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27 December 2012

Kenmore/Sears: The Con

You are all used to stores like Sears trying to upsell you extended warranties and such.  When I bought my Kenmore Elite in April of last year, I decided to just stick with the manufacturer warranty; because I figured that if it broke down that quick, I probably didn't want to continue using that brand/model.

Less than 18 months later, the dishwasher quit working.  No matter what we did, it said that the door was open.  Take out all dishes, take out the racks, close and... no, still thinks it is open.  I look online and see that this appears to be a common problem.  Everyone said that the repair was hundreds of dollars.

I had a few days off, so I decided to call technical support.  Maybe there is something they can suggest I try.  That's when the run around began.  While trying to find a number to call them at, I notice that others are saying that all Sears would do is send a technician out, who then would tell them it would be $300-600 in repairs.  I call, wait on hold.  The message says that I can talk to someone immediately at  Well, hey, maybe they'd have an idea what to try.  I hang up and check out the site.  The chat page redirects and hmm -- no way to chat with them... 

I call back and wait on hold again.  They answer, take my information, and transfer me.  I wait on hold.  They answer, take my information, and tell me that they can't look up the machine because the warranty expired a couple months ago.  Evidently it was a 1-year manufacture warranty, and it worked for about 4 months more after that date. The technician tells me that the best he could do is send a technician out.  Sounds familiar, eh?  How much, I ask, will that cost?  He said that if I reject the repair estimate, then only $80.  I complain, and he sends me to the "Kenmore Technical Specialist" phone number.  That number answered by saying that it was only for Water Softeners and Water Purification products.  Hit 2 for technical support, and I am back on hold for the first Sears number.

So, let me get this straight.  When you sell a product, you try to upsell a warranty that extends beyond the manufacture (subsidiary of you) warranty.  When the warranty expires, the electronics and LCD report a failure in just a couple months.  When the customer tries to fix it, it's going to cost another $80 to get a $600 quote?

I claim scam.

I think instead of repairing this Kenmore dishwasher, it's time to replace it with a different non-Sears-owned brand.