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Poor Kenmore Washer Product Quality And Poor Customer Service
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ILLINOIS -- 3 weeks ago, our Kenmore Calypso washer that we had purchased from Sears not even 5 years ago, broke down for the second time, and I set up a 1-5 pm Kenmore/Sears service appointment for which my wife stayed home from work (the appointment was confirmed by phone by Sears the day before). At 1:15 pm the day of the service (Nov 13th) however, we were called that the service had to be canceled and needed to be re-scheduled for 2 days later.

I called that same afternoon to complain about the late notice as unacceptable (as my wife now had to stay home again), and was promised that this would be investigated and I would receive a call (I also gave my cell phone number for that) with feedback. Never received a call though...

The day of the re-scheduled service, a technician shows up, who in our modest view had no clue what he was doing. He tried to run the washer, and after not being able to get it running (it got stuck in the beginning of the cycle, with an error message "ld" which I already knew from the operation manual, meant "low drain". The technician's comment was "it's broken..." He could have told me that over the phone too... Then, he removed the top part, pushed the inside cylinder a few times, and tried a few more cycles, then he came back with the conclusion "it's broken," and also "I don't know what's wrong with it..."

After some further pushing and trying, he said that the control panel would need to be changed and some of the internals also, and that it would cost 482 dollars +tax to do so (he printed out an estimate). We are however puzzled how he came to that conclusion from just taking the top of, and not even trying verify, if the drain system or pump was not at the source of the problem. Anyhow, I was not willing to pay that kind of money to fix our washer, and decided we would just as well be off buying a new one.

By the way, the technician did not speak very highly of the Kenmore Calypso washer and said that these were prone to many issues and we would be better off getting rid of it...? Kind of strange since the salesperson back then in the store never mentioned anything about possible issues (of course, we were going to send 1100 dollars on it back then), and now after researching this a little on the internet, I do find indeed that this washer is indeed a piece of junk, and that many many similar complaints and even a lawsuit was filed on the poor reliability of this washer.

Anyway, to continue the story of the service call, the technician now asks us to pay the 109 dollars+tax for him to show up (and not fix our washer), which we reluctantly end up doing, because we felt he did so little effort on it and we were left with the verdict of having to spend more on buying a new one. My wife also pointed out to him at that point that his repeated trials to get it running left a large amount of smelly water inside the washer, which made it impossible to even move it also. So she asked him if he could take care of that, but his response was to add some bleach for the smell and let the people from Sears who would deliver the new washer deal with it???

So for his 115 dollars and 30 min service call, we cannot even get him to help us drain the washer (had to do it myself afterwards by hosing the water out). Furthermore, just when he offered us the bill for his "service", we were also offered a coupon towards the new washer at Sears, which started at 30, and went up to 100, discount depending on how much we spent towards a new washer at Sears.

At this point this was more like a slap in the face than anything else for us, as now I have to spend over 750 dollars to get only part back of what I just paid for this nightmare, and after I spend already 1100 dollars not even 5 years ago, on a washer that apparently does not even have the durability and reliability to run and service us for 5 years.
The next day, still in shock, I called Sears back to file a complaint regarding this matter, and again I am told that this will be looked into and a service manager would call me back on this.... Well, I'm again still waiting for the promised call.

This weekend, my wife and I bought and installed a new front load LG washer (highly recommended on the internet), and no thank you, not at Sears of course. As far as I am concerned I will never buy anything at Sears again.

Sears - Terrible Service/Repair
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MAGNOLIA, TEXAS -- My 1-1/2 yr old Kenmore front loader washer broke on Dec 8, 2007. I paid $850 for it new. Called Sears repair service and they came out on Dec 14, 2007. Parts were ordered. Total for that visit was $248 for parts & labor. A 2nd follow up appointment was scheduled for Dec 21, 2007 to install the ordered part.

Sears policy is to call the night before the scheduled appointment. If you do not pick up the phone, they CANCEL your appointment and leave a message for you to reschedule. So I called back and was moved to the back of the line, next scheduled appointment was for Dec 31. Same thing happened again. I missed the call, received a voice message that my appointment for the following day was canceled and to reschedule. I only have a cell phone at my house. They keep saying they need an alternate number but there is no alternate number.

I am single, no roommates or spouses whose number I can give out. I have complained to Sears through email and by phone about my situation. Their solution is to call me at least once, sometimes 4 times a day to reschedule. I keep asking them if their policy has changed of canceling the scheduled appointment the night before if you don't pick up. They say no so I say why should we waste both of our times and schedule something that they are going to cancel.

Since it is apparently critical to Sears that they get a confirmation, why don't they say in the voice message to call back within a certain time frame to keep your appointment? Or why isn't the initial service person in charge of the ticket from start to completion? That way no job falls through the crack like mine has. Or since I already kept one appointment and paid $248 for parts and labor, why can't they assume I am a good risk and just show up and honor their appointment?

I finally gave up and bought a low-tech top loader Whirlpool washer from Lowes. In retrospect I should have called a local appliance repair man. Only reason I called Sears was because I thought they would know Kenmore better and be more familiar with their product.

UPDATE 2-4-2008: I received a letter from Sears today thanking me for their recent work on successfully completing my repairs on 1-13-2008. Huh? Last I heard from Sears was 12-31-07 when they cancelled my appointment again. I called Sears and asked them, "Can't you see by your records that no service was done on 1-13-2008 and also that my job was never completed so this letter is like a slap in the face." Sort of Sears little joke on me that they can call this a successfully completed job and they know full well that it wasn't. NOW it's personal, I'm filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the Office of the Attorney General.

UPDATE 12-10-2008: One year anniversary of my washer problems. New top loader washer from Lowes works great. The piece of crap Kenmore that sits in the garage is finally going bye-bye this weekend. I called Sears Home Repair tonight to ask them if they have changed their policy of cancelling scheduled appts if no one picks up the phone the evening before. The answer is YES THEY DO!!! So nothing has changed at Sears. I hope they go out of business. I will never buy another Craftsman or Kenmore product again, no more HD TV's, no more push or riding mowers. Will the last Sears customer please turn out the lights?

No Customer Service
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FONTANA, CALIFORNIA -- On Thursday, October 14, 2007, we started experiencing problems with our Maytag washer's timer control. To make sure we got the appropriate service for our washer we consulted the, “Maytag User's Guide” that came with our washer. It states on page 11 to call 1-800-688-9900 to locate and obtain authorized factory service. I called this number and I was given the name and phone number of A&E Factory Service in my area. Then I looked on the Maytag website and I found that A&E is listed their number one "Nationwide Service Provider".

I called A & E to obtain service for my washer. I got an appointment for October 18, 2007. When the service tech came out I explained to him what the washer was doing. He told me, without even touching my washer that the timer was out and he didn't have one on the truck. He said he could order it and it would be here in three days. I said, OK and he placed an order on his laptop and I paid him $149.45 on my credit card. He said when the part came in to call the office and they would come right out and replace the timer.

Three days came and went and no part arrived. After a week went by and no part arrived I called A&E on Wednesday, October 24th to find out if they knew anything about the missing part. I talked to a guy named **. After taking my information he informed me the part was on backorder. He said it was on backorder and is not scheduled to arrive until December 31, 2007. I was shocked upon hearing that I would be without a washer for two and a half months. And I didn't understand why I had not been informed, by A&E that the part was going to be delayed. I told ** to cancel my part order.

He said he would cancel the part order, but another department had to refund my money. He said someone would call the following day. No one called. On Friday, October 26, 2007, I again called A&E. A man named ** answered my call and I told him what had been going on. He said he would cancel the part order and he would transfer me to a person who would refund my money. After waiting on hold for five minutes the phone clicked and went dead. I called back and talked to a lady named **. I had to give her all my background again. She told me that she would now cancel the part order and she transferred me to a lady named **.

Upon talking to **she told me that no one had canceled the part but she would? But she couldn't refund my money. She said she would cancel the part and I would have to call back for my refund. I asked her why I needed to call back when I was already on the phone with her. She said she had to fill out paperwork and call the parts department. I told her to call the parts department and cancel that part order and then I would stay on the line and we could fill out the refund paperwork together.

She stated to me that to obtain a refund I would still have to pay the $50.00 service call charge. I said fine. She seemed reluctant to help me at this point so I asked her if I could talk to a Supervisor. She transferred me to a man name ** who said he was the Customer Service Manager. For the fourth or fifth time I had to tell my story again to **. He tells me that “none of the other people I have talked to are allowed to cancel my part order only he could do that”.

I told him that I am getting the runaround from his company. He says “he” will help me personally. He looks up my information and says he has cancelled my part order. He then tells me he can refund my money, but I will have to pay the $65.00 service call charge. I said wait a minute, I just talked to **, your employee not more than five minutes ago and she told me the service charge was only $50.00.

At this point ** said because ** had said it was $50.00 he would refund $100.00 to my credit card and keep the $50.00 for the service call. I said that was fine and asked for his direct phone number in case I had any further problems. He gave me his direct line and assured me he would take care of my problem.

After a week went by and not receiving a refund I called **. I was on hold for ten minutes. I then called the service number and the lady I spoke to tried to call ** at the number he gave me, and she was also placed on hold. She tried an internal number but no one answered. I then drove to A & E (aka: SEARS). I finally found “**” and asked him where my refund was. He said the employee who does the refunds had gone home for the day, which I found very convenient. He assured me that he would call me the next morning, which he did. He said that my refund would show up on my charge account in three days.

Well three days turned into a week without a refund. I called ** again and as usual he didn't know what had happened, although he is the manager of the department. Once again he promised my refund would be in my account in three days. Again a week went by and then my refund was in my account, sort of. Instead of the hundred dollars I was scheduled to get I only got $84.45. So on November 12, 2007, I had to call ** again about what had happened to my full refund. And as usual, ** didn't have an idea of what went wrong. He promised to call me back with the information. I'M STILL WAITING.

Sears HE3t Washer
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GEORGIA -- We bought a washer from Sears about 3 years ago (HE3t). We also purchased the extended warranty. We were told that it was the top of the line machine and would handle heavy loads. I wash on a daily basis with a family of four. My children play sports and therefore we have a lot of clothing with heavy stains. I've never been very happy with the machine (it agitates so much that the entire house feels as if it is vibrating, and I have discovered holes in our towels from the heavy agitation). Nevertheless, we paid over $1300.00 for the washer and I've tried to make it work. Finally, the machine stopped working with water inside.

Luckily, my husband was able to get it unlocked and the water drained before ruining the clothing and even worse damaging my new hardwood floors in the hall adjacent to the laundry room. We called Sears around 1:00 p.m. that Friday afternoon. We were told that a technician could be there on Monday and would call us between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. We waited the entire day, and finally the technician called at 4:20. He was a very nice gentleman and I think he did what he could, but he said we needed to have a new water pump installed and that he would have to order it.

He said the parts would arrive by UPS at our address by that Wednesday. He said that my husband could install them if he wanted, but he could not come back until a full week had passed due to his computer not allowing him to schedule appointments at the same address in the same week (that sounded pretty strange). We again went along with the plan because we had no choice. When no parts arrive that week, I knew I was in for more waiting without a washer. My patience were pretty thin having been without a washer for ten days.

We got a call from Sears that Sunday (a recording) that said our appt. would need to be rescheduled. I called Sears and was told that the part must be back ordered. I think what offended me most was that when I called, they tried to sell me some kind of home improvement service. Why would I want to buy anything else from them? I did tell them that they could add a room onto my home for all of my dirty clothing. They have at this point rescheduled my appt. for this Friday (being 15 days without a washer).

After reading the many comments and complaints about Sears on the internet, I certainly will NEVER buy anything from them again. How do they expect a family of four to live without a washer for over two weeks (and possibly longer)? From my reading, it seems that this water pump problem is certainly not a new one - they should have done a recall on them or better yet kept a lot of these in stock to fix hard-working consumers' products. GOOD RIDDANCE SEARS. You will NEVER be a part of our family again.

Won't Honor Master Service Agreement
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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- 4-19-07, HE3 Washer-CSR4210241, SON:95685351. Eric, the technician was rude, insulting and argumentative from the moment he walked in the door. He saw a synthetic sheepskin rug laying on the washing machine and stated that we were washing things that were way too heavy. He pointed to the sheepskin and said "things like that should be taken to a Laundromat." The item he stated was too heavy for the machine. Weighs 1.1 lb. In comparison, 3 of our bath towels weighed as follows: 1.55 lb, 1.11 lb & 1.31 lb. Are bath towels also "too heavy" for the HE3 machine?

I disagreed with him and he said fine, if I didn't want the washer repaired they could walk out and I could wait for the next technician. I told him he was being deliberately inflammatory and to stop shouting. He turned to his trainee and said "did I say anything inflammatory?" "Was I shouting?" As the supervisor of a trainee, no one with an ounce of sense would expect a trainee to disagree with his supervisor. Eric next claimed that the detergent we were using was responsible for the broken seal (caused it to deteriorate) so we had abused & misused the machine. First: there is nothing in the HE3 owner's manual that states we MUST use a High Efficiency detergent.

It states "For best washing performance, use a High Efficiency (HE), or low-sudsing detergent. Second: I demand to see the study showing that a laundry detergent will cause a heavy rubber seal to rip apart. Third: a previous technician told us that the laundry detergent we were using was acceptable. Eric stated that wasn't true (calling me a liar), that all technicians were instructed to insist that an HE detergent be used. Eric saw some "scratches" on the washer's window and said that was proof that we were abusing the washer. I have no idea what caused the scratches. Does that mean that people are not allowed to wash items with zippers, buttons, etc.?

I told Eric to just identify the part, order it and leave, because he didn't have the part anyway. Eric told me that every technician carried that part and did I want him to repair it or not? He and the trainee went out to the van and were gone about 15 minutes. When they returned, Eric stated that the repair would not be covered by our warranty because we had "abused" the machine. He said he could order the part (what happened to getting the part from the van?) and that I would have to pay around $277.73 for the repair. I said, "and why would I have to pay for the repair, we have a 5 year Master Maintenance Agreement on the machine."

Eric stated that a previous technician found a "rabbit's foot" and some straw in the machine and identified that as an "abuse." He stated that he was reporting that this (waving his hand to the detergent and synthetic sheepskin) was an abuse and the repair was therefore not covered. (I'm counting to 100 by now.) We are an animal shelter. We RESCUE rabbits. We do not cut off their feet. Eric had walked past numerous rabbits on his way to the washer. (I feel that his statement that a rabbit's foot had been found in our washer was a deliberate lie that Eric made up as one more inflammatory/harassing statement.

If this statement is actually in our file it is an outrageous lie by someone in Sears' employment. On a previous visit it is true that there were a few strands of hay (not the heavier straw found in the machine). We changed our procedure and there has never been even one strand of hay since that time. Eric handed me a "Master Protection Agreement" and identified paragraph 9.d He stated that we were misusing the machine by not using the HE detergent and that the scratches & synthetic sheepskin proved we were abusing the machine.

On the same date, I phoned Sears service center, filed a complaint and was told that I would receive a return call with a "decision" within 2 business days. 4 business days have elapsed and still no phone call. We paid for a 5 year master service agreement and expect Sears to honor this contract.

Washer Repair/Customer Service
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ANCHORAGE, ALASKA -- My washer leaked. Called Sears's obnoxious 800 number with mechanical voice options, scheduled appointment for 9/8/06. Mechanical voice said it cost $45 for tech to walk through front door. Tech came, looked at machine, said hoses needed tightening, tightened hoses. And charged $65, not $45. As soon as he left my son started a load of clothes. Machine lost its tub of water when it tried but couldn't agitate. Prior to tech's appearance it had worked fine, just leaked.

Called Sears back, next available appointment is 9/13/06, a week later. Tech comes, admits that first tech had disturbed the electrical connections causing the no agitate/dump water problem. Ran small load test, did not charge for service and left. He also said first tech did not diagnose that the hoses needed replacing, not tightening. Also said I could buy their $30 hoses, the only kind they bring with them, or go to local home store and buy and install my own. Which I did. So at this point they haven't actually fixed my problem, I did.

I then tried to start a load of clothes. Washer would only agitate half-load of clothes, would dump water from a full load down to half-full, then agitate, would not spin for the first rinse cycle, and only spun on the final rinse. Similar problems appeared randomly throughout the various wash cycles. At this point I'm angry, call up Sears 800 repair number (by this time I can get to a real person in about 35 seconds) and discover the next available appointment is another week away, on 9/21/06.

Keep in mind for all of these appointments one must stay home and available for either 8:00 a.m. to noon or 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. I don't know what people who work outside the home do. Actually, they're lucky, they probably call somebody else. Anyway, 9/21 comes and nobody shows. At 11:45 a.m. I call and the person says there's no appointment scheduled. Ballistic I went. Asked to speak to supervisor, talked to person named Laura, who condescendingly said I could wait at home 9/22 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. So sorry for the inconvenience.

And as long as I'm totally irate, I ask about the $65 versus $45 walk through the door fee, since mechanical voice assured me it was $45. She spends several minutes looking this up and, frankly, was unable to explain the difference. Upon more closely examining my receipt I see it says "Sun appt (65.00)". 9/8 is a Friday. I point this out to her. She disregards it. This comes up because she's explaining to me that if my current issue is NOT a result of the tech's screw-up I get to pay again. At this point I think I'm entitled to my $65 back.

Then I get a voicemail message from someone who would only identify themselves as Sears telling me that the reason they charge the $65 was because my machine went off warranty on December 19th, 2004. Well, the machine was purchased in 1985 and I've never had an extended warranty so was probably off warranty sometime in December of 1988. So where they're getting this is beyond me. And the point is not that I had to pay at all but why was I paying $65 and not the $45 as promised by Ms. Mechanical Voice.

Bottom line: Don't call Sears for repairs. And, stupid me, the last time I called them was in 2003 when my stove/oven quit working about 10 days before Thanksgiving (which I was hosting that year.) Their first available appointment was mid-December! That time I just bought a new stove/oven and made sure it wasn't a Kenmore.

Avoid at All Cost!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

KILLEEN, TEXAS -- My WORKING machine would not spin. I called SEARS. They have been out to me 5 times (sorry the 4th time I took off from work and waited, waited, waited... the guy no showed). Now, my machine will not work at all! I can't wash clothes now, spent 260$ and 5 days from work. Customer service reps terrible service and all I keep getting is we have to wait until they come out. I contacted the BB in hopes no one has to go through this service! So, still without machine… sigh.

Bye Bye Sears (After 40 Loyal Years)
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From Sears I bought a GE 3.5 cu. ft. washer, and after 2 months it broke, it REALLY broke. It flooded my floor and needed a new transmission. What I was not told was that at that time, I could have had the washer replaced. What did happen was 4 weeks of waiting for the parts to arrive and the repairman to spend ALL day (no joke) trying to fix it, with every nut and bolt spread out all over my floor. When he was done, he said it would now make a clicking sound, and by the way, he torqued the top of the washer so it didn't close properly. It was still under warranty, so I complained, to no avail.

Then 6 weeks later, it REALLY broke again, flooding my floor and sounding like it was being hit repeatedly by a Mack truck. It now needs a new motor and new transmission and gear case and lots of other stuff, it needs its whole insides to be rebuilt. I had purchased an extended warranty, so I am not paying for this. The washer cost $500, the first repair cost about $1,000, and this second repair will cost $1,000. Now I know that machines break, but I have bought all my appliances from Sears for the last 40 years because it is such a stand-up company, backing up its products with responsible business ethics ... or so I thought.

With the first breakdown, even with the huge cost, I was not informed that I could have asked for a replacement. Then it was too late, because that window of time ran out. With the second repair, I got the BIGGEST runaround I have ever had from a business. Call Customer Service, transfer to One Source, transfer to online service, transfer to Technical Department, transfer to National Customer Relations, transfer back to customer service... Say what?!?!?!

You know there was a 15 minute hold on the phone between each transfer. I did this for 10 days and then I gave up. Especially after the second repair guy said that in all the years he's worked for Sears, he has never known them to replace a defective machine. I have been the most loyal cheerleader for Sears for 40 years (I am 61) and because of that I really really tried to resolve this issue, but I cannot believe how horrible Sears has become, unreliable merchandise, evasive cruel customer service (because they never tell the truth, just endlessly transfer the phone call). Done, done, done. Bye bye Sears. You broke my heart, and now I am done.

Warning to Anyone Purchasing a Washing Machine From Sears
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This is a warning to anyone who has purchased a washing machine from Sears. I have recently discovered that it is Sears' official policy to take away the shipping bolts that are fitted to washing machines. These are fitted by the manufacturer to prevent internal damage during transport, but should actually be left with the customer as they need to be refitted if ever the machine needs to be moved (e.g., when moving house). Sears informed me that the reason they take these away is because some customers were refitting the bolts needlessly and thus causing damage when they try to operate the machine.

However, who knows how many machines have been damaged when people move house but, because of Sears' policy, don't have the shipping bolts available to refit to their machines? Presumably by this stage though most machines will be out of the warranty period so Sears won't have to do anything about any damage that's caused by their policy.

It took me about 5 frustratingly long phone calls to Sears parts department to establish this and to get them to send me the shipping bolts, which should have been delivered with the washing machine in the first place. However, they have refused to send me the wrench (used to tighten the shipping bolts), which should also have come with the machine. My last conversation was with one of the rudest call center employee I have ever spoken to, who worked for Sears Parts Direct.

If you have bought a washing machine from Sears and think you might need to move the machine at some point in the future, my advice is to call up and insist that they send you the shipping bolts for your machine, as well as the wrench to tighten them. They will try to charge you for these parts, but as they SHOULD have been delivered with the machine in the first place (and will be listed in the machine's manual as included 'parts and accessories'), you should argue to get them free of charge.

Perhaps eventually Sears will change their ridiculous policy of taking these things away in the first place. If you haven't yet bought from Sears, I would definitely go elsewhere. Their after-sales service is dismal, and their parts department employees rude and unhelpful. Based on their handling of this one small issue I will certainly never spend another cent there.

Sears Repair Service
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HIGH POINT, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have always been a loyal Sears customer until the experiences I have had with their nightmare repair service. In 2002 I purchased a Kenmore Elite washer and dryer. The washer ended up being defective and was replaced with a Kenmore Elite Oasis in June of 2006. On Nov. 18, 2007 my washer stopped in the middle of a wash cycle. I have a 3 yr warranty on the washer and called Sears repair only to learn that no one would be able to come to my home until Nov. 27th. There is a lid lock on my washer and since the machine stopped in the middle of the cycle it would not unlock leaving my clothes in water.

I explained this to the Sears customer service. There was no offer of concern or solution. The only way I could get my clothes out was to take the entire top off. Since I work I had my mother (who is 80) meet the repairman on Nov 27th. The repairman said he had to order a component for the digital panel and left WITHOUT draining the water. A week later the part came in. It was the wrong part. Another part was ordered and the water was not drained AGAIN. Week three – the part comes in and was installed. My mother was SOLD a product to clean out the washer.

Later, when I started to wash clothes, I noticed the TOP of the washer was not fastened which required another repair visit. My house smelled like a sewer from the water sitting for three weeks. My mother was sold a product to clean the washer that Sears should have provided. The repair service was extremely poor. If my mother had not been available to meet the repairman I would have missed a total of two days work waiting for the repairman to show up in the four hour window.

The national Sears customer service contacted me regarding the situation and the lady I spoke to was extremely rude with an attitude who acted as though she was put over having to call me and listen to my concerns. I am of the opinion that once Sears has your money they don't care if you get quality repair service. Also, if you call for a repair it activates the telemarketers to call to extend or buy warranties. After almost 40 years of being a loyal Sears customer I will never step foot in a Sears store again much less buy a product from them. This is only one of the numerous problems I have experienced with Sears over the past five years.

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Sears Washers Rating:
Star Empty star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.2 out of 5, based on 26 ratings and
125 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192-3322
847-286-2500 (ph)
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