Sears Complaint - Very Very bad service
In Feb, 2009, we bought a side by side refrigerator/freezer with a dual cooling system from Sears. In May of 2010 our water dispenser quit, and we noticed the fridge was not as cool. The problem got worse so we called Sears Repair and scheduled a repair appointment.
I took time off work in order to be at the house between 8 am and 12 pm. The repairman came out on June 9 and diagnosed the problem - the fridge cooling system had frozen up - there was no problem with the freezer. He ordered some parts and on June 15th I again took time off work and the repairman returned, installed the parts and the fridge was once again working. He determined the work and the parts were not covered under our warranty and charged us $281.
Three weeks later the fridge again quit cooling – again, no problem with the freezer. We contacted Sears Repair on July 11th via the internet. Sears Repair responded that they would schedule us for July 20. I responded that Sears had already been out once and “fixed the problem” and that I now had a non working fridge and according to their schedule, would continue to have a non working fridge for another nine days. Sears Repair then decided to schedule me for an “emergency repair” and set up the appointment between 1 and 5 pm on July 13. I again took time off work to be at home when the repairman arrived. The repairman did not show up. I did receive a call a little after 4 pm advising me that the repairman was running late and would arrive between 5 and 6 - Nobody showed up. At 7:20 pm, we were called and told that the repairman would not be able to make it out that night and that Sears would call us to reschedule.
On July 14, I again talked with Sears Repair, and we started the process of scheduling all over again. This time they said they could schedule me for July 20 – leaving us ten days without a fridge. I explained my situation to them – a non working fridge, and advised them that the appointment they missed was an “emergency repair”. Sears then decided that they could schedule yet another “emergency appointment” and set it up for Friday, July 16 between 1 and 5 pm – now only 6 days without a fridge.
I again made arrangements to take time off work to be at the house when the repairman arrived. He showed up a little after 4 pm and proceeded to go to work on the Fridge. The freezer was still working just fine. The repairman pulled a circuit board out of the back of the fridge and performed some tests, and then got into the fridge and saw that our cooling system was once again frozen up. He thawed the cooling system (removed a bunch of ice) and then determined that a heating element on the cooling system (keeps the cooling system from forming ice) was not working – it had a split in it. He then determined that the repairs the previous repairman had undertaken were not necessary and that our cooling system was still under warranty. He reversed the previous $281 charge and ordered the parts he felt we would need. He explained that while we just needed the heating element it could only be ordered as one unit that was a combination of heating element and evaporator.
He then determined that because he had cleared the ice that the fridge would function until a repairman could return and install the heating element. He turned the fridge on and waited to confirm that the blower was working that the fridge and freezer were cooling correctly. Feeling confident the fridge would run for a few more weeks, he offered me a Saturday appointment on July 31, so that I would not have to take any more time off work – which I gladly accepted.
Later on that night, I tried to use the ice dispenser in the freezer and learned that it was no longer working. I figured that when the repairman pulled and tested the circuit board that he did not correctly reinstall it as the ice dispenser was working just fine prior to his repair appointment.
The next morning I noticed that the fridge was once again not cooling – in fact it was sitting at 53 degrees. So, once again I called Sears Repair. And once again we started all over again with setting up an appointment over a week out. I once again explained the problem - how many times the repairman had been there; the fact that I had been scheduled twice for an emergency repair, etc, etc, and in addition, now the ice maker and dispenser were not working. The Sears Representative that I was talking to then referred me to a “technical consultant” and we started all over again. Once again I explained my situation, the emergency repair, etc, and as a result, was referred to what I believe was called “customer solutions”, and we stared all over again. Once again I explained the situation, and asked if someone could stop by that day and look at the fridge – I explained about the circuit board, and told Sears Repair that I suspected that it had not been correctly reinstalled.
I got lots of apologies, acknowledgement that I did indeed sound frustrated, but the soonest they could get someone back out to the house would be July 28. That would leave us without a fridge for 14 days and there was no guarantees that the fridge would be successfully repaired on the 28th I explained again that I didn’t have a working fridge, and according to their repair schedule, that I would be without a fridge for almost three weeks, I again requested that someone stop by the house and look at the fridge that day. Again with apologies, I was told that Sears Repair would not be able to stop by that day, and the earliest time would be July 28. We went back and forth for awhile, and I expressed my frustration at their inability to properly diagnose and fix the problem - and their lack of customer service. It got me nowhere. I was told repeatedly that there was nothing else they could do for me. I ended it by hanging up.
Shortly after that, I was unpleasantly provided with the reality of why my Ice Maker and Dispenser were not working. It was because my freezer was no longer working. It was rapidly thawing!
How did it all end? That day, we went Refrigerator shopping – we had no choice! Sears left us high and dry without a functioning fridge and freezer and would do nothing about it until July 28. Bad, very bad, repair and customer service! Unbelievable, uncaring, unconscionable customer service!
In addition, during this whole two month issue, I also stopped by the Sears store to talk with the appliance manager to express my dismay that I had a fridge that was not working (at that time) just 15 months after I purchased it. He explained that if it had been a Kenmore product maybe he could help me. However he did agree to make some inquiries on my behalf and took my contact information. We never heard from him again. I also called and asked to speak with the store manager, explaining that I felt that he might be able to weigh in and help me move the process along to. I was assured he would get the message and would call me back after 1:00 pm that day. I never heard from him!
This was not the Sears store or service department that we have been accustomed to more than 37 years as Sears customers. Satisfaction Guaranteed? Not anymore.
There’s more to this, with regard to repeatedly being asked if I had an extended warranty, did I want to buy an extended warranty, - you know, you wouldn’t have this problem if only you had bought an extended warranty. Does that mean that if I did have an extended warranty, the repairman would have shown up with the problem diagnosed correctly with the parts on hand and the fridge have been repaired the first time? Would the problem have been prevented if I had the extended warranty? I don’t think so.
I also had a discussion with Sears Repair twice, regarding my hope that based on the history of this problem, the repairman would show up with the correct parts to make the repair, rather than looking at the fridge and determining that parts would have to be ordered – thus turning one repair appointment into many, depending on a correct diagnosis and my continued need to take time off work to be at home during the “four” hour window that Sears scheduled.
And, there was the issue about the cooling failure being a common problem with the brand I had purchased, not withstanding a new fridge only lasting 15 months.
Then there was a customer service representative who wanted to diagnose and deliver an opinion over the phone, based on the parts the repairman ordered. Point is, that person was not present when the repairman was at my house, and the repairman explained to me what the problem was, and why he took the action that he did to order the part.
Then there is the combined 12 hours of personal time I had to take from work in order to be at the house to meet the repairman. And of course, the no show appointment
Very very bad repair and customer service by a company who used to bend over backwards to ensure the customer was satisfied!
And, there is the company I bought the new fridge from. Upon learning that the fridge we decided to purchase would be on backorder for a few weeks, they delivered a loaner fridge to me, free of charge……. Their idea, not mine. That’s the kind of customer service we would have received from Sears not too long ago………..
Finally, after all of this, why would I ever do business with Sears again?