I could really kick myself for giving Sears another chance! My daughter and I spent 4 hours on a Saturday night (until 10:30 p.m.
actually) with a Sears salesman going through a Power Point about Sears traditions and ethics and then a protracted discussion about the price of different products. The salesman insisted on closing the sale that night or we otherwise would lose a 5% discount on the purchase of their product (I repeatedly asked to have until Monday to make decision but the Sears representative kept to insisting that I would lose the 5% discount).
There are a number of things with this transaction that are highly questionable in my mind.
- The sales meeting was filled with questionable statements about Kenmore units “actually” having a higher SEER rating than the “official” SEER rating from the manufacturer because of the their patented evaporator. I was dubious about these repeated efforts to inflate the Kenmore and Carrier SEER ratings throughout the sales process since I am pretty certain that the “official” SEER would have contemplated the “special” Sears evaporator.
- The salesman told us the installation would take 2 guys roughly 4 to 5 hours to do the installation at a cost of $2,500 (which is roughly equivalent to charging us $250/hour for the installation). I pointed out this cost per hour and the salesman simply stated that he never said the installation cost would be $250/hour.
- The salesman made what I believe to be inaccurate statements about the required thermostat for the Kenmore and Carrier AC units.
For the Kenmore unit, the salesman insisted that we had to buy a $250 Sears thermostat since our third generation NEST wouldn’t work with their product (a quick Google search during the meeting dispelled that statement). For the Carrier unit, the salesman insisted that we had to buy a Carrier thermostat at $500/unit. The salesman later “clarified” that the manufacturer simply would not guarantee the SEER rating performance without these new thermostats.
- After telling the salesman that I found an American Standard dealer that priced their unit at $1,700 lower than the Sears “fair value” pricing, he provided 15% lower pricing on the base cost BUT eliminated approximately 8 to 10% in previously allowed discounts. The salesman eliminated a significant discount for paying cash, and the infamous 5% discount for making the decision 10:30 p.m.
that fateful Saturday night. After additional questioning, the salesman indicated Sears would only allow the 15% discount if the price comparison was between Carrier units (I didn’t recall this condition being mentioned previously).
- The salesman seemed to “gloss over” the cancellation provisions in the mountain of contract documents, I noted a provision about $500 in earnest money that “may” be collected if the contract while signing/initialing the documents. I presumed that this “may” statement was intended to protect Sears from out of pocket costs before cancelling the order. The salesman’s manager made it clear this afternoon that “Sears management” “requires” the collection of this $500 for ALL cancelled orders after three days of signing the contract documents.
- The salesman originally promised to install the unit on the following Tuesday.
I was particularly interested in a quick turnaround on the installation with my wife coming home from the hospital the following Monday. This promised installation date than became Friday after the salesman talked to his manager.
Finally, the installation date became the following Tuesday because of screw up the salesman (whatever that was).
Sears quoted prices that were at the very top end of the price range for the Chicago area. Also, I was struck by the high pressure sales tactics, and the number of seemingly inaccurate statements.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $500.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
Sears Home Services Cons: Overall experience.