Report: #302089

Complaint Review: Sears

  • Submitted: Mon, January 21, 2008
  • Updated: Sat, September 13, 2008
  • Reported By: Oxnard California
  • Sears

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I just had the water line to my 15 month old Sears installed Kenmore water heater replaced because it was leaking. The technician replaced it and figured out the bill in 10 minutes and charged me $153.00.

This works out to $918.00 per hour!!

When I called them, I was aware that they had a $65.00 service charge, just for showing up. So lets just say that the $153.00 was including the 65.00 charge. This works out to $528.00 per hour.

I just want to let as many people know about this as possible. I am really sick of getting ripped off.

I was mistaken in trusting Sears.

Oxnard, California
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/21/2008 01:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

What do you mean?

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

What do you mean by your Kmart/Sears comment?

ps. you can do the math, but your spelling needs some help.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Plummers Helper

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

Did any of you really do the math ????

It is $918.00 devided by two. Sears / Kmart.
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#3 Consumer Comment

"I am really sick of getting ripped off"

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

Well, there's a lot of plumbers and other servicemen that are sick of consumers being...well...dumb. And they are also sick of being the subject of these ignorant and baseless claims.

This is Leslie: Hey, $153 for 10 minutes?? Where's my calculator?....tap tap tap tap...what the.....tap tap tap tap tap.....OH NO HE DIDN'T!!

Leslie, don't you think that if plumbers really made $918 per hour that there would be A LOT more plumbers out there? According to your fuzzy math, you think this guy makes $153 an hour, starting from the second he places a wrench on your pipe. How much do you think this man should charge per hour? Let's say $65 + the $65 trip charge. He works for 10 minutes. By your flawed logic, you should hand this man a check for $75.83. Now, try to keep up, that's $65 for the trip charge and $10.83 for the technician, have a nice flippin' day!! But what about the new $12 part he replaced? Oh well, I guess he can pay for it out of his pocket (most plumbers like to lose money on a job anyway). What about the $65.00 trip charge? Guaranteed, he won't see a penny of that. That money is spent on operating the business. You see, in a service company, one has to spend money to make money. Hard for you to understand, I'll bet.

Look at it this way, Leslie, I'm sure that if you loaded your water heater into your car and drove it to the plumber's house to have it fixed, he wouldn't have charged you $153. Oh wait, you mean you couldn't possibly take the time to drain your heater, disconnect it from the gas/electric and water and then load it into your car? Of course not! That's absurd!

Please consider: This plumber, in order to come to your rescue, has to use HIS valuable time driving HIS COMPANY'S valuable truck carrying HIS COMPANY'S valuable plumbing parts to YOUR residence to fix YOUR problem. If the company requests, it is the customer's responsibility to pay a reasonable trip charge to cover that portion of the service call. And $65.00 is a pretty good price for that, especially because California gas is among the highest priced in the nation!

Now, Mr. Plumber is at your home. Leslie, do you think that fixing a leaking water heater supply pipe is the only plumbing he knows? Probably not. This guy is a professional and has a lot of experience and training that doesn't come cheap. He knows a lot about residential plumbing. He's probably replaced hundreds of those water heater pipes. Should he be punished with less wages because he knows exactly what to do, exactly what part to use, exactly what tools to use to get the job done quickly? Furthermore, a job that you obviously can't/won't tackle because you lack the above mentioned skills? I don't think so, either. Continuing with that point, my father is a dentist, some procedures early in his career used to take him nearly an hour to complete. After years of experience, continued training, fine-tuning his skills, updated tools and equipment, he can now pop out a wisdom tooth in a matter of minutes. Should he make less money because he completed the job quickly? Don't bother answering that, you already answered it in your uneducated "complaint".

Back to the plumber: I would estimate that if this technician replaced water heater pipes all day long around town he could probably get to 6 homes in 8 hours. That includes all the travel time and maybe a stop for a Big Mac or three.

OK, sharpen your pencil, Leslie. We know you can multiply, let's throw in some subtraction and division. Here we go...

6 stops @ $153 (including parts & other material if needed: solder etc.) = $918
6 water heater supply pipes @ let's say $12 = $72
$918-$72 = $846
$846/8 hours = a whopping $105.75 per hour!! THAT'S CRIMINAL, LOG ONTO RIPOFF REPORT AND BURY THIS GUY!!
That's $1.76 per minute. OK, I went too far. Or maybe I didn't, you're the one who's concerned about how much someone is making per minute.

But all that math aside, aren't you're paying for a solution to a problem, not a chunk of someone's time?

$105.75 per hour is a pretty good wage (especially in the People's Republic of California) for a professional tradesman who comes right to your door and is able to stop a small problem before it becomes a huge problem. And have it all wrapped up in 10 minutes or less, so you can get on with your busy day of blowing whistles and crying foul.

Leslie, please do some research on what it takes to run a service business before trying to ruin one.

Us servicemen around the country will gladly accept your apology in advance. I would also kindly request that you update your grossly uninformed "complaint" and send your local Sears a Christmas ham this year.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Plumbers charges are not a rippoff

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

As a plumber in Illinois, I hear lots of people complaining about being overcharged and using flawed math to figure what we are making per hour. This person had a plumbing problem fixed in 10 minutes time. Our company charges a $60.00 service call $80.00 per half hour which would amount in the total of $140.00 for the first half hour plus parts. So what she paid was not unreasonable.

For her flawed math, the plumber doesn't get paid when there is no work, or for travel time between jobs. That is why the hourly rate is what it is. If that was his only job for the whole day all he made was the $150 for the whole day.

Also I notice people complain that omg your charing a service call and $160 an hour!!! Joe's plumbing down the street only charges $90.00 per hour. My response to that is our rates are based on our overhead not what our competitors charge.

People need to realize that contractors have different overhead and need to charge for their time accordingly. To come to a site like this and say they got ripped off just cause the do not agree that the plumber or contractor should charge what he did is not right. Only time to report a ripoff is when a contractor takes you money and does not do the job as promised.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Congratulation Sears, and every other plumber out there

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

You have now reached the Zenith of consumer ignorance. The customer who thinks everyone else should work for FREE.

The OP believes the time a repair takes has anything to do with what he/she pays. Good luck explaining to these types why a more experience worker can complete the task faster than the Labor Guide states.

Have fun with that. I've been explaining it for years as a mechanic.
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#6 Consumer Comment

call back

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

The $65.00 is just to go to your house. Then there is the minimum of 1 hr charge and parts.

It would have cost much more if you had called a plumber to do the same thing.
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