Last week we finally had to give in and replace our old washer and dryer. We deliberately did our best to nurse them along until the Labor Day sales, which worked out well. Unfortunately, our experiences dealing with Sears during our purchase interactions didn’t work out as well.
First interaction: We went in to buy the appliances. To give the sales guy his due credit, he was reasonably knowledgeable about them, although he made one or two statements that, while factually correct, I discovered later had been ambiguous enough that they’d left me with a mistaken impression of how one or two things worked. Since I’m one of those people who reads the manual, not a big deal. He also neglected to tell us that we needed to have metal dryer ductwork in place or they’d refuse to hook up the dryer when they came out to install. We only found out because, thank goodness, the automated delivery notification mentioned it. (I will say, however, that I appreciated his willingness to not hound us about buying a service plan. When salespeople try to push me into buying service plans I don’t want, I become very tempted to shop elsewhere.)
Second interaction: We went back in to buy the metal ducting. Now to be fair, when the salesman said, “oh, this is what you need,” and confidently handed us a package, we should have double-checked that he’d given us the right thing. So we’ll definitely take part of the blame for this one. Still, it was annoying to have the delivery guys tell me they’d have to sell me *more* ductwork when they arrived (thank goodness, however, that they carry some spares on the truck).
Third interaction: The delivery team seemed knowledgeable and industrious; I was pretty impressed. Until, that is, we ran the dryer—and discovered that instead of actually attaching the ductwork to anything, they’d just shoved it into the nearest hole in the wall. When we came down to get our dryer load, we found the ducting had blown out of the wall and steamed the laundry room. Not exactly good for the sheetrock, the linoleum, or the shiny new appliances (the room still smells a bit musty). And it’s the sort of mistake that really does leave me thinking, “really, Sears? What kind of experienced installation team does that?”
You expect in any major endeavor there’ll be at least one slipped detail somewhere. Parts one and two were minorly annoying, but not a big deal. However, between the fact that part three wasn’t so minor, and there were mistakes, however small, at every step, we weren’t left all that impressed with Sears. I’m going to have to look at other local options next time we need to buy an appliance.