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Sears / don't buy protection agreements!

1 NC, United States Review updated:

I worked for Sears as a call center operator. If you call in for customer service, say to schedule a service appointment or just to ask a question about an appliance you purchased, whoever you're talking to is trained to try to sell you a protection agreement. This is how it works.

You call in because of a problem with your washer. I pull up your account and what I'm trained to do is not necessarily solve your problem- I might transfer you across the room to the service department if you need a service call, but first I'll say, "Mr. Smith, I see here that you bought a dishwasher a couple of years ago and that you purchased the protection agreement there in the store. Did you know that agreement is about to expire? Why don't we go ahead and renew that for you." If you say you're not interested, I say, "Well, it's going to be cheaper for you in the long run- you know, you might have to pay out some money for this service call for your washing machine- you don't want to have to deal with that if your dishwasher breaks down, too, do you?"

If you agree to renew your agreement, I then say, "You know what? I could actually save you some more money- we could add your dryer and your garage door opener in with this agreement, they'd all be covered and you'll get a multi-item discount!" By the time I've finished with you, you've purchased $800.00 worth of protection agreements from me for appliances that might not even break down or, by the time they do, you most likely would be ready to replace with a new one anyway. THEN you get transferred and put on hold for another ten minutes waiting to schedule an appointment for your washer that you'll actually have to pay for out of pocket.

When you do call in for a service appointment for an item that's covered, some- not all- Sears' repairmen will look for a reason not to honor your agreement with Sears. "That problem is due to normal wear and tear- it's not covered under your agreeement." Or "The manufacturer doesn't even make that part anymore..." and they note on your account the code for "Part Not Available" and they do not do the repairs.

When you call in to find out why you were charged for a service call, you get the department that's trained to sell agreements again- and whoever you talk to has only one goal: To sell you an agreement. After all, they are paid commission for agreements that they sell- Some people make an additional 200.00/month or more doing this. So you call in, and whoever you talk to says, "Hey, by the way, the protection agreement on your stove is about to expire! Let's go ahead and renew that for ya..." That's when you lose your temper and say, "THAT'S HOW I GOT IN THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE! I PAID YOU GUYS HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS OVER THE YEARS TO COVER THIS WASHING MACHINE AND NOW YOU WON'T FIX IT!!" Once we realize that we're not getting any money out of you, you're transferred back to service where you started when you made the appointment, and you go back and forth with them. Sometimes, you're transferred back to us, because it's a "Protection Agreement" issue. Then you're transferred back to them because it's a "Service" issue.

If you ask to speak to a manager, we're trained not to transfer you- we are supposed to work out the problem ourselves. If we do transfer you, we're probably transferring you to another department, not a manager. You might think you're talking to someone about your protection agreement or a problem you're having with Sears honoring it, but you're not talking to a customer service representative- you are talking to a salesperson. Once they realize you're not going to buy anything, you become wasted call time- time they could be spending on another caller who they might be able to talk into purchasing or renewing an agreement- and you are transferred to another department, and a lot of times, any other department will do. We know if you call back to complain that you were transferred to the wrong department, you won't get us anyway- you'll get someone else maybe in an entirely different state in another call center, and they won't care about your problem, either.

Another common problem is store salesmen selling customers protection agreements at the time of purchase- they will sell you an agreement and tell you ANYTHING to get you to buy it. They will tell you things are covered that really aren't- like lightning strikes for televisions or a hose for your washer (that's an "expendable part"- not covered under our agreement!) They will tell you you're paying far less in the store than you would if you called in to purchase the protection agreement later- not necessarily true. If you balk, they might offer you a cheaper price for being a "good customer". You think you just scored a huge discount- when you call in to schedule the free yearly maintenance on your heat pump, we tell you that our records show you didn't purchase a Master Protection Agreement as you were told- you actually purchased the cheaper Repair Protection Agreement- yearly service isn't covered under that agreement, but would you like to upgrade to a Master Protection Agreement? Because if you do, we can schedule your service appointment and you'll be covered for any future repairs should you need them- as long as they're covered under our contract. Sometimes, store salesmen will sell customers these agreements, figure it into the final cost of the item and the customer never even knows he purchased it.

I am so glad I don't work there anymore. It was not a fulfilling job at all. You don't sleep well at night knowing you just sold some old lady $3, 000 worth of protection agreements that she'll likely never use. Please be careful when buying these protection agreements- so many people pay more money to cover their appliances than they paid for the appliances themselves. If you purchase a 5-year agreement, your appliance is most likely not going to break down before it's five years old, so you've paid out that money for nothing. Five years later, you go to renew, and the price is MUCH higher because your items are that much older.

It's a much smarter decision to put that money into savings and earmark it for appliance repairs or replacement should you need it. Figure these costs into your budget when you purchase an appliance and just pay for any needed repairs yourself.

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  • Br
      30th of Oct, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Going to have to disagree with you there, buddy. protection agreements are not a waste of money, simply because a customer can always get the money they paid for it refunded within one full year after purchasing the agreement, even if they use the agreement to have Sears fix the item. Let's say I bought a new washer and by some event it stops working. If I call sears to have it fixed, they will fix it. If they CAN'T fix it, they will replace it with a brand new one. Even after all of that, if i'm still not satisfied, I can still get my money for the agreement refunded to me as long as it's still within the 1-year limit. Full coverage, house calls, etc all to cover my purchase for a price that, in all honesty isn't that much, and if I decide I don't need the protection agreement, I can get my money back? Sign me up for another one! I have nothing to lose. I say all of this from experience with Sears, and i'm a satisfied Sears customer.

  • Al
      8th of Feb, 2017
    0 Votes

    @Brandon_006 Manufacturer warranty covers the cost of repairs and replacement during the first year anyhow Brandon . However, if you have a refrigerator covered under MPA that breaks down during the first year, you can definitely benefit from the $300 in food loss benefits you can claim (you get a check not a Sears gift card). Aside from refrigerators and freezers, I don't see the benefit in covering other appliances during the first year of purchase.

  • Is
      25th of Nov, 2017
    0 Votes

    @Brandon_006 Lies. You must be getting the commission! Same EXACT story as what was posted here is what is happening to us right now! My husband got scammed when he called to have our washing machine serviced. He bought that scam warranty, which the liar said was month to month can cancel at anytime. Nope! They refuse to cancel it now and say its a contract (um, I signed NOTHING) so our bank, lawyer and the news are getting calls! We have paid $$$ foolishly and have wasted months with appliances that do not work properly. I am buying all new appliances at Lowes and this scam will be uncovered. We got one customer service rep who didn't sound shady and were told that this process is "off shore" and that the #1 complaint they receive is the lies customers are told! Someone at Sears in a high position is doing this to gain $$$$$ they are ruining the company and its reputation quickly as its already going downhill. I've also read reviews recently that state they are renewing these " you can't cancel" policies without authorization to do so!!!

  • Tb
      26th of Apr, 2018
    0 Votes

    @iseeyouclearly I have a furnace and central AC system and have had to have service once every other year or so due to the system being an older one;
    The Maintenance Agreement has paid for itself ten-fold!
    Now I will say that the system is on it's last legs and I'm getting conflicting stories from the tech who has been doing the repairs and the Sear customer service reps; The tech says that NO WAY will they replace the entire system (as the Maintenance agreement states) but the telephone reps say they will if it's needed.
    Time will tell as this system isn't going to last much longer.
    In any event, while I will be VERY upset if they do not replace it after I've been carrying the MA all these years it still has more than paid for itself thanks to the many service calls we've had on the system.

  • Pa
      21st of Aug, 2011
    Best Best Advice +4 Votes

    Sorry, Brandon, yours sounds like a Sears management posting. Can't take your comments seriously because you have *only* positive assumptions throughout, while multiple sources elsewhere have described in detail the real issues with Sears protection agreements, both their sale and their [lack of] functionality. Everyone please check this out too:

  • Hi
      17th of Dec, 2011
    +1 Votes

    Brandon - are you still working at Sears?? Their maintenance plans are one of the biggest consumer rip-offs going today.

  • Mo
      14th of Sep, 2015
    0 Votes

    we baught fridge and protection plan. our salesman told us we have 12 mo to cancel protection plan if nothin happens and they will give us money back. After 11 mo we chack and we had 30 days to cancel. They told everything to sell protection plan. Were not going to buy anything from sears

  • Je
      29th of Feb, 2016
    0 Votes

    It's funny because I work at Sears and the only complaints we get about PA 's are how bad the customer service reps were when they tried to get their appliances serviced by calling the 800 number. I live in a small town and every time a customer buys an agreement I tell them to call the store for service considering that worthless helpline is manned by rude salespeople who never actually see customers face to face. I put in service orders and the technician goes to customers homes within a week if I wasn't in a rural area the technician would be there even earlier. If the part doesn't exist anymore then guess what customers of the world if you have the protection agreement we will replace your appliance with a brand new one. Every Sears employee should be offering cords and hoses in laundry or they shouldn't be selling laundry machines and the hoses don't come with the washers so no duh that part isn't covered. I imagine Sears got sick of paying for peoples water damaged floors because they were too cheap to buy new hoses which are only 25 dollars if you want stainless 15 for the rubber pair. You are mad because you think that you are doing a disservice to your customers. In reality Sears is the only company that sells appliances AND offers to back them for ANY repairs and parts and if we can't fix it we replace it. It is literally appliance insurance the only thing not covered is customer abuse if you deliberately damage your product Sears will not dish out the repair money. If anyone gets bored look up the price of icemakers, compressors, motors, hell even drawers for refrigerators are $100 to $250. Not to mention the fact that joe schmoe repair guy will charge you $100 just to come look at your appliance and order a part then he will charge you for the part and then more for the install. Even if you have a lousy technician you still have the guaranteed replacement. Up to a 300 dollar check for food loss can be issued every year you have an agreement on a fridge and that covers power surges. Customers tell me all the time well if it won't last more than a couple years I won't ever shop at Sears again as if Sears is the manufacturer and you don't get the same products for jacked up prices at every other store. At least Sears is telling you the reliability of modern appliances and offering to fix them. Oh and repair protection agreements are only in lawn and garden and the master protection agreement is not even an option for those things. A Sears employee can lower the price of the agreement by offering the 3 year agreement over the 5 year or offer the shop protection agreement where you have to bring the product to the store for repairs over the home agreement but I've inly seen those on snow throwers and lawn mowers. Oh and the plans can be extended out I have customers with lawn tractors from 1975 that are still in working condition because they had Sears fix them every time under the protection agreement. Sorry for the long winded response but there is no logic in telling people not to protect their expensive purchases from future damage and malfunctions and I sleep fine at night knowing I work for one of the kast companies that offer to back up other companies products after the customer has been living with them for over a year. Most people who don't like them only see a price tag they don't see how valuable they really can be.

  • Wa
      1st of Apr, 2016
    0 Votes

    I have always purchased protection agreements. They have ALWAYS worked for me and saved me money so I didn't have to replace something. I read these kind of articles from "previous" employees and have come to the conclusion that on some level there are a few reasons why they write them.
    1. Their separation from Sears or elsewhere was negative.
    2. Sales people lie to get a sale like the 12 months deal - the proper information is they have 60 days to cancel for a full refund, partial after 60 days.
    3. If you have no personal experience with protections in your life its hard to see the real benefit and to pass that onto customers
    4. Yes, there are repair people that stink but there are many who are really good at what they do
    5. Many issues arise with the actual manufacturer not every thing coming off their lines is good this happens in EVERY store and with every type of appliance, electronic, TIRES ( been there with that one) etc...
    6. You are taking a chance buying from ANYWHERE these days

    One thing I know for sure I was raised with Sears. My parents bought everything from Sears never had any issues. Manufacturers have changed from when we were growing up. Wear and Tear does happen but things are not made with the same care. In the end the plans offered can save people from high repair costs.

    What is sad is that when people can't make it they lash out blaming everyone else. I have read a few these types of articles and when I read them all I see is "disgruntled" EX-employee nothing more because I talk to many who are very happy and thankful like myself they had their itesm protected.

    There is no reason to respond via email or here with nastiness - you posted I responded.

  • Ho
      20th of May, 2016
    +1 Votes

    I was advised by the repair person to get the home warranty for $30.00 a month. That way my service calls will only be a $60 deductible. I took the warranty agreement. They told me if they could not fix my appliances that I would get a $500. credit toward a new appliance. The service man came out to fix my refrigerator yesterday and he told me it was too old and was not covered under the home warranty. He said I could pay $239 to get it fixed. A long way from the $60 guarantee to fix it and supply the parts at no cost. Therefore, I declined. Sears warranty sales person lied to me. I am going to try it on my dishwasher next month and see what happens then, but I expect the same thing. To make the story short, DO NOT believe what they tell you about the home warranty because it is useless.

  • Ry
      20th of Dec, 2016
    0 Votes

    If anyone had signed up 'by mistake' (over the phone call), how do we cancel the verbal agreement and get a refund of the already-charged first month warranty?
    There is no paperwork left behind the visit, other than an email confirmation that more papers will come shortly?
    I have experienced something from which I want to minimize the future pain, anguish and loss of money.

  • Al
      8th of Feb, 2017
    0 Votes

    @ryanva Call 1800-927-7836 option 5 . You will provide your phone number or name and address so can pull up your file. Alternatively, if you have the credit card used for the transaction, we can research the purchase.They can direct you to the cancellation department.

  • Sp
      21st of Apr, 2017
    0 Votes

    I will never purchase a protection agreement from Sears again. I purchased protection agreements from Sears for 2 dishwashers in September 2016.
    I have tried to schedule service, but no one at Sears can locate the service contract . I have faxed and emailed the cancelled check to several service departments. I have been bounced from department to department and have spent hours and hours on phone and email, to no avail.
    Meanwhile, I have expensive dishwashers with racks held together with twist ties.

  • Ke
      1st of Jun, 2017
    0 Votes

    I think my 1990 kenmore is done, My mom kept up the protection agreement and I did too after she passed away in 2013. So they made a bunch of money on this kenmore. It started leaking, a steady stream. techs came over and changed the transmission. didnt fix the leak though. next, they changed the seal. still leaked. Now Im having problems getting a tech over here, and its leaking down around that new transmission in several places. I keep making another appt, and the tech still keep ignoring it. And no one ever calls to tell me the techs cant make it, nothing. Ive heard horror stories about todays washer machines, they dont last long. Sears did say they would replace this one, but with what kind of quality machine will it be?

  • Ec
      8th of Jun, 2017
    0 Votes

    I have maintained my Sears protection agreements simply because my husband cannot work out computerized appliances. He was quite handy before things changed. I have to say, I have been leery about the cost effectiveness of having a plan but stuck to it and always had the annual free check up done on my appliances. The refrigerator I bought at Sears started to fail; the part was no longer available and I thought 'well, here we go' and guess what? No fuss, I was issued a store credit for the full amount we had paid 13 years before for a new fridge. Just my experience, happy to share.

  • Ja
      16th of Feb, 2018
    0 Votes

    Right, avoid Sears Home Warranty!

    If you have Sears repair your appliance, chances are that the technician will push you to buy a 'Sears Home Warranty' to cover your appliances and provide you peace of mind. In fact, he'll even discount his service by 50% that very day if you buy one. And who doesn't trust a legendary brand like Sears, right? And that kind Sears repairman looking out for your best interests.

    Well, don't fall for it. For some reason, Sears saw fit to partner with Cross Country Home Services AKA HomeSure AKA Country Home Services. And they aren't reputable.

    When I needed a repair on my dryer and range exhaust unit, it took two days to get a repair person out. He wasn't from Sears, but a small outfit that was badly reviewed online. He diagnosed the prob, said he'd order the parts and get back quickly as the parts were easy to find.
    We went without the dryer working for 8 days, and that was after much effort to get things moving. Then, on the 10th day, a rep from the HomeSure/CCHS calls to deny the claim on the built-in range exhaust unit. The small print apparently excludes this item completely. The only silver lining is that I needed repairs in the second month of my agreement, was able to reevaluate the deal and get out before paying a lot for a very little...a bad proposition overall. Avoid them and pay out of pocket to end up ahead.

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