Monday, September 21, 2015


Let’s see – where did we leave off in the saga of the Kenmore Elite refrigerator that wasn't cold enough? I’m not sure, so I’ll just start with late June. I answered the phone one evening and a young-sounding female representing Sears congratulated me for having purchased Kenmore appliances and mentioned the recent successful refrigerator repair.

“Just a minute,” I said, “there was no repair." I explained that the tech said there was nothing wrong with the refrigerator and did not install the parts. "The refrigerator still isn’t cold enough, and we don’t know what to do.”

“Oh!” she said, “I’m sending an email to my supervisor about this right now, and someone will call you.” She assured me that they would call me. I was impressed. At last, someone at Sears was listening. I was sure a resolution would be forthcoming. Wrong!

We waited for the call through that week – and the next – and then it was the Fourth of July. And then Mike settled down to deal with Sears. He learned the outreach call had come from the extended warranty division. Not owning the extended warranty, we didn’t qualify for the services of this division, they said. And besides, they never initiate or return calls to customers. He was advised that the rep who promised a callback from her supervisor would be put on report. They referred him to the general customer service number. So, Mike called that number – and waited on hold – and no real progress was made that day.

The next day he called customer service again. Finally someone agreed to exchange the refrigerator on the grounds that we had initiated complaints within 30 days of purchase. The call took a long time while the rep completed paperwork. She advised us to call back the next day for further info on the exchange, including delivery date.

Mike called again the next day. This time he reached a male who said the agreement to exchange was in error. “Look,” I heard Mike say, “I just spent over $4,000 on Kenmore appliances. Do you mean to say you just don’t care about my satisfaction?” That seemed to be a turning point in the conversation, and with more waiting on hold, the rep agreed to an exchange. They would call us on July 14, he said, to provide the delivery date. (They would call us???)

July 14 came and went with no call from Sears. We weren’t surprised.  Mike and I agreed that we were stuck with the fridge. I turned it down to its lowest setting again, and we enjoyed cooler – if not cold – milk.

Wyoming landscape
Fast forward to July 31. We were stopped for the night in Rawlins, WY, on our way to Denver for a 10-day stay. Checking my email, I found a message from Sears announcing that my new refrigerator would be delivered Monday, Aug. 3. “Arghh!” I screamed. I couldn’t log into the website, but eventually we reached Sears through the customer service number and were able to change the delivery date to August 17 -- not without considerable discussion, though.

As arranged, the new fridge was delivered August 17. It’s just like the previous fridge – cooling issues and all. But – we think it's better than the previous model. It seems these new fridges just aren’t as cold as we’ve come to appreciate. It also makes ice s-l-o-w-l-y, which I believe is a design flaw, and it dispenses water that isn't cold.

Bottom line: If your present refrigerator does a good job for you, don’t be in haste to buy a new one. KW


Chuck said...

I hope you keep letting Sears know that their product does not work satisfactorily, and that the trouble you are having with getting one that works all right is being noised around the country, and until it is right with you, people are being told not to buy their product. Too bad you don't have an investigative reporter, such as our "Get Gephart" who will go to great lengths to resolved the problem to your satisfaction. You can count on me to spread the word around here.

Kathy said...

I try to move through life with hope rather than cynicism, but we aren't the only ones to have met with poor customer service from Sears. Of course, the issue includes a decline in the quality of product. LG builds this refrigerator, and we've had previous bad experience with LG. Salespeople tell us LG is the best on the market. If LG is the best, we're in trouble.

And this type of rude customer service is becoming more and more common. We have a terrible buzz on our land line, so we called our provider, CenturyLink, for service. A repair appointment was scheduled and the repair person never came. Mike called yesterday to cancel our service, and they refused to do so, saying they needed "confirmation."

And then there's the insurance company that charged us a higher rate because of issues with our credit rating. Upon checking, we found no exceptions with our rating. The insurance company defended its standpoint by saying we don't have a loan payment.

Chris said...

I've been wondering how this turned out. Bummer. It seems my motto stands: It's a crazy world. Sadly.