Kenmore / Power Miser — sears's faulty product
I purchased a townhome in 1995. The thing is that an A. O. Smith 40 gallon gas water heater was installed by the builder. It lasted a good 11 years. In January of 2006 it died. I purchased a Kenmore Power Miser 9 gas water heater. The fact is that the installation guy told me that they are all the same water heater. They just slap a 6, 9, or 12 indicating the amount of warranty years you are willing to pay for. I have a 9 year warranty, hence Power Miser 9. I basically installed it myself with the help of my uncle who is a union plumber for about 50 years. Anyway, we installed it on January something of 2006. In October 2006 I had no hot water. I called the 800 number on the side of the tank and they connected me to someone else who handles the warranties. They in turn connected me to Sears. Sears told me that they don't handle any of the warranties or the service. I was told that they hire plumbing contractors to install and do the service. They gave me the number for the nearest plumber that they use in my area. This person said I would have to purchase a permit to have the work done. In six days they sent a guy out to look at the water heater and he told me it was the thermostat. He replaced it. He also left five minutes after he installed it. Five minutes after he was gone the pilot went out. I went thru the phone numbers once again to find out that it would be another couple of days for him to get here. He shows up two days later and says I guess it was the tank. Apparently it is cracked inside and water leaks out and falls onto the pilot and puts it out. Another six days for the permit that I had to purchase for 70 dollars. He shows up and says well we didn't install it so you have to pay 140 plus tax and charges to hall the bad one away. I don't care at this point because I just want hot water. My wife and I have an 11 year-old daughter. We had been without hot water for a week and a half. I have had the new water heater installed and working. It is now May of 2007 and I don't have hot water with the Kenmore Power Miser 9. I call and go through all the same rude people working for Sears or Kenmore. Who ever it is answering the 800 number for customer service. I go through the same thing, being told they will send someone the earliest 6 days from now. My wife calls three days later and says she cannot go another day without hot water. She is told that they will call us back in a few hours. They will send someone out as soon as possible. Five hours later she calls and is told that on the order in their computer it says that someone will contact us within 24 hours. My wife explains that she was told someone would call us back shortly. They are rude and say that it is impossible for them to help us that quickly. My point is that Sears sells Kenmore products. Over my life time so far I have always trusted Sears products. The thing is that they were always good with customer service until a couple of years ago. Why am I paying for repairs on a water heater that is supposed to be covered for 9 years? It was replaced in less than a year and now it is 7 months later with the second one from Sears. The first Kenmore Power Miser 9 lasted 10 months. The second one lasted 7 months. Another shocking surprise is that I was told by the Sears or warranty people that my water heater is covered under warranty till 2008. I am pretty sure I am looking at a power miser 9 indicating a 9 year warranty. I haven't asked about that yet but am furious. How is it that American companies are automatically able to take advantage of law abiding citizens? How is it that Sears customer service is basically just a joke? I have refused to pay for another permit or service of any kind. Hopefully I will get the help I deserve. It is Sear's faulty product. They should be responsible for it. This is the second one I have been through in 17 months. When will we get justice in this country? Be careful what you are told by companies selling you products in this country. It will not only cost you your hard earned money but every ounce of patients and will eventually make you crazy with enough anger to make your head explode. It's bad enough that it happened after ten months of use but to happen again after only seven months it's unforgivable.