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??
Last Saturday my 16 year old Kenmore water heater finally died and I went to my local store and bought a new one and arranged for installation on Monday. Sunday I got a call from a very embarrassed salesman saying that all water heater installations in my city have been cancelled by the corporate office. Monday I take time off work to go home and get my receipt so I can cancel the order. Then Sears calls and says they've found an installer for me.
Monday turns into Tuesday, then Wednesday, and finally on Thursday after multiple phone calls and miscommunication from the corporate offices, my Kenmore water heater is installed and is found to have a defective part and doesn't work. The plumber calls the service center and is told a technician has been dispatched to my house with the part. Plumber leaves. No technician.
I call the service center and am told a technician can be here next Tuesday, and after much screaming on my part they say he'll be here tomorrow. Nice plumber calls back and offers to swap out the whole water heater for me as soon as he finishes his other installs. And so the saga continues as I go into day 7 with no hot water after using 12 hours (so far) of my vacation time to be off work for this installation.
All the local people have been excellent but the corporate offices have been an incompetent disaster and have prevented the local people from doing the good job that they would like to do. After a lifetime of buying tools and appliances at Sears I'm completely disgusted at the way corporate mismanagement has ruined one of the few companies I relied on. In the future I won't trust them for anything that matters.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- Water heater warranted for 12 years begins to leak internally after barely 8 yrs. I went to local Sears store to purchase a new replacement water heater because it was an emergency. The salesman could not have been nicer. Delivery and install in 48 hrs. The next morning I called warranty support to have them authorize coverage and credit and or pro rate the purchase of new water heater.
A 90 minute trip through hell began. I was transferred no less than 6 times, made to repeat my name, address and zip code, When I finally reached someone with a resolution, I was shifted to Repair service to schedule a tech to come and see the broken water heater so he could give me paperwork that would allow SEARS to credit my account for the new water heater I had just bought.
After 30 minutes of back and forth (the person on the phone told me I didn't live at my address!) they set up an appointment and then told me I'd be charged $75 for a service call because my warranty didn't include service calls, but if I did choose to replace the heater, they would not charge me for the visit! I had already purchased a new water heater I told them over and over, therefore why would I pay for a service call.
I asked for a supervisor and was put on hold over and over. The person on the phone stonewalled me as much as possible from speaking with anyone above her. I finally smashed through the wall and was met by an even more obtuse person who could not help me resolve this and kept repeating a canned "I'm sorry sir if we've made you impatient, Sears values it's customer and we are working as hard as we can to assist you."
Finally I told them I was cancelling the new water heater, that I was headed for HOME Depot as soon as I got off the phone and I would never consider Sears foe any purchase every again or recommend them to anyone. Again, "Sears values it's customer and we are working as hard as we can to assist you." I hung up.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I can't believe that it has taken 4 months since I first brought to Sears' attention that my water heater of less than 1 year old was leaking water. Thank God, it's housed in its own 5x5 compartment outside. I got the run-around from Osh (where I purchased it) and Searseach blaming the other. Finally got Sears to take a look at it and indeed, it was defective. Then the fun began. Sears sent one of the companies that they use (Fast Water Heater), who wanted to charge me $1,700 to "bring my less than one year water heater up to code, plus $84 for "delivery."
I hit the ceiling, and when I came down, both were gone: the water heater and the guy who delivered it. He wouldn't leave it until I paid the $84. I felt that Sears should pay it. So, he took it back. I was so tired fighting with Sears and many of their incompetent and rude employees who work at Sears' Water Heater Hotline. They are pompous and bureaucratic.
At first, they "had to send another Sears rep. out to my home to check and see whether the w. heater was defective." How stupid. The information is in the computer, take a look folks!!! But, I was told that because it had "been so long since this started" that I had to go back through the process. Finally stayed on the phone with Sears for 2 hours and 27 minutes on May 7, 2008, trying to get them to re-authorize the water heater for delivery.
I was told that I would receive a call back from a supervisor today, no luck. Called the 800 number and found out that "the girls were told to take care of this, but they didn't." These were obviously the three employees who provided inaccurate information and were incompetent--the ones I talked to this morning. In essence, they will make me wait because I went to corporate regarding their incompetence and bureaucratic process--no critical thinkers at all. It's really sad to have such people on the front line.
I will call as many times as necessary tomorrow to get the water heater that I've paid for. I will NEVER purchase a Sears product again. Oh, last week, I also canceled my 20-year credit card relationship with them. I wouldn't recommend anyone to use Sears' products, or products they "supposedly" sell, or should I say: take money from customers and not stand behind their warranty.
P.S. They also tried to tell me that they didn't have to replace the water heater--if they could fix it. I said, my warranty states that "if it's leaking, it will be replaced." That was another battle that lasted for about 2.5 weeks. I'm sooooo done with Sears. I did talk to three nice people today who did their very best to assist me: **. Thanks guys for your assistance. Sorry, but you should fire everyone who "handled" this matter for not being able to resolve this issue before it escalated to the point that it did. Thanks for reading this long review. I needed to get it out, and I appreciate your patience. Please excuse any typos. I typed this as fast as I could.
SALINAS, CALIFORNIA -- We'd paid for the Water Heater extended warranty for about 7 years. After calling the Sears technicians out sev times in late 07, the WH died. We had just renewed the warranty in late Nov 07. Sears said they'd have to charge us $78 more for parts. OK, we paid. Fri afternoon before Christmas guests arrive, the Sears contract plumber came out and essentially said that if we wanted hot water, we would pay an additional $540. We paid... we needed to take showers & wash dishes. Afterward, we discovered our recirculation system no longer works well. We now have to waste a lot of water trying to get hot water to come.
We complained, spending sev days on the phone. Essentially Sears employees said what their contractors do is not their problem. The Sears technician who can condemned the WH in Dec came out and said there was no need to move the WH the 9 or so inches that the original plumber indicated was part of the reason for the $540 charge. Part of the charge was $170 for a “difficult installation”, which really meant, he had to walk down some brick steps and along the front of the house and install the WH in a nicely open area with decent headroom.
Further the Sears technician said that the contract plumber had now piped the WH such that any leak or problem would require them to cut pipe (potentially more expensive repairs in the future). Finally in response to my calls or perhaps to the technician filing a report, another plumber from the original contractor came out 14 Jan 08.
He agreed that there were some mistakes and made some changes. He said "the additional $540 charge was to bring the system to code and said he'd show us the code as he always carried it". We followed him to his truck and then he decided he didn't have the code book. He promised to mail the appropriate pages. We've never rec'd that information.
In getting shunted around Sears, we also discovered that Sears policy isn't exactly what we were promised. The manufacturers warranty would run CONCURRENTLY with the 2 year warranty we had just paid Sears for. Since the WH was sick, I had asked the Sears Warranty agent specifically... if what we paid for the warranty and the WH broke... would the extended warranty be added on to the manufacturers warranty or how it was handled? He swore to me it would be added on, not run concurrently. Sears supervisors in that section now say essentially... too bad. He was wrong. You lose.
So far, we've been able to get no real help from Sears administrative staff. Several employees were sympathetic. A couple gave me bad information and wasted even more of my time. Here's the bottom line. Most financial folks say that extended warranties are generally not worthwhile, but what they rarely say is that they deliver you into the hands of contractors who may or may not deal with you fairly. You lose control. You may lose what you've paid for the warranty... and more.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- It all started when we bought a 50 gallon water heater in 2003 that had a 12 year warranty. On Tuesday it started leaking and it's leaking hard still. The garage smells like a dump (okay maybe not a dump but it's like a wet dog smell or something, definitely not fresh), there is water everywhere, it's sitting on a ledge designed for it and it's damaged. Called Sears, they said they could get someone over on Thursday at 8am. At 8, the man arrived and said it had to be replaced, he also said he couldn't stop the water because the valve is broken. He said Sears would call in a few hours and left.
Sears called and verified the costs that the final bill would be 270.84 which includes all costs and said we would have to come to the store to pay and then they would be able to come fix it. Went in to Sears to pay and they said they have no information on us, the associate was just confused, wanted to reverify all the information, asked many questions like what kind of heater and how many gallons. When told that we had a 50 gallon, he gave a look and started arguing that we didn't have one of those because those are for an 8 or more persons family. I kept replying that it was what we had and he said no it wasn't.
Then later admitted that we were right. And then after asking all those questions, he said come back tomorrow and pay. So went in to pay the next day at 9:30am, same associate was there, and we mentioned that the shut off valve was broken and that water was leaking everywhere. He asked if Sears had helped to install it.
I said yes and then he looked my information on the computer and said no you didn't have it installed by us and he started arguing with me again that it didn't say so. I should have brought the papers but I didn't because it was attached to the water heater when it started leaking so it had become soaked, I set it aside but forgot to bring it. He also said that he never received the fax the day before.
Anyway, now the costs was different from what we were quoted and the final bill became $298.19, ($239.99 - installation, $10 disposal fee, $20.85 - for another permit, and $42.54 - for earthquake straps which was not discussed when given the first quote.) So I said that was not what we were quoted and then of course he started arguing that all costs were necessary and so we just paid.
Then he said that he just faxed the information to their plumbing service and that I should call them in 2 hours to verify that they received the info. Went home, called them 2 hours later at 12, and they said they didn't have anything. They said to call back a couple hours later because they are now leaving for lunch and that they would probably have it by then.
Called back at 2:30, they still didn't have it and because they don't have it still they wouldn't be able to come today and replace it. They said they would be able to come in the morning at 10, and I really wonder if there will be any more problems. What really makes me wonder and I would really like someone who knows about water heaters to please reply. I have a gut feeling that the water heater was fine and that it was just the shut off valve that was causing the leaking, because the leaking only came from the top. Is that possible?
So the plumber came over to fix it today and was told that the shut off valve cost 95. Then he mentioned a charge for earthquake straps for $140!! Which Sears already charged me for, maybe not that much but that that's not the point. I have to call Sears to talk to them about it. Seriously, this is crazy. Iono, am I overreacting?
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA -- 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...
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 email@example.com. We look forward to speaking with you.
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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.
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.
I had my hot water heater installed for 2 1/2 months. While taking a shower, I noticed no hot water. It was August, I could deal. I heard a loud piercing sound and running feet. My wife told me the smoke alarm was going off and there were flames coming out of the hot water heater. I turned off the hot water heater (still in a towel) and immediately called the 800 number on the tank. We need someone here right away.
After two disconnected calls, my last one of 51 minutes proved to be the most successful. After being transferred to tech support, parts, lawn and garden, customer service, I was told that it would be NINE days until I could get someone out. I asked for the supervisor, **, and it was confirmed, NINE days. I explained Fire, Smoke and the family outside on the lawn for their safety, and Joshua explained there was nothing he could do. I did have a Wonderful sympathetic representative on the phone with me, **. She even fought with the heater guy on my behalf, and still nothing!!!! It will be a cold day in HELL before I buy a Sears product again!!!