Sears Complaint - Home Service Warranty and Customer Service
WALDORF, MARYLAND -- I purchased Heat Pump from Sears and I am now past the initial 1st year of having everything covered. After first year - parts are covered and every service call comes with a $100 service charge on top of the repairs.
1 - Called Dec 22 because heater stopped working. 20 degrees outside. Service scheduler says that someone can come out on Jan 4. I asked if he is telling me that I have to go without heat for 2 weeks and he replies, "That's not what I am saying, but we can't get anyone there until Jan 4."
I changed out the 50-amp fuses myself.
2 - Called January for same reason - heater quite working again. They said someone could come out in 5 days. Unacceptable, so I fixed it myself again.
3 - Called because heater stopped again and this time, the fuse did not fix it. Luckily, the weather was not as cold, so several space heaters were used until the Sears to came out. Service rep (nice guy who knew a lot about these systems) said the system was inproperly installed and that the wires had never been tightened causing the wires to MELT! He did not charge for the labor - but still charged $100 for the service call.
4 - I told Sears that I did not want to continue with the purchase of a new system for my 2nd home because of the poor warranty service I received on the previous system.
5 - I called the Sears customer service line at 800-762-3048 to ask for my $100 back since it was a problem with the initial install - something that Sears should take care of themselves. The person who answered could not understand English well enough to take down my number to look in their "system" for my infomation. She was finally able to understand me enough to send me to another division, but hung up on me while transferring the call - 15 minutes.
6 - I called the number back again and talked to a person learning English again. I had to go through all the same steps with this person, too. He went to transfer my call and I was on hold for 7 minutes before the phone went dead. 22 minutes.
7 - I call again and immediately asked for a manager because the last two efforts were less than rewarding. I still had to go through the whole "phone number and let me look up your information" again. I told him that I was being dropped in transit, so he said to hold for a minute - where I was dropped again. 10 minutes
8 - I called again and asked for a manager again. I was assured that he would stay with this one until he knew there was a manager on the other line. I was on hold for 10 minutes, then I heard some shuffling when someone picked up the line. Then it went dead. 22 minutes
9 - I called again and did the "number" thing, then explained all that had happened so far. The guy assured me that he would not be like the others and he would stick with me on this one. He put me on hold 3 times to see what to do, then he said he was waiting on the manager to come.
I asked if he would take my phone number down so they could call me back if I was hung up on and he said they would. He put me on hold again and the phone went dead after 4 minutes. 30 minutes
10 - I took a break for a couple of hours before calling back so I could keep a cool head. This was really unbelievable so far.
When I called, I asked for a manager again and finally got one (after all the initial "phone number" steps were done) and was told that there were problems with the outsourcing of customer service and they were addressing those issues. She put me through to the money people and after being on hold for a long time, a person answered and took down all my information, telling me that someone would be calling within 24 business hours.
11 - I did one of those "look for your phone number online at Google to see if they are giving out your address" since someone reminded me through an email that it is a good idea. I wasn't even thinking of Sears at this point, but there I see it - plain as day. My name and phone number displayed in a list on one of their contact sheets for new sales of home heating/air systems. I am shocked so I send an email to their customer service center. I got nothing back. I am furious!
11 - One week later, a Sears "National Customer Relations" representative called.
Is this Mr. Cleaver?
"Yes, it is."
"I am Brenda from Sears calling about your heat pump."
"Hi, I'm surprised that it took so... "(she cut me off)
"Excuse me for a second." (she drops the phone and I can hear her turning off the television and getting kids out of the room)
"OK, Mr. Cleaver, about your heater..."
She tells me that after the 1 warranty, the service warranty includes a $100 service charge for each visit. I start to tell her that I think it is wrong for someone to install something improperly, then charge me for their mistake and that this is an easy fix. Just have someone refund the $100 and all is good.
Mind you, this woman has no concept of customer service whatsoever. I told her about the poor service in scheduling the first two problems with my system AND about the name and # being posted on a Web page. I told her about being on the phone for a long time trying to get a person to help me with a refund. I told her that she didn't seem to want to hear my side of any of this.
She said that she could sit here and lie to me and tell me that she would look into those things if I wanted her to, but it would not help any.
We continued on because I could not believe what I was hearing. I asked why a National Customer Relations representative could not tell me where to go to resolve these problems; Why a National Customer Relations representative could not even apologize for this trouble; why a National Customer Relations representative could not assure me that she will let me know how these problems will be resolved; why a National Customer Relations representative could not even ask what the Web page was so she could have it removed - and mostly, why a National Customer Relations representative was not in posession of any customer service skills to begin with.
She then said that she would look into these things. Then she asked me if it made me feel better now that she said it - even though there was nothing she was going to do about it.
I asked who I could talk to about all of my current concerns and she said I could go up to corporate, but that the problem would come back to her and she would be making this same call again - so I should save myself the trouble.
I told her I understood why Sears service has fallen so far below every other company. It's because people like her are teaching the lower service representatives to treat customers just as she was treating me.
She then said that she has done all she can and that I should have a good weekend. Then she hung up.
Sears Corporate, here I come. Please keep Brenda on your staff so that others can learn from her customer service skills. That way, Sears will eventually not be able to sell anything - thus saving the world from their terrible services.
Oh, and thanks for improperly installing the system so that wires actually MELTED - causing an unsafe environment in my home!