Think Twice Before You Buy a Sears Home Warranty

by on October 31, 2014

Our appliances started malfunctioning early this year.  Our microwave stopped working, the fridge water line was leaking, our clothes dryer wasn’t working properly, and the pump in our standalone icemaker stopped working.  Indeed, we had a lot of issues with our appliances and the affected products spanned 3 different brands of products (GE Café, Kenmore and LG).  Since the local appliance company we’ve used for service had closed, we thought we’d call Sears to come out, make one trip and fix things up.  The best way I can describe what happened next is to walk you through the events that unfolded.

Late June

We were still using the appliances we could, but when our microwave stopped working just before our son’s birthday party, we had to take action.  We called Sears to have them come out and look at all four appliances.

Early July

The Sears serviceman came to our house and before he stepped in the front door, he was already telling my wife that we needed to purchase the Sears Home Warranty.  For $40 a month they will cover all parts and there will only be a nominal service charge.  After convincing my wife of this, she called me at work and put the guy on the line.  He said the control board for our microwave is a $700 part and that alone would pay for the home warranty cost.  I told him I was only interested in the program if it covered my standalone ice maker.  He repeatedly told me that it did.  I asked him to make sure that it was covered before we officially signed up.  He said we can sign up for the Sears Home Warranty and we will be able to have someone come out and fix all of the appliances in one week.  Now I should say that this gentleman had good intentions. My wife was convinced (and I dont’ disagree) that he was truly trying to help us make the best decision.  The rest of his visit was spent on the phone with the warranty department trying to sign up for the service.  It was a long and difficult phone call but we were finally signed up.  Oh, and we had to pay a $100+ trip charge and labor costs for his visit, in which nothing was actually accomplished.

One Week Later

My wife spent 15-30 minutes on the phone with Sears Home Warranty to schedule the repair service.  They told us that we needed to wait one month from the date that we signed up.  The first serviceman told us a week.  My wife tried calling again the next day and they refused again.  So we waited until the beginning of August.

Early August

It had been one month since we signed up for the warranty and about 6 weeks since we had a working microwave.  My wife called the warranty department and they scheduled a service call about a week out.

One Week Later

The Sears Home Warranty serviceman arrived at our house.  He instantly told us that the standalone icemaker was not covered.  This was the main reason I agreed to the warranty.  He also looked at the fridge, microwave and dryer and told us that he would order parts and then we could schedule the service when the parts arrived.  Nothing was fixed in this visit, but we did have to pay another trip charge.

The Next Day

My wife called Sears Home Warranty to tell them that we were promised that the standalone icemaker was covered.  After 40 minutes on the phone she had to hang up to go pick up the kids from school.  The next day she called again and the warranty department would not address our issue about the icemaker.

A Few Days Later

The part for the fridge and the dryer arrived.  My wife called to schedule a service appointment.  They could get someone out in a week.

A Week Later

The serviceman arrived.  Did I mention that each appointment has a four hour window in which my wife had to wait for the repairman?  The man arrived, fixed the dryer and tried to fix the fridge, but couldn’t find the water filter cover, so the fridge was never fixed.  After the serviceman left, my wife ran the dryer and it made a loud squeaking noise that it never made before.  She called Sears and they said they don’t cover “noises”.  Also, the serviceman told her that she needed to call before they would order the part for the microwave, as they needed to know if we wanted it repaired or if we wanted to accept $200ish to junk it.  My wife called and waited on hold for quite a while before they told her that she did not have access to the account, and that I would have to call.  When I got home that night, I called Sears Home Warranty and asked them to ship the part for the microwave.  I then waited on hold for 15 minutes so that I could add my wife to the account.

One Week Later

The microwave part had not arrived.  My wife called to find out why and after a long time on the phone had no answer.  She let them know that the fridge was not fixed and they told us that it was.  Luckily, I figured out the problem on my own but their fix required me to reduce the water pressure to the fridge or the part would pop out and it would stop working.

Another Week Later

My wife called Sears to find out why we did not have the part.  They did not have an explanation.

Another Week Later

My wife called Sears to find out why the microwave part had not arrived.  We figured it was on backorder.  Turns out Sears had somehow decided that our microwave was damaged by us (on the outside) instead of not working because of a defective part.  We assured them that was not the case, so they sent out a serviceman to physically look at the microwave.

Another Week Later

The Sears rep came to our house and verified that the microwave was not physically damaged.  He spent an hour on the phone (in our house) trying to find out who marked it as physically damaged.  There was no resolution on that, but they finally ordered the part for the microwave.  By the way, our microwave broke in May and it was now September.  I’m not sure if we were charged another trip charge for this visit or not.

Another Week Later

The microwave was finally fixed, but that meant my wife had to wait around the house another 4 hours.  Also, we had to pay yet another trip charge.

Currently

The whole experience was a disaster!  My wife dreads calling Sears more than the cable company and we cannot find any customer service department that will listen to our complaint about not servicing our standalone icemaker or about the difficulty we had and the time we lost trying to get the support we paid for.  Because no one would listen to us at Sears, I thought it was important to get these thoughts and opinions out there so that maybe one of you will read this and decide not to take the same action as us.  Also, a big thanks to my wife for all the hours she spent trying to take care of all this!

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