Sears ServiceSmart protection agreement
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I purchased my Bosch dishwasher about five years ago from Sears. It broke down within a few months and was immediately repaired by Bosch under Bosch warranty. The machine worked fine until August 20, 2007. I called Bosch and they said my warranty had run out. I called Sears repair department. They told me my best bet would to be to purchase their ServiceSmart repair agreement for $194.99. They said this would cover up to $300.00 in labor and parts. If they could not fix the problem, it would give me a $500.00 credit toward a new machine.
Sears made an appointment with me about a week later for a repair technician to come to my house to fix my Bosch dishwasher. I had to be home from 1:00pm to 5:00 pm.
Their "technician" showed up around 3:30pm. He did not bring any parts with him, even though I had told them what was wrong with the machine based on what Bosch had told me. Their "technician" had a total of two weeks on the job. He had never worked on a Bosch dishwasher. I asked him how much training Sears had given him before sending him to peoples homes. He mumbled something about a twenty minute training film then being sent out for a couple of days with another Sears Service specialist, before being sent out on his own. He spent from 3:30 to 6:30 pm at my home. All this time was spent on the phone getting instruction on how to work his field computer and how to trouble shoot my machine. The results were exactly as Bosch said they would be.
He had to order the parts, and he had them sent to my business. After I received them I called and made another repair appointment. The appointment was for today, September 4, 2007 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.
At 4:45pm I called Sears. They said my repair technician was at appointment number five, I was number seven. At 6:00pm I called back and was told he was at appointment number 6. I asked to have him call me and give me an idea when he would be here, they said he would call in a few minutes. He never called.
I called back and went through the whole dance again, calling is no simple task. I explained my plight and asked to speak to a manager, she asked me to hold, then hung up on me.
At 7:30pm, I called again. I was told that my Sears repair man would not be coming today and to reschedule a new appointment tomorrow. At that point I let the person know just how upset I was. She transferred me to a customer complaint expert who gave me a lecture on my being sarcastic. At that point I hung up.
My recommendation: Before you purchase any appliance, find out about the company's repair service. Ask how many people they employ to service your area. Ask what training these people have. How much of a work load do they expect from each service person. Myself, I think from now on, I will go to smaller, locally owned companies for these things.
Expecting large Mega Company's like Sears to be able to provide reasonable service is not actually a realistic expectation. They have layer, upon layer, of bureaucracy and regulations, all designed by their legal experts, to protect themselves from their customers. They also employ a massive staff, who's sole job is to work on cost cutting and purchasing at the lowest possible price.
You may pay more at a smaller, locally owned appliance company, after this experience with Sears, I am convinced in the long run, it would be a lot cheaper. At Sears, your repairs are going to made with the cheapest parts they can find, which may include used parts. That is clearly explained in the fine print on the back of the Sears ServiceSmart warranty agreement.