July 30, 2011 – Purchased Craftsman GT5000 tractor. Mowed with it a few times, then it was winterized and stored for the winter.
Spring, 2012 – mowed twice with tractor and noticed it had completely lost power, would barely move with the throttle on high and pedal to the floor. Called, scheduled service date for tractor.
April 17 - Service Technician arrives, test drives tractor, says it needs a transmission, since tractor is under warranty (and I also purchased extended warranty) the replacement is fully covered. Schedules replacement for May 1.
May 1 – different technician arrives, starts taking tractor apart to replace transmission, finds a weld point that has come apart on the frame of the tractor (which caused the transmission to fail/break). Tells me the entire tractor must be replaced, it is not safe to drive, and Sears will contact us to replace the tractor (since it has been less than 12 months from purchase date). He makes a phone call to Sears to report the defective tractor, puts the tractor back together (so it can be loaded on the truck when our replacement arrives), places a large green sticker on the tractor, and informs us the tractor is no longer driveable. Tractor is sitting in driveway.
May 2- First phone call from customer solutions to arrange replacement of the tractor. I paid $2018 for my tractor (special price since it was near end of season), and I told the customer service rep I was willing to take the manual transmission tractor as replacement (which is $400 cheaper than the $2999 cost of the exact hydrostatic replacement). Customer service rep tells me she has to get approval from the "off line team" and someone will return my call within 24 hours.
May 3 – Second phone call to customer solutions (after they left message for me). Customer service rep tells me I have to pay the price difference on the replacement tractor. I tell her this is ridiculous, I was sold a DEFECTIVE tractor, which I am STILL making payments on, why should I have to pay MORE MONEY to replace the heap of junk that is taking up space in my driveway? I shouldn't have to pay extra to replace the tractor – I bought this tractor intending to use it for at least 10 years….I have been a loyal Craftsman Tractor owner since 1973. She puts me on hold for 15 minutes, then comes back (I assume with manager approval) to evenly exchange my tractor (no extra money out of my pocket), but it can't be delivered until May 19th. I tell her I'm OK with waiting, the grass (hopefully) won't be too bad by that point.
May 18 – Between 6-7 pm, I receive an email AND an automated phone call confirming my delivery window for May 19th – between 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. I confirm through the automated phone call that this is acceptable timing and plan my day accordingly.
May 19 – I wait the entire 2 hour period. No phone call, no one shows up with my replacement. At 12:30 pm I call the 800 number provided in my delivery confirmation email. I am told by the customer service rep that my tractor did not arrive to the warehouse on May 18, so my delivery will not happen today. My NEW delivery date is now June 2. I tell him this is unacceptable – my grass is knee-high and I have no way to cut it. He puts me on hold and transfers me to another rep at Customer Solutions. This rep takes my initial info and places me on hold. I am on hold so long the phone system recycles me back to the Delivery Call Center. After waiting another 5 minutes, I ask them to check to see if this model tractor is in stock in any store in the United States – perhaps they can simply pick the tractor up from a store and bring it to me? The customer service rep cannot do anything but tell me my delivery date is june 2. I ask for a supervisor. I'm told one will call me back within 2 hours. Almost EXACTLY two hours later, the "supervisor" calls me back. He tells me he can "expedite" my delivery to May 29. I'm flabbergasted. Really, at the start of mowing season, this tractor isn't in stock in a single Sears store across the United States? They can't just take one from store inventory and deliver it to me? He tells me he cannot search for store inventory, he can only look up warehouse inventory based on zip codes, and ASKS ME TO PROVIDE HIM WITH ZIP CODES. I ask him how my grass is going to be mowed while I'm waiting ANOTHER TWO WEEKS for replacement of my DEFECTIVE tractor, and he offers me "lawn care reimbursement" - -yeah, right. Like I have time to pay someone else to mow my 8+ acres and wait who knows how long for Sears to reimburse me? I ask him specifically why they can't just pay a "blue crew" member to find me a tractor at one of the stores in the US and drive it to me on a box truck – my last tractor was delivered by a couple of guys in an Enterprise rental truck…they weren't even wearing Sears-logo uniforms! He tells me that is not possible, because that's not how "their system is set up". He says he can get me another tractor if I'm willing to take something smaller. I ask him how is that fair, when I am STILL MAKING PAYMENTS on the tractor in my driveway – why should I get less than 26 HP and 54" cutting deck?!?!?!? I ask to speak to his manager, I'm informed his manager isn't "there today" but someone will call me back.
At this point, I am beyond irate. These people wasted my ENTIRE day, one that I could have spent with family, instead I sat around waiting (1) for a delivery that they KNEW WASN'T COMING AND DIDN'T CALL ME UNTIL AFTER THE DELIVERY WINDOW WAS OVER and (2) for a USELESS CUSTOMER SERVICE REP to return my call! This is unreal. I cannot believe Sears treats their customers like this, especially ones that have been loyal card-holders for OVER THIRTY YEARS. I have been without a tractor for SIX WEEKS…but I haven't missed any payments to their credit card! I'm ready to cut my Sears card to SHREDS.
Monetary Loss: $2018.