OT Rant: Sears Parts/Service


Folks -
Okay, I don't know if Kmart bought Sears or it was the other way around, but I'll use the following example as "Exhibit A" as to why Sears had been having trouble and "Exhibit B" as to why I've made a vow to NEVER do any business with Sears again.
Exhibit A - I purchased a new washer and dryer unit for a rental to replace old units. I had to pay almost $100 additional to convert the dryer to propane from NG, using a sears installer/contractor. The total bill ran almost $1,000 by the time it was all said and done. The dryer failed the first time it was used - no heat. The problem was the ignitor had failed. The local Sears store said it wasn't warranty, it was the contractor - the contractor said he never touched the internals of the dryer, and that it was Sears...rrrrr.... Anyway, after raising hell sears said they'd fix it but that parts were backordered and it would be nearly a month. I told them that was unacceptable as the unit never worked at all and that I wanted a replacement ASAP as I have disabled people living in the units and hauling clothes to a laundromat isn't a very attractive option. They said they'd swap it out, but I'd have to pay to convert an new dryer to propane and pay for an additional installation, or I could wait. I kept my temper and asked if they felt this was a "fair deal" and the local store owner said he didn't really care, it was sears service at fault and there wasn't anything he could do. So, it took FIVE WEEKS to get the dryer back on line - no refund, no apology... I wrote a detailed letter to sears customer service almost SIX weeks ago - NO response.
Exhibit B - I have a Sears Push Reel mower and want a spare set of blades - it's about 2 years old. I found the same mower on their website, but using their model number for parts doesn't work. I called the parts line for customer service and asked why the sears model number didn't work for ordering parts and they said it had to be the model number off of the tag on the mower. I told them that the tag was put in a poor location and the information was illegible. They told me that they couldn't help me and that there was NO way to get a model number from what I saw online, tho' I *knew* it was the same damn machine. I remarked that between the placement of the sticker and not having their stock numbers link to model numbers was, um, poorly done they said that I should probably just buy a new mower. No deal. Okay, maybe I should have written down the model number somewhere and all that, but the above situations don't seem like they are terribly far removed from a normal situation.
I have purchased several thousands of dollars worth of tools, appliances, mowers, rototillers and the like from Sears over the years, and had considered myself a loyal customer. Key word: HAD.....
I used to sell advertising and do marketing for a living and this sort of thing just drives me NUTS! Why would a business spend as much $$$ as they do on advertising and trying to get customers only to then take every step necessary to piss them off? Never another dime from me for Sears... Never! Contrast this with outfits like LV, MCLS, Enco and the like.....
Lawdy!
John
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To make this short I had a similar problem when I bought a scroll saw & the blade clamp broke the first time it was used....(make that the first time it was turned on, never got to use it) Went back to the store & they said that I would have to order the part(s) on-line & that they would not do it for me.
I went home, boxed it all up, brought it back for a full refund & bought a Delta.
JJS
John Moorhead wrote:

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Similar story, on a much smaller scale - bought a set of Craftsman quick-change drill bits, and the 1/8" bit twisted right out of its base while I was drilling shallow holes in soft pine, one of the first times I used the bit. Craftsman has the best warranty around, right? So I took it back to the store, and they said drill bits weren't covered, or else people would bring them back every time they get dull, etc. To make a long story slightly shorter, it took several letters and phone calls to Craftsman headquarters, them calling the local store, and then the local store manager reluctantly gave me a new bit. I know, too much hassle for a $2 drill bit, but I was hoping to find out how much they care about their customers and backing up their warranty, etc. I did indeed find that out, and even though they eventually replaced the bit, I now shop catalogs or even the borg before I go back to Sears. Never had any hassles in my limited experiences with HD tool/drill bit warranties. (No affiliations with any of these companies, etc...)
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Bought a Big window unit from Sears, they were supposed to email me when it came in. I never received the email, and found out by checking their site. Picked it up on the 15th of June and my help went in the hospital while I was picking it up. Opened and went to install it, weekend before last and found out it was missing parts, after two trys getting customer service, they said I'd have the parts on July 5th. July 5th came and the only thing they sent me was the parts list. No installtion instructions and if you use the wrong screw, you put it through the compressor, still no reply from customer no service. Big model is only intermitantly carried in stores, so no real return policy.
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Too bad. The quality of Sears power and floor tools has slipped a lot during the past 15-25 years but they have been pretty good about providing parts and service for even their very old equipment. Apparently that is changing too.
Oh well - lots of other sources.
RonB
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John Moorhead wrote: snip long tale of woe wrt Sears and service/support...
A. (Disappointing installation of washer/dryer)...
I'd have told 'em to come get 'em and get refund and go somewhere else..
B. (Couldn't find correct replacement mower blade online)
Spounds like pretty klunky system, granted, but all it should take for a mower blade is length and hole size and whether normal cut, mulching, or high lift for bagging. Any local service shop should suffice.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Not sure they make a mulching or high lift blade for reel mowers.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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Gerald Ross wrote:

No, don't reckon they do...:)
I read over that entirely... :(
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REEL mower, REEL mower.

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It's too bad what has happened to Sears service. I used to work in the teleparts center before they moved the entire warranty system online. My job was to do what ever it took to get the right parts out to folks. They had the boiler room where a customer called in and as long as they had the Sears model number and a vague idea of what they needed generally the call was done in 5 minutes or less.. I worked on the crew that figured out what the front room couldn't get. Parts like that reel were generally transferred to us live and we would figure it out. We weren't payed too much but the work was really satisfying. Hell that ignitor, we'd have radio'd a truck out before you got off the phone. Our customer satisfaction ratings were above 95%. That was 20 years ago now everything is online and to talk to someone that has experience with real customer service skills are gone. To think that they are outsourcing service now is so outside of the standards we worked under it is unimaginable that it's the same company. When I left the phone service center was moved down to Tucson where the cheap help could be found. I can't imagine being the guy in Buffalo calling in for an obscure snow blower part and talking to someone using "English as a second language" and having any confidence in getting right the first time..
Knothead
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