So Long, Sears
Here’s the story of my refrigerator purchase, and maybe why Sears stores aren't all that full any more.
They delivered it last Saturday. I had everything prepped, including a new water line all ready to connect. Installer asks me to go downstairs and turn the water on. I do, and he immediately starts yelling to turn it off. That little connector that’s supposed to connect the fridge flexible water line to my copper water line is leaking like crazy. Not a big deal he says, happens all the time. But of course he doesn’t have one on the truck, because he’s just a delivery contractor, but he says go up to the Sears store and raise the roof with them, they have lots of them up there.
So I do go back to Sears. No parts, no help. Couldn’t care less about my problem: “call the 800 number.” (I did call the number and the stupid voice system couldn’t recognize my voice.) There were about ten customers wandering around looking at stuff. By the time I got done yelling at the salesman, they all had run away in fright or because they didn’t want to have to deal with Sears' lack of problem resolution policies.
So, my sales lady calls me up that evening after she arrived at work. I explain my problem and frustration, and she agrees to get me some help. Later, a lady from the “executive offices” calls me to start the resolution process, gets me on a conference call with the parts warehouse, and we spend a half hour taking and documenting information. When the parts guy thinks he knows what I need, I say specifically that the bad part is the one that connects the refrigerator water line to my house water line (“yeah, yeah, I got ya.”)
Part arrives today. Box is heavy, so I know before I open it they screwed up. They sent me a new icemaker. I'll probably need that at a future time, but right now it's no help. Off to the local independent appliance parts supplier. He looks at the failed connector like he's afraid he's going to get Ebola from it, and finally finds it in the parts diagrams. Unable to order it, have to deal directly with Sears. He does say I probably shouldn't have tried to install it by putting excessive torque on the vinyl part, that's most likely why it failed. I inform him this is a brand new refrigerator installed by Sears' best and brightest,and he starts to share my anger. Sells me a non-proprietary connector that should work, if his buddy in the service game is right. It was worth the $20 cost to not have to deal with Sears, ever again. Oh, and the famous Kenmore brand Sears crows about? This one was built by LG; Whirlpool and Frigidaire build the rest.