Sears Brands / repair or replacement policy for a defective appliance
Thursday, Jul 26, 2018, our refrigerator quit cooling. At 4pm I called a Sears Home Service adviser who told me that I should unplug the unit for 30 minutes, then plug it back in. He said that this was common issue and it should start cooling. I checked it later but the refrigerator didn't appear to be cooling like it should.
Friday morning, July 27, 2018, the refrigerator never cooled down. All the food in the freezer and refrigerator was ruined. I contacted, via chat, Sears Home Service again regarding repair of the refrigerator. An appointment was confirmed for Thursday, Aug 2. 1-5pm (a week after it quit working)
Thursday, Aug 2, 2018, the repairman arrived near the 5pm time. He checked it out and determined that the compressor was out of Freon. So there was a leak somewhere but he was unable to isolate it. There was no sign of oil on the condenser or any connections that would be expected from the leak. He ordered the condenser coil, a dryer, and one other part. He scheduled a return visit to install the parts for Thursday Aug 9 for 10am-2pm. (2 weeks after it quit working.) The parts did arrive in a few days.
Aug 9, 2018, the repairman didn't show or call. After 2pm I called Sears Home Service to inquire. They were not aware that the repairman had not shown up and didn't have an answer for me but to reschedule the appointment for Wed, Aug 15, for 10am-2pm. At this point I was very unhappy and without a refrigerator for 3 weeks. I called the number for scheduling (wherever that was) and I explained what had happened and that was totally unacceptable. The service advisor on the other end could not speak clear English, so I asked for a supervisor and explained my issue again. She replied very faintly that she would check into it and get back with me. She never returned my call. I contacted, via chat, a Sears Home Service advisor and shared my information and told him that I wanted an earlier appointment and that I wouldn't be satisfied otherwise. He did reschedule the appointment for Sat, 11 Aug, for 8am-12pm.
Saturday, Aug 11, 2018, the repairman arrived at 12pm but was not able to install the parts because they required welding. His torch had broken that morning and he was not able to get a part for it. I contacted, via chat, Sears Home Service and explained my situation and requested a new schedule for the repair. So it was scheduled for Thursday, Aug 16, 10am-2pm. As you can see, I lost a day by trying to get an earlier date.
Thursday, Aug 16, 2018, (we are now 4 weeks without the refrigerator) The repairman arrived at 2pm and started by replacing the dryer, and charging the compressor. He checked all the lines and condenser to find a leak. He contacted the Sears headquarters technical rep and explained that there was a Freon leak in our unit somewhere and he suspected the leak was somewhere in the side wall of the refrigerator and wouldn't be able to repair it. He recommended replacing the refrigerator. The rep initially agreed to that, but called back later and changed his opinion. He told the repairman that he would have to prove that the leak was in an area that could not be repaired. The repairman was extremely upset, but continued working until 7pm to comply. He then cleaned up and left, rescheduling a return visit to check the compressor pressure. The refrigerator was working well and cooling down after the compressor was charged. Return visit was scheduled for Aug 22, 8am - 12pm. The remaining 2 parts were left at the house in case he would need them on the return trip. We placed ice bags in the freezer and water containers in the refrigerator so it could operate efficiently. We didn't trust it enough to put food in it.
Wed, Aug 22, 2018, the repairman arrived at 8am and checked the temperature, which was holding in the expected range. He checked the compressor and all the lines and saw no evidence of a leak. He said maybe he fixed it accidentally. He closed the service order and took the extra parts with him at my request. We started adding a few items to the refrigerator each day, but never purchased regular grocery items because we still didn't trust it.
Sunday, Aug 26, the refrigerator temperature started increasing gradually. The compressor was running but not cooling like it should. I contacted (via chat) Sears Home Service Wed or Thur when the temperature was above the normal operating temp range. A repair appointment was scheduled for Tue, 4 Sep, 1-5pm.
Tuesday, Sep 4, the repairman arrived at 1pm, checked the temperature in the refrigerator. Both sides were around 70 deg. He next checked the compressor. It was hot and well above the normal operating temperature. He said the compressor was shot. All the Freon had leaked out of it. IMAGINE THAT!!! The repairman ordered a new compressor and scheduled an appointment for Saturday, 15 Sep.
Wednesday, Sep 5, I contacted, via chat, Sears Home Service to let them know that I did not receive a schedule confirmation for 15 Sep. He advised me that the compressor had been ordered from the manufacturer and that I would need to call when the compressor arrived and they would help schedule an appointment. My question was "does that mean that I don't have an appointment for Sat, Aug 15. He stated that was a temporary appointment and that I would have to contact Sears Home Service to get a firm appointment date. (So here we are without a reliable refrigerator for almost 6 weeks)
Saturday, Sep 15, the repair technician came out to install the new compressor. Removal of the old compressor took quite a while. I had to loan him some tools to get the back two bolts out. He also replaced the dryer, but had a difficult time sweating the joints. One of the three lines mating to the compressor would not weld properly. His oxygen tank ran out so he had to leave to get it filled. He brought another repairman back with him so I thought he was borrowing his tanks. The other repairman must have had more experience with welding, so he worked on it. The process required removing the line re-cleaning both connection ends and re-welding. When heating the tube on the compressor to remove the excess solder, the compressor sucked the solder inside. This is obviously not good. They placed an order for another new compressor and left. Since it was Saturday, they could not schedule another appointment, but they assured us that if we would contact scheduling when the new compressor arrives we would get immediate priority for the repair appointment. We were also told the compressor was placed on an emergency order. (We are now 7 weeks after the first call)
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