HAMMOND, LOUISIANA -- I arrived at Sears on 9-9-07 at 3:00 and wanted to get a price on the used riding mowers. The first guy I talked to didn't know anything about the prices so he went to get someone else, after 10 mins. later he came with another guy that told me they didn't have any used riding mowers. They actually had around 6 that were used with tags on them that said "SELL ME" which are the ones that have been sent out for repair and are ready for resale. I told him to get the manager and he would know which ones were for sale. Then after another 10 min. the manager came and told him that the ones with the SELL ME tags were able to be resold.
Me and the salesman went out to the mowers and he wrote down the serial # from the 3 that I was interested in so he can go to the computer and punch in the #'s and get the used price. He went inside and didn't tell me anything, to follow or wait or anything, so I went inside and saw him by the cash register and went over the and asked if he had found the right prices of the 3 mowers. He said he would have to go to the back to get the correct prices. So he went to the back room through double doors and then came out saying a technician is getting the prices.
Now by this time another 10 to 15 mins have passed no one was coming out with a price so I asked another salesperson to help me out. Then the first salesman ran to the back (after he had seen me talking to a new salesman) and came out with the correct prices for the mowers... He actually had the UPC for the mowers stating the price before discount and then the discounted price. I looked at the mower I wanted and told him I would take this one. Serial # 073107B059 Model 917.276905 When I looked at the blade to see if it had been used much it showed no sign of wear, but it did have gas in it, indicating it was used.
I told him I would take this one and he went inside and came back out and said he could not sell me this mower, he thinks it may be NEW. I still had the UPC in my hand that he had just printed out and gave me with the pricing on it. I asked to see the manager and I told him that the mower was used and that it had gas in it and I have the corrected pricing in my hand. Was $2499 New. Now used $1349 and he insisted on not selling me the mower at the discounted price... I waited 45 minutes or longer to get the price. They come out with the price in their hand, which he gave me in my hand now, and I accepted their offer and then they say they cannot sell me the mower.
I had it in black and white in my hand, which they made me give the UPC back to them saying it was store property and they were going to call security on me If I didn't return the UPC back to them... I had asked this assistant manager Lynn to get me the store manager because I knew I was right but he refused to do so. I finally left at 5:05, it took over 2 hours and still did not have a mower.
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!!
CALIFORNIA -- Today is February 3, 2007 and I just received the Craftsman Gasoline Powered Blower/Vac Instruction Manual that I was requested to buy so that the person who I called, but I do not have his name since I assumed that any person at that telephone number on the equipment and is also stated on the front cover of the Instruction Manual, said that he is going to transfer me to the Orders Department to order the Instruction Manual, with that he could assist me with my fixing the blower vacuum as happened just before my warranty expired.
I called perhaps a week before to reach this person. I called him at 800 235 5878 which is the telephone number on a label on the machine as I just said. Before my warranty expired another guy who I will refer to as a technician, since nobody whom I have talked to today, and I talked to at least 10 people. Perhaps half of them said that this would be the last time I would be transferred because the who I was talking to said that he knows that that department can help me over the telephone, at my fixing my equipment.
This time, the first person who I talked to, when I told him that I need help fixing my blower vacuum, just like the last time somebody, step by step, told me how to fix the blow vacuum. The guy of about a week ago asked me if I have checked the spark plug. So I said that I should explain my situation. There is a pull cord naturally, to start the engine. It told him that when I pull it out, it comes out easier than normal. He stopped me to ask me, if I let the pull cord go, does it go back in by itself?
I told him that it does so he asked me if I have an Instruction Manual. Perhaps I did not have an Instruction Manual because I bought it somewhat discounted because the box had been opened. Whoever bought it previously and returned it, must not have put the Instruction Manual back in the box before returning it.
Just for reference, I paid by credit card, and I could go on-line to find out exactly how much I paid for it but I don't think that is necessary. I was charged a bit under $10 to have it mailed to me. The only other person who I talked to who I wrote down but I do not know if that helps any from my earlier information, is ** at 800 4690 4663, who told me that he would transfer me to the department that has people who are able to talk me through the fix.
I asked ** for the name of the department and he said Craftsman Parts and Tools at 800 377 7414. I said to ** that it does not sound right to me that a parts and tools department would have a person with the knowledge to instruct me, even with having my Instruction Manual on how to fix it. ** said that the name of a department does not necessarily indicate all that it does.
When ** transferred me, he actually transferred me to ** who is in the Parts Department. So I said that I was supposed to be transferred to Parts and Tools. ** said that since he is Parts, he knows that there is a Part Department and a Tool Department but they are not the same department but since he cannot help me, clearly ** does not know what he is talking about.
** said that this conversation has been a waste of time. It bothers me a lot that when I call a company, people who are getting paid to talk to me, and naturally I get nothing for my time talking with them. However people saying that happens all the time and a small fraction of those times, the person who I have been talking to hangs up the telephone but ** did not.
** was good enough to ask me if he could help me in any other way. So I asked him if he could give me the corporate address, which he did. However, he did suggest that I call instead. However to me, to spend so much to perhaps get the run around again, I would not like at all. ** did say that if I lived in a city that has over 100,000 people, would I know all the people that I could get in touch with?
I told him that I live in a city that easily has over 100,000 people and I am not familiar with the actual jobs of any of my neighbors but I do have an idea of what they do. ** said that that is like calling Sears. There are so many people that it is possible that somebody could help me fix my machine over the telephone but he has no idea how he could find out where or who that person is.
As the CEO of Sears, surely your Executive Assistance has the means to go down the hierarchy of your corporation to get me the name and preferably the full name, but perhaps Sears does not allow that. With so many employees, you must know that the name of any given person has a reasonable probability of there being another person at Sears who has the same name.
I worked for Intel Corporation for 8 years and the closest name that came to mine was a person with the same last name. However, I have no idea if any given person at Sears is going by their last name, middle name, or even a nickname. Since I have twice, from the 800 235 5878 number reached a person who, the first time actually helped me fix it, but the second time I was told that after he asked me a specific question, that informed him that he could easily instruct me and get it running again. I essentially have said this previously but I am trying to make it absolutely clear that I know a person can be reached.
However, looking at the Instruction Manual, only on page 24, which is in Spanish but I speak very little Spanish, do I see a picture of a man who has pulled on the cord. So I do not know how much help the Instruction Manual would be even with somebody talking me through it.
From having talked personally with one person who has told me that he could easily talk me through the task and perhaps a year ago, another person who did talk me through that fix. I am extremely confident that somehow, you can get me to a person who can help me over the telephone and if I do not have the correct Instruction Manual as it is not like a car, as they have shop manuals, perhaps the Orders person sent me the wrong manual.
As the conversations alone took me almost an hour, your Executive Assistant, as has happened many times when I write to the office of Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, which is my bank. I have always received a telephone call from a person who has been able to help me. If Bank of American can help me every time, I am extremely confident that soon after this letter has been read, I will get the help that I need and not be told that I have to either go to a service center or have a service person come to my home as both have been suggested to me. However, the second suggestion makes no sense to me since my machine is easily portable.
I know that Sears does not make Craftsman, so it might be necessary for somebody of your staff to get me in touch with a person at the company that makes this particular product. Once, somebody who I called told me that Craftsman is made by two companies and due to the machine that I am talking about, he told me which company manufactures it. However, ** said that so many different companies make the various Craftsman power tools that he would have no idea which company makes my blow vacuum.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA -- The mower has major design flaw. The salesman promised the handle easily folds down to fit into our utility closet, as have all our mowers. It turns out, contrary to what the salesperson showed us, this mower (made by Husqvarna) runs the control cable up the handle against the hinge. (If only the salesperson had pointed this out, we never would have purchased this particular mower!!) The hinge destroyed the cable on July 21. At Sears Parts, the cable is the only - repeat, only - the part is not on the diagram.
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.
LANSING, KANSAS -- This mower is junk. It was bought new in September 2005 and 2nd time it was use it died and wouldn't start, and it wouldn't move. I had to put a tarp over it for a week until Sears service came out to fix it. The serviceman replaced the battery and said there was a safety feature on it that locks the wheels and gets stuck if the mower get wet, so don't spray down the mower. The very next time I tried to mow the same thing happened. I call service out. After waiting a week he came and found that the alternator wire was not hooked up properly and that's why it wouldn't start. Same thing with not moving, the safety was stuck on.
Last year the 1st time I tried to mow the grass it would start but wouldn't move. Apparently the safety feature was again stuck. I called the service department and complained that the piece of "junk" wouldn't move and the guy didn't want to hear me cuss. I was frustrated I cussed. I called back to another lady explaining the problem very upset and I was on the phone for 45 minutes or more trying to get the mover to move. Finally the darn thing move after 20 minutes of jamming it into gear.
Today April 18th 2007, gassed up mower to mow for the 1st time this year, started it up put it in reverse to move it out and IT WOULDN'T MOVE. No matter what I tried the back tires would not move. Again I call SEARS Service. Again I tell them the stupid thing is doing the same thing again and I get mad but don't cuss and the lady says she doesn't have to put up with me being mad. I hang up call back to get a hold of someone who can handle an IRATE customer. I can't remember her name but she seemed to be able to handle my anger and a few "poops" and "darns" here and there. Then she wants to know what I want.
I want to mow my lawn without having to call service to get it to move. She will set up a service call for next Friday the 27th between 8am and 5pm. Great - another week for the grass to grow. I told her what I really wanted was a new mower or service tomorrow. Nope, not eligible for a new one and service won't be here till next Friday. Then she got mad because I said the "F" word. Sears products suck and so does their service department people.