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This is great.I bought a refrigerator last year from Sears with a 1 year warranty, the fridge broke within a year.

Called for service, they service person who arrived said the refrigerator was built in 2004 and was not the one I bought at Sears. I had Sears look it up and send me a copy of the receipt. Sears said that they would not honor the warranty because the fridge was manufactured in 2004. I don't care I bought it within the year with a 1 year warranty.

Their response was that it is too old to be covered under warranty. But I have a receipt and the warranty. Oh that receipt is not proof you bought the refrigerator.

But Sears looked up the receipt and sent it to me.Well that proved nothing, so now I have a $700 paperweight.

Monetary Loss: $700.

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jslawsky
#535393

My Response:

I agree that when it was manufactured makes no difference, but it mattered your technician. Sears did indeed establish the purchase date at the time of the product failure. You are also correct that after closing my case the first time, I posted my complaint online and THEN was contacted and offered a repair AFTER I was refused and was forced to replace the defective Sears appliance with a working one from another retailer. Because Sears refused to repair the item I needed to replace the defective Sears freezer with a new one to continue on with my life, I was a little tired of living out of my neighbors freezer). It is unreasonable for you to assume that I could foresee that the only way to get a response from Sears would be to post the problem online and contact the BBB & FTC. Additionally your letter contains one or more factually inaccuracies/misrepresentations. I had valid proof that I purchased the refrigerator (the technician did not wish to wait while my wife called to ask me where the file was) and once Sears established for themselves I owned the item there should have been no further need of proof. Additionally, for no other situation have I ever had to have a copy of my sales receipt and / or warranty handy to present to a repair person and I have had refrigerators serviced by Sears before. If Sears knew the receipt they sent me was wrong, why did they present it to me as verification of my purchase? If you wanted to still see the...

-Joe

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jslawsky
#535392

Sears Final word and their BBB response:

When it was manufactured makes no difference if we could in fact establish the purchase date. And the team that tried to help you resolve only a week after the service call did offer to send a tech out and you refused this.

At this time we have responded to the BBB and I have pasted a copy of our letter below (which they will also send to you). If you are able to retrieve the refrigerator, please let me know and I’d be happy to schedule you for service.

August 29, 2012

Better Business Bureau

330 North Wabash Ave., Ste. #2006

Chicago, IL 60611

Re: #94413850 – Joseph Slawsky

Dear Ms. XXXXXX:

We have completed the investigation of Mr. Slawsky’s complaint regarding his allegation that he was denied a warranty repair even though he felt he had presented proof to establish warranty coverage.

As clarification, Sears attempts to collect warranty information at the time of sale to make it easier for a consumer to pursue any warranty relief. We do this though as a courtesy and if for some reason our records cannot be found, or if they are inaccurate, we can require that a consumer provide a valid proof of purchase to unequivocally establish warranty coverage. In the owner’s manual, it specifically notes “Keep this book and your sales receipt together for future reference. You must provide proof of purchase or installation date for in-warranty...

In Mr. Slawsky’s case, he contacted us on July 19, 2012, for a warranty repair on his refrigerator model number GAFZ21XXRK that he indicated was purchased July 19, 2011; so the day he called for service would have been his last day in warranty. When our technician arrived on July 24, 2012, he noted that the serial number established that the refrigerator was manufactured in 2004. He also noticed that we had a warranty record in our system for a refrigerator purchased by Mr. Slawsky February 12, 2004, and the model number was almost the same, GAFZ21XXMK. Accordingly, since the record we had on file did not have a valid sales check number associated with it, the technician requested proof of warranty coverage. When this was not forthcoming, we were unable to provide a covered repair as no warranty coverage was established.

Mr. Slawsky then contacted Sears and requested for us to send him a copy of his receipt. The team that received his request sent out a copy and paste of the same information that the technician already saw. Unbeknownst to this team, the sales check remained the one that we had already established was not valid, 093670000001. Mr. Slawsky thought the information sent to him established proof of purchase when it did not. We would note here that it is never our responsibility to provide a consumer with proof of purchase. However, we do attempt, again as a courtesy, to provide this whenever we are able. We understand that our customers sometimes fail to retain their receipts and later discover that this information is needed to file insurance claims and things of this nature, so whenever possible we try to provide enough information to assist our customers.

When Mr. Slawsky remained unable to have warranty service even after he believed he had secured a valid receipt, he posted information on the internet regarding his dissatisfaction. In response to this he was contacted by our Social Media Complaint team on August 1, 2012; so just over a week past the date we denied his warranty repair. Our Social Media team was willing to dispatch a technician again to see if we could try again to establish whether a warranty was in effect, or even to determine what repair might be needed so we could possibly cover this as a courtesy. Mr. Slawsky informed that team that the only resolution he would consider would be compensation for the replacement refrigerator he had already bought elsewhere. Since this was definitely not an option available to Mr. Slawsky, and he was unwilling to consider any of the other solutions we could have provided, the Social Media team closed their case.

Upon receipt of Mr. Slawsky’s complaint from the BBB, we immediately identified that Mr. Slawsky appeared to be unaware that the receipt he felt he had was not valid. In an effort to assist, we researched the purchase further and eventually discovered that it was made through our online outlet. Once we were able to establish this, we were able to use the programs at our disposal and access the actual purchase receipt, sales check number 093222420298. Mr. Slawsky most likely was sent an email at some point regarding the purchase and even that could possibly have established his proof of purchase if he had submitted that information.

Now that we were able to establish the warranty, we contacted Mr. Slawsky since we were willing to provide any warranty relief he may have been entitled to receive back in July even though the warranty had technically since expired. We felt an extension was a reasonable accommodation even though it was not our responsibility to establish his proof of purchase. Unfortunately, Mr. Slawsky indicated that a repair was no longer possible as he had disposed of the refrigerator. This also means that no other resolution is possible for us. If he still had the refrigerator, and if for some reason a repair was not feasible, we would have been willing to pick the refrigerator up and issue him a refund for his purchase price. However, without the refrigerator, there are no resolutions we are able to offer. If Mr. Slawsky is somehow able to retrieve the refrigerator within a reasonable amount of time, say 30 days, we are willing to still send a technician out to determine whether we can repair it under the warranty or offer a refund if a repair is not possible. He is welcome to contact me via email or phone to make arrangements for the service call. In the interim, since we are unable to honor Mr. Slawsky’s request to reimburse him for a replacement purchased elsewhere, particularly when he no longer has the original refrigerator that we could take back to provide any sort of a refund, we have closed our file.

We apologize to Mr. Slawsky and appreciate the opportunity to address this matter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Team Manager, Regulatory Complaints

Dana Shoulders

Team Manager, Regulatory Complaints

Sears Holdings Corporation

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jslawsky
#535365

And my response:

What, other than phony is the implication of you describing the data Sears sent me of a not valid receipt? Additionally I did provide Sears with the credit card information which is how they found the "not valid" receipt they sent me and confirmed my warranty. Because the card was replaced since the purchase, I actually contacted my credit card company for the number and records for the closed account. And as clarification, Sears confirmed that I bought the appliance, and that I was under warranty. If I was not under warranty, why would Sears schedule a warranty repair in my home? Upon receipt of my original complaint by Sears (not you) they established I had a warranty and that I had purchased the appliance. The actual receipt does no good because the technician refused to work on the refrigerator claiming it is from 2004. And yes I retained the refrigerator a more than appropriate amount of time while trying to achieve a resolution. Once Sears told me in their final contact that there would be no relief on their part, I proceed to replace the appliance at my own expense. It is unreasonable to expect that after Sears final denial of service that I should keep the refrigerator until the BBB and the FTC respond to my complaint. Had Sears chosen to resolve the situation in a reasonable amount of time (or in my case at all) there would not have been an issue providing the defective item.

The question is why was Sears unwilling or...

-Joe

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jslawsky
#535363

The latest from Sears:

As clarification, I didn’t say it was “phony”, I said it wasn’t valid. You had requested a receipt and they provided you with the only thing they could find hoping that it would work for whatever you needed. We have people that request some sort of proof of purchase because something has caused them to file an insurance claim and the adjuster is asking for receipts. In many cases, the copy and paste we provided you with would work. It just didn’t work for establishing proof of warranty since it was not a valid sales check number. If you had provided us with your credit card number, we could have accessed the real receipt back when you were trying to get warranty assistance. I apologize that someone may not have thought of this and prompted you for this information.

Upon receipt of your complaint, I did everything I could to try to find your valid receipt as a courtesy to you. It is not because we are required to provide proof of purchase, because we are not. When I did find it, this then established that you had a warranty (which was not established before) which is why I emailed you to see if we could still provide some sort of assistance. If I had not found the receipt, then I would just have responded to the BBB with the same answer you had previously been provided with.

As far as any resolutions are concerned, if we were unable to repair it, then I could still have had it picked up and refunded. However, you now...

Team Manager, Regulatory Complaints

Sears Holdings Corporation

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Anonymous
#535316

Summary:

Sears only offered to rectify the problem a month after closing the case because I filed a complaint with the BBB, but withdrew the offer of any relief because I no longer have the broken freezer.

I purchased a refrigerator and have a receipt from Sears with a 1 year warranty

I called for service on the refrigerator and A&E came on schedule

A&E claims my refrigerator is not my refrigerator and I am scamming them

I have no way to prove my refrigerator is my refrigerator

I have had to replace my Freezer / Refrigerator at my expense

My Theories (And I invite Sears or anyone else to give me a better explanation)

Sears sold me a refrigerator and refuses to honor the warranty

Sears intentionally sold me a non-warrantable freezer as a warrantable freezer with the intent of never having to service it

Sears unintentionally sold me a non-warrantable freezer as an non-warrantable freezer but will not admit their mistake and leave me with a $700 paperweight and a need to purchase new equipment

Anonymous
#535313

Again SEARS provided the computer copy as authentic if you are accusing me of using a phony receipt,then you/your company are making libelous accusations which I not only deny, but am deeply offended at. It is obvious to me that the only reason Sears is now offering to repair the item is because I have filed complaints with the BBB and FTC (Otherwise the days of phone calls and emails would have solved the issue in the first place) and there would be no reasonable expectation on my part to foresee Sears changing their mind over a month after closing the case (Sears verbiage not mine). So it is confirmed, I do not have the refrigerator, you are not going to provide any relief and I maintain that the problem is for whatever reason you wish,Sears refused to repair an appliance under warranty which is not a fair business practice.

Thanks

-Joe

Anonymous
#535311

Again, the receipt that you say you had and included in your complaint, was a copy and paste version out of a computer program; it was not a valid receipt. I do have a copy of the valid receipt and it does not match the sales check number you provided. And yes, I would expect for you to still have a refrigerator if you were pursuing some type of relief under your warranty. Even if we were willing to provide you with a refund, we would have to have the merchandise back and that is pretty much an industry standard.

So to confirm, you do not have the refrigerator any longer? If that is the case, then our only recourse will be to present our information to the BBB.

Team Manager, Regulatory Complaints

Sears Holdings Corporation

Anonymous
#535309

Allow me to clarify. When the repair person arrived, he did not ask to see a receipt nor did he give my wife a chance to retrieve the receipt. She called me at work and I asked Sears to verify the purchase of the equipment which Sears did via email copy of said receipt. So you had the copy of the receipt since (and I can verify this) around the 24th of July. The research had been done over a month ago, verified as accurate and was warranty work was still refused by Sears. Your responsibility was to fix the warranted item within the warranty period for the purchaser which was me. Sears confirmed my purchase but still refused to honor the warranty. Your technician was going by some code number on the refrigerator. Multiple calls to Sears resulted in me being told there would be no compensation and no repair, therefore I have filed the complaint with the BBB and replaced the refrigerator. My basic assumption (correct me if I am wrong) but the only reason Sears called me back earlier was because I posted the complaint online and the only reason you are now (over a month after refusing service) offering to perform the work which should have already been performed, is that I am pursuing this matter with the BBB and the FTC. This resolution is the same as the previous Sears resolutions which is I have lost my money on an appliance that Sears sold me but refused to honor the item's warranty. Be honest, after being refused service by Sears multiple times, was it...

Thanks

-Joe Slawsky

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Anonymous
#535307

Hi Mr. Slawsky,

We are in receipt of the complaint you filed with the BBB. As clarification, the “receipt” you submitted is not valid and that is why it did not count towards the consideration of proof of purchase. We try to keep warranty records as a courtesy, but there is always the chance you might have to submit a purchase receipt to support any warranty claims. In your case, there was some confusion since we do have a purchase record for you from 2004 on a similar model refrigerator. Our technician felt he needed a copy of the receipt so that we could confirm it was not related to that 2004 purchase. In the absence of this, we were unable to repair.

Upon receipt of your complaint, I did do some investigation and I was able to find your actual purchase receipt for the refrigerator from 2011. This means that we can now provide you with warranty coverage even though your warranty has since expired (as a courtesy we are certainly willing to make an exception to extend this even though it was not our responsibility to locate your receipt).

With that said, I’m not sure if you still have the refrigerator or not since you indicate that you purchased a replacement elsewhere. While we would not be obligated to provide you with any reimbursement towards an unauthorized replacement, we are willing to complete any repairs that may be needed. If you still have the refrigerator, please let me know what day of the week works best for you for repair...

If you no longer have the refrigerator, then there is unfortunately no resolution that we can provide and we will explain this to the BBB.

Regards,

Team Manager, Regulatory Complaints

Sears Holdings Corporation

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Anonymous
#532217

It was a Gladiator by Whirlpool.This is the second disappointment for me from Sears.

The first was a CompuCarve where it dies within 3 weeks and even though I paid for on site repair, they told me I had to send it to the manufacturer.

In other words they sold me a repair plan that they never intended to honor much like this item.This items was so bad that Sears no longer carries it (just accessories for it)

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