Nadia Prescott’s freezer has broken, and now her refrigerator is on the blink, too. What should she do about her Sears warranty problem?
I have a three-year home warranty for my appliances with Sears. A technician visited my home last week and supposedly fixed my freezer. But yesterday morning, neither the fridge or the freezer were working and my food was spoiled.
I spent two hours trying to reach Sears by phone and was finally offered an “emergency” appointment next week. A representative gave me a link on the Sears site for a food replacement reimbursement, but the page does not exist.
I’ve called a local repair person who is coming tomorrow. But I paid almost $650 for this warranty. I want Sears to pay for the fridge repair. If the refrigerator can’t be fixed, Sears needs to honor what’s in the warranty and replace the refrigerator and the spoiled food. Can you help? — Nadia Prescott, Salem, Mass.
I’m sorry about your broken appliances. Of course, Sears should have quickly fixed your freezer. Instead, you’re dealing with a broken freezer and refrigerator — plus about $500 worth of spoiled food.
You have two separate customer service problems. First, there’s the service contractor who made things worse, according to you. Although the company outsources its maintenance, the buck stops with Sears, as they say. Problem number two: the timing of the next repair. Sears wanted you to wait until it was ready, but you couldn’t.
Your Home Warranty Program is clear that this is Sears’ call to make. “Determination of coverage for any claim will be made solely by us, considering, without limitation our independent service contractor’s diagnosis,” it notes.
I agree with you that an “emergency” appointment isn’t next week. It’s the next day. Sears could have — and should have — done better. But it didn’t have to, at least according to the terms of your agreement.
How to contact Sears about your warranty problem
I think a brief, polite email to one of the Sears corporate contacts might have moved things along. At the time you contacted me, Sears was operating under bankruptcy protection, which might have slowed the process.
To Sears’ credit, I get few complaints about its Home Warranty Program. Sears doesn’t just cover kitchen appliances, but also washers, dryers, pools and septic systems. If I were a homeowner, I might be tempted to buy a home warranty.
I’d like to write this off as a bankruptcy-related problem for Sears. In normal times, the company would have probably responded immediately and fixed its service contractor’s mistake.
I contacted Sears on your behalf and it agreed to cover your repair costs and compensate you $200 for the lost food.