Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sears Home Repair Customer Service Sucks

It started nearly a month ago now. My Kenmore Elite dishwasher started leaving soap residue on all the dishes. I had to rinse all dishes before using them. It was quite a hassle, but at least the dishes were still getting fairly clean. I called Sears Repair to come out and fix the dishwasher. I was given an appointment 2 weeks out.

On February 20th the repair man came to our house bright and early. For that I was grateful. But then he spent the next 30 minutes telling me that I was using my dishwasher wrong. He told me I was using too much soap. I told him I was following the manual, was the manual wrong? He told me not to put dish soap (Dawn) in the dishwasher. I told him I wasn't. He said, "Well, you have it on your sink." "Yes, to rewash the dishes that aren't being cleaned" I replied. This was ridiculous. I was not only getting the third degree about whether or not *I* was breaking my dishwasher, but he was essentially calling me a liar. He even went so far as to say I should be using my dishwasher every day and that I was overusing it. I told him I didn't recall reading that in the manual. How absurd is that.

I finally told him that there has to be something wrong with it. I have been using the same amount and type of soap for 3 years. Its a newer dishwasher. Finally, after an hour he tells me the heating element is broken and that's why the soap isn't rinsing completely out of the dishwasher. So it isn't my fault after all. Hmmmmm . . . . . No apology or anything.

We ask the man to replace the heating element which comes with a new control panel. We spend $250, the price of a new dishwasher. Let's not forget I replaced a motor for $150 just last year.

10 days later, after a large party, my dishwasher shuts off in the middle of a cycle on a Sunday. It will not turn at all. I wait until Monday to make my service appointment since the new part is covered under a 90-day warranty. At 10 am I call and speak to a man that will give me a next day appointment between 8-12. I remind him that I will not be paying for the service call and that the man should bring a new heating element on his truck. He says hold on, I hear hold music and am transferred to Accounting. After a bit of confusion by both of us the accounting guy transfers me back to the repair center and I am put back into the queue. *sigh* I wish that was the biggest problem in dealing with Sears that day. It wasn't.

I called back to make sure I had the appointment. I didn't. I spent the next 40 minutes on the phone with a supervisor who told me she couldn't get me a next day appointment, but the routing department (local affiliate) would call me today to squeeze me in. If they couldn't squeeze me in then I could get a refund.

At 2 pm I called the routing department. The phone rang twice and I was put on hold. I wasn't even sure I had the right number as the hold recording never identified themselves. After 15 minutes of holding I gave up. I called Sears back to tell them I wanted my refund. That's when the real trouble began.

I was on the phone for 2 hours straight, sort of. I was disconnected several times and had to call back. Also, I was transferred without warning back into the queue. I spoke to people all over the world; Arizona, Texas, California, New York, Phillippines, and India. Since I can no longer recall the exact sequence of events I will just give you a few of the gems.

*At least twice I was mid-sentence when I realized I was talking to hold music, then transferred from a supervisor back to a representative. Talk about disrespectful.

*I was told the only way to get a refund was to talk to the NY office that closed at 5 pm. I told her it was ridiculous that a department would close at 5 pm. She then told me that she would transfer me there in case someone was still there. I told her no. I said, "Do not transfer me to a voice mail. Call on your other line. If you get someone on the phone then you can transfer me." She said she would do that. Then she promptly transferred me to their voice mail.

*I spoke to 20 different people; 4 supervisors, and 2 customer service specialists.

*One lady in Montclair, CA (LeCresha, I believe) told me that they could not refund me my money. I explained to her that a previous lady said they could. She told me that they could not refund the money. I asked to speak to her supervisor. Then she told me that she had more authority than anyone else in the company and no one would be able to refund me my money (now that part is just laughable). Then when I told her I didn't believe that she transferred me mid-sentence to someone who barely spoke English in Tuscon.

*At this point I decided to stop talking to any the first level representatives. So I had two initial questions; where are you located? and what is your job title? I asked this man where he was located. He answered, Sears. I asked him what state he was in, what was the zip code. He was actually confused. He finally answered AZ. Then I asked him his job title. Again, he didn't understand the question. So I asked him what his job was, again he answers, Sears. So I asked "where are you on the totem pole?" He asked me what a totem pole was. So I committed a grave sin. I asked, "Are you minimum wage or salaried?" I know. Its a terrible question. But this man was unable to tell me if he was a supervisor or not. He proceeds to tell me that his supervisor has as much authority as he does. So I told him to let me talk to the supervisors supervisor.

*I finally got someone helpful. She was in Texas. I had been transferred so many times that the lady sounded very far away because of the bad phone connection. So she offered to call me back. I explained it to her again. This time with my last ounce of patience. I was happy to take a next day appointment (it is now 4 pm, and my call started at 2 pm) or a full refund. Ten minutes later I had a next day appointment.

*I was transferred to the dispatch office in California where the service man actually works. I told the lady that I would appreciate a phone call on my cell phone 30 minutes prior to arrival (since my window was 8-5) and that the Heater Kit for a Kenmore Elite needed to be on the truck or I wanted a full refund. She told me that she couldn't make sure it was on the truck. Seriously, do these people understand ANYTHING about customer service. I KNOW which part I need, the faulty part they gave me last time. Just bring an extra. She tells me that putting two on the truck is simply 'not done'.

This morning I woke up with zits all over my face and a cold sore. Thanks, Sears! *sarcasm*


The repair man shows up and is in the house for about 1 minute before he says, "Oh yeah. We see this all the time. The heating element I gave you is too powerful for the fuse so it shorted. No problem. I will just give you this new fuse."

Seriously!!!! If this happens all the time then 1. why don't you give me the new fuse when you give me the heating element and 2. why didn't your lovely representatives tell me about it over the phone. I'm glad Sears saved $2 by not giving me the fuse the first time. Because the HOURS I spent on the phone with their representatives and the gas to drive back to my house was certainly LESS than $2.

Its fixed. I'm finding a local appliance guy and NEVER calling Sears again.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! Sounds like the experience we had with Orkin (though our experience isn't done--I'm waiting to get reimbursed for my pantry food that they poisoned). When you buy new appliances, I highly recommend Pacific Sales. Their sales staff is very knowledgeable and their repair staff is in-house. I got a three-year warranty for my fridge for only $64. Anyway, I feel your pain.