My Sears Experience March 31-April 4, 2014
One of my water heaters developed a leak, so I went on-line to Sears and purchased two Kenmore 50 gal water heaters for $1,746.00. To that I added their Sear’s professional installation, haul away and services, for $520.00, and $400.00 for an extended warranty. Delivery was free. A total of $2,666.00. We scheduled the delivery and installation date and all was going well until today, the day before the delivery, I received a phone call from Debbie at Norton's Plumbing, Indiana. Debbie informs me that at the time of installation I will need to have two checks, totaling $600.00 to cover permits, extra travel, labor, and haul away charges. I explained to her that I had already paid Sears online for full-installation charges including haul away. Then she tells me that I must contact Sears to confirm this. I then phoned Sears Installation and Delivery (1-800-326-8738) and spoke with Rebecca who was a very nice person. I explained that I had already paid the full charges including service, installation and haul away and delivery was FREE! I asked Rebecca what is the extra charge that Norton's now phones me about? After multiple holds listening to some horrible 6 bar music play over and over again, Rebecca returned and said these extra charges were for an extra truck, person, and permits because two water heaters wouldn’t fit on one truck. I told her that I would pay an extra $90 for permits but that everything else was already paid for and that it was Sear’s responsibility if Norton’s plumbing wanted more money. I didn’t contract with Norton’s, Sears did. My contract was with Sears and that was paid in full already. After going on hold 3 more times, she finally came back and said that Sears would pay for the extra truck and person, a total of $310.00, but I had to pay the rest. I explained again that I have paid in advance for installation, haul away, and it came with free delivery. She then said that was all she could do. I then asked to speak to her manager. She put me on hold again and 10 minutes later I got to speak with Victor R., who wouldn’t give me his last name. After I began speaking with him, I realized why, because he was a major ***! He kept repeating over and over like a parrot, that he would discount the delivery fee $225.00, take it or leave it. I kept trying to tell him that delivery was free, and everything else was pre-paid. That dummy couldn’t speak an original word. He was useless. So, I told him that I was going to try someone else, maybe he could give me his supervisor. He said he didn’t have one, that he was the final authority and what he said was final. No matter how I tried to explain, he just kept repeating over and over, $225.00, take it or leave it. At this time, I had been on the phone for 3 hours, mostly on hold during that time. I ended it by telling him that I already have a final offer, a contract paid in full, and that I would likely try to settle this in court. He then told me that if I change my mind to call 1-800-341-2175, a number that doesn’t exist. I then called 1-800-326-8738, went on hold again, and finally spoke to Demetri who in short said he couldn’t help me because his terminal was down. He transferred me to another extension and after 15 minutes I hung up because no one answered. I then redialed the number and this time Paula answered. She transferred me to Gracie and after being put on hold twice more, Gracie agreed to call me back once she figured out what was going on with my case. Ten minutes later, Gracie called back and told me she was transferring me to Shawn, her manager. Of course, each transfer took 10 minutes and I got to listen each time to that horrible music. Shawn was a nice person and he had read the notes on my case. The problem was that he couldn’t understand what was written so he put me on hold to make a few more calls to unravel the mystery. When Shawn returned, I explained my case. He was very sympathetic and didn't understand "why" I was having to pay more since I had already paid everything in full, but said that the offer of $225.00 was set and nothing more. I finally told him “OK, do it”, because after now 4 hours on the phone listening to nonsense and that terrible music, I was tired and at my wits end and just wanted to insure that I got my water heaters Monday morning. The last question I had for him was just how much do I have to pay to end this all? He told me that the only amount I would finally owe upon installation was $240.00 and to pay that to Norton’s Plumbing. I asked him for some type of e-mail documentation but he said no, that he would document this in his notes and that the installer would have a copy of that. I ask him if this included extra trucks, people, labor, permits, haul away and anything else we discussed. He said it was all included in the additional $240.00. So, I’m getting burned for $240.00 so far. I can’t wait until the installers come – this is going to be good.
4/4/14—I left a voice message for Edward Lampert (Sears CEO) as well as Steve Antonelli, Sears Director of Sales. Neither have responded to my phone messages. Mr. Antonelli did answer my e-mail telling me that he doesn't handle this, and that he was forwarding my e-mail to customer service. Later, I received an email from Sears demanding that I NEVER to contact Mr. Antonelli again regarding this situation. I responded that I am the customer and have every right to contact the Director of Sales. That they can't demand anything of me. After speaking with an atourney I contacted the County Sheriff about this. The Sheriff told me that this was the basic “bait and switch” and that it is very common. He told me to call him if they showed up and still demanded more money. I e-mailed Sears and told them that I would have the Sheriff here during installation in case there were any other demands or trouble.
That afternoon, I received a phone call from Sears, canceling the installation; I asked why and they said that I had threatened them. Later that evening, a customer service rep contacted me and said that I could pick up the water heaters at sears or get a refund. He said that Sears will not install the water heaters because of my threatening remarks. I then canceled the contract. I never made any threatening or unlawful, or nasty remarks to anyone there at Sears. I just attempted to exercise my rights as a citizen of the USA, which they turned into "threats".
I just wanted to let people know that you cannot trust Sears. They do not honor their contracts. They may have some good products but their customer service is the bottom of the barrel. I will never walk in the door of another Sears or purchase even a pair of socks from them. Buyer Beware!
Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Installation.