Sears Home Improvement / central air & installation problems
To Whom It May Concern
After numerous discussions and a costly one we finally agreed that Central Air was the right thing to do plus it would add additional value to our home. The house was originally built with Electric baseboard and we need a much more efficient way to heat and cool our home. We had grown tired of paying extremely high electric bills every winter. So we made an appointment with Sears to have a sales person come out and provide us with information about different units and what to expect. The Sears sales person Joseph Sodl came he explained that the installation would be smooth and that we were making great decision by choosing Sears that their service was the best. He also said the Installers were experts in their field and installation would be quick, only to find out later that Sears sub-contracted their work.
We were told that the unit we would be purchasing would be very efficient 14 seer with a variable speed instead of a single speed unit we were told that we would be comfortable no matter what season. He also mention that our current electric base board would not be removed and left to be use as auxiliary heat backup in the event that the system stopped working for whatever reason. We were also told that we would be able to control the thermostat remotely via the internet once we had a connection to an ISP. Another great reason to purchase the unit from Sears. We decided to go thru with the purchase. After about 4 hours with the Sears sales person we felt very comfortable and had all our questions answered. Sears we thought to ourselves was very reputable nothing can go wrong. What a mistake.
As per the Sales person we were told that the contractor would come by and survey our home prior to installation, once that was done installation would begin and wouldn’t take more 3 to 4 days at most. Ok, that sounded great. After all was said and done one week went by and we heard nothing from Sears or got any calls from the contractor. Finally we reached the project manager Anthony Rovinski whom we felt was not at all sensitive to our situation since we had left previous messages for him to have the technician give us a call. Finally the contractor Andre from “Real Technicians Heating & Cooling” called stating that he would be at the house sometime in the morning between the hours of 8 &10 am. He never showed until 12:30p and we never got a call that he was running late. He supposedly surveyed the structure within 1 hour and the only thing that he said was “the job can be done”. To us that meant that the layout was ok and there would be no hiccups throughout the installation. Were we wrong!
My fiancé scheduled the entire week off in preparation which was somewhat an inconvenience due to time of the year, but the end result we thought would be worth it having a Central Air system instead of the use of our baseboards. Now to the beginning of our downhill battle with Sears. On Day 1 the installer never showed up. We called the Project Manager who did not even apologize on Sears’s behalf, instead he said he will look into it. On Day 2 Tuesday the contractor got to the premise at 12p no apology and no explanation. They worked for about 1 hour and for the next 2 hours they were at lunch returning slightly after 3p. On top of it all they stayed at the house until 9p without even asking me if it was ok. As the customer I wanted the job done so I sucked it up. Day 3 they showed up at 10:45a claiming that they had to pick up equipment. Again they took another 2 hrs lunch while I sat there waiting. I got a break they left at 8p. Day 4 they showed up at 8:45a took another 2 hr lunch and worked until 10:20p.Day 5 same thing. Now we’re into the weekend. I suppose Day 6. One of the installer showed up at 12:30p and stayed on the phone while the head Installer (Andre) give him instructions on what to do. As he got more and more aggravated he kept saying “You should be here I cannot hear you” Andre showed up at 2:15p very nonchalant as if all was ok and I had nothing better to do.
Now we have gone through 6 days of a 3-4dy installation. By day 2 I was beyond disgust so I started recording the events. I knew we had made a wrong choice when the installer on day 3 said “I cannot provide you with a vent in your half bath and we have to place the downstairs vents in the ceiling as oppose to the floor as planned, and we will now have to get duct work in 3 of our BRs as oppose to the 1 closet”. Their explanation the closets did not line up properly. I know am not the expert but this should have been determined when they did the survey. It’s 3 days into the installation and I’m hearing this which left me with little or no choice but to continue. We did not agree with this and expressed this to the contactor but we were told that there was very little that could be done since they had to work with the already existing infrastructure of the home.
Ok, back to day 6 they checked and rechecked all day finally turning up the system. By the way the installer Andre said the only reason he did not turn up the system on Day 5 was due to my fireplace being on. This was a cop out since he could have told me not to turn on my fireplace since he will be turning up the system that day. By now I had become accustom to their unprofessional attitude. Now all was beginning to unfold our house was not heating properly the upstairs was extremely hot and the downstairs very cold. They dampen and re-dampen the vents to no avail it was not working. This was when we found out that they had taken away the electric power to some of our baseboard heaters, as I stated before we were told by the sales man the contactor had to run new wiring on a separate breaker. So our option for usage was out the window and we were in the midst of winter with a system that was not performing.
.Six days of hell and they could not get the unit working properly. Throughout all this I was making calls of complaint to the Project Manager asking him to come out. All I can say is my efforts were all in vain he NEVER bothered to show up just kept on promising to do so. Our installation was scheduled for November 10, 2008 and it was not until over a month later December 11th that we the Project Manager for the 1st time and this was only because we refused numerous times to sign off on the project. He came out with 2 of his supposedly better Technicians as he stated “ The ones he would use for most of his projects”. As a customer and being in a Service Industry myself I thought that was inappropriate because I felt like my installation was not worthy of the better Techs/contractors. Anyway they stayed at our house for hours testing everything with testing equipment that our contractor did not have or never bothered to utilize. After several hours we felt pressured into signing since they all told us that the unit is new and it was installed correctly and all is testing well so in time it will get accustom to the temperature settings of our house.
Stupidly we signed and here we’re a new year with our system not working efficiently, my electric bills higher that they have ever been in 10yrs and no one to turn to. While researching we’re finding out more and more information indicating that Sears might not have sold us the most efficient system for our area. On top of it all we were recently told that we cannot get propane delivery because we’re in code violation – the unit is too close to the propane tank something the Installers should have investigated. We called the Installer Andre at (973) 280.2931 on February 9th he said he would be by that weekend February 14th he never showed up and we never got any calls. On Feb 19th we called Sears at (800)681.7106 they said someone would call us back. We got no callback. On February 23rd we called Sears for a second time I was referred to the Quality Department at (888) 673.7881 spoke with Hector. He typed all that I said and advised that a complaint was opened and our job number (8509882) would be our Reference#. He said that he will attempt to get another Technician Michael Ashmoore out as early as tomorrow and I would be given a callback. No one from Sears has called back.
Now we’re without propane because my tank was disconnected by my propane Distributor. We have no baseboard heaters because they were disconnected so that the system could be powered. All we have is a system that’s costing us higher electric bills and the downstairs of our home remains cold. After our 2nd electric bill we called in a independent Contractor. Upon inspection of the unit we were told that the system Sears sold us would only be efficient 40 degrees or higher, anything below 40 degrees the unit would not perform efficiently. Now we live in Pennsylvania where during the winter months most of the days are below 40. Sometimes fall brings frigid temperatures as well. It’s ironic because the Sears Installer Andre said that the system sold to us was not suitable for our home. Of course he told us this after he completed the installation which again reflects how unethical these people are.
In conclusion all we want is for Sears to take responsibility and live up to their promise to customers. We want Sears to provide us with the unit their Sales person told us we would get. Energy efficient, quiet and one that evenly distributes heat and cool throughout our house. It’s unacceptable that we will be billed almost 15, 000 for a unit that is not efficient and more costly than baseboard heat which we all know is the most expensive heating. There’s no reason why the temperature between the upstairs and the downstairs is a 10 degrees difference.
Thanks in advance for your consideration
Unsatisfied Sears’s customer
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