Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sears Home Repair: NEVER again!

So the man came to repair the fridge. It did not make the noise while he was here, but he watched the video on my laptop and agreed it was the fan motor. Never took the back off the fridge even, just ordered the part, and proceeded to tell me our total would be $290.19.

$290.19 - which included a discount on the trip charge ($32.50 versus $65) since we'd had two appliances serviced. The part would be $109.46, the labor would be $180.73.

When I asked him how long the job would take he told me FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. $180.73 for forty-five minutes of work. I told him I thought they charged about $65 an hour, like all the other repair people we've hired to come to our home, but he said it was a 'national average', that it didn't matter where we lived, it was based on a job code. The part would be shipped to our house and we scheduled him to come back out this week for the repair. I was so overwhelmed at the injustice of the system I stood there thinking, 'don't cry in front of this man'.

After he left I emailed Sears and complained about their rates. They emailed and asked me to phone them. I did. The girl I spoke with told me that they don't charge an hourly rate, rather it's based on a job code, and jobs fall into groups. It doesn't matter if the job takes 15 minutes or three hours, but if it's that code that's the price. Changing out the compressor was lumped into this code, which takes a lot longer, so we were paying for a 45 minute, change the fan, job as if it was a three hour, change the compressor, job. I told her I assumed she was paid an hourly rate, that most of America is paid an hourly rate, that I thought most repairmen charge an hourly rate, as do attorneys and accountants and when I broke that $180.73 down into the 45 minute job, it came to $226.00 per hour, but then they don't charge by the hour.

So the part arrived yesterday, I opened the box and saw that it had a motor with a shaft, a string of electrical wires encased in plastic and a little plastic plug in. When I showed it to Don, he opened the back of the fridge, never having looked at it, and had the old part out, the new part in, and the fridge put back together in under FIFTEEN MINUTES.

so we paid no labor. Instead of paying $290.19, we paid $143.91 - for the part and the 1/2 trip charge.

Looking online to find the part, I saw if we'd known what part we needed, we could have ordered it for prices varying from $25.00 to $65.00, the average being $34.95. They charged us $109.46 for the part.

We could have done this repair for $35 instead of the $143.91 we paid, and instead of the total $290.19 they were going to charge.

Never again - never, ever again will I call them to repair anything in my home. When the girl taking the calls tells me, "I agree, our prices are very high" there's something very wrong with this system. When we get gouged at $109.46 for a part that should have run about $40, and they charge us as if a job would take three hours, but tell me it will take 45 minutes start to finish, there is something really, really wrong. And this is Sears - an American icon.

Did I mention when the part arrived by UPS it had been shipped from their parts store 1 mile from our home? I don't even want to know what we were charged for that. Live and learn.

Did I mention the man was obnoxious, stood so close to make me uncomfortable, and when I handed him my debit card to pay the charge, used it to scrape his beard as he stood there poking my arm with his finger. Absolutely charming guy.

And yes, quite possibly, my husband is for hire. Just call 1-800-MY-FIXER.


Lynne said...

It's horrible how much they were going to charge you!

I'm going to pull out the books from all my appliances and keep them in one spot, so if I ever need a part I can find the information quickly.

I'm glad that your Mr. Fixit could install the part so the creep from Sears didn't have to come back.

Becky said...

Oh my goodness. Well, great job Rob. I have to say that we moved into this house with Maytag appliances, which I did not want but was "stuck" with. Fortunately they were under warranty for a year because we had house calls on the fridge, the dishwasher, the stove (2 on the stove) before our year was up.

I have always preffered a good strong Kenmore. I've rarely had calls on those appliances and they have lasted for decades. However, they certainly don't make ANYTHING like they used to. And they charge whatever they can get away with.

They didn't get away with much with you though. Well done!!

Becky said...

Don. Good job DON!! Sorry.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Yay Don! Good for him!!
Our old fridge cost me $200.00 for 3 repair guys to come out and not fix it. The first guy charged me $150.00, said he fixed it but it wasn't. He came back, said he did all he could do and that it was the water softening guys problem and left. The water softening guy came out, looked at it and said no, it was the water line inside the fridge, charged me nothing, and left. So I called Sears. That guy came out, I told what had already went on with the other 2 guys. He did NOTHING. Didn't look at it. Didn't take the back off. NOTHING. Said it was the water softening guys problem, charged me $50.00 for a service call and left. I was horrified and almost cried too. He was so mean and rude. I will NEVER use Sears for anything again.
Our dishwasher has a quirk where sometimes it just doesn't want to run. If you let it sit over night, something in it will correct itself and you can run it in the morning. It gets annoying so I called the manufacturer approved repair company (not Sears) and they charged me $80.00 to tell me to unplug it, wait a few minutes then plug it back in again. They never fixed it, that was just their $80.00 solution. I will never buy a Jenn-Air again. I think the repair business is a complete racket.

Kelly said...

Isn't that sickening? What I hate the most is feeling like I am always being taken advantage of if I don't fight for the right thing to be done. Geesh!

The other racket is the warranty. In buying my new washer and dryer, Sears even used their own exorbitant service prices as justification for buying the warranty, telling me that one call could exceed the $350 warranty fee. Oh it really makes me so mad!
So glad Don was able to fix

Barb said...

It's completely outrageous and if I thought he had the time to deal with it, I'd sic Bill O'Reilly on them. Boy, he'd take them to the cleaners for this. Absolutely no excuse - NONE - for the way you were overcharged and especially for the way that horrid man treated you. When you emailed me, I wanted to crawl through my computer monitor and slap his face right off his head.

I'm still mad! Errgghhhh!

You need to find out exactly where that man came from and register a formal complaint about him. He has absolutely no right to go into someone's home and intimidate and humiliate them the way he did you. And he poked you in the arm? Hello? He'd have lost his own arm if he'd dared to touch me!

Michele said...

We've had issues with Sears repairs before too. My husband vowed to NEVER buy an appliance or have anything services by them again. So far, he's kept his promise!

Gretchen said...

I think I have the heebie jeebies, just thinking about Mr. Beard Scratcher/Arm Poker.

Glad you could cut your losses.

Yay Don!

Infuriating that in so many situations now, we have to know more than our service providers. Aren't they supposed to be the experts?

Susanne said...

I agree with Barb about charging a formal complaint against that particular guy. That is creepy and he had no business touching you in any way whatsoever.

We learned a long, long time ago never to call Sears for any repairs.

pcb said...

Good for you! I despise paying huge repair bills, since most of the repairs don't fix the problem and you end up having to start the process over...

Sarah said...

Hmm, so maybe I should've had Dad look at our icemaker when he was here??

And what's wrong with Creepy Repairman, that it would've taken him 45 minutes to do what it took Dad 15?

So did you wipe off your debit card after he left?? That's what I really want to know!

Renna said...

Grrr...I'm steaming with you!

Remember the good old days when Sears was known for their customer satisfaction? I guess that's gone the way of the Wish Book.

Dana~Are We There Yet? said...

SEARS home repair.tic.twitch.$390.Dishwasher.Not fixed.Handwash.6months.squeak.7people.aspirin.gun laws.foam.sorry.No refunds.ouch.the pain.My temples.

Paulette said...

high way robbery I tell ya, no foolin....

gail@more than a song said...

Ugh, don't get me started on Sears. We've always loved their appliances, with very few problems up until the last year or so. My relatively new front load washer went out, it took a week or more for a repairman to come because I'm in such a rural area. He did one thing to it, it washed one load and quit again. We called for him to come right back and they said it would take another week; by then it would have been 2 weeks without washing clothes which is too long. After much bugging people on the phone & getting transferred around we finally got him back out to fix it the next day. The local repairman couldn't do it b/c Sears doesn't let him have parts. It was enough for me to say we'd never buy from them again...a couple of months ago we replaced our 20 yr old Kenmore fridge with a whirlpool! They've lost my business and now a local person can work on it. Even better is having a Mr. Fixit around like your hubby!