Over the next 12 months I have had some minor mechanical problems with the tractor but had an increasingly difficult time getting service and parts for the machine.
In June 2006 I wanted to buy replacement mover blades for the tractor and telephoned the toll free parts and service number from my owner's manual only to be told that the computer system for ordering parts was "down" for 12 hours. I asked for the telephone number for the Calgary parts outlet so I could call them directly with the part number to see if the item was in stock, but I was told, they did not have a telephone number to that location.
The next day I drove to the Calgary parts outlet where I have purchased the same items in the past and they did not have them in stock, I was surprised to find a very common part required by many people for spring yard work would be hard to come by. At any rate I returned home and called the toll free number again and this time was told that I could place and order for the blades I require and did so, at that time I was told that they did have the parts in stock at the same depot I had visited earlier that day and that two blades were being held there in my name. I returned to the same depot and purchased the blades, but no one could explain this convoluted and erroneous process to me.
The following week I decided to have the annual tractor tune up performed by Sears service technicians at my home. I once again called the toll free service number and booked the service appointment for Thursday June 8 2006. I asked that the technician bring additional parts for the tractor that I wanted to purchase but the telephone staff said they could not place such an order. The staff also were unable to tell me the cost of the annual service or what items were covered in the annual tune-up. They did agree to have the technician call me before his appointment and I could ask him to bring the parts out at that time. I received no call from the technician in the intervening days.
On June 7 I received a call from Sears Canada service centre saying that they would not be honoring the commitment for service at my home the next day as they had overbooked appointments due to a computer booking error. I accepted this inconvenience and re-scheduled the service appointment for June 22 2006, and asked that they have a technician call me anyway so that I could make sure he could bring the new parts for the re-scheduled visit. The staff assured me the technician would call me that day about this request but I received no such call.
On June 8 2006 I called the toll free number again to make a complaint about the problems with the completion of my requests. At that time I was referred to another number where I spoke to staff that listened patiently to my complaint and conducted a search of the parts I wanted to order and determined that they were not in stock and would not be available until after the scheduled appointment on June 22 2006. As a result I cancelled the scheduled appointment because I seem to be the only person in this entire process who thinks that it is pointless to have a technician come to my home for service without the parts required to accomplish the task..
AT 0808 hours June 22, I received a call / message on my answering machine from a Sears tractor technician saying he was trying to keep the service appointment, which I hade cancelled 14 days previously, but he did not have directions to my home. It is just as well that I did not speak to him because I might have been a bit harsh on him when he was not able to answer my questions about why he was coming to my home and I am certain he would not have the parts I wanted. Moreover, the tractor was delivered to my home by Sears and technicians have visited at least twice for servicing, why would there not be clear directions to my home in their files? This entire process makes me very frustrated and unhappy. I plan to buy a new tractor Next year but it will not be from Sears. Further, in 2004 I spent more than $20,000.00 on furniture and home furnishings at Sears for my new home but I will not do so again as I think this experience speaks poorly of this company's desire for my business.
I am fed up with the complete inability of Sears Canada to stock parts, keep appointments of even return simple phone calls. I am saddened to find that this once indispensable department store has fallen to such low levels of service. If they go out of business soon, I will not miss them.