• Report: #220241

Complaint Review: Sears Appliance Outlet

  • Submitted: Sun, November 12, 2006
  • Updated: Sun, August 26, 2007

  • Reported By:Lutherville Maryland
Sears Appliance Outlet
1910 York Road Timonium, Maryland U.S.A.

Sears Appliance Outlet Defective Kenmore Refrigerator Freezer Timonium Maryland

*Consumer Suggestion: The Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

*Consumer Suggestion: The Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

*Consumer Suggestion: The Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

*Consumer Comment: Response to latest rebutall.

*UPDATE Employee: Read your owners manual

*Author of original report: Found Out Some Interesting Facts

*Consumer Comment: To the Original Poster

*Consumer Suggestion: Every right to sell a crappy product.

*Consumer Suggestion: Sears will not help

*Consumer Comment: Mike..

*Author of original report: Response to rebuttal

*UPDATE Employee: There is no reason to think Sears Is Bad

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October of 2004, we purchased a new Kenmore refrigerator/freezer from the Sear Appliance Outlet Store. The only thing wrong with the product was a small dent on the door. Less than 2 years later, the compressor went up and the appliance stopped working. Over $50 in food was ruined. We called the store and they told us since we did not buy the extended warranty, we were out of luck. They were unwilling to stand behind their product.

Afer hours on hold with Sears customer service, we were never helped. We tried to contact someone at Sears Corporate and was unable to find a contact name, phone number, email or address. With more research we found out that this Kenmore appliance was manufactured by Goldstar which had no contact information and Goldstar is owned by Electrolux. There is one email for a guy in Sweeden for Electrolux who we tried to contact, without any response. We feel that a refrigerator should last more than 2 years before requiring a replacement whether you decide to buy the extended warranty or not. When a product is defective, there should be someone that you can contact to report the problem and discuss a resolution. We will never buy a Kenmore product and recommend that no one else does. We will never purchase from Sears Appliance Store in Timonium, MD.

Renee
Lutherville, Maryland
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/12/2006 05:13 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sears-Appliance-Outlet/Timonium-Maryland-21093/Sears-Appliance-Outlet-Defective-Kenmore-Refrigerator-Freezer-Timonium-Maryland-220241. 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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0Author 12Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

The Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

AUTHOR: Carolann - (U.S.A.)

I wanted to allow readers to understand their rights under federal warranty law, which basically supercedes any state laws that contradict it. Go online and download the entire Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. It is very clear as to the requirements of the warrantor and the rights of the consumer.

If you had a FULL 5 year warranty on the unit, Sears is required to either repair your unit free of charge or replace your unit with a free, new, exact model if it cannot be repaired. And they must do this in a timely manner. And, they must provide step-by-step instructions in the warranty as to how to resolve your warranty dispute. In addition, they cannot force you to accept a refund unless you opt for it in lieu of a new, exact replacement model - it is the CONSUMER'S CHOICE.

I am currently experiencing the EXACT same issue with Sears. However, I purchased my refrigerator from an Outlet Store. The compressor/cooling system has gone out after 2.5 years. I have a 5 year warranty. The 2X I called the Sears repair toll free, I was told I only had 1 year and they offered me to purchase a maintenance agreement for approximately $300. However, my manual clearly states a FULL 5-year warranty.

They are actually trying to give me a credit up to the purchase price towards a new refrigerator, and want me to split the difference with them for the fridge I picked out as close to my model as possible, which costs $300 more. They say it's because I bought my fridge at an outlet store that the policy for replacement is different than if I had bought it from a retail store - even though that was not disclosed when I purchased it. In fact, Sears brags about how you have the same exact warranty coverage when you buy from an Outlet Store.

As I continue to review consumer issues that are similar to mine, I wonder how many people are being told by Sears that they only have a one year warranty when the actually have five, or how many people are paying the difference as I am being asked to do, or how many people are buying maintenance agreements they shouldn't have to buy, etc.

I believe that Sears is in a position for a class-action lawsuit because they are not complying with the minimum requirements of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and they are fraudulently avoiding performance on warranties by giving people inaccurate information about their warranties, and overcharging people for maintenance agreements that they shouldn't have to buy.

I will provide further information as this issue progresses in a separate report. I am currently waiting to get the formal response from the Outlet Store in Clearwater, FL. as to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty laws and my request for a replacement without charge.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

The Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

AUTHOR: Carolann - (U.S.A.)

I wanted to allow readers to understand their rights under federal warranty law, which basically supercedes any state laws that contradict it. Go online and download the entire Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. It is very clear as to the requirements of the warrantor and the rights of the consumer.

If you had a FULL 5 year warranty on the unit, Sears is required to either repair your unit free of charge or replace your unit with a free, new, exact model if it cannot be repaired. And they must do this in a timely manner. And, they must provide step-by-step instructions in the warranty as to how to resolve your warranty dispute. In addition, they cannot force you to accept a refund unless you opt for it in lieu of a new, exact replacement model - it is the CONSUMER'S CHOICE.

I am currently experiencing the EXACT same issue with Sears. However, I purchased my refrigerator from an Outlet Store. The compressor/cooling system has gone out after 2.5 years. I have a 5 year warranty. The 2X I called the Sears repair toll free, I was told I only had 1 year and they offered me to purchase a maintenance agreement for approximately $300. However, my manual clearly states a FULL 5-year warranty.

They are actually trying to give me a credit up to the purchase price towards a new refrigerator, and want me to split the difference with them for the fridge I picked out as close to my model as possible, which costs $300 more. They say it's because I bought my fridge at an outlet store that the policy for replacement is different than if I had bought it from a retail store - even though that was not disclosed when I purchased it. In fact, Sears brags about how you have the same exact warranty coverage when you buy from an Outlet Store.

As I continue to review consumer issues that are similar to mine, I wonder how many people are being told by Sears that they only have a one year warranty when the actually have five, or how many people are paying the difference as I am being asked to do, or how many people are buying maintenance agreements they shouldn't have to buy, etc.

I believe that Sears is in a position for a class-action lawsuit because they are not complying with the minimum requirements of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and they are fraudulently avoiding performance on warranties by giving people inaccurate information about their warranties, and overcharging people for maintenance agreements that they shouldn't have to buy.

I will provide further information as this issue progresses in a separate report. I am currently waiting to get the formal response from the Outlet Store in Clearwater, FL. as to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty laws and my request for a replacement without charge.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

The Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

AUTHOR: Carolann - (U.S.A.)

I wanted to allow readers to understand their rights under federal warranty law, which basically supercedes any state laws that contradict it. Go online and download the entire Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. It is very clear as to the requirements of the warrantor and the rights of the consumer.

If you had a FULL 5 year warranty on the unit, Sears is required to either repair your unit free of charge or replace your unit with a free, new, exact model if it cannot be repaired. And they must do this in a timely manner. And, they must provide step-by-step instructions in the warranty as to how to resolve your warranty dispute. In addition, they cannot force you to accept a refund unless you opt for it in lieu of a new, exact replacement model - it is the CONSUMER'S CHOICE.

I am currently experiencing the EXACT same issue with Sears. However, I purchased my refrigerator from an Outlet Store. The compressor/cooling system has gone out after 2.5 years. I have a 5 year warranty. The 2X I called the Sears repair toll free, I was told I only had 1 year and they offered me to purchase a maintenance agreement for approximately $300. However, my manual clearly states a FULL 5-year warranty.

They are actually trying to give me a credit up to the purchase price towards a new refrigerator, and want me to split the difference with them for the fridge I picked out as close to my model as possible, which costs $300 more. They say it's because I bought my fridge at an outlet store that the policy for replacement is different than if I had bought it from a retail store - even though that was not disclosed when I purchased it. In fact, Sears brags about how you have the same exact warranty coverage when you buy from an Outlet Store.

As I continue to review consumer issues that are similar to mine, I wonder how many people are being told by Sears that they only have a one year warranty when the actually have five, or how many people are paying the difference as I am being asked to do, or how many people are buying maintenance agreements they shouldn't have to buy, etc.

I believe that Sears is in a position for a class-action lawsuit because they are not complying with the minimum requirements of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and they are fraudulently avoiding performance on warranties by giving people inaccurate information about their warranties, and overcharging people for maintenance agreements that they shouldn't have to buy.

I will provide further information as this issue progresses in a separate report. I am currently waiting to get the formal response from the Outlet Store in Clearwater, FL. as to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty laws and my request for a replacement without charge.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Response to latest rebutall.

AUTHOR: Ernest - (U.S.A.)

I have bought many appliances from Sears. No more, but that is another story not for here.

One of the appliances a drier, was delivered with a noticeable dent on the side. I told the delivery person that I was not happy with the dent and they made a note on the delivery slip to that effect.

I phoned Sears the following day to tell them of the dent. They offered to deduct the princely sum of $20 off the purchase price. I insisted on a new drier without any dents. A new appliance was delivered some days later.

My point is this Sears was prepared to sell me an appliance that had been mishandled. What would have happened if I had a warranty claim? Would they have said, sorry you knowingly bought a mishandled unit or, would they have repaired it without any hassle?

The OP has a valid point. It is quite obvious that Sears knew about the dent in the refrigerator. Further, the client did not know about the 5 year warranty on the compressor. They should have indeed read the instruction manual. The client says they spent hours on the phone. Surely, someone, somewhere, in the Sears ivory tower could have pointed this out to them and directed them to the correct dept. in order come to a satisfactory conclusion.

Knowing what it is like to deal with Sears customer service that is non-existent, I am not at all surprised to read stories like this. I have been through h**l with these people concerning another matter.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Read your owners manual

AUTHOR: Tonya - (U.S.A.)

The most important information Mike gave. Is listed in your owners manual. Your compressor is covered for 5 years. That is listed under warranty information. Most people do not read their Owners manual. Which explains why some many applaince are breaking down. Its not always the appliance. Most of the time its the people using it. It even tells you do's and dont's. Most people do not know how to pack food in their frig or freezer. This causes your compressor to work hard. Which in returns the compressor gives out a lot sooner then it should.

So before you started pointing the finger at Sears Kenmore or whoever made it. Take a look at what you could have done wrong.
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#6 Author of original report

Found Out Some Interesting Facts

AUTHOR: Renee - (U.S.A.)

After following Mike's advice (Glen Burnie, MD ), we found out that the compressor and other parts have a 5 year warranty. Someone is supposed to come out on Saturday (hopefully there won't be any issues with that)and repair it at no cost. This happened because my husband spent another 4 hours on the phone and on hold today calling everyone that Mike suggested.

I am very happy about the advise, however, when we called Sears Appliance Outlet Store initially and explained our problem, we were told that it had a one year warranty. Nothing was said about the Mfg. warranty. Without all the inside advice that was given, we would have been completely out of luck. So, how does the average person get all this information? The fact is, most people don't because Sears makes is impossible to do so.

The way that we knew it was the compressor is because my husband went on ---- and by process of elimination, he figured out it was the compressor. We figured we had nothing to loose because we could not afford to have it repaired, however, we at least wanted to know what the problem was. To have the compressor replaced would end up costing more than we paid for the refrigerator because the average person cannot do this job. My only worry is that since it has gone up once, it could go up again and I simply do not have the money to replace the food that gets lost.

I know that I don't have legal recourse, however, there should be a law about being able to make and sell crappy appliances that last a short time and then making it impossible for people to be able to get good customer service. That's called standing behind your product and Sears does a lousy job of that.
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#7 Consumer Comment

To the Original Poster

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

I don't understand what the confusion is here. The refrigerator has a 5-year warranty on the compressor. So the manufacturer (which is KENMORE) will likely repair the compressor as part of the warranty agreement, provided that the compressor failure was not due to negligence or abuse.

You need to contact the WARRANTY department at Sears to schedule a WARRANTY service.

Since you did not purchase the extra service protection plan, you will not be reimbursed for food spoilage. Again, this coverage is only provided to those WHO PAY FOR THE PLAN. Perhaps you really could not afford it, but then again that is not Sears fault. Sometimes it is better to FIND a way to afford such a plan (i.e., put it on a credit card) as the plan often costs much less than the cost of repair, replacement, and/or food spoilage.

To bash Sears on this issue is highly inappropriate. All electronics are susceptible to sudden failure due to the nature of electronic components in general. This is why all such appliances come with a manufacturer's warranty, to provide coverage for such defects! Just because your's happened to have a problem does not mean that you are entitled to a replacement unit and extra coverage that was not originally agreed upon.

Furthermore, how do you know for sure that the "only thing wrong with the unit was a cosmetic dent"? How do you presume said unit was dented? Appliances that are handled appropriately and with care do not get dented. Appliances that are carelessly banged around and perhaps get returned to the store for various reasons often do get dented. When you see a dent on an electronic appliance, may I suggest you consider the reality of how that appliance must have been treated in order to get such a dent.

In summation, I reiterate:

(1) - You have a 5-year warranty on the compressor, so use it!

(2) - You did not buy the extended warranty so you have no recourse as far as food spoilage or other issues go.

(3) - If you are tight with money, next time FIND A WAY to "afford" the extended warranty as it will ultimately cost you less in the long run.

(4) - If you are still so convinced that Sears is so horrible and that all your old refrigerators lasted for 50 years, it should not be too hard to find an old used fridge for sale or perhaps abandoned somewhere, for you to get some continued good use out of.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Every right to sell a crappy product.

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

The bottom line is that your refrigerator had a one year warranty, and time is up. In America, businesses have every right to sell crappy products as long as they outlast the warranty. Yes it deserves to be called a rip-off but you don't have any legal recourse.

How are you sure it is the compressor? Many refrigerators stop working because a relatively inexpensive part has failed. It's sort of like saying that every car that won't start needs a new engine. Unfortunately the cost of bringing a qualified American to your house to check it out is on the same level as paying a bunch of Koreans to slap another unit together and hope it lasts a year and a month.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Sears will not help

AUTHOR: Terri - (U.S.A.)

I had a similar instance happen to me, it was only with a washing machine. I had to threaten to sue them in small claims court and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and even then, they still wouldn't contact me. Don't waste your time calling, you won't get a return call. I did find a great website called Sears Screws Customers I would suggest adding your story to it as so many others have.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Mike..

AUTHOR: Alan - (U.S.A.)

Apparently Mike from Sears either cannot read or doesn't understand the original post. Rene tried to get Sears to stand by their product, and it doesn't matter one hoot that the fridge was purchased at the outlet store the only damage was cosmetic.

Now the op found out that the manufacturer is Goldstar, well you would have to search for a worse, low end manufacturer maybe haier from China. I have seen a new kitchen where all the appliances were Kenmore and each and every one of them the fridge, the microwave and the stove failed.

The real take home message is avoid Sears like you would a cold virus.
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#11 Author of original report

Response to rebuttal

AUTHOR: Renee - (U.S.A.)

First- The only stated damage was a small dent on the door. What does that have to do with the compressor going up? It doesn't matter if it was an outlet store at a discount- it should have lasted more than 1 1/2 years.

Second-We could not afford a Protection Agreement, obviously, that's why we were shopping there.

Third-How do we get information so we can reach the Mgf? Who is the Mgr? Sears? Kenmore? Goldstar? Electrolux? I understand that parts go up, but after only a year and a half?! That is unacceptable! All the refrigerators I have ever owned were still running when I replaced them with an updated version.

Fourth- Isn't it too late to purchase a SSA at this point? Besides, we probably could not afford to do so or even pay for the labor it would require.

Fifth- We tried the 800# and was put on hold for hours. Who can sit on the phone for hours? We tried to talk to Sears Outlet Store and they were absolutely no help. If a service tech comes out, won't that cost us?

I will try again and follow your suggestions. However, I still stand behind my opinion that an appliance like that should last more than 1 1/2 years before having problems. Families on limited incomes do not have the means to purchase warranties and replace lost food. It should not be this difficult to get help with this problem.
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#12 UPDATE Employee

There is no reason to think Sears Is Bad

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

First:

You did purchase an appliance from an Outlet Store with slight Damage, and at a discount.

Second:

At time of purchase you were offered the opportunity to purchase a Protection Agreement, which will cover you for up to $250 food loss if verifible.

Third:

The Compressor is covered for 5-years by the Mgf out side of any other Protection Agreement. So you can get this repaired. Compressors do fail as will any product that runs 24-hours a day. So even if the compressor failed it is replaceable.

Fourth:

Sears sells an SSA (Service Smart Agreement) through the 800-For-My-Home number. It will cover any repairs needed up to $500, with the option of you paying the difference above that. Remember the Compressor is covered for 5-years, so the only charge might be for labor, and this should be covered by the SSA.

Fith:

Call The Sears 800#, ask for the Executive Complaint Line. This will get you to the right people, once you do this you can also get the National Customer Relations 800# to help with your issues.

The location you purchased the appliance has a Store GM, call and talk to him/her, as each Store has the option to give out up to $100 for food loss. Also, the Service District you live in is very good with repairs, so if you had a service Tech come out, this all would have been explaned to you and you should have a copy of the service Ticket showing the compressor was covered.

Ther is no reason to bad mouth Sears as I know they will do what ever it takes to make it right!
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