I own a Kenmore Elite front-loading washer and dryer pair. The washer stopped working and was making a horrible sound when I tried to use it.
Upon disassembling it, I found that the "spider assembly" - the piece that connects the main shaft to the stainless steel interior tub - had completely broken/disintegrated. Online research reveals that this is a very common problem - the assembly is exposed to water, and starts pitting/deteriorating, which causes it to fail. The washer washer was manufactured in 2005, so it is out of any "typical" warranty. However, the warranty clearly states that the stainless steel tub is covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty, and will be replaced due to defective material or workmanship.
I tried contacting Sears to get a replacement part. In fact, I've made several calls to them over the past few days, and so far have spoken with 11 different individuals to no avail. The issue, they state, is that the Limited Lifetime Warranty does indeed cover parts, but "labor" is not included. Fair enough....but I don't want, nor need, labor - I'll replace it myself.
They then proceed to say that in order to get a Warranty part, I MUST pay for one of their technicians to come out to evaluate and analyze the washer to determine which part is required. I explained that I can send them a photo of the defective part (clearly a result of "pitting" and resulting stress failure), and I'll replace it myself. No, they say, the ONLY way to get a Warranty part is to have a technician come out to inspect it (at my expense), then order the part and replace it (at my expense). Here is my issue with this approach - it is illegal.
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Chapter 1, Sub-Chapter G, Part 700, Section 700.10 (Prohibited Tying), Paragraph B, in this exact scenario I (the consumer) reserve the right to choose who performs the labor to install the part: (b) Under a limited warranty that provides only for replacement of defective parts and no portion of labor charges, section 102(c), 15 U.S.C. 2302(c), prohibits a condition that the consumer use only service (labor) identified by the warrantor to install the replacement parts. A warrantor or his designated representative may not provide parts under the warranty in a manner which impedes or precludes the choice by the consumer of the person or business to perform necessary labor to install such parts. This law can be viewed directly on the US Government Publishing Office (GPO) website here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title16-vol1/pdf/CFR-2012-title16-vol1-sec700-10.pdf This seems pretty straightforward to me.
When I was FINALLY able to speak with a "Supervisor" today by the name of Eban, he proceeded to talk over me the entire time I had him on the phone. He was unbelievably rude and unwilling to listen to ANYTHING I had to say. He kept saying that if I didn't want to schedule a technician to come out then he had nothing more to say to me.
I certainly don't expect any business to say that the customer is always right, but we sure do deserve the respect of being heard. I'm not asking for anything unusual or unfair - I'm merely asking Sears/Kenmore to honor their written Limited Lifetime Warranty within the confines of Federal law.
Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Washing Machine Repair.
Reason of review: Warranty issue.
Monetary Loss: $810.
Preferred solution: Deliver product or service ordered.
I didn't like: Customer servic, Lack of product support, Warranty.