. They have also gone above and beyond the call of duty when we had a washing machine issue that turned out to be TOTALLY OUR FAULT! I am so sorry about your experience...I would have to say it is not necessarily a SEARS problem but maybe a local Sears problem??? Not sure...bummer though!!!

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Carey said...

How horrible. I hope you have no more problems with sears. we had a problem with a car we bought once, we ended up having to get a different car, and they took what we paid for the first car and applied it to the new car. Its awful how they think they can just fix something, and it never has to be replaced. It makes them more money is why! Good luck with your next one. We got our dishwasher at a place called Rosa's, and havent had a problem with it.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story. Because of your post, my husband and I were considering a Bosch for our next dishwasher. But we for sure won't use Sears. When will companies learn that making bad products or not honoring their customers is just bad business?

Oh, and I thought I was only one to have a "lemon" dishwasher from Sears. It's maddening. We bought the service warrenty, which we usually don't do, and it's saved us money on repair visits. But it's still needing repairs over 2 years later. They won't replace it because they keep coming out for different problems, not the same problem over and over. In fact, we have a service call scheduled for tomorrow and I HATE the 4 hour window that we are given. It's just rude of them to schedule that way. I have gone around and around with their susposed customer service on the phone. This last time the person said that my new warrenty wouldn't be honored because Sears sent me the wrong warrenty contract. She transferred me to a different department that couldn't help either, but who did know which department that I should be talking with, and, oh, by the way, they're closed now, please call back tomorrow. I called back and they said it's all fine and they don't know why their customer service person told me that they wouldn't honor it. I just want a dishwasher that WORKS.

Sorry to dump all of this here. Your post was just very timely.

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope Sears is reading your post.



At 5:33 PM, Blogger Sandy said...

Yip, been there, done that.
We've said ... "never again will we shop there!"

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Kathy in WA said...

Wow! What a terrible story. Thank goodness your husband was willing to be persistent in getting you the refund. I'm afraid I would have been stuck accepting their continual "repair" attempts for months on end.

Duckabush Blog

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Awesome Mom said...

That stinks big time!! We bought our washer and dryer there and have not had any issues. We don't shop there often though.

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad your husband did not back down. You deserve a dishwasher that works. I hope you can get a nice new one.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

oh boy, you sure did have a bad experience w/Sears! I'm sorry to hear the runaround you both got, and I hope your refund was deposited the next day!

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I so can relate We had a stove go out after year and we had to buy a new one. Then our dryer went out and they took us down a primrose rose path again.So when we replaced out washer and dryer we wnet to Home Depot and got great service.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Jenn @ Knee-Deep in Munchkin Land said...

Oh yes... I have heard similar complaints in our neck of the woods. However, that didn't stop us from buying our fridge there. Here's to hoping that our fridge does not break down. And I hope that check finally showed up for you. =)

At 6:40 PM, Blogger peppylady (Dora) said...

I bought sears appliances and won't buy them again.
I have an old sears washer still running great...but I got a dish washer and my element went out and it almost ran a 100 dollar to replace it and at the same time my circuit board went hay-wire and it cost me more to fix it them what it worth.
Do you care if when I post my story about my dish washer do you care if I link this post to mine?
I'm doing dishes by hand.

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had problems with Sears too. I purchased a really expensive sewing machine from them, had problems with it, and had to fight FOREVER to get the dang thing fixed. It went back three times. They never would replace the darn thing either, although FINALLY, the last time we sent it in, the problem was fixed for good, it seems.
We probably would not buy anything again from Sears, just because of this incident. I'm too wary of them now!

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bought ps3 and stopped working wouldnt replace even with receipt. Believe I will sue.

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Kathy said...

I was surprised to read so many good comments and then I wondered if those were new or old customers because most of my family bought from sears and we had, mind you I say had, had appliances that lasted for 10-15 years and no problem. But, within the last 6 years I have received nothing but junk, junk, junk. I didn't stop buying from them right away because I use to be so satisfied. If I wouldn't go to prison I would blow up the warehouse so that people would not spend their hard earned cash on that mess. I live in North St. Louis County and I once told them that all the junk was being sent to my area.
here's a list of some of my junk
$1,000.00 matress went lumpy after 4 months
$350.00 small frig arrived with dents
$350.00 dryer stop drying after 3 years
$400.00 washer arrived with dents
$180.00 dvd player not working the first day
$1900.00 frig not working after 17 months. After repairs it was not working again in 12 months and ice maker not working now.I had warranty which covered our thanksgiving day groceries and after saving receipts and empty containers like they told us to, we did not get money back because the tech did not turn in our loss.
We have an account $1500 due. I'm not paying them another dime. I'll go to court first


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