• Report: #136880

Complaint Review: Sears

  • Submitted: Wed, March 30, 2005
  • Updated: Wed, March 30, 2005

  • Reported By:Sylmar California
Sears National Customer Relations, 3333 Beverly Road, Hoffman Estates, Illinois U.S.A.

Sears, Roebuck And Company Your warranties are a ripoff Hoffman Estates Illinois

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BUYER BEWARE: If you are in the habit of purchasing Sears extended Warranties, save your money. I will never again shop Sears. Read my letter and then consider their response. I was told was my fault that their warranty could not be covered because I failed to buy a new refrigerator????

They wouldn't reimburse me for the well over $300 loss of food because I failed to buy their protection plan even though I would not have lost the food had they told me they couldn't come until three days later...and of course they would not reimburse me for the repair I had to have done when they failed to arrange to come out because I should have allowed them to do the service under the warranty they failed to honor. If you have had a similar bad experience with a store, go to the web link above and sound off. Here is my story:

On Thursday, February 24, 2005, my refrigerator broke down late at night. The first thing the next morning, I called a repair company to have the unit fixed and was told that I had to first check with Sears to see if the refrigerator was under warranty before they would come out and do the repair.

On that advice, I called Sears and ascertained that my warranty remained in full force and effect through Monday, February 28th. On that day the contract was due to expire. The clerk at Sears asked if I wished to renew and I declined. The reason I declined was due to a series of unfortunate events, which rendered it too costly for me to spend additional funds at this time. I spoke to a woman who identified herself as Alisa

I then called their service department and spoke to someone who also identified herself as Alisa. She seemed to know immediately all about my information before I gave it and had the same name as the lady I had just spoken to so I asked her if she was the same person and was told no. This lady then proceeded to ask me if the food was still cold and I checked the refrigerator while we were on the phone and indicated that the refrigerator side was still somewhat cold. She told me that it should stay that way for a few hours if I did not open the door and indicated they would have a service representative out the same day. I even wrote on my notes that they would come today.

I had a second refrigerator, to which we had moved as much of the contents as possible the night before, and I could have removed the rest of the food and asked a neighbor to store it temporarily. I did not do so because I was told the food would be o.k. for the few hours necessary to get a repair person on site.

The telephone call was terminated with the understanding that my food was safe until the repairman got there. That the repairman was coming within a short enough period that the food would not spoil and that it would occur on the same day. At no time after that was I contacted by Sears to indicate there were any other arrangements or problems.

I waited to hear from them as to arrival time until finally around one thirty in the afternoon, having not heard from them, I called to see when they were coming. Upon calling the Sears service line to ascertain arrival time, I discovered through their automated recording that the clerk had scheduled me for Monday, three days later, and nobody had bothered to contact me to let me know this.

It then followed the call through to their operator and indicated that I had been promised an arrival time of today, that I had not been contacted to tell me that the date was changed, and that my food was now spoiled and would have to be thrown out. I indicated that this was unacceptable customer service and demanded that they at least honor the repair schedule originally indicated. The clerk told me that this was impossible. That they had repair people out seven days a week and that their schedule was completely full.

Had she told me this the first time around, I could have called the other company back and had them there within two or three hours and saved my food. I demanded to speak with a supervisor and was told that there were no supervisors available. I repeated my demand and spoke to a second person. who identified herself as Jennie. Jennie indicated that she was the district manager and that they still could do nothing for me.

Her recommended resolution was that I rent a refrigerator through Monday and present a bill for their consideration and that they might reimburse me for my out-of-pocket expense. I told her that this was impractical and reiterated my complaint and my demand. Again, their agency was nonresponsive to my needs.

We had a valid warranty at the time I called in. I did everything I was supposed to do to obtain service through Sears warranty and was not given the service this warranty implied. As a result of this second phone call to Sears and knowing that I would not get the service I was led to believe we would receive when we bought the warranty, I was, needless to say, highly disgusted. I now had a refrigerator full of rotten food, had been told I would not receive timely service (the fact that the new date was on the same date my warranty expired did not go unnoticed either. ) I have lost entire confidence in Sears and the validity of their warranty and indicated to them that I would no longer do business with Sears. I then immediately called the other agency back and they indicated they would send a representative out within a matter of hours. As it turned out, they could not come until 8:00 the next morning.

Had Sears informed me at the first call that they could not schedule me for the same day, I would have immediately called the other agency back and would have been able to get a repair person out much earlier. The only reason he didn't get there that same day was because the call for service came in so late and he had been booked for a late call already.

The repair was completed through the second agency within a matter of less than half an hour and instead of getting the service I paid for under Sears warranty, in addition to losing a large portion of my food, I am now out of pocket for the repair at the cost of $215.54 (and I sent Sears a copy of that invoice). I ended up having to throw out over $300 worth of food that could have been saved and I feel have paid for a warranty service that was absolutely useless.

The Sears clerk's suggestion that I rent a refrigerator was not even vaguely practical. All appliance rental places here require that you sign for a full month's contract and it usually takes two to three days to get delivery of an appliance, assuming one is even available. Given that there was also no guarantee that Sears would reimburse me but would only consider the possibility rendered this idea impractical even under normal circumstances and so far as I am concerned, out of the question. It would have constituted throwing good money after bad and would have served no purpose other than to cause further annoyance.

My perception of what occurred regarding the scheduling of this service is that either a) Sears sells way more warranty contracts than they can possibly service on the hopes the customer either will not call to service these units or that people won't care how long it takes to get service or b) this service was deliberately scheduled late to avoid having to honor the warranty purchased. I have no doubt whatever that when the Sears repairman arrived I would have been told that the warranty was now expired and that I would have to pay for the service call.

I have no confidence that any other action would have occurred for the simple reason that the Sears clerk tried to sell me an extended warranty and I declined and for the fact that having changed the repair schedule without notifying me implies that this is the case. In short, the Sears warranty was not worth the money charged for the service and in view of this fact, I demanded a full refund for this warranty which was pretty much worthless and from which no benefit was derived. I did what I was supposed to do, Sears failed to live up to the promises implied.

The contacted Sears and indicated that the only resolution I was now willing to accept from your agency is a full refund for my losses, including the repair bill of $215.54, the loss of my food, which amounted to over $300.00 and the cost of the warranty for services Sears failed to render. Other than that, the only other resolution would appear to be to discuss this through the local Better Business Bureau or however far it takes to receive recompense.

I would probably not be as adamant in my demands had Sears not called me back on Monday, after I had informed them I no longer wanted to do business with them asking if I still wanted the service, at which time I repeated my story and repeated my statement that I wanted no further contact, and again three days later asking if I wished to reschedule at which time I repeated myself again that I wanted no further contact. It is to be noted that this information was in the Sears clerk's notes, which she acknowledged, and that she had not even bothered to read what I had said before calling one more time.

I sent a registered letter to the Sears offices in Illinois and they called me back, however I was not home. I called that office this morning and was placed on hold for over ten minutes. When I finally talked with one of the reprentatives, here is what I was told.

a) The refrigerator was five years old, and obviously, I knew that so I should have purchased a new refrigerator. (in otherwords, warranty or not, it was my fault for not purchasing a newer appliance from them--and I question this remark further because the average life span for a refrigerator is 10 to 15 years.)

b) They would not reimburse me for the lost food, because I failed to buy a food protection plan from them (even though the reason I left the food in the refrigerator in the first place was because that was what their appointment clerk told me to do. . .so it is my fault because I didn't buy more of their inefficient services and because I followed their advice???)

c) They would not reimburse me for the expense of having to call an outside agent because I should have waited for their repair serviceman to come (three days late!--I have a family of five. I guess we weren't supposed to eat for that three day period, or in the alternative, it was ok by Sears if we had to dine out and add to our expenses because, obviously they don't give a rat's bottom since its not their problem.)

___________Will I ever shop there again! Not in this lifetime!!!!! Will I tell a friend? You had best believe it. Sears representative told me if I felt I needed to sue, I should contact their legal department. For those of you in California, this is not true. The only thing you need to do to sue in Small Claims in California is to file a demand letter, then file your Small Claims action. If they go to Small Claims, they cannot bring an attorney because attornies are not allowed to represent in Small Claims here. The second thing everybody needs to know is their authorized agent for service so you can get them properly served. So for those of you ripped of in California, here is their agent for service per the California Secretary of State:

Number: C0122778 Date Filed: 3/7/1927 Status: active
Jurisdiction: NEW YORK
3333 BEVERLY ROAD, B2-130B
Agent for Service of Process

Serve the C T Corporation here in Los Angeles. Its a drop service for the corporation here in California. Make sure your service is done by someone over the age of 18 and not a party to the action and get your proof of service back to the courthouse as soon as it is completed so you don't have to reschedule and re-serve.

I may not sue them on my own behalf, but I sure as heck have no compunction not to share what I know with others. I am a retired court clerk on a limited income. When Sears was ripping people off on their automotive repairs, the only way they finally listened and took care of business was when a group of people filed a class action lawsuit to force them to comply. Maybe that is what needs to happen again. I found several other websites that listed complaints against Sears both on original purchases and warranties and what irritated me the most was the ones I saw posted by our military personnel, who are not only fighting for our country, but are also forced to fight for simple common decency services back here in the USA.

If you feel you've been ripped off by Sears, like I feel I've been ripped off, TELL A FRIEND!

Sylmar, California

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/30/2005 06:13 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sears/Hoffman-Estates-Illinois-60179/Sears-Roebuck-And-Company-Your-warranties-are-a-ripoff-Hoffman-Estates-Illinois-136880. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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