We purchased a side-by-side Kenmore Coldspot Model #59502990 sometime in 2000. After about 10 to 11 months, I started noticing that food was beginning to go bad faster than normal. Mostly milk. We get our milk deliveries to our doorstep so I began to wonder if the milk we were receiving wasn't up to the quality it used to be.
This went on for about two months and I was thinking of calling the milk company but decided to get a refrigerator thermometer first to check out the temperature of the refrigerator. It was not cooling properly.
I called Sears service and arranged for a service call. The service person was very friendly and informative. After checking the refrigerator (he seemed to know exactly what to check for) he commented that a little door that controls the venting of cold air between the freezer area and the refrigerator area sometimes has ice build up on it which causes it freeze in place and become immovable. The little door is contolled and adjusted automatically when temperature fluctuations occur in the refrigerator side.
When the control mechanism tries to open the little door when it is frozen in place, the door mechanism breaks. The service person commented that the refrigerator was made for Sears by another company (Whirlpool, I do believe) and that this model had this problem frequently.
I asked why there was no recall. He had no answer for it. He said the company could have installed a little heater in each unit at a cost of about $12 per refrigerator which would have prevented the problem but for some reason, chose not to do it.
I suggested that Sears should cover engineering flaws... particularly known engineering flaws. The service person was sympathetic but had no control over the issue.
It cost me about $200 to repair it. I also lost money on spoiled food. The failure actually had occurred prior to the year warranty period running out but was not discovered (realized) until the 13th month.
I lost alot of respect for Sears that day. Between this and other more recent problems I have had with Sears, I have decided not to purchase from Sears again (and I have bought quite a few appliances and equipment from them in the last few years, for home and for our rental unit).
Other frustrations include: Sears does not stock appliance consummables, such as range hood filters, refrigerator filters, broiler pans, etc in their main stores. These are repeat sale items. They force you to go to their 'parts' stores which offer limited store hours and poor locations. Why would they choose to reduce foot traffic in their main stores? I can't find a way to buy some of these items online through Sears.com, either.
You've got to wonder why their executives adopt policies that totally contradict their mission statement.