I purchased a new walk behind, self propelled Craftsman mower in September of 2011. I used the mower twice last season and then stored it for the winter. This year I got the mower out of the garage for its first use in April. Put fresh gas in it, checked oil (this is important for later...) and topped off the oil as it was a little low. Mower started up after a few pulls (I was expecting problems but this went well). Ran the mower for about 5-10 minutes and all of a sudden it died. I checked to see if it had bogged down or was clumped up under the deck, no issues there. I tried to restart and it would not. I figured it was overheated for some reason and let it cool for 10 minutes. Mower would not restart. I called Sears customer service and warranty center. They talked me through trying to start the mower without the gas cap as "they have had trouble with the gas caps sealing". This did not work. I was told to take the mower to my local Sears for warranty repairs.
When I arrived at Sears, I unloaded the mower, took it to the drop off station and was turned away. Aparently they are not allowed to have gas in the engine. They also informed me that "there is no way we can drain it for you here" and I was told to go back home, drain the gas and oil (yes drain both gas and oil) and return. Obviously I was not very happy at this point. Went home, drained the mower and returned to the drop off center. Filled out forms and was told someone would be in touch within 2 weeks... Seemed strange but OK.
I just got a call today that the ESTIMATED REPAIR COSTS would be $258!!! Excuse me? I asked about the warranty and was told that "the technician beleives the mower was run without oil and therefore you caused the damage. this is not covered under the warranty." I requsted to be transfered to a supervisor and then further explained the situation as written above. I was simply told "no, you ran the mower without oil and we will not warranty it." Clearly I did not run the brand new mower without oil on the first start of the year. I am not an *** nor would I have taken it for warranty repair if I thought it was my fault the mower broke. Did they ever stop to think that maybe a part broke in the mower causing it to run dry of oil and therefore the mower broke? No likely not, they found a loop hole and are refusing to stand behind their products. This is unacceptable.
People purchase from Sears and buy Craftsman products because they beleive in the company and the quality. We also trust that the company will stand behind their products and they so adamently advertise. That is why we pay MORE to have these products than we could if we went to Lowes or Home Depot. I am furious that I trusted a dying company that obviously can no longer afford to stand behind its products. It is no longer the same company that my grandfather and father trusted. It is sad to say but another giant seems to be falling and is going to throw away the principles that gained them loyal followers for generations.
Monetary Loss: $483.