My wife and I purchased a water heater from Sears, after a great deal of research on the quality of the Kenmore unit. Sears, who we have had good experience with in the past listed the unit we were interested in for $419.
They then informed me that installation was going to be $241. While this sounded high, we decided it would be best to have them install it as they would be the best to install their own unit.
When the unit arrived today, the installer informed us that we needed a special valve that would cost $214, and additional piping that would run $145. Also additional charges would be no more that $80.
I had him stop his work, and called our plumber who told me his quote for the job including the "Special" part was about $150. I called the installers office and told them of my findings, they said they had every right to charge what they did, as every company has the right to charge what they wish.
Furthermore, they informed me that if I did not have the unit installed by their technician, they would report me to the building and safety, who would send out an inspector that would certainly fine me in excess of $1000.
I then confronted the guy from Sears, and got him to admit that any plumber could install the unit for about $100. The special valve, retailed for about $50. Also, he says that this is just a part of the game, and 99% of the people just pay it, as they have little choice at that point.
He apologized to me, canceled all the charges, and left. My plumber showed and did the job as quoted. I am taking the time to hopefully save the other 99% of consumers who may fall for such a scam.