SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- We purchased a Craftsman garden tractor three years ago. It's been problematic since day one, but our "in-home" service has, until now, been outstanding. Our garden tractor broke in early July and we called Sears for an appointment. We had to wait nearly three weeks. My husband arranged for the day off from work.
But... The night before the appointment, we received a recorded message saying that we needed to call and reschedule. My husband called that night and they said it would be three MORE weeks. He protested and they said they'd have somebody call him the next day because the person he was talking to didn't have the authority to change appointments.
Somebody else called him the next day and said because he hadn't rescheduled the night before when they offered the 3-more-weeks date, that the next available appointment would be even LATER. He said that was unacceptable (I mean geez, by that time our yard would have about 8 weeks growth on it, this after a month of daily rain). She recommended that he go ahead and schedule and then call the 1-800 customer "service" number and ask to speak with someone about getting it rescheduled to an earlier time.
He then called the 800 number and was told there was nothing they could do. He kept persisting and they gave him a local phone number to call. He called that number and they said that it was the wrong place to call - that they don't do scheduling there and that he needed to call the 800 number again and ask to speak to a supervisor. They said that he should ask the supervisor to give him the Dallas office number where they actually do the scheduling.
So he called the 800 number again and talked to a jerk named Quinton (rude and arrogant little snot). My husband told him what he'd been through to that point and that he needed to talk to a supervisor. But the always-rude Quinton said we have no option - that we must go by their schedule. He said that a supervisor wouldn't help us and refused to allow my husband to speak with his supervisor. My husband asked numerous times - all requests were denied.
He made other calls to the same number in hopes of getting someone more reasonable and went through the same thing - he was not allowed to speak to a supervisor. As it now stands we're not scheduled for service for another 3 weeks from the original appointment. He was told by both Quinton and another customer "service" representative that he would be contacted by someone in the consumer affairs/customer relations department. He was never contacted. He also sent an email on the Sears site where they ask for comments, problems etc. and never received a response.
This leads us to believe that Sears simply doesn't believe in customer service. At least we got a couple of years of good service before they decided to stop honoring the extended warranty in a timely fashion. As a result of this experience, we will never buy another Sears product again.
DOTHAN, ALABAMA -- Aylwin B. Lewis
President & Chief Executive Officer
Sears Holding Corporation
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179
RE: What has happened to Sears?
Dear Mr. Lewis:
I have tried working from the bottom up to resolve my problem. However, having received no results, I'm going to now attempt to work from the top down.
By history, I have been a loyal customer of Sears all of my adult life. In fact, almost every Saturday while growing up, I spent at least part of the day with my father in the hardware section of Sears. Even when we were overseas in the service, most of our stateside shopping came from the Sears catalog, especially for Christmas. Years ago, I told my family, no more neckties or colognes, just anything with “Craftsman” on it. But now, I am an extremely unhappy and disappointed former customer of your company.
In August, 2005, I purchased a zero turn yard tractor from your Dothan, Alabama, store. I also purchased a two-year service agreement. Immediately, I started having problems with the machine. The arbor drive belt kept coming off. This is a very heavy piece of equipment to push across a three-acre lot back to the shed. Each time, it took at least 10 days to get a tech out to fix it. Finally, the tech modified the spring and the belt has held.
However, then the cutting deck failed. The weld where the deck height attachment is welded to the deck failed. This should never happen. Basic metallurgy holds that a weld should always be stronger than the surrounding metal. Also the carburetor has gone bad after only 82 hours of service. I reported the problem on July 2, 2007. It took two weeks, July 16, for a tech to come out and say the deck and carburetor have to be replaced. I've also tried to buy a replacement left arm rest, but this part is not available, according to your own website.
In any event, parts have been back ordered since this time. Two service appointments to install the parts have been cancelled because the parts never came in. As of today, the parts are still back ordered. Now, I just got off the phone with Sears One-Source executive level something or other. That gentleman admits that this machine has had five service calls in less than 90 hours of operation, but refuses to admit that this is a lemon; in fact, he states lemon law does not apply to lawn and garden. This May be a legal fact. But it is not the right business decision in my opinion.
What appears to be going on is that Sears, the place I grew up and my only source for tools my entire adult life, has decided to wrap itself in corporate guidelines and procedures, instead of fixing an obvious problem. There is something seriously wrong with this tractor, either in design or manufacture. I, as the customer, have paid the price. The right thing to do would be to replace the machine. Sears does not seem to be interested in doing the right thing.
I've been fighting with this issue for two years. Within 30 days of buying the machine, I told the local manager, Beverly, that I thought it was a lemon and it should be replaced. Now, here we are two years later, and it still doesn't work. Because I have been so disgusted with your company's attitude toward doing the right thing, we have closed our Sears account, paid in full. And the only time I have set foot in a Sears/Kmart store since I started having trouble with this lawn tractor has been today to try to complain to someone face to face.
What has happened to the Sears I grew up with? What has happened to the idea that, if a Craftsman tool didn't work out, that Sears would make it right? The quality of this machine is a disgrace to the name Craftsman. The service I have received on this issue is an insult to the word "service" itself. Today, in our small town barber shop, we were all discussing this matter, and the consensus was that Sears is nothing like the company with which we all grew up. (We're all a bunch of middle-aged men now.)
Over my life, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars in Sears, but no more, not until you put a new, working mower in my hands.
As a former top-level insurance executive, I abhor small time litigation over matters like these. But I can say for certain, I will hurt your company more economically by withholding my business and telling others my story. My home has Kenmore Elite appliances. Until recently, my shop has had nothing but Craftsman. However, the past two years have found me in Home Depot a great deal. They still provide superior customer service. And when I had a problem with a tow-behind yard sprayer I purchased from them, they delivered a replacement the next day.
Now, the question is posed to you, do you want to lose a customer over a clearly defective piece of equipment, or do you want to salvage a loyal customer by doing the right thing?
Greg W. Howard, Sr.
ALBANY, NEW YORK -- I bought a house a few years ago and needed all new appliances. So I thought Sears has always been trusted as having good quality items so I bought a $1700.00 stove $2400.00 washer and dryer and a $2000.00 lawn mower and a weed wacker with protection plans. A few months after the washer was not working, 3 repairs later, 2 months without a washer and countless time lost at work. Then the oven died. A month and half later, missed appointments and more lost work. The weed wacker died completely. Had to be replaced after less than a season. But the tractor is the worst part.
I have it serviced for routine maintenance twice a season to keep it in good condition. Each time the repairman have caused more repairs than the simple maintenance I asked for. The belts are not put on properly, the blades aren't changed, over filling the oil, then they changed the oil and didn't put any back in and the engine blew within minutes of service. They replaced the engine and broke another part when replacing it by putting it on wrong. Requesting the brakes be fixed at least 6 times which never were even when they tried and made driving it hazardous.
Then they ignored my request to change worn mandrels which they said were fine which then broke a few weeks later, which could have been dangerous to whoever was using it at the time when it broke. Then when finally weeks later they were fixing that, I asked them to replace the simple cotter pins holding the mower unit with new ones, they left some off which made the mower unit drop to low, hit the ground when driving it right after the repair and a holding rod fell and stuck in the ground and bent the chassis.
After losing weeks of work and not having a mower, hundreds of dollars to pay other people to mow, the only protection plan I need is from their repairmen. They promised to replace the mower entirely for all my trouble and said they would call to make a appointment for exchange. They didn't. They left me hanging again. When I called to ask about it, they said they had changed their mind after review and are not giving me a new mower. I must keep the one they have broken over and over again, which they were never even going to bother calling me about. I was waiting for nothing.
Considering I didn't even ask for a new mower (they insisted) just competent service, this is the last straw. If I have outside maintenance done on my product, I void my protection agreement. If I let them fix it, I have to have my repairs repaired. It does not matter how nice you are to them or how nice their customer service is to you. All of them want to help you. They can't. There is something horribly wrong with the system when things are made so inferior. They are made to break and you're forced to pay for hundreds of dollars of protection and can't even get that.
I can only assume that hiring unskilled repairmen or ones that don't care enough to be competent is only part of Sears problem. Not to mention not hiring enough so you don't have to wait weeks for a simple repair, or for a repairmen who might or might not show up. Manufacturing things cheaply or selling inferior items not worthy of our purchase at such high prices and bleeding us for protection money is at best criminal and abusive. That's the problem. How about making and selling a product that doesn't need protection?
FUQUAY VARINA, NORTH CAROLINA -- Recently we purchased a Sears Craftsman Self Propelled lawn with the key start (this mower is not shown on your website now, I wonder why?) it was a 330.00 mower. We used it just once and I liked the power of the mower but after only one use the back wheels were bowed out. We checked the comments about the mower on the internet and we found that this was a defect of this mower. We decided to return the mower to our local Sears store for a credit. It was returned in the original box with the original packing and the original receipt to be greeted by a very unfriendly sales clerk. Absolutely NO CUSTOMER SERVICE skills at all!
I have copied and pasted your return policy, Sears Policies. Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back. Our goal is that you are completely satisfied with your purchase. If for any reason you are not satisfied, simply return your purchase in its original packaging, with your original packing slip and sears.com Order Confirmation E-mail Receipt within 90 days of your purchase, 30 days for Home Electronics and Mattresses for a refund or exchange. If you are not satisfied with your purchase after these time periods, please let us know. Your satisfaction is important to Sears.
A 15% restocking fee applies on Tires, select Home Appliances, Home Electronics, Home Improvement, Household Goods, Lawn & Garden, and Automotive products not returned in the original box, unused, and containing all original product packaging and accessories. Special orders cancelled after 24 hours of purchase are subject to a 15% order cancellation fee. I returned this product because of a product defect if I saw a problem after one use how long would it take to break down completely?? Needless to say I was and still am very dissatisfied and I feel that Sears pushed me to pick a better product from a competitor.
But then Sears will make it even more difficult for me to ever purchase any products from their store because they charge a RESTOCKING FEE for a defective product. I cancelled my Sears card after I was informed that Sears was charging a 15% restocking fee. In this competitive world I can't believe that you would do that to your customer? All I can figure Sears is in deep trouble when they charge a customer restocking fees for a defective product. I liked the power of the mower and the way it mowed the yard but the plastic wheels concerned me and apparently many other people according to the internet.
We did go to Home Depot and bought a mower from them which has not given us any problems as of yet and by the way I checked Home Depot's return policy and they would not charge me a restocking fee especially if it was a product defect! So goodbye Sears. I see you heading down the same road as Montgomery Wards just a memory in Grandma's mind back in the day when Sears cared about what they sold and how they treated their customers. I followed your return policy and was still penalized for trying to shop at Sears!!
FAIRHAVEN, MASSACHUSETTS -- I recently purchased a Model 247.25000 Mower from Sears Hardware Store in Fairhaven Mass. The sale price was $999.** with an original price of $12** with a savings of about $250.00. Since the sale was ending the next day I asked them if they would hold the mower for me for a few days if I gave them a $50.00 or $100.00 as a deposit. I was told that they could not do this (take a deposit). I then elected to place the mower on lay-away which cost a fee of about $10.00. When I returned 2 days later the mower was priced at $991.** some $8.00 cheaper than my purchase price. When asked they said that I made a deal at $999.** and I could not get the cheaper price.
What has happened to the friendly policies and service that Sears once had?? I feel that any any reasonable store would (1) take a deposit to hold an item for several days and (2) give the store price of $991.**. (Please note that my cost was the lay-away fee plus the price difference or about $18.00)
After reading several of your comments about this complaint I still feel that I should have been given the lower price of $991.**. If I had an item on lay-away at Wal-Mart and in the meantime the price went lower I would be given the lower price. After all I could pay the higher price, return the item then re-buy at the sales price. I also feel that I was given a bum-stare by the store for stating that the sale was going to end on a date when in fact the sale didn't end, the price went even lower.
Also had Sears taken a deposit there could have been a cut-off date set up but the store would not take a deposit. I have been buying at Sears since about 1948, that's 64 years. Their policies were buyer friendly and the service excellent. Not any more!!! Small wonder the shape Sears is in today!!!
LONG BEACH -- I have a Sears Lawnmower, which is new and still under warranty. I had to purchase it to replace my original Sears mower which wouldn't start and had also been in the shop several times for the same problem. I am really irritated and hope no one else should have to go through this same problem. Its a serious waste of my time and its irritating as heck.
I will say that the Sears operator was helpful about it but if anyone is considering buying a Sears should take this into account if you read this, hopefully someone will see it and avoid the same problem I have. If you have already purchased a Sears Lawnmower or other motorized product, the operator advised me to do these three things.
Call Sears (800) 469-4663 National Number and talk to someone who can escalate this to Sears One Source which is also at the national level and they can help by either replacing the unit or giving you a replacement or rental to use while yours is away from home. After calling Sears they tell me they only work with people who have purchased the Additional Warranty plan. So if you are like me and you only extended your warranty for 2 yrs then Sears does not care how many times you have to be inconvenienced and according to them it does not come under the Lemon Law.
Message the service center near you and escalate this issue with your service order and have someone call you within 24 hrs. PS Escalation does not get you any faster service. I am going to complain that there is a design flaw in the carburetors of all Sears motorized product eg lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, weed whackers etc. Get a hold of the service center near you and have them call you. After calling the repair shop in Fontana they informed me that NO SEARS PRODUCT WITH A MOTOR IS COVERED FOR REPLACEMENT EVEN WITH THE EXTENDED WARRANTY - BUYER BEWARE THEY ARE NOT SYMPATHETIC.
My Sears Lawn Edger which was also purchased has the same issue with the carburetor. Design issues call 800 659 7057. So all in all think twice before you buy from Sears unless you enjoy the atmosphere of the Sears repair center nearest you.
My mower broke after 1 season. The welding on the front guard failed and the guard got chewed up in the mower blades. If you do a google search, you will find that this is a very common occurrence with Sears mowers. When I took it to the Sears repair center, they said it wouldn't be covered b/c it was my fault for hitting a rock.
Mind you, I waited to take it until 2 days after the warranty expired, but they assured me that even if my warranty was not expired and still valid, they assured me this still would not be covered by the warranty. They pointed to a nick in the blade as so-called "evidence." That is utter nonsense. I never hit anything with that mower. If there is a nick in the blade, then it was from the metal guard being chewed up in the blades after the welding failed!
They gave me a 20% off coupon with restrictions on it as compensation. I tried to buy an identical one, but it was discontinued. One was located at a store far away and for more than I paid for my original, and I purchased it. They even refused to have it shipped to a store closer to me.
Then I realized I was a chump for buying another mower from Sears, so I never picked it up and asked for a refund. Then Sears refused to give me a refund b/c they said it was picked up by someone using my credit card. I said that was impossible, b/c I had been out of the country for over a month on the date they claimed I picked it up! I was livid. I disputed the charge with my credit card company, and guess what? Sears could not prove that my credit card was used by anyone, and they could not prove it was picked up. Imagine that.
Sears is struggling as a company, and it's not hard to imagine why. If you have your own issue with Sears and are thinking of writing a review, you will get a message from Sears asking to try to resolve it first by contacting one of their social media support people before writing a review. Don't bother. I did that, and look where I am. They are useless and condescending and will accuse you of being a liar and a thief like they did with me. Thank goodness I have a good credit card company that investigated the issue for me.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- My story begins with the scheduling online for a service call on my Craftsman lawn tractor. I supplied the model number and the part number that I needed installed. On the 29th of June a really nice tech showed up and announced he didn't bring the part and would have to reschedule for the 3rd of July. Then fun begins. On the 1st of July I get a computer call saying I need to reschedule my appointment. I call and they ask if I have the part. I didn't know it was coming to me. I was told to call back when I got the part.
On July 2 the computer calls me again to reschedule my appointment. I call again and am told that they will forward the info to the parts group and they will call me, never happened. On July 3 the computer called again telling me to reschedule.
Later that day I get the part. And yes it came before the original appointment time and would have been available to be installed. On July 4 I call and was told the tech will be there on July 6 between 1-6. So I take off work and sit. At 6:30 I figure no one is coming. Now the fun really begins. I call and after several transfers the customer service agent checks and informs me that the appointment has been scheduled for July 13th. None the less this is a surprise to me. She said I should have received a courteous call. Didn't happen. When I asked if the appointment could be moved up she said no.
When I asked to speak to a supervisor she put me on hold for 2-3 minutes and when she came back she said the supervisor said there was a shortage of techs that work on tractors and it was a busy time of the year. When I asked to speak to the supervisor I was told no. While I was on the phone I told the agent that I was going to go online and see what appointments I could get.
Miracles of miracles the online system gave me an appointment for Monday the July 9th from 8-12. The only catch is that I would have to agree to another $99 service fee. I made the appointment and the agent informed me the only way to avoid the additional cost was for her to file a payment dispute. We'll see.
I asked if there was a manager I could speak to and she said she would put in a request. When I asked when I might hear from him she said "could be twenty minutes or two hours" she had no idea. Well it's been almost three days. You're right nothing. Well it's 1:45. Nothing. Maybe the tech will be here by Friday. This will be the last time I deal with Sears. Purchases or service.
Update: I was offered a $50 gift card for my trouble. I told them that I pain them in real money and didn't think a gift card was a fair offer. I was told that I should have escalated the problem when it happened. (What did he think I was doing on the phone all of those hours?) I was told to call back if I changed my mind about accepting the card. I did today since I decided that I could give the $50 card to charity. I was told that the man who offered it was no longer there and that I had been offered $100 card but it was too late to accept it since it expired in one month. Isn't that just like Sears? If you want service or honesty, don't go there. 9/28/11
I own a 2001 Sears Riding Tractor. The steering went and the drag link needed replacing. After hours on the phone trying to find out why the drag like pictured was different from the one on my mower I decided to have Sears fix it. They guaranteed that the mechanic would have the part with them but since I really needed the mower fixed I ordered the part.
When the part came I notice that it did not have the black coating (teflon) that the original had. The repairman gave me a price of $200 to fix the steering. He then said that he didn't have the part with him so he would have to come back. I told him that I had gotten the part from Sears. He said the difference in color didn't matter. He put it in backwards the first time and correctly the second. He was here 20 minutes. He charged me $214 dollars using my part.
Two days later I looked at the part and it was RUSTED! When I tried to engage the mower deck it wouldn't work. I bought another mower. I then said that I wanted my money back. They said they would give me $65 back or I could have the technician back to take off the part so that I could return it and they would charge me for that visit. They said they would charge me the full amount for service if the part had been installed properly. I have been on the phone with them every day for eight days.
Every person gives me a different answer. I finally cancelled the appointment since no one could tell me if or what the charge would be. I am a 67 year old woman and my getting the part off by myself is impossible. Don't buy anything from Sears if you are dependent on service. No local serviceman will touch Sears products because their parts service is so bad.
I'm very sorry that you had so many issues surrounding this service call for your tractor. I completely understand your frustration and we would like to help resolve this and any other Sears related issue you might have. My name is James and I am part of the Social Media Support Escalations team at Sears and we value you as a Sears customer. At your convenience, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send us an email providing a contact phone number and the phone number the tractor was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email please provide the screen name (Patterson6061) for reference to your issue and we do look forward to talking to you soon.
Social Media Moderator
Sears Social Media Support
HIGH RIDGE, MISSOURI -- I went to my local Sears Hardware store to buy a lawn tractor after selling my old one. They had exactly the model I wanted, but was told they couldn't sell it to me because it was a display model. I went online and placed a call to Sears customer service because I noticed the special offer that said "Need a tractor sooner... call us for some options at 1-888-810-5924."
I really did need it in a hurry, so I called them. The service representative was very friendly and assured me I would have my tractor by May 5. She said I would receive a confirmation email quickly. So I waited about 3 hours, and no confirmation! I called Customer Service back to find out what was going on and they had no record of my order. I went through a lengthy questioning session and placed the order again. This time I received a confirmation and figured my tractor would soon be on the way.
Shortly afterwards I found out the order was cancelled due to lack of funds! The money on my debit card was now "on hold" from the previous order! I called back again and my order had been cancelled! They said "sorry for the mistake, you will have to order again." I placed the order again on a credit card and received a confirmation. Delivery was supposed to be on May 6. Then I received a call saying there was a problem with the order.
I called to find out that now it won't be delivered until May 20th! I also noticed that the very next day they were offering the same tractor with a 20% discount and $50 credit towards an accessory. I wanted the brush guard, so I called back to see if they would honor the discount. I was told that I would have to cancel my order again and place another order even though there is supposedly a 14-day price match guarantee!
Dealing with Sears Customer Service has been one of the worst nightmares I can ever recall. Absolutely the most disappointing experience I can recall. I needed this in a hurry and now have a MASSIVE delay, and feel like I got a raw deal. There is no excuse for not having accurate inventory information and this type of service shows why I am no longer a Sears or Craftsman fan.
On top of this, after speaking to at least a dozen sales and customer service reps, I got a different story and different price from virtually everyone I spoke with. I have been a loyal Sears and specifically Sears Craftsman fan for many, many years. Lately it seems like Sears has become just another lost, mixed-up American company that is no longer in touch with its customers.