Grand Rapids, Michigan
2.6K views 16 comments
With Company response Not resolved

I have a Kenmore water heater from Sears with a 12 year warranty. The warranty states, "Sears will 1) provide free water heater parts for those that are defective in materials or workmanship, and 2) supply a free water heater for one that develops a leak. For the second through twelfth year from purchase date, you must pay the labor cost for installation of water heater."

Note that it does not say that I must use Sears technicians to install a replacement water heater or parts that are defective.

My water heater is 6 years old. The drain valve is leaking. After cleaning up standing water from half the room in my basement and moving the wet items that were in the water, I discovered that there are instructions in the owners manual showing how to replace the drain valve washer. This is where the water is dripping from. Since my warranty covers free parts, I called the number in the warranty, which is Sears Warranty Service, to get a new drain valve washer. They said I could order and pay for the part myself, but if I want it to be free, a service technician must come to my house and order the part for me, and the minimum charge for the service technician is $75. I challenged this because my warranty covers free parts, and there is nothing in the warrant about having to pay a service technician to order the part.

I spent an hour and a half on the phone total, in two calls and many transfers to different departments. The service department will not order the part; they only schedule service technicians to visit my home, with a $75 minimum charge. The parts department will not order the part for free, they say only a service technician can enter a no-charge order. The warranty department says I only have a 5 year warranty, and they have no record of a 12 year pars warranty, but they said since I have it in writing they will have to honor it for 12 years. But they say I have to pay for a service call before they will order the part for me.

I am very frustrated. This is not a complicated repair and the part is not that expensive. Sears should be happy to provide this part to me. I don't understand why they are so opposed to providing the part.

This really seems like a scam. Sears says the parts warranty is covered by the manufacturer, Kenmore. They say that I cannot contact Kenmore directly to request free replacement parts, only Sears can request parts from Kenmore, but I have to pay a Sears technician to order the part, and they have a $75 minimum charge. Isn't this a scam, providing a warranty, but requiring me to pay a charge to before I can claim anything covered by the warranty?

I wonder if I should be asking for a free replacement water heater. According to the warranty, this should be covered because its leaking. There is no fine print saying the leak must be coming from the tank, or that Sears has the option to repair it instead of replace it. The warranty also states that, "you must pay the labor cost for water heater installation." It does not say that the installer must be chosen by Sears, so I assume I can choose my preferred plumber instead of scheduling it with Sears.

Review about: Kenmore Water Heater.

Review #369969 is a subjective opinion of a user.

PRODUCT OR SERVICE Not specified
Reason of Review / Monetary Loss Not specified / $20
Preferred solution Not specified

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anonymous
#1286742
I too have the same situation now, in 2017 for a 2013 purchase: I too was contacted by the Sears Cares team after a post. Still waiting on a final response from Crystal Andrade who is handling my case. What troubles me most is I am reading a post here from 2012 and I am be treated by Sears like this is the first time this has been brought to their attention.
Sears
to anonymous #1292025
At this time your request is denied. Our warranty agreement indicates that Sears will provide repair or replacement for the water heater. With any warranty the determination of whether to repair or replace is made by the seller. No other repair company could make the determination to repair or replace that implies we would be the ones to make the determination. No one in store or over the phone would be able to honor the warranty without having a Sears technician inspect the unit. I hope you understand when we say that we cannot disregard the warranty policy, even in this situation.
mike
Canton, Ohio, United States #961450
I have the same problems and got zero help from sears. I will never buy a major appliance from them again
mike
Houston, Texas, United States #940538
Cant just call up Ford and get an alternator sent under warranty can you? Sears isn't going to send you a part without verification, fact is they own the warranty on all water heaters so every part that is installed free of charge is an expense to the company..
Anonymous
to mike #1088722
Ford warranty clearly states a Ford dealership must install parts to get the parts under it's warranty. Sears does not. It just says Sears will supply replacement parts.
If Sears specified that you had to pay a service technician to get the parts under warranty, I wouldn't have an issue. I also probably would not buy that appliance.
Anonymous
Linn, Missouri, United States #713487
my kenmore water heater started leaking when it was only four years old. Sears said in order to use the warranty I would have to have a sears technician look at it first but it would be 3 - 4 days before a technician would be available. Ridiculous! I bought a new one at menards and installed it myself. I then contacted sears to send someone out to look at the old one and was told there would be a $75 charge if the water heater wasn't still installed. I told them to stick it.eeaezus
anonymous in MO
#709012
Your initial review could have been written by me just in the past 2 weeks. Why buy a Sears product if they won't honor the warranty?
jfb32
to anonymous in MO #709305
Check your warranty. The newer warranties say, "For the second through twelfth year from the purchase date, you must pay the labor cost for installation of parts or water heater."

It doesn't say whether you are required to use Sears for the installation, so I assume that leaves it open for you to hire your own plumber (or do it yourself if you know how.)

My warranty was older and didn't have the line above.
jfb32
#587416
I received an email today from the Sears Social Media Team saying they received my email and will forward it to the Sears Cares team so they can contact me as soon as a case manager becomes available. Stay tuned...
lexus600
to jfb32 #722545
so how'd everthing end up ? I have same problem,
please update
thank you

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