Sears - Terrible service with purchase of $1000+ dishwasher

Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 12:28pm CDT by Roberta C.

Product: Kenmore Elite 12803 dishwasher

Company: Sears

Location: US


Category: Appliances, Equipment, Tools

I ordered a high-end dishwasher from Sears and Sears has failed to provide the needed service finish the installation. I placed an order by phone for our New Hampshire home. Because the model number that Consumer Reports gave for this model didn?t match any model numbers online, I called the nearby Concord NH store where they identified which was the dishwasher that I wanted so I ordered it while on the phone. I provided all the information including the NH landline phone, address, my cellphone number, and my billing address and phone number in Massachusetts, since NH is a second home. The employee who input this information mixed up the addresses and phone numbers, combining my MA street info with my NH town and zip code, and then further getting the phone numbers mixed up. Every time that I have tried to call Sears since (in the past four days), this mix-up has created problems for me and they don?t seem to be able to correct the mis-information. But this is the least of my problems.

The three hour delivery window that I was given (3pm-6pm on a Friday) wasn?t honored. Having waited for this guy for three hours, I received a phone call at 6:40pm from the subcontractor, Don Forbes & Sons Construction, suggesting that he come sometime around 11am the next day. With twelve people in my house for the weekend, all planning to go hiking, this wasn?t possible so he came that night at 7:20pm, quickly installed the dishwasher and left.

Within two hours (after 9pm), I realized that he had also left a slow leak under my sink (which has never leaked in the 28 years since the house was built). Since he had called my earlier to try to delay the delivery, I had his phone number and called him back, telling him of the leak. At his direction over the phone, we tried to tighten the pipe connections under the sink but when that didn?t work, we called him back. His response was essentially ?this happens, it might be the sealant, but it?s your problem because it?s the pipes under your sink.? If he knows that this happens when he installs dishwashers, then doesn?t he have the responsibility to check for this and fix it before he creates a leak? And since I have never had a leak before, since he created the leak, doesn?t he or Sears have a responsibility to fix it?

I spent almost two hours trying to get some form of response from Sears on Saturday morning. They force you to wade through endless phone tree/voice mail jungle. When you finally get to someone, they are non-responsive. They read a script but don?t actually try to solve your problem. I got someone (who knows in what state she was located) who spoke so softly that I kept having to ask her to speak up (she did not and I am not hard of hearing!) and who finally offered to find someone to come on Wednesday to fix a leak that Sears had caused on Friday. So what exactly am I supposed to do about the leak that Sears created for five days?? I couldn?t join my friends on the hike because I kept having to empty the pot under the leak.

I did get a very responsive employee named JT in the Concord NH store late on Saturday afternoon. He tried for over an hour to figure out how to get someone to our house to fix the problem but was unable to do so. Sears lacks the management systems that would allow him resources to solve this problem.

I called again today (Monday) and, upon calling the Concord Sears store again, was connected to someone offsite who, due to the initial phone number intake being wrong, couldn't even identify the order or where I lived, trying to suggest that the installation was at our Massachusetts address and again telling me that she might not even get someone to come to fix the leak by Wednesday.

I would recommend not buying any appliance from Sears. There is no customer service at Sears. It exists in name only. The garbage verbiage that they cite about wanting to improve their service is window dressing. The real resources that need to be invested by Sears in providing real service just isn?t there. If you buy an appliance from Sears, be prepared to install it and fix it yourself.

There is a good reason why Sears is performing poorly in the stock market. (During a five year period when there has been a spectacular rise in stock market value overall, Sears? stock price has fallen. In 2010, their stock was at $122. Today (August 11, 2014), Sears? stock closed at the end of the day at $37.55.) If the type of service that I have received in the past four days is representative of Sears? service overall, we would all be better off if Sears just went bankrupt. Then they wouldn?t be able to cause their customers to suffer the frustration, unfairness, and lack of responsiveness and of their stated ?customer orientation? service that I have experienced.


Helpful H., 2014-08-20, 10:15PM CDT

I wouldn't disagree that this sounds extremely frustrating, but it's more likely to be pure coincidence that you started experience this leak from your sink.

Installing a dishwasher is pretty straight forward, especially assuming you already had another dishwasher in place. None of it affects a water pipe under a sink. There's a water intake line that would disconnected and reconnected ON THE BOTTOM BACK OF THE DISHWASHER. The expulsion line is connected directly to the garbage disposal. Then there is power which is directly connected to the back of the dishwasher.

From the standpoint of an experienced service tech, I'd suggest your plumbing problem is completely independent from that of the dishwasher installation.

I'd suggest getting a professional plumber to resolve your problem.

Roberta C., 2014-08-21, 03:10PM CDT

Thoughtful comment, but incorrect. A Sears tech finally came five days later (with my emptying a large pot of water from the leak every half day until he came). When I said that the installer said the problem was mine and not a Sears-caused problem, he said that it was in fact a result of the installation. He was very professional and did not denigrate the installer but was clear that the installer had clearly caused the leak. Given that I have NEVER had a leak under the kitchen sink in years and years and years, you'd have to believe it nearly magical that (1) a new dishwasher is installed immediately next to the sink, (2) less than two hours later, I discover a slow leak under the sink, and (3) the two would be completely independent of each other. That is the sort of magic that "an experienced service tech" would find very self-serving.

The real issues are (1) the inability to reach anyone in Sears (2) the inability once you finally to reach them for them to respond adequately to your problem (they all read their script, but don't actually solve your problem), and (3) the length of time it took for them finally to respond.

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