I live in Brooklyn, NY, maybe not Sears country. I have a warranty on a Kenmore water heater. It failed on Sunday, May 6, 2007, after 13 years, quite reasonably. I called the number on the warranty, which is the same as the number on the website. I had an appointment for 8-12 am on Monday, May 7, but nobody showed up. I tried to find this item on the website, but the connection appeared to be down all day. Calling the number required trickery to get a live person, otherwise all I heard was the message that I have an appointment for 8-12 am. Finally an old guy (not a plumber, a guy in a suit) showed up at 2, but all he did was check that indeed the water heater had failed (DUH, water all over the floor). I had turned off the inlet and the gas. What was that about? The fact that the thing ran 13 years is pretty amazing.
A half hour later someone called from IOWA to confirm that maybe tomorrow a water heater will be installed -- they will let me know!
On Tuesday, May 8, I got a call at 7:30 AM from the plumber, to install the water heater. That's the good news. The bad news was that they will be there some time between 11 and 5. They actually arrived at 12:30, were done at 1:30, and I got in a few hours at work.
Used to be, they showed up when they were supposed to, WITH A WATER HEATER, and it was replaced RIGHT AWAY. That is actually why I had the warranty. Well, never again, SEARS! And I was a big Kenmore fan too.