From: Arthur Villordon
Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2006 4:09 PM
To: steve@searsscrewscustomers.com
Subject: our story

Steve,

http://www.ourgoodfaith.com

Here is the link to our story. I have been worn down by all the process of trying to get our situation remedied that I went ahead and provided you the link.

I appreciate what you are doing. Sears and most of its HVAC representatives have mostly ignored or are oblivious of my family's predicament. I have seen dogs and cats being treated better, promptly being rescued from situations not quite dissimilar from ours.

This topic has also merited a thread over at the hvac-talk.com forums: http://www.hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=105034

I am attaching a letter I will send via overnight to the Sears CEO.

Arthur, Monroe, LA 

ARTHUR VILLORDON

Web: http://www.ourgoodfaith.com

 Aylin Lewis
CEO
Sears, Roebuck and Co.
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179

Dear Mr. Lewis:

I have had a very unsatisfying experience with Sears that I would like to bring to your attention. 

Background. On 12 December 2005, we purchased a new AC system from two Sears HVAC representatives (Mr. Steve Bryant and Mr. Chris May) after they came to our house and surveyed our AC system replacement needs. The unit was installed by a Sears contractor (AIR Control/Mr. Earl) during the last week December of 2005. In the last three months, we placed at least three service calls due to the suction line leading to the compressor freezing up and the system shutting down. The same contractor came to our house at least three times but could not get the problem fixed.

 Service calls. During the first service call, the freezing was blamed on clogged lines. In the next service call, the compressor fan speed was increased. We were also told to remove the high efficiency filters that cost us over $800 which the Sears HVAC salespeople also sold us. In the third service call, the contractor installed a thermostat and also found an obstruction in the furnace. Now, we are being told of a possible incompatibility of our furnace with the new compressor. Had the Sears HVAC representatives informed us that the furnace might not work with the new AC system, we would have gone ahead and purchased a new furnace. With each service call, we had to wait at least 1-3 days before the contractor came. Meanwhile, my family would experience very uncomfortable nights without an airconditioner/partially working conditioner.

Experience with SEARS representatives on the phone. On Tuesday, May 23, I have spent at least two hours on the phone (800-469-4663), trying to get my situation addressed by Sears HVAC representatives. This experience left me at times stressed up and felt that I have left my family down. For example, I was referred to a person named Christine. I tried to explain to her that we were unsatisfied with the system and would like our money back. She referred me to a Brian. After explaining my case to Brian, and my request to get our money back so that I can get an alternative system installed, he referred me back to Christine. At this juncture, please understand that I am now faced with the dilemma of further service calls or getting an alternative system installed. I felt we deserved a better service than what we were getting. The person named Christine sounded arrogant on the phone, claiming this could not be done in one day, at one point challenged me to go the legal route. Both Christine and Brian suggested that my furnace or something in my system is causing the freezing problems. I tried in vain to explain to these persons that I went by the recommendations of the Sears representatives when they sold me the system, thinking that they were professionals and that they surveyed my system before they sold me the unit. She then referred me to a resolution specialist. I again explained my situation. While the resolution specialist showed sympathy, I have been persuaded to let a different contractor come in on Sunday to perform a load calculation and troubleshoot our system. This contractor would have come in Saturday but I had a prior trip planned for Saturday.  

Current situation. I have been forced to write this letter because this morning because I feel that I have really let my family down. I have been forced to set the thermostat at 87 during the day and 80 at night to at least get the AC going before it freezes up again. Needless to say, this has created intolerable living and sleeping conditions for my family. I feel that no citizen should be subjected to such conditions after purchasing the system in good faith.
 

When we bought our system, we felt good about Sears and I believed that the band represented a good quality product with good customer service. The line that said SATISFACTION OR YOUR MONEY BACK told me that this was the best option for my family. After this experience, I feel very differently. While the conflict resolution specialist came across as understanding my situation and made feel important as a consumer, the rest of the people I contacted were indifferent, at times arrogant, but did not represent what a good customer service should be.

While I continue to hope that this service call would be the last, remedy the situation, and that my family will once again experience comfortable living conditions, after this night’s experience I would still like to request a full reimbursement of my purchase so that I can get an alternative system installed soonest. I seem to be running into a wall each time I make this request. I am not being told that this cannot be done, but I am under the impression that an ordinary consumer like me will find a sympathetic voice working with the Sears telephone representatives in our area. I am also open to the idea of being credited for the high efficiency filter that cost us $849 and which the contractor told us to remove, and coming up with $500 of my own funds to install a brand new furnace that will work with the new system so that my family will be able to resume humane living conditions. 

Also, this letter requests your office to review the procedures in SEARS Heating and Cooling. I went by the recommendations of the SEARS Heating and Cooling representatives in the purchase of our new system. My recent phone calls have led me to believe that certain basic procedures like load calculation might not have been performed when the unit was sold to us. It appears that all of this unpleasant experience might have otherwise been avoided if such standard heating and cooling procedure was performed.  

A little web site shows pictures of the freezing line as well as of my five year old son who suffers from allergies. The web address is http://www.ourgoodfaith.com.
Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Arthur Q. Villordon, Ph.D.

Monroe, LA

 

 

Subject: SEARS: Screw Everybody And Refuse Service

Email address edited out.

To: steve@searsscrewscustomers.com


 

Beware:
Anybody who is considering purchasing something from Sears
- you know, the company who says "Sears, where else?"
- the company who claims "customer satisfaction guaranteed or you money back."

On April 4, 2002 my husband and I bought a high efficiency furnace from Sears, as well as a service contract.  We also ordered an extension to one of the baseboard units, and Sears set up installation with their subcontractor for May 30, 2002.  Between the subcontractor not showing up and canceling at the last minute, and failing to return my calls, and several calls by me to Sears, the subcontractor did finally show up on June 25, 2002, but did not have the correct parts for the baseboard extension that we ordered.  After several attempts to call, and the subcontractor not returning my calls, and several calls by me to Sears, I finally got an appointment for the subcontractor to install the baseboard extension in August 2002.  They installed the baseboard extension, but failed to install one of the connectors for the baseboard cover.  I called the subcontractor the same day they were here in August, and they said they would mail me the part.  Again, after several attempts to call, and the subcontractor not returning my calls, and several calls by me to Sears, I finally received the cover connector at the end of September (more than 5 months after we purchased the furnace and baseboard extension from Sears).

At the end of January 2003 our heat in the zone for the bedrooms stopped working, and I called Sears.  They said that the furnace was under warranty within the first year with the subcontractor, but that the original subcontractor had gone out of business.  They said they would find out who was taking over for them, and call me back.  After several calls by me to Sears, and unsuccessful attempts to reach our salesperson, I called the salesperson's voice mail again and left a message that if somebody did not come to resolve the problem with our heat that day that I wanted them to come and uninstall the furnace and I wanted my money back, since I would not be satisfied ("customer satisfaction guaranteed or your money back").  They did send somebody that day, and the technician told me that the pipes were frozen and there was nothing they could do.  The technician told me that I had to have the heat on all the time in order to prevent this (so much for the high efficiency furnace).  The pipes eventually thawed out, and we were lucky they did not burst, as they are all enclosed in a finished ceiling.  I did not have a problem for the rest of the winter, as I had kept the window open to keep the heat on all the time.

This year on January 14, 2004 the heat for the bedroom zone stopped working again because the pipes were frozen again, despite the window being open to keep the heat on.  I called Sears, and they said they would send a technician. The technician called me on Friday January 16th, and told me there was nothing he could do, and did not come.   January 19, 2004 the pipes thawed out again, and luckily still did not burst.  Early morning January 20, 2004 all of the heat in the entire house stopped working.  I called Sears again.  I told them I had no heat in the entire house, and it was 7 degrees outside.  They said they would send a technician on Friday January 23, 2004 to inspect the problem, which was 4 days away.  I told them I had 4 children, and couldn't wait until Friday to have heat because it was 7 degrees outside.  Sears said they would try to get somebody out to my house sooner, and in the meantime, and they said if it was within my means they would suggest I get a hotel until then (at my own expense of course).  I then spoke to a supervisor, and I told her the story, and that I just got the pipes thawed out on Monday, and if I left them without hot water they would freeze again, and perhaps burst all over my house.  The supervisor referred me to my home owner's insurance.  I asked the supervisor if I could have somebody else come and repair the problem because I could have somebody else here within the hour, and the supervisor said if I had anybody else work on the furnace then that would void my warranty with Sears.  I called my salesperson, and found out that he had not had that cell phone number for over 6 months, and Sears said they were not allowed to give out his new cell phone number.   I called Sears again and asked for the salesperson's voice mail, and left a message asking him to call me.  He did not call me back.  I called Sears again and said "Doesn't Sears have a 'satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back' policy?"  Sears said "Yes."  I said "I want my money back, I'm not satisfied."  Sears said "I doubt you will get your money back for the furnace, you purchased the furnace in April of 2001.  "We did not purchase this furnace in April 2001 because we did not even purchase this house until July of 2001, and we certainly did not purchase a furnace for a house we didn't even own."  Sears asked me to fax them a copy of the purchase agreement in order to prove that we bought our furnace in 2002 and not 2001, and that we also purchased a 4 year service contract, and Sears said they would call me when they received the fax, and had the problem resolved.  I sent the fax within 10 minutes, and nobody ever called me back. 

Anyway, I managed to get the heat working myself in all but one zone - the basement.  The Sears technician called the next day, and I and told him that in my opinion I felt we needed a new circulating pump.  He arrived and said we had air in the lines that was blocking the water from circulating through the pipes, and that is why it was not working.  I explained the whole story about my experience with Sears up until that point, to which he responded "I don't know, you'll have to call Sears, they have all new management over there."  He spent almost 2 hours draining water out of the system to try to get the air out, and then finally took the cover off the circulating pump and said I don't think this thing is working, you need a new circulating pump.  He then said Sears doesn't cover this under your warranty, you'll have to call a plumber.  He said he had paper work to do out in his van, and he would be right back.  20 minutes later he came back and said I can't give you a paper showing I was here because my printer isn't working.  I said I wanted something in writing.  He said "You're in the computer."  I called our fuel supplier, and ordered a service contract with them, and ordered antifreeze for the lines as a friend (not Sears) suggested, and told them I needed a new circulating pump. 

Later that day the heat in the whole house stopped working again.  I called Sears again, and they said they would send somebody the next day.  I told them I did not want the same technician, because it took him over 2 hours to find out something that I already told him before he even came into the house.  I told Sears once again that if I let my pipes stay cold all night that they would freeze, and possibly burst all over the house.  Again they referred me to my home owner's insurance; however, my insurance agent told me that home owner's insurance would not pay for damage as a result of a problem that I knew existed, and did not do everything within my power to fix it as quickly as possible regardless who fixes it.  However, in order to stay within the guidelines of my home owner's insurance policy, this would void my warranty with Sears.  I called Sears again and asked them what I would have to do to find out about getting my money back, because I was not satisfied.  Sears gave me another number to call, and then another number, and finally I was told I would have to talk to the technician who came the next day, and ask him about how to get my money back.  I later found out that the first technician had drained so much water out of the system that the water pressure safety valve had shut the system down.  When the pressure built back up, the system had come on again, but there was obviously now a lot of air in the line, because whenever new water enters the system, air comes in with it, and the pipes needed to be bled again.  On January 22, 2004 I received a call from another Service technician.  He told me that since I was having antifreeze added to the system in a few days anyway that I might as well wait until then to get the air out of the system, since they have to flush the lines anyway to put the antifreeze in.  The technician did not come.  He did tell me that Sears discontinued emergency service last winter (Sears had changed their policy as of last winter, and redefined emergency service to mean ‘next day' instead of ‘same day' - this policy was redefined after we purchased the contract). 

Finally on January 22, 2004 I received a call from the previously elusive salesperson.  He said he was calling in response to my voice mail, and sorry it took him so long to get back to me, but that he had been out of town for a few days, and that he wasn't even in our area anymore.  I explained the whole story to him, and he said he would be giving management a call, and that somebody would be in touch with me (we'll see).

Anyway, that is my experience with Sears.
Now when Sears asks me "Sears, where else?" - trust me, my answer is "Anyplace else but Sears."