In December of last year a Carrier Infinity HVAC system was installed in my home. I purchased the system through Sears Home Improvement. The purchase was made to replace a supposedly high energy efficient York HVAC I had purchased and had installed in my home in June of 2010. The York system replaced a 10 year old Trane HVAC system installed in my home when it was built in 2000. The Trane system was beginning to cost me money in repairs and I wanted to replace it with a "High Energy Efficient" system. I received a number of quotes before purchasing the new system. The York and Sears Carrier Infinity were included in the quotes.
The York system was installed in June of 2010. I began immediately getting extremely high energy bills. My complaints to the contractor about the York system were dismissed simply because the temperature was "hot". I went through a lot of discussions with the contractor and the distributor; they tried to explain the energy use by using "cooling degree days" to justify the excessive usage. I immediately found numerous errors in their calculations and even pointed out that using their method, in May of 2010 we had a 25% increase in cooling degree days yet I used 5% less energy than the year before. When I then pointed out that this was the month before the York unit was installed the distributor agreed to refund my purchase if I returned the unit to him. I had to take the contractor to small claims court to obtain a ruling in my favor to recoup some of the money I paid him. I ended up losing $2,000.
When I called John Higgins, Sears Sales representative to have the York unit replaced with the Carrier Infinity system, I told him the whole story of what had happened with the York and why I wanted it replaced (the York Unit was too costly to operate). I was assured this wouldn't happen with the Carrier Infinity. Mr. Higgins even told me the he believed one reason the York was not working efficiently was that the York Unit was installed with a 5 ton coil and a 3.5 ton heat pump. According to Mr. Higgins, the difference in size of the heat pump and coil was not compatible. Mr. Higgins also, told me I did not have a variable speed motor and that the air cleaner installed was the same he had in his home. Mr. Higgins told me where I could buy filters for the air cleaner at a reasonable price.
When the Carrier unit was installed in December everything seemed fine. It was a very cold and wet winter and I didn't pay much attention to the gas bills. We had switched the Trane unit to emergency heat (using only gas and no heat pump) in the winter so I didn't really see how I could compare energy costs with previous years.
In May when the temperatures rose and we switched to air conditioning our problems started. As the temperatures rose into the 90s we had trouble keeping the house cool. I had the thermostat set at 75 degrees but the house would get no cooler than 80 or 81 very uncomfortable degrees. The only way to get the house cooler was to set the thermostat as low as 69 degrees and then the house would only cool to about 78 degrees. I called to get service. I was referred to Mike Steinmeyer, Production Manager. Mr. Steinmeyer contacted Ray Stuck, the installing contractor to check it out and Mr. Stuck said everything was fine. Additional inspections were made by Eric Smart, a Carrier Dealer and HVAC contractor. Through all of this, Mr. Steinmeyer's excuse to me was "it's hot".
I informed all involved that I had never had problems cooling my home before and this was unacceptable. My energy costs were higher than with the inefficient "high energy efficient" York system the Carrier replaced and both much higher than the 10 year old Trane unit with a leaky coil. I complained and complained. Mr. Smart told me of a customer he had that has a very large home he installed two Carrier Infinity units and the customer told him he saw a $70 decrease in his bill for July, even though "we knew this July was hotter than last July". Mr. Smart went on to tell me he needed to be careful about what he said because he was Sears number one installer and he didn't want to jeopardize the business he gets from Sears.
When it became evident no corrective measures were going to be taken I sent a letter to Mr. Lou D'Ambrosio, President & CEO of Sears Holding. Mr. D'Ambrosio, who I am sure did not see the letter, passed the letter to "Blue Ribbon" Customer Service Rep. DePesh Shaw. (I am not sure of spelling). I had a discussion with Mr. Shaw to explain what went on. (I want to make it clear it is very difficult to contact Mr. Shaw, you have to call a toll free number and then listen to 3 minute recording because they do not answer the phone. The recording is the most unprofessional I have ever heard. Try it for yourself, 1-888-266-4043 ext 63.) Mr. Shaw supposedly investigated. The last time I spoke with him was on a Thursday or Friday and he said he would have a response for me Monday. When I didn't hear anything I called again on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday leaving my cell number. I got home late Friday evening to a message on my answering machine from Mr. Shaw stating he had spoken to Mr. Steinmeyer and he, Mr. Shaw, was satisfied and was closing the case. I didn't realize we were all trying to satisfy Mr. Shaw. I, being the customer that paid $11,000 , thought I was the one who needed to be satisfied.
I contacted Carrier and a customer service representative told me it was not their problem. She said since I bought the unit through Sears it was Sears' problem to fix. When I pointed out this is a Carrier Product and asked if she didn't think Carrier would be concerned she said again it wasn't Carriers' problem. When I stated, "I guess Carrier doesn't care if their products work or not", she didn't seem to care one way or the other, continuing to say it wasn't their problem.
Now I am stuck with a non energy efficient Carrier Infinity System that cost me $3,000 more (not including the $2,000 I lost) than the inefficient York system it replaced and all Mike Steinmeyer and Sears seems to want to do about it is basically laugh in my face and tell me how dumb I was to believe what John Higgins told me.
John Higgins, Mike Steinmeyer and Michelle Compston are nothing but liars.
Monetary Loss: $11.