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Customer Service is lacking
Posted by Kawherp on 04/19/2010
Our 5 year old water heater started to leak and the ordeal began. We had purchased it from Sears and it was under warranty. I called on a Sunday and got an appointment for Monday. So far, so good. The "repair" person came and said I needed a new tank and that someone would call me. He left, I got no call. I called Sears multiple times during the day and was finally contacted at 9 PM. The plumber was irritated that he had to drive to a distant store to get my unit and wanted to delay the replacement for 48 hours. I had no hot water! Finally, he agreed to come the next day.


He arrived near 11 AM, claming the store didn't even open until 10 AM to get the replacement water heater. Six days later, the elbow joint between the hot water heater and water line is leaking. And the new expansion tank is also leaking.

I called again. (Sunday) and was told someone would come Monday between 8 and 12. Sound familiar? Service person CALLED at 10 AM and said the installer had to come do the repair. And I was told they would call. Again, I have been on the phone with Sears and no one can help. They all send me to another department, promising my issue has been escalated to the special cases unit, the Special Handling Team, and even told me that I'd get my own case manager. The case manager is going to call and take my complaint sometime in the next 24-48 BUSINESS hours.

Meanwhile, I've taken 2.5 days from work so far and while I have hot water, I also have two leaks that are getting worse. All I want is for a plumber to come re-sweat the connection in the elbow joint and figure out why the 6 day old expansion tank is leaking. I'd also like to be kept informed of when/if the repair person will be coming.

I will NEVER buy an appliance from Sears again.
     
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Posted by SearsCare on 2010-04-20:
To Kawherp,
I’m very sorry you’ve had this issue with your water heater and our service and installation teams. This has been a terrible ordeal for you and it needs to be resolved quickly. My name is Brian and I’m part of the Sears Cares Escalations team and it sounds like you may already have a case open with us and your own dedicated Case Manager with this team. If you’re already being helped by us, I assure you that you are in good hands but we would still like to verify that so we can step in if you are not already being helped here. At your convenience, please contact my office via email at searscares@searshc.com so you don’t continue to be frustrated by this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number the water heater 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 (Kawherp), for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

Thank you,
Brian J.
Senior Case Manager
Sears Cares
Posted by Winehcl on 2011-04-15:
ALMOST the exact same story I now I have with Sears--except that I don't have a leak, I just have a water heater not functioning! I have been trying to warm water up all week for my baby-- but he's getting sick-- If I have a Master agreement, why can't Sears respect that and honor their word?? The times of honest and good service are gone-- Also, the technicians that have come, 1) have no parts, and 2) seem to have no clude of what they are doing.. Incredible
Posted by Winehcl on 2011-04-16:
Sears-- Terrible service even with Master Agreement--

7 days without hot water-- every day is a different story--being passed from department to department, and nobody seem to care-- Service passes to Special care, special care passes to installation, Installation passes to contractors, contractors then don't know anything about it--

To whoever is considering Sears--BLUE CREW-- Do NOT--DO NOT make the mistake of buying anytyihng from Sears and even less, purchasing Master Agreement!!
Posted by Charoltte P on 2013-11-28:
I have the Sears home warranty repair plan My hot water tank stopped working so I called the said it will be one week before they can have some one out to take a look I'm 73 yrs and have a 52 yro son that lives with me that has a skin deseas he 5 different meds has to wash 3 times a day with warm water or he will get put back in the hospitalwhy can't I pay a place to repair it and either be reimburset I wouldn't recommend you to anyone thanks for ßsssssssss

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Water Heater Purchase
Posted by Catloverdl on 10/10/2013
I purchased a water heater. Then contractor called me and said it was the wrong kind for my home. Then I cancelled order because they would not be able to get the right one for me for 4 days. Meanwhile I had to pay before anything was done. Trying to get a cancellation receipt and now they tell me that won't happen for 5-7 days. What a crock. NEVER WILL I EVER BUY ANYTHING FROM SEARS.....
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Company Response on :
My name is Liz and I am with the Sears Cares escalations team. We are terribly sorry for the troubles you have been experiencing with your water heater purchase. From your post we can see that we certainly have let you down and would like to offer some assistance. We would like the opportunity to speak with you to ensure the problems with your water heater are addressed and hopefully restore your faith in Sears. At your earliest convenience please send the following information – contact #, the name and phone # used at time of purchase, as well as the screen name that you have been assigned to reference your post (catloverdl), to smadvisor@searshc.com. We look forward to speaking with you.

Thank you,

Liz R.
Social Media Moderator
Sears Social Media Support
     
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Need Water Heater Under Warranty Replaced No Water for 48 Hours Now
Posted by Bnincongo on 10/05/2013
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Our 7 year old Sears water heater cracked 2 days ago. We were forced to shut off the water to the house because the intake valve was also shot (which Sears had installed when they installed the water heater) and it continued to leak unless we shut off the main valve to the house. We immediately called Sears to have someone come to repair or replace it. No one responded and after several calls the next day, a repair person finally came at 4 pm the next day. After paying him $89.00 said the water heater was cracked and needed to be replaced.

We immediately called Sears to schedule the replacement. They said they were busy and to call back the next morning. We called several times that morning and were told that a repair person would contact us to schedule the replacement by 2pm. At 2 pm we called and were told that it would take 24-48 hours more to schedule the replacement. To add insult to all this I had out patient surgery yesterday and am recovering from pneumonia. When we called Sears again to say this was unacceptable, they said we could go to the store and pick up the water heater ourselves and find out own plumber to install it. This said after we had already paid them almost 400.00 to cover the installation.

So now 48 hours later we have been without water. Sears has been paid for the installation of a new water heater to replace their defective one but we have no installation scheduled. We have bought appliances from Sears for over 30 years but will never buy another one from them.
     
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Posted by SearsCare on 2013-10-08:
Dear Bnincongo,

We appreciate you taking time to post about what you have experienced concerning your water heater repair/replacement needs
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Can Not Cancel Order???
Posted by Stinger512002 on 08/05/2012
ONLINE -- Sunday 3:30pm 8/5/2012

ordered parts 2 thermostats upper and lower.

Called back 3 hours later, discovered didn't need the 2 parts, Was told by operator at searsparts you can not cancel orders?

So they will send the parts to me that I do not need and then I send them back at MY COST?

They will not refund until the 2 parts arrive at Sears parts?????

So they get your money right off the bat, then no cancellation they get to keep YOUR money while the PARTS GO BACK and FORTH???
THAT HAS TO BE THE DUMBEST BUSINESS PRACTICE I HAVE EVER HEARD OF.

DONT BUY PARTS FROM THEM.
     
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Posted by Alain on 2012-08-06:
The Sears rep handed you a load of baloney. Any even borderline reputable company gives you at least 24 hours to cancel an order. If you ordered with a credit card challenge the charge. Also file a complaint with your state's consumer protection office and at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/index.shtml This is one more reason why Sears is getting a bad reputation with consumers.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-08-06:
I beg to differ with the complaint and my esteemed fellow member Alain.

First off, the cancellation policy is clearly stated on the website: "All orders are transmitted directly to the supplier to prevent processing delays. Once an order is placed it cannot be cancelled or altered." It makes sense that a refund won't be issued until the merchandise is returned. I doubt a dispute with the CC company will be successful, or is warranted.

Second, I have used this website on several occasions to order and research parts. I have never had an issue. Thus I would not hesitate at all to use them again. I'm sorry you didn't realize the policy - this is similar at other web portals. Always check the policies prior to ordering.
Posted by SearsCare on 2012-08-06:
My name is Tony and I am with the Sears Social Media Escalations team at the executive office. We would like to accept our apologies for the inconvenience that this has caused you. I can certainly understand your frustration with the money being taken from your account immediately and not being able to get the refund processed for the parts that are not needed.
Your business is valued greatly and we would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you further and work on your behalf to get this matter resolved to your satisfaction.
At your convenience, please contact our office via email at smadvisor@searshc.com so you don’t have to be upset by this any longer. In the email, please provide a contact number and the phone number that the item is listed under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. In addition, please include your Screen name (stinger512002) in the email for reference to your issue. Again, we’re sorry for any trouble we have caused and we hope to talk to you soon.
Tony T.
Social Media Moderator
Sears Social Media Support
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Home Repair Service / You Be The Judge
Posted by Ok4now on 02/10/2012
After reading numerous posts about the poor service provided for their appliances I reluctantly called them for my 4 year old Kenmore Water Heater. The pilot light went out and I had no hot water. Seemed like a simple problem, just relight it. Read the label on the tank with easy instructions but it would not light the pilot after numerous tries. This water heater comes with a 9 year warranty so I had to call Sears for service, all of the parts were covered.

I called at 9:30 A.M. and Sears was at my door at 1:30 P.M. The service tech quickly identified the problem. All of the newer water heaters have a mesh screen on the very bottom acting as a filter. Over time dirt & dust does seep in eventually clogging the area around the pilot light then extinguishing it. It needed to be cleaned, again not so simple. This is something that the homeowner cannot easily do. To properly do this he used a tank of liquid nitrogen with 300 pounds of pressure to blast all of the dirt out. This took about 10 seconds. Now the pilot lighted and I had hot water. The tech said he averages 10 calls a week for the same problem.

Now I get the bill. The service call was $75.00. To clean it was another $70.00 dollars for a total of $145.00. This seemed excessive to me but all home service calls are expensive. Sears responded in 4 hours and fixed the problem. This post is not a complaint but an informative for the service I received. You be the judge. Comments??
     
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Posted by Alain on 2012-02-10:
Sounds like a poor design to me. I agree with you that the cost is high. We're currently using an A.O. Smith Promax water heater installed by our plumber about 5 years age. When they came out to snake a drain for us about 2 months ago they checked the water heater (free of charge) and found no problems. I checked some reviews and A.O Smith has had some problems reported, too, but for us, we'll stick with what's working.
Posted by Venice09 on 2012-02-10:
Is the warranty just for replacement and not service? I thought you were going to say there was no charge.

That was great service though. Quick and efficient!
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2012-02-10:
Response time: A+
Service call: C
10 sec + Nitrogen: F-

They gouged you big time for blowing the dust out.

If Sears was at all concerned about PR they blew a perfect opportunity earn an "attaboy" here. As is stands they show their true colors: "Get 'em one time for as much as you possibly can. We don't care if we ever see you again."
Posted by Nohandle on 2012-02-10:
I really don't know about this one ok4now. As much as I hate to state it a $75.00 service call is about average, in my area, to just pull up onto your property. If something is done while there it's extra. Gosh I recall when a service call included the labor for at least the first hour and most adjustments and the like were also included.

I'm not going to say you were taken advantage of for the *dust out* because someone has to have the proper equipment to take care of the problem to begin with. No matter how long the project took, whether 10 minutes or an hour, again having the proper equipment was necessary.

Agreed, Sears could have earned good PR if the service call charge had included it all. Through the years on occasion I've felt I was taken advantage of and other times was amazed at the little bit I was charged. I just try to remember to not expect a small charge the next time with the company. My experiences have NOT been with Sears, just appliance repair places in general.
Posted by Slimjim on 2012-02-10:
If its excessive, I wouldn't say by much. $75 is a decent trip charge rate from a little guy. I would have thought Sears would be even more considering what I've seen from GE and other big entities. Another $70 in labor- maybe that could have been done for only an addition $40-$50, it's all subjective. Although not much, there was the expense of the Nitrogen too. Honestly as service calls go, this doesn't sound that bad.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-02-10:
A machine at the factory would not run. Everyone said to call Old Joe, who had retired after running the machine for years. Joe came, felt with his hand along the side of the machine, and with a hammer, hit it in a certain spot. Joe said "That's $25.00." The factory people said "That's seems high." Joe said "That's $5.00 for hitting it, and $20.00 for knowing where to hit it."

The service person repaired it, because he knew what to do. The fee may or may not be a little high, but it was done quickly and right. Plus, the homeowner now knows what to do, so he can do it in the future if that problem arises again - like an education fee.

Posted by ok4now on 2012-02-11:
The water heater comes with a 9 year warranty. After the first year you have to pay for the service call but not the parts. In my situation it didn't need any parts but they charged for the "cleaning." I fully understand that all repair services charge for the service call. If they have labor and parts costs on top of this I expect to pay for it. The "cleaning" charge that took 10 seconds was gouging the customer. tnchuck called this one right. If the parts were under warranty (much more expensive) why not include the cleaning and get some great P.R. for Sears? Again they shot themselves in the foot.
Posted by Venice09 on 2012-02-11:
I have to agree with that logic, ok4now. I wasn't sure how the warranty worked because we've never had to buy a water heater in the 30 years we're living here. They all broke and were replaced under warranty, including the one that came with the house.

I hope you can clean the filter yourself in the future so you don't have to pay for it again.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-02-12:
The cheap outside filter screen is at the very bottom of the tank. Yes this is easy to clean but the problem is the dirt that gets past this will eventually clog the pilot. This new closed design was mandated by the Government to make gas water heaters safer. The tech explained that it's almost impossible for the average homeowner to clean this. The area is recessed up and under the tank which is difficult to get to. Shop Vacs are useless. I'll just have to clean it frequently so the dirt doesn't build up.

FYI: The Sears Tech told me this but I cannot verify. He stated that hot water heaters sold by Home Depot and Lowe's have a "lead finger" next to the pilot that is designed to burn down as a safety precaution. This occurs when the pilot area (my problem) becomes dirty restricting gas flow. Once this happens it can't be repaired. You are stuck buying a new water heater. Something to think about.
Posted by Venice09 on 2012-02-12:
I was going to suggest frequent cleaning, but I see you already thought of that. On the other hand, if it doesn't have to be cleaned for another four years, it might be worth having it professionally done.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-02-12:
Here's another solution. The Sears Tech explained that I can but an extended warranty for $50 bucks a year. (Don't say it Venice, I know what you're thinking.) This warranty includes a free annual cleaning and a NO service call charge. The parts & labor are covered 100%. After paying $145 just for a cleaning this might be worth considering.
Posted by Venice09 on 2012-02-12:
That's a good deal and something I would consider myself. My problem is not with extended warranties. It's how they are handled when it's time to cash in. I was always in favor of extended warranties on appliances that are used a lot and that I can't live without (washer, refrigerator, etc), but after what happened to me and reading all the similar stories, I would never buy one again.

That warranty sounds great IF they honor it without driving you crazy first. And that's a big if.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-02-12:
Good advise. I can understand what you're saying and have to agree it's how the extended warranties are handled. It seems that they look for every excuse and loophole not to pay. Having said this the $50 deal at Sears is worth considering. What scares me is that they are shutting down 125 plus stores and this warranty may not be honored. Just look at all of the people that were burned with Circuit City warranties. It's still an option worth looking at.
Posted by Venice09 on 2012-02-12:
I agree with everything you just said, ok4now. Fifty dollars isn't a huge amount to risk. Who knows?.. maybe it will actually pay off!
Posted by jktshff1 on 2012-02-12:
Good review.
I would like to add that once a yr I shoot a blast of compressed air thru my a/c drain, water tank drain an others like that to blow out any debris or bugs that might be in there.
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-02-12:
Just be thankful they showed up the same day you called. If you were the typical person posting about Sears, you'd be taking cold showers for at least a month!
Posted by Venice09 on 2012-02-12:
Great advice, jkt.
Posted by SearsCare on 2012-02-16:
Dear ok4now,

We're so sorry for the frustration you're experiencing with the hot water heater. I’m glad that our repair team was able to be at your home in a proper timeframe. We see that you have a concern with the service amount. We would like to have the opportunity to offer our assistance on this cost concerns. We value you as a Sears customer and would like to provide you the best result to this situation. At your convenience, please contact our office via email at smadvisor@searshc.com so you don’t have to continue to be frustrated by this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number the hot water heater 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 (ok4now) you used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward speaking with you soon.

Thank you,


Robert B.
Social Media Moderator
Sears Social Media Support
Posted by Venice09 on 2012-02-16:
You're up, ok4now! Please do let us know what happens!!.. haha

Now that I think of it, this review was ingenious. What a great way to finally get some information on an experience with Sears Social Media.
Posted by madconsumer on 2012-02-16:
thank you robert b for addressing consumer issues on our site. i know consumers appreciate your efforts!!

Posted by ok4now on 2012-02-17:
This is the post I have been waiting for!! Robert B will be hearing from me very shortly and I intend to let it all out. Rest assured Venice, you will be the first to know. It's on!!!
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Don't buy Sears service contract on home appliances
Posted by Postsolipsist84 on 12/15/2011
On October 24, 2011 I purchased, using Sears's 1-800 number posted on its webpage, a water heater and installation. I foolishly purchased, in addition, an extended service contract, for 3 years.

Afterwards, I had several conversations with Sears about getting a copy of this service contract. I was told it would be coming as a matter of course. Later, I was transferred; I had my my line go dead; I was told to rely on what I was told over the phone; I was told that I had to give my credit card number. I was told that "it" "had to be entered." I was then placed on indefinite hold until I hung up. I called yet again later and found someone who had no trouble locating the contract. I told this person that I was fed up and wanted to cancel it. She agreed. On about November 18, I received a check which agreed with the amount I had been quoted over the phone for the contract, although nothing came with the check indicating this was what it was for, or who to contact for information other than ""A/P Audit Department", without address or telephone number.

On December 6, more than a month after my initial inquiries, and almost three weeks after I received my refund, I received a document in the mail labeled "Master Protection Agreement".

The name on the agreement is "Van Van Jan". This name does not have the faintest resemblance to my own or to the name on the credit card I used. It has a possible, very conjectural relationship to the name of a former owner of the house where the heater was installed, who died fifteen years ago.

I know this is the agreement I purchased because the expiration date matches.

The agreement consists of 31 numbered paragraphs over fourteen inches of dense text in type that is two millimeters in height, for letters like "k" or "f", and one millimeter for letters like "a" or "o". Although the language is heavy in nifty legal terms like "hereinafter" it is not at all clear to what extent this contract guarantees anything beyond whatever warranty otherwise comes with the water heater. If I purchase a "Kenmore 9" water heater, my impression from conversation with Sears is that this heater is supposed to last 9 years. If the installation is defective then that should be remediable without recourse to additional service contract purchases. Likewise if there is a defect in the heater, including a cosmetic defect, it should not be required to purchase additional coverage to have it replaced or fixed. What you may get is the opportunity to make your case without as much argument, but that's speculative.

It is unclear to me whether Sears ever intended to provide a copy of the agreement I purchased so that I could see its terms. Sears wouldn't be the only business to sell such a contract in a way that makes it is easy to forget what you are entitled to when the time comes. The larger point is that these contracts are a deal for the company that sells them, and it is very easy to get talked into that extra but unclear bit of security at the time of purchase, when you are already committed to spending a good chunk of money and the idea of avoidable problems is planted in your mind according to the market-tested script of the person you're talking to. Consumer Reports recommends against purchasing such contracts in most cases. Even disregarding the trouble with Sears's bureaucracy, I agree.
     
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Posted by postsolipsist84 on 2011-12-15:
Obviously, this isn't a Compliment. Must have hit the wrong option and don't see any way to edit it.
Posted by SearsCare on 2011-12-15:
Dear postsolipsist84,


I am very sorry that you have not received the level of customer service that you deserve. This is definitely not the type of experience our customers should encounter with us. We would like to talk to you about this situation and see what we can do to make it right.

At your convenience, please contact our office via email at smsupport@searshc.com so you don’t have to continue to be frustrated by this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide the screen name (postsolipsist84) you used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

Thank you,

Robert B.

Social Media Moderator

Posted by clutzycook on 2011-12-15:
Robert, you're right, they shouldn't encounter this type of service, but as the reviews on this site show, it seems to happen time after time.
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-12-15:
I wouldn't disagree at all that a nine year warrantied product shouldn't require much in the way of additional coverage. It's also wise of you to require a copy of said agreement. I've always believed in studying this document before purchasing the actual merchandise, assuming that it's been determined that additional warranty coverage is behoovent. There are several reports now which will suggest the consideration of additional coverage on certain purchases. For example, CBS news did a very good report of warranty coverage, in general, within the market and when it can be very beneficial to consider this extra purchase.

"For years, consumer advocates such as Consumer Reports have cautioned against buying extended warranties. But that advice may be in need of updating.

In a recent development, many appliance makers are consolidating the terms of warranty coverage on their products to include one period covering all parts and service. The period is one year — after that, if a part wears out or breaks, you'll pay.

Before this, appliance makers would have warranties with different coverage periods for various parts, ranging from five to 20 years. Now they say a simpler and clearer warranty — one that covers all parts and services for the same one-year period — will benefit consumers. The reality is that in most cases, manufacturers' warranties for many appliances will be shorter and if you want to extend the warranty coverage for periods longer than a year, you'll have to open your wallet.

Shorter and "simpler" warranties for appliance brands such as Whirlpool, Roper, Estate, General Electric, Hotpoint, Maytag, Amana, Frigidaire and many other brands went into effect late last year and earlier this year. Some premium appliance brands still offer warranties that apply for longer than a year.

Some consumer electronics makers have also cut their warranties. For example, according to PC World magazine, Dell used to offer a three-year warranty on numerous products — but has cut warranties on some products to just one year, and just three months on others. Once the manufacturer's warranty runs out, all costs for repairs are borne by the consumer, unless you pay for an extended warranty.

Extended Warranties
An extended warranty typically covers the costs of repairing or replacing an item during the same period when the manufacturer's warranty runs — and extends for an additional period of time, typically two to five years from the date of purchase. Extended warranties may also cover items that are never covered by the manufacturer, such as normal wear, damage caused by a power surge, and additional services such as annual cleaning and preventative maintenance."

I've personally paid for additional coverage and seen it save thousands of dollars over the years.
Posted by Venice09 on 2011-12-15:
Postsolipsist84, this is one of the best reviews I've read here. Very insightful and helpful. Also very true.

I never gave Sears warranties a second thought because they always took care of me when I needed service. However, that was the old Sears. I wouldn't give them one cent for a contract anymore. They tell you everything you want to hear to get you to buy a warranty, but when the time comes to cash in, they use every tactic in the book to renege on their end of the deal. This strategy is finally catching up with them. People now realize that these contracts are not worth the paper they're written on. If you can even see one in writing, that is.
Posted by HonestForSure on 2012-01-04:
The reason Sears is hesitant to provide you copies is that water heater extended warranties are a joke. Your 9-year warranty water heater covers the labor for year 1 only and parts only for years 2-9. Your "3-year" plan, if it begins at the date of purchase, is for labor (plumber) coverage for years 2 and 3. What a joke! That is entirely irrelevant to the life of the product. Of course the written agreement and verbiage is made to deceive - why else would all this mouse print nonsense be there? Even if the contract started in year 2, it would only be for years 2,3,4.
Get a refund.
Never buy an extended service contract, you will always come out ahead.
Posted by postsolipsist84 on 2012-10-22:
Sears just called to ask if I wanted to buy a warranty on the *three* water heaters I purchased! I told them I only purchased one and that I would never buy a warranty from Sears for this product or any other for any reason.
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Don't Buy Sears Appliances Over The Phone
Posted by Postsolipsist84 on 11/17/2011
NATIONAL -- I brought a water heater and installation via Sears's 1-800-877-6420 service. I also (foolishly) brought a three-year service agreement. The local contractor installed a different model than the one I ordered. This created a difference between what I owed and what I paid. That's one reason to need an invoice or statement of charges. I also need it to get reimbursed by the owner of the house and to supply for the record of investments to the house. I never succeeded over numerous telephone calls to get anyone to send me either a statement or the terms of my service contract. (It's the biggest scam in the world to verBally sell a service contract at the point of purchase and not provide documentation so that when the time comes to exercise the contract the purchaser has forgotten all about what he or she is entitle to under it.) Half the people I talked to were illiterate or incompetent. Some people could find my purchase record, others, in the same office on the same day, could not. Some were illiterate, some were helpful, some assured me that the statement would come. My credit card company, Citibank, won't consider this an item in dispute because I received the water heater and installation. So Sears can charge whatever they want and if their records are too screwed up to back it up or do it accurately you have no recourse but to pay up.
     
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Posted by At Your Service on 2011-11-17:
I don't like the idea of purchasing over the phone either. I complement you on insisting for a copy of the warranty in writing. It can be of great importance should it ever be needed and, you're right, they should be able to provide it to you without a great deal of frustration.

Have you considered visiting the store to get what you're asking for?
Posted by Venice09 on 2011-11-17:
Demanding a copy of the warranty is another aspect of the revolution. This is something that wasn't necessary in the past when companies took care of their customers. Now you must have everything writing, and even then it's not a sure thing

A water heater is something I can understand ordering online or via telephone, especially if you need it in a hurry. Nothing wrong with that.
Posted by postsolipsist84 on 2011-11-18:
Based on my memory of the conversation at the time of purchase, what I paid for was not simply a warranty but a service agreement that included the right to require someone to come out yearly, look it over, maybe flush it, and other stuff. Merchants know that purchasers are especially vulnerable when they've just made the commitment to make a big purchase to a pitch that adds a few bucks more. It's why Dell gets you to spend twenty bucks more on a fancy keyboard. They teach this stuff in malign university courses on "marketing".
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-11-19:
Thanks for the post back postsolipsist84.

Relying on memory is a difficult thing. It's why I agree that documentation is always a benefit. I absolutely don't suggest paying for warranty coverage as an afterthought. It should be something considered prior to making the purchase. Paying for this additional service, however, can be a great benefit.

I'd still suggest making a trip to your local outlet and getting the documentation you're requesting, thereby not relying on memory.
Posted by postsolipsist on 2011-11-21:
The service contract was sold to me by the Sears national service. I shouldn't have to go to the local store to pick up its terms! Particularly after calling Sears and asking for it. The fact is, after several frustrating calls (during one of which I was told flat out I should rely on what I was told over the phone) I asked for a refund and got it.
Posted by SearsCare on 2011-11-22:
Dear postsolipsist84:

My name is Susan with Sears Social Media Escalations team. I have found your post here and am concerned about what has happened with your water heater receipt as well as the three year protection agreement documentation. We would like to apologise for the problems you are having getting this documentation after the sale. We would like to look into this situation further and offer our assistance toward a resolution.

At your convenience, please contact our office via email at smsupport@searshc.com so you don’t have to continue to be frustrated by this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number the water heater 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 (postsolipsist84) you used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

Thank you,


Susan R.
Social Media Moderator
Sears Social Media Support
Posted by postsolipsist on 2011-11-23:
It's really gratifying to hear that yet another part of Sears's vast bureaucracy is on hand to intervene with other parts of Sears's vast bureaucracy. This box on the organization chart is dedicated to "social media escalations". There's another office that called to ask if everything on my purchase was ok. When I said no, they said to call another box called customer service (the person who called was, of course, unable to help). This and customer service are separate boxers from the box that takes calls to make purchases, who on more than one occasion told me that a statement of my purchase was being sent (never received), and the box that handles the service contract, and the box that does the accounting ("A/P audit department"). The fact is, nobody at Sears has yet been able to tell me what I purchased and how much it should have cost. Some want my phone number, some want my home address, some want my purchase number, some want my credit card number. Some say they found my record right off, others can't find it at all. I don't relish yet more time on the telephone. I think I'll wait and see if the CEO of Sears Holdings answers my letter.
Posted by postsolipsist84 on 2011-12-15:
After talking with "Isaac" who called (which proves that Sears can make a call if it wants to; he wanted to put me on hold while checking some other corner of the bureaucracy, but I demurred) in response to my letter to the CEO on about 12/2, I received, on about 12/9, a printout of my purchase details. The address on the top of the document is that of the local Sears outlet. It may be that the installation contractor was supposed to give me this document. If so, I think I can be forgiven for not knowing this, because Sears doesn't either. Over the numerous telephone conversations I had with Sears detailed above, not once did anyone ever tell me that I should have gotten the purchase order/invoice from the contractor. I'm still not clear on this point. The document also includes the following language: "The customer acknowledges that they [sic] have read, completed and understand [sic] the product installation checksheet and received a copy for their records." I did not receive any such checksheet and notwithstanding the statement that I acknowledge its receipt, I do not so acknowledge.
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Defective Water Heaters
Posted by PDoersam on 09/06/2011
I purchased a Sears 50 gallon water heater in 2007 with a 5 year service contract. On 8/28/11 it stopped working and I called for service. When the technician came on 8/30, the part was defective and caused a flashback explosion in my basement that blew off the flue pipe of the water heater. Although the technician claimed a part would be FedEx'd to me overnight, that never happened. I am still waiting for the part that is on back order for the entire Sears in the entire US. I'll be lucky if I get hot water by next week. I would never repeat this experience. Instead I would get a water heater from a reliable local plumber who would have an interest in installing and repairing it properly.
     
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Posted by idontthinkso on 2011-09-06:
Cue Sears robot in 5.. 4.. 3..
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-09-07:
Although a local plumber would generally just go someplace local, such as Sears, to purchase the water heater as well.

How long does your service contract give them to remedy the problem?
Posted by SearsCare on 2011-09-07:
To PDoersam,

I'm sorry for all the issues that you've had with this service appointment. I understand your frustration with having to wait for a backordered part before we are able to fix your water heater. We appreciate your business very much and would like to help you resolve this issue. My name is James and I am part of the Social Media Support Escalations team at Sears. At your convenience, please contact our office at smsupport@searshc.com. Please send us an email providing a contact phone number and the phone number the service appointment was scheduled under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email please provide the screen name (PDoersam) for reference to your issue and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

Thank you,
James H.
Social Media Moderator
Sears Social Media Support

Posted by idontthinkso on 2011-09-07:
Bye Sears Robot!!
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Water Heater Installation Mistakes
Posted by AGrandma on 01/21/2011
We bought a foreclosed home with a broken water heater - no hot water in the house at all. We shopped around before deciding to buy at Sears because their price was lowest. The Sears call center is not in my state (CA) - they are in the mid west and apparently don't know California or Sacramento regulations. They only asked what type of water heater (gas or electric) and how many gallons (40). They ordered a tall water heater and charged my Sears credit card. A couple of days later the local installer called asked for the model number off of the current broken water heater. He said the one Sears ordered would not fit and that we needed to order a "medium" water heater. I called Sears back and they said they'd cancel the first order and place a 2nd order for the "medium". They said the water heater we need is not in stock and we'd have to wait several days for it to arrive in Sacramento, then the installer could probably get it the NEXT day and install it. The installer called me again and set up a date for installation. I took the day off of work and waited. No one came to install. The installation people told me the order had been cancelled. They thought maybe I had cancelled it. I called Sears, and was told BOTH orders were cancelled - the first AND the 2nd. They said they'd research the issue and someone would be calling me. Instead of calling me, a supervisor from the call center called my daughter, who was at a 2nd phone number we'd left them. He told her it was the call center's fault, they had accidentally cancelled both orders when they cancelled the first one. All he could say was that he's "sorry" and they could re-order it, in which case it would take another WEEK to arrive in Sacramento. We'd originally ordered the 1st one 7 days before! That would have made it 14+ days without hot water. And I had stayed home from work yesterday for this delivery.
The supervisor told my daughter that if we wanted to re-order that I could call him back (since I am the one paying for it) at the main number, leaving his name. I called back and asked for him specifically. I was put on hold twice while the other call center person tried to get him, and he "couldn't" speak to me because he was "doing invoices". I told her I really wanted to speak to HIM (because I wanted this order not to get screwed up again.) She took my phone number and said he'd call me back. He never did.
Obviously their call center has some big problems. Their staff cancelled my order for no reason! How can that happen? This is a serious issue when families are living with no hot water, and when working people take a day vacation from work for nothing! In addition, if the call center had asked me for the right information in the first place (like the model number and/or size of the current water heater) and matched it up they would have gotten the right water heater.
I ended up going to a local warehouse-type store and buying a water heater from them and arranging installation. They had the right water heater in stock. I paid over $200 MORE for the purchase but I trust them.
     
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Posted by idontthinkso on 2011-01-21:
Sears is in business in name only. The original staff and management built a name and a reputation that is tarnished every day by their replacements. Do yourself a favor and cancel that Sears Card.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-21:
Brand names mean nothing today.
Posted by SearsCare on 2011-01-24:
Dear aGrandma,
My name is Marcus and I am part of the Sears Social Media Support Team, and I am very concerned about what I have read here pertaining to your customer experience with our Delivery and Installation Services. I want to apologize to you about the customer service that was rendered to you by our call center. The manager that spoke to you should have called you back to make sure that your order was processed and for that I am sorry. I do understand your frustration in concerns to not having hot water in your home. I would like the opportunity to reach out and speak with you about what has been done concerning your water heater being ordered and also installed. Please allow us to make sure you as customer is taken care of. Please know Sears does value you as a customer and we want your experiences with Sears to be pleasant. We would like the opportunity to help and keep you a satisfied customer. Sears Social Media Support Team is the single point of contact for all escalated concerns which means we step into the situation and handle it from start to finish with one Case Manager. At your convenience, please contact my office at smsupport@searshc.com so you don’t have to continue to be impacted by this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and we will call you directly. Also, in your email please provide the screen name (aGrandma) for reference to your issue and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

Thank you,
Marcus C.
Sears Social Media Support Team
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Another water heater fiasco
Posted by Paul_H on 01/18/2011
Here is the entire story in a letter I sent to Sears:

I would like to detail a series of errors on Sears’s part which resulted in my going without hot water for seven days over the Christmas holidays and missing three days of work more than I should have missed. I have provided you with a summary, then a longer version of this incident with more detailed information, and some questions at the end.


Summary:

1. The morning of Wednesday, Dec. 22nd, I called Sears and spoke to the water heater department. I explained that my water heater was broken and that I needed a new one. I was asked by the Sears sales representative only what type of fuel it used and how many gallons capacity it had, received some suggestions as to replacement models, placed my order and was told it would be installed the same day. When the plumber arrived to install it, it turned out to be too wide to fit in the available space. Apparently, it is not all that unusual for townhomes such as mine to have limited space for a water heater, but I was not aware that they came in different widths. I feel that the Sears water heater sales representative should have asked me about space requirements, but she did not; therefore I feel that this failure to deliver a suitable water heater on the day promised was the fault of Sears.

2. I canceled that order and that evening of Wednesday, Dec. 22nd I called to order a second water heater which I had looked up and made sure it would fit the space. I was told it would be delivered the following day. The following day, Thursday, Dec 23rd, I never received a call from the plumber to install the water heater, so I called Sears and was told that both my orders had been canceled. I asked why my second order had been canceled when I only canceled the first order, and was told that there was no record of any request from me to cancel the second order and that Sears had canceled it by mistake. I was also told that it was too late in the day to deliver a water heater that day, but if I re-ordered I could get one the following day, which was Friday, Dec. 24th—Christmas Eve. I asked if he was sure that Christmas Eve delivery was available and he assured me that it was. This is the second day that Sears failed to deliver as promised.

3. On the morning of Friday, December 24th, I called to ask why I had not heard from the plumber to schedule a delivery time, and was told that Christmas Eve delivery was not available in my state. I was assured that my order would be delivered Monday, December 27th. This was the third day that Sears failed to deliver as promised.

4. On the morning of Monday, December 27th, I called to find out why no one had contacted me to schedule delivery and installation, and was told that the plumber who was supposed to deliver and install the water heater did not have that model in stock and that they would not be able to deliver it until Tuesday, December 28th. This was the fourth day Sears failed to deliver as promised. I had used up three and a half vacation days and was without hot water from December 22 to December 28 when I should have only had to use one-half of a vacation day and been without hot water only for part of the day of December 22.


Since it is Sears’s policy to provide their customers with a $50 gift card when a water heater is not delivered as promised, and this happened to me four times, I believe that the least I am entitled to is four $50 gift cards. I could ask for compensation for the three extra vacation days I had to take; and the fact that we were without hot water for seven days over the Christmas holidays. However, I am not asking to be compensated for those things, only four the four incidents on which Sears failed to deliver as promised. I feel that I am being more than reasonable in asking this.


The more detailed version:


On the morning of Wednesday, December 22, I called Sears and asked about buying a water heater. I was transferred to the water heater department. I explained that my water heater had broken and I needed a replacement. I was asked by the sales representative how many gallons and what fuel source my current water heater used. I was not asked what size the water heater was, and I didn't think to supply that information because I did not know that water heaters come in various widths. I placed an order for a water heater with the same capacity and fuel type.

Around 4:00 PM that same day, water heater arrived, but it was the wrong size and would not fit into the space where my old one was. The delivery person called Sears and spoke to someone, then offered to deliver another one next day, said it was exactly the same, but mentioned that it had a 6-year warranty instead of the 12-year I wanted, so I canceled.

At around 6:00 or 7:00 PM, I called back, asked to order another water heater as I found a model that fit my needs and was the right size. I was transferred to the water heater department where I ordered the new one and was told "someone will call tonight to schedule delivery tomorrow." I waited at home and kept my phone free, but no one called. I was never given an order number for the second order.

At around 8:30 on the morning of Thursday, December 23, I still had not been called by the deliverer, so I called Sears again to check my second order, and was transferred to the water heater department where I was told that both orders had been canceled. I explained that I only canceled the first order, not the second one. The sales representative transferred me to a "water heater hotline" and the representative I spoke to in that department looked into it and said that the second order was canceled by mistake and she would have someone reinstate the order and call me back to confirm it. I asked how long it would take to hear back from them and she said one to two hours. I asked if this could be expedited because I was hoping to get this done early today as I have some things at work I need to take care of. She said she would do what she could.

Three hours later at 11:30 AM on Thursday, December 23, I called back into the queue to find out why no one had called me to confirm my order, and spoke to Tony in the water heater department. He said he would check into what had happened, and put me on hold. Then he came back on the phone, verified my phone number and said he'd call me back within 15 minutes. By this time it was 11:45.

Tony called me back right about noon as promised, but I wasn't able to talk to him about it right then. He called again about a half hour later, at which time I confirmed with him everything about my order. He said that he would try to get the heater delivered today, but that since it was after the noon cutoff time, it may not be here until the next day, Friday December 24th. I asked whether or not delivery & installation was actually available on Christmas Eve, and he said, “Yes. The technicians are working tomorrow, so I know the installers will be working tomorrow.” I was once again very disappointed that the water heater I was promised that day would not be arriving. Tony said that I would get a call later that day (Thursday, Dec 23rd) from the plumber to schedule delivery for the following day.

At about 4:15 PM, I still had not received a call from the installation company to schedule a delivery time for the following day. I decided to call and check. I reached Cathy in the Water Heater department and explained the previous difficulties. Cathy was shocked that this error had happened and said that she told me that she would take care of me herself to ensure that it was handled correctly. I felt that Cathy was extremely focused on providing me with the best possible experience and getting everything straightened out. I feel lucky that I reached her, and I think that Sears is lucky to have someone like her working with customers.

Cathy did some checking and found out that the third order was “not attached to a heater at the store.”

She also did some additional checking and found out that installation and delivery is not available in my area again until Monday, December 27th and told me that I could not wait that long for hot water, and that I should purchase the water heater from a local store and have someone local come and install it tomorrow.

I said that I would like to proceed with the order for installation and delivery on Monday, and that IF I could find a local plumber who was willing to install a water heater on Christmas Eve, I would cancel the Sears order; but otherwise I would like it to remain open so that I would be sure to get a water heater on Monday.

Cathy then put me through to a local store to make sure they had one in stock. I checked, they had several of the model I want in stock, but they required me to come in to the store to place the order. Frankly, with no hot water for two days, I don't really feel like going out in public. Besides, I didn't really feel like going through the hassle of calling a bunch of local plumbers to find one who could pick up and install the water heater on Christmas Eve.

I wanted to make sure that my order was still in effect for Monday, so I called back and got Joya. She was also helpful, she made sure the order was placed and let me know that I should get a call to schedule for delivery by Monday morning.

Well, 9:00 Monday morning December 27th came and I had not received a call, so I called Sears to check on it. I called 800-326-8738 ext. 56916 and spoke to Sheena. Sheena was very helpful and called the plumber who was supposed to install my water heater. They informed her that they did not have that model in stock so would not be able to install it that day, but that they could get it and would come out to install it the following day, Tuesday Dec. 28th between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

I expressed frustration to Sheena and explained that this was the fourth time in a row I had been promised delivery and Sears had failed to make good on that promise. She said that she would send me a $50 gift card “because that’s what we do when we promise delivery on a certain date and don’t meet that promise.”

Well, that’s an admirable customer service policy, but I wonder why I never heard about it until the fourth time Sears failed to meet their promise.


1. The original sales representative should have asked me for the make and model of my current water heater and then asked if a wider one would be OK. I would have checked and realized that there was barely enough space for the existing one and said that I would need one no wider than it. I was later told by a plumber that it’s not uncommon for townhouses like mine to have cramped spaces for water heaters. Why wouldn’t a Sears water heater sales representative ask about this as a matter of routine?

2. My second order should NEVER have been canceled by Sears. This was in my opinion the worst error in terms of how it affected me.

3. When I called in at 8:30 on December 23, I was told that my order would be reinstated and I would be called back within one to two hours. Why did no one call me back? When I finally reached another water heater representative over three hours later, why was my order still on "canceled" status? I had asked this to be expedited on account of Sears's mistake in canceling the second order, but nothing was being done about it. Why?

4. Why would someone ensure me on December 23rd that installation & delivery was available on the following day (Christmas Eve) when it wasn’t?

5. Why did no one call me first thing Monday morning and tell me that the water heater I was expecting that day was not in stock and would not be delivered until the following day? I could still have gotten to work at a reasonable time on Monday, and there is a shower at work so I would have been able to get in nearly a full day of work. Instead, I had to call Sears to ask why no one had called me.

6. Why was I not informed about the $50 gift card policy until the fourth time Sears failed to deliver as promised, and why was I only offered one gift card when this happened four different times?

7. (This is also stated above): Since it is Sears’s policy to provide their customers with a $50 gift card when a water heater is not delivered as promised, and this happened to me four times, I believe that the least I am entitled to is four $50 gift cards. I could ask for compensation for the three extra vacation days I had to take; and the fact that we were without hot water for seven days over the Christmas holidays. However, I am not asking to be compensated for those things, only four the four incidents on which Sears failed to deliver as promised. I feel that I am being reasonable in asking this.
____________________________________________________________________

Sears sent me one $50 gift card and promised to send two more, which I have not received yet. I do not consider $150 adequate compensation, but it's better than nothing.

     
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Posted by Alain on 2011-01-19:
At least you got some compensation.
Posted by momsey on 2011-01-19:
Is there any reason you kept giving Sears more and more chances? After the second screw up, I would have bit the bullet and called someone else (a plumber.)
Posted by SearsCare on 2011-01-19:
Dear Paul_H,
My name is Marcus and I am part of the Sears Social Media Support Team, and I am very concerned about what I have read here on My3cents, pertaining to your customer experience with Sears delivery and installation team concerning your water heater. I want to apologize for the hassle and the frustration that this situation has put you through. I would like the opportunity to reach out and speak with you about this issue so that we can address it and make sure you as a Sears customer has been taken care of. Mr. Paul_H, please allow us to make sure you as customer is taken care of. Please know Sears does value you as a customer and we want your experiences with Sears to be pleasant. We would like the opportunity to help and keep you a satisfied customer. Sears Social Media Support Team is the single point of contact for all escalated concerns which means we step into the situation and handle it from start to finish with one Case Manager. At your convenience, please contact my office at smsupport@searshc.com so you don’t have to continue to be impacted by this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and we will call you directly. Also, in your email please provide the screen name (Paul_H) for reference to your issue and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

Thank you,
Marcus C.
Sears Social Media Support Team
Posted by aGrandma on 2011-01-21:
I just posted a story almost exactly like yours! I am completely stressed-out and frustrated. I think they owe me compensation too. I missed one day of work and have gone so far without hot water for 9 days SO FAR. Still don't have hot water. Read my story dated 1/21/2011. aGrandma
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