Letter to CEO
Dear Mr. DAmbrosio,
Five weeks ago I purchased a Sole E35 elliptical machine from the searsoutlet.com website. I made this purchase based on three factors: price, location and condition. The elliptical was shown at a good price and in my area only a short drive away. The condition of Reconditioned(New) was the most influential factor in my purchase decision. According to the searsoutlet.com website, Reconditioned(New) is described on the website as follows: This can be new product still in box, or new product out of box that was returned. Product has never been installed in a customer's home, and may have some cosmetic damage. New product warranty still applies.
I picked up the elliptical from the store in Joliet, IL the same day that I purchased it online. It was loaded into my truck and I left. I got it home and into the house and immediately wanted to try it out. That is when I noticed several things wrong with it most notably that the power incline didnt work. I found the contact for customer support on the searsoutlet.com website and sent an email outlining my concerns. After several attempts to find my order information, they responded with an appointment for a service tech to come repair the machine.
The first tech arrived a week after I picked it up. He was reluctant to do anything saying, Its a lot of work. I urged him to see what he could do. He looked over my issues with the machine and made a list of parts that needed to be ordered and left.
It took two weeks before all of the parts arrived and another service appointment was scheduled. I requested a different tech since the first one seemed uneager to do his job. The second tech was very helpful. In fact, he recognized this exact machine from the Joliet store that he tried to fix six times. He spent a little bit of time on it replacing a part that he was unable to get while the machine was at the store. But in the end, he was unable to get it to work. In his notes on the repair receipt, he wrote: Unit should not have been sold. 6x attempts at store to repair. Unit should be replaced.
I sent a follow up email to the same contact as earlier and relayed what the tech had said and that I wanted the elliptical to be replaced. They responded saying that I should take it back to an outlet store to pick out a different machine. Im not willing to do for a couple of reasons: 1) this elliptical is 200+ pounds it requires several people to move it around. It took 4 guys including myself to get it into my truck. I cannot just toss it into my car and bring it back to the store. 2) I bought a Sole E35 based on reviews of this and other machines. To pick out a lesser quality machine is not an option.
Since it is still under warranty I emailed back saying that I wanted this machine to be fixed or replaced with the same model. The scheduled another service appointment for a week later.
When that technician arrived, it was the same tech as the first time that came the first time and said, It was a lot of work. He said that he cannot fix the machine and it should be returned.
After that, I called the 800 from the email contact and was transferred around for a while and finally ended up at the store where I picked it up. They want me to bring it back to them for a refund. Again, I'm not willing to do that because it was sold as Reconditioned(new) and has a warranty. I bought it sight unseen on the searsoutlet.com website based on the reported condition of the machine. I want it to be fixed, which the technicians says is not possible, or replaced. I should not have to pay for a new machine to get one that works, when I was sold a machine that was supposed to be working.
I talked to Dan - Home Improvement Manager - at the Joliet, IL store. He wants me to bring it back to them for a refund. He compared my purchase to that of a used car. This is very insulting! When you purchase a used car, you know you're buying a used car, because it is advertised as such. When you purchase something that is Reconditioned(New), you expect it to work! He also said "I would never sell something that I know to be defective." This is a lie! Here's why: 1) One of the technicians that came to my house to fix it was the same technician that tried 6 times to fix it in the store. The technician put in his notes "Unit should not have been sold. 6x attempts at store to repair. Unit should be replaced." 2) There are 3 clearance tags on the unit all stacked on top of each other. The top tag shows the price I paid for the unit. When I peel that tag off to reveal the one below it, it shows "incline not working." These tags also state the machine is "Used" which is not the condition that was disclosed on the website.
While dealing with this issue, I have seen numerous reports on the Internet of similar situations of deception and selling of broken merchandise. This is very disturbing to me, as I have always had good service from Sears. I have purchased large appliances, large toolboxes, a professional power tools, handheld power tools, and hand tools from Sears. Im currently in the market for a larger French door style refrigerator and this experience will definitely make me re-think where I make that purchase.