I Came from a family that was loyal to Sears and purchased all our home appliances, tools, auto batteries exclusively from them. In 1998 we purchased from a small Sears store in our small country town an expensive riding mower. We added the home service contract and the extended warranty bringing the price to over $2400.00. After about 45 minutes of use the coil went out and this is a part that should never fail. I contacted Sears for the in home service and nobody ever showed. I called and was told that nobody was home and yet we were. I rescheduled and again nobody showed. This time I called and asked for the part to be shipped to me and they told me that I would have to go to the nearest parts center which was 80 miles away. When I got to the parts center they apologized and said that there had been a design flaw and they had replaced the coils with a new design and gave me the part.
After putting the new coil on and running the mower for about 30 minutes another part that should never fail did so. This time the height adjustment on the left side of the deck sheared in half dropping the left side of the deck on to rocks and ruining one of the blades. After two more calls for in home service that never showed up and continued to claim nobody was home I was forced to make the 80 mile trip for parts.
The service center people this time were about as friendly as a angry badger. They agreed that the deck height adjustment was flawed part and agreed to replace it but in the same breath told me that the blade was clearly customer abuse and refused to replace it. I tried to reason with them and explained that I only needed to replace the blade from the side that the height adjustment failed on. The damage was caused by that parts failure and got no where. While there I got the replacement blade and their names then the contact information for Sear's customer satisfaction guarantee and left. I put the parts on and after 45 minutes the coil failed again. I tried calling Sears and could only get voice mail. That night my first letter with all the details and issues requesting a refund of my money since in two weeks we had only been able to use the mower for may be 2 hours. I never got a response.
I didn't even try the in home service this time I just made the 80 mile trip for another coil. After an hour and twenty-five minutes it went out and so did another letter requesting a refund. Still no response.
Another 80 mile trip and after installing it failed after 45 minutes. This time I used the legal plan I had as part of my benefits and they sent Sears a letter. What surprised me the most was how fast Sears responded to them. The VP of customer relations refused to do anything about my having to buy blades even though it was their fault. He even went on to say that the small Sears stores are only franchises and they are not required to honor the Customer Satisfaction guarantee and how I should have made my purchases at a big Sears store in a mall. With out waiting for a response from me my lawyer shot back at them telling them yes they were responsible. The VP then responded offering only 60% of the purchase price saying how this was no longer new and could not be sold as such and to take it or leave it but that is all they would do.
My lawyer pointed out that if they sued Sears they would almost certainly win but that it would take years to settle and that the costs would eat up any settlement. He said that sadly it really was not worth the effort. In the 12 years since then we have bought two sets of washer and dryers, two refrigerators, one freezer, one dishwasher, two stoves, three microwaves, an assortment of small kitchen items like mixers etc..., a large assortment of hand and power tools, and numerous auto batteries and none of it from Sears. To tell the truth the only time we go into a Sear's store now is so we can cut through it to get to our true destination.
Your loss Sears!
Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Replacement.
Monetary Loss: $2400.