Sears Home Improvement - Incorrect Installation and Repairs
Air Conditioning - Complaint
I purchased Carrier central air units from Sears Home Improvement, and they were installed by Sears on Aug. 19, 2006. Along with that I was sold a 5 yr master protection plan and 5 yr repair protection plan. I paid $9000.00, including $715.00 for the protection plan only. In May of 2010, I went to turn my units on and found that the outside unit fan kept stopping every 3-4 seconds, so the a/c unit was not putting out cold air.
I called Sears, and one technician came. He said that the thermostat was no good - he said that it was a "cheap one", and replaced it. But even after he switched out the thermostat, there was no difference. He then replaced the PCB assembly. Again, there was NO difference. The outside fan still stopped every 3-4 seconds, and there still was no cold air. Eventually he gave up and he called his office for help and two other technicians came. Clearly, the first technician did not know what he was doing, and just kept making useless changes that added more charges to my final bill.
The other two technicians checked the units and quickly determined that the unit was leaking, so it was low on Freon. They were upset at what the first technician did, who had already disappeared without a word while the other technicians were working. After they filled it with more Freon, the units and fans started to work and cold air came out.
They gave me a service description receipt, including $84.68 for thermostat, which had nothing to do with low Freon problem. I was also charged $149.78 for the PCB assembly, which did NOT aid in fixing the leak. While handing me the receipt, they added "You're lucky that you don't need to pay this $572.35, because you have a 5 yr protection plan." On the receipt, which I still have, it showed they performed repairing leak problem, but they did not tell me what they did to specifically repair the leak. All they did was refill the Freon. THERE WAS NO DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW TO FIND, MONITOR OR REPAIR THE LEAK. If there was a leak, it means that the whole unit was not installed correctly from the beginning. Why else would brand new central air units leak after only a couple of years?
On July 09, 2012, the first day I went to use the unit since the summer of 2011, the exact same symptom happened. The outside unit kept stopping every 3-4 seconds, and there was no cold air. I called Sears, and the technician that came out said Freon level is low, and that there was a leak. I told him Sears technicians "repaired" it two years ago, but since the same issue occurred, it meant it was not repaired correctly. He said I have to fill the Freon and use a dye in the Freon to find the leak, and that they would be able to find the leak the NEXT YEAR, and because my protection plan was expired, the cost would be $700. I told him this problem started in 2010 when my units were covered by the protection plan, and if those technicians had fixed it correctly in 2010, this problem wouldn't have happened again this year.
I talked to his office personnel, explaining the same thing I told the technician. I couldn't believe what she said to me. "Didn't you use the unit for the last two years? Were there no problems for last two years?" Even if the units had been working, it doesn't mean that there WASN'T a leak present. The symptoms of the leak only appear AFTER the Freon levels are sufficiently low, so how would I have known that there was still a leak after the technicians had supposedly "repaired" it? Also, if the only way to determine the location of the leak is to use a dye in the Freon gas, why is it that all THREE DIFFERENT TECHNICIANS that came out to fix the units in 2010 did not do this? Why was I billed for $572.35 for the thermostat, PCB assembly and leak repair in 2010 when the SAME leaking problem occurs again just 1.5 years later? Do you expect me to call a technician every couple years to refill a Freon tank for $247.00?
If the dye had been used in 2010, the leak would have been found the next year in 2011, and the repairs for the leak could have been made while the units were still under the 5 year protection plan. Why do I have to pay $700 for a repair that SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE IN 2011? IN FACT, WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY FOR A LEAKING PROBLEM THAT CAME FROM INCORRECT INSTALLATION? If the installation had been done correctly in 2006, then there would not have been a leaking issue in 2010, and there wouldn't been ANOTHER leaking problem in 2012, and I wouldn't have had to waste my time with all the unqualified technicians and customer representatives during these past 6 years. At the very least, if the repairs had just been done correctly in 2010, then I wouldn't be dealing with the SAME PROBLEM AGAIN TODAY.
This is not the only issue I've had with the services that Sears provided. I had a water heater tank replaced in 1999 and I bought the new tank from Sears. The technicians from a construction company Sears had hired to install the unit did a horrendous job of the installation, causing the water tank to fail the inspection, and I received a notice from the city with a long list of issues they found with the water heater tank. I took the notice to Sears, and showed them the list and explained how inconvenient this whole process had been. Only then did Sears send competent technicians to come and fix the problems with the tank.
Why is it that Sears continues to hire inept companies and technicians for installations and repairs, which only create more problems and inconveniences to their customers? If the technicians had done the job correctly from the beginning, with the water heater and the air condition units, I wouldn't have had to waste my time and energy trying to solve all these problems.
For 18 years, I have been a loyal customer to Sears, and despite all the problems and issues that have come up during those years, I stayed with Sears hoping that their services would improve. However, because of the horrible service I dealt with over the past several years for the a/c units, I AM COMPLETELY DISAPPOINTED AND UNSATISFIED WITH SEARS.