We’ve all seen the blog posts and read the news stories about folks in digital media writing a complaint blog and how the brands do or don’t respond to them. As the leader of the social practice at a big brand (H&R Block), I’ve been on the other side of that equation. I’ve taken the wrath and had to clean up the mess caused by other people of organizations I’ve worked for. It goes with the territory.
This blog post is the consumer in me complaining about what has been horrific service by Kenmore and it’s at-home repair arm, Sears Home Services. It’s been so unsatisfying and uncomfortable, I will never buy another Kenmore branded appliance again. And that’s not an idle threat.
Just to first establish: I have been a loyal Kenmore customer – 2 washers, 2 dryers, a refrigerator, a toaster, etc. Throughout my adult life I’ve invested in the brand and had a pretty good run. The appliances have been reliable and, when needed, the service fine. My brand loyalty was washed away in just a few weeks time thanks to shoddy service, rude technicians and a brand that’s inconsistently responsive.
Long story short: our 2 year-old washer started leaking. As soon as my wife noticed this, she called to have someone come out and look at it. As a family with five growing children at home, we rely on our washer and dryer quite a bit. We maintain it according to the manufacturers standards and had never had any problem with it before.
Once arriving, the tech diagnosed it as a hose leak and replaced the hose. The entire service call was just over $150 dollars and we moved on.
Just a few days after the leak was allegedly repaired, my wife – in the middle of her laundry routine, noticed the washer was leaking in the same exact spot it was before. It was inconvenient but these things happen sometimes.
My wife, once again called Sears Home Services to let them know the repair did not work and that the original diagnosis was incorrect. We expected they would send out a tech post-haste to fix a problem we had already paid them to fix once with out any success. We were told at that time we had to “get in the back of the line” and wait 10 days for their first available appointment for it to be fixed. Clearly the man on the phone didn’t have five kids or know what it takes to keep their clothes clean
When I started to lose my patience, I asked him if they held back appointments for situations like this. There has to be times when the original diagnosis is wrong and they just have to come out again and make it right. He answered no and that anytime it happened your only recourse was to get the first available appointment.
I even vented in social media and was responded two once asking if my problem had been resolved. I answered no and never heard from them again there or on Facebook. That’s not surprising as their social properties are littered with negatives with no or little response.
So let me get this straight: a brand like Sears and Kenmore do not leave for the possibility that the job isn’t done right the first time. And, if after having an appliance down for sometime, and having paid hard-earned money to repair it, and said device is still malfunctioning, their answer is simple: sorry, go to the end of the line and wait your turn.
How ridiculous is that?
But what else could we do? We took the first available appointment, which was a week later. That’s right: seven MORE days without the use of our washer. Imagine how my kids would smell if we didn’t have the means to wash the clothes elsewhere.
So we now had waited in line twice. We were also told that when the technician came out, if a new problem wasn’t discovered we might have to pay for the service call again. You heard me right: Sears Home Services and Kenmore wanted me to pay AGAIN for them NOT fixing my washer the first time.
This is where my wife put it to them and refused to pay anything until the original problem was fixed. So the numskulls at Sears at Home relented and scheduled for the repair guy to come out again. And we waited.
The day finally arrived and the service technician came to fix the washer. Upon arriving he asked my wife – again – what the problem was. My wife told him and despite her insistence, and the fact he had said before he diagnosed it as a hose leak and fixed it wrong, that he could see no evidence of the leak. My wife lifted up the wet towel after she had run the machine the night before to which he gave her a blank stare.
He than to basically tell my wife there was nothing wrong with the washer. My wife insisted he try and diagnose the issue but he could not replicate while he was there. So he left without doing anything but pissing my wife off for basically telling he she as imagining the leak.
Three hours later, guess what happened? The washer started leaking.
So now we find ourselves at the “back of the line” for a third time with no remedy in sight. We spent significant money on our washer and dryer and now have waited weeks for a problem to be fixed and it’s no closer to being fixed than the first time. We’re out $150 and all we’ve received is bad service.
In a world where consumers are more connected than ever before, the world needs to know how poorly this brand treats its paying customers. They can’t be bothered with “getting it right.” Instead, they put you through a repeatable cycle of inept customer service reps and unprepared repair technicians. That’s as broken as the washing machine I paid them for.
At the end of the day there is little they can do to win me back as a customer. Having children ages 15 to 1 year old, I’ll be at this appliance thing for a long time. I’ll buy more washer, dryers, toasters, refrigerators, vacuums, etc. What I will never do again is buy Kenmore or Sears. It’s no wonder Sears is a shell of its former self. When you treat your paying customers like nuisances, they tend not to buy things from you.
Goodbye Kenmore and Sears. May your demise be quick and may other customers pay heed to my tale of caution.