I paid $8000 for a new Carrier air conditioner and installation in April of 2008. It was supposed to take less than a day, I believe 6 hours to install. It took a day and a half because it did not work. They were forced to call a air conditioning expert to diagnose the problem which I was told by one of the workers was defective air conditioner from the factory. The expert was able to adjust and rework it and make it work. I then had five free years of yearly maintenance. I was late on the fifth year and they cancelled it. The first guy saw something unusual and "fixed" it. He was undoing the fix the expert had put on it. It was down for three weeks in Tucson heat. An employee named Eliza from New Jersey called to profoundly apologize and gave me her number to call in case of any big problems in the future. I recently called it an left three messages. No response yet.
Another time the air conditioner broke down and they sent their best employee named Tony to fix it and service the machine, both in my co-op and on the roof. He was great and never made a false step.. As far as I could tell he knew exactly what he was doing. Out of the four times they did yearly maintenance, he was the only one who went on the roof which is required to do such maintenance. I repeatedly asked for him agreeing to schedule service around his schedule. He lives only a few miles from me. Sears always refused as it wasn't proper policy. Thus three out of four of the yearly maintenance service calls were not done correctly. Sears recently called me to sign up for another five years. I did due to the warranty. they scheduled the first appointment for the usual four hour window. The technician came out, looked at the roof and said he his ladder would not reach the roof and left. Three or four more appointments were made. the same guy scheduled to come. Each time he did not come due to the ladder problem. Why did they keep scheduling him as they knew he could not do it? Four or five 4 hour appointment windows makes 16 to 20 hours of my time wasted when they knew they would not be coming. Finally they gave me back part of the $1411 they had charged me for the air conditioner maintenance and protection for the next five years. They kept the part they were applying to the heater part of the deal. i insisted they return that portion also. They say they will. We will see. They sent me a check for the air conditioner part of the five year extension but insisted they would have to return the heater part as a refund on my credit card as I had paid with a credit card. I pointed out I had paid both in a single payment of $1411 with the credit card and had been paid part with a check. they didn't accept that and say they will pay the heater portion back in a credit card refund. makes no sense but might make Sears sense..This is not the Sears many of us grew up with by a long way.
During this most recent two weeks I was frequently on the phone with this or that part of the Sears bureaucracy. Sometimes I waited a minute after the struggle with the computer answering machine to reach a live person. Some times I waited on the phone as long as 45 minutes. Sometimes, with the long wait, the phones disconnected and I had to start over They regularly couldn't help me and transferred me around their bureaucracy. With each transfer to a new phone at the Sears bureaucracy they asked for my name, address and phone number. They did not once ask for this information before they determined they could not help me but only after that was determined and i was passed down the line. Remember clearly this is not the great company Sears that many of us remember from our youth. I finally contacted a company to service the air conditioner. They had my name in their records form 2008. They probably installed the air conditioner for Sears. I told them about the ladder problem that had so crippled Sears ability to service what they sold and had promised to maintain. They laughed and said they had whatever ladder was needed. The first charge was $500 for a surge protector and a condenser or cooler fan and the maintenace service. The people I talked with were always courteous and friendly and I felt sorry to be telling them my grievances as I know they are not responsible for the companies declines and failures.
I don't think it makes any sense to buy anything that might need service from this giant consumer unfriendly bureaucracy. I still might buy a tool or something where I would not need them to stand behind it. They sure did not in this case. I bought from them because of their reputation over my lifetime, especially when I was young. They are not that company any more and I will avoid any products requiring them to stand behind them or provide any service.
Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Installation.