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  #1  
Old 04-28-2006, 02:14 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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Should I Take Sears to Small Claims Court?

Our dishwasher broke over a month ago, and Sears has set up three appointments to fix it but has canceled each of them AFTER the tech was supposed to be at our house. Three Saturdays wasted waiting for the tech, no dishwasher, mucho frustration... do you think I have a case?

1Dreamer suggested I write a letter to Sears corporate. I'm going to do that, but am wondering if I can ask for some sort of compensation for the time wasted...

Thanks in Advance,
Mark
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2006, 02:25 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Buy a Whirlpool?

No, seriously, I'd be calling to talk to the store manager where the DW was bought.

Let him know you have a choice in future of what to buy.

Otherwise not sure what you can do...
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2006, 02:28 PM
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Robsa Robsa is offline
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I wouldn't bother with court but like wingspan said call the store manager. Throw a fit like a 12 year old girl who is on phone restriction.
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2006, 02:47 PM
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Elvis530i Elvis530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan
No, seriously, I'd be calling to talk to the store manager where the DW was bought.

Let him know you have a choice in future of what to buy.

Otherwise not sure what you can do...


You will get much further complaining up the chain of command and making a pest of yourself than suing them.

By sticking with the informal approach, you are just a customer with a legitimate grievance. Odds are they will throw some coupons at you to keep you happy.

The moment you sue them, you become an adversary. The case gets transferred to their legal department and thence to an outside law firm, and no one else will take your phone calls. In general, the lawyers don't give a damn about anything except protecting the company--frequently, they're paid a flat fee to handle small cases like this, and they get dozens of them a month. You can probably imagine how much of a priority you'll become at that point. Oh, and your dishwasher likely won't get fixed until the case is resolved.
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  #5  
Old 04-28-2006, 02:52 PM
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Dave 330i Dave 330i is offline
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Unless you can establish monetary damage, small claims court won't give you anything except "sorry". Hard for me to imagine that you had the patience not to screem at the appointment center after getting suckered the second time.
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2006, 05:20 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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Hey Guys,

Thanks for the info

I have spoken to Customer Service and Repair Center managers and supervisors, and none are able to give me a satisfactory response as to why they are missing the appointments...

Dave,
this is me on the past 4 Fridays:
this is me on the past 4 Saturdays:
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2006, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markseven
1Dreamer suggested I write a letter to Sears corporate.
Here you go, Mark.

Aylwin B. Lewis
President and C.E O.
Sears Holdings Corporation
3333 Beverly Road, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, 60179

Since K-Mart filed bankruptcy and then merged with Sears, this is the guy they put in charge to shake things up and turn them around - and part of the way he plans on doing it is enhancing Sears image for quality and service. Read some of the press I dug up on him below.

When I have a problem that's not resolved by local management, I always head right to the top with a certified letter and 9 times out of 10 I'm amazed at how quickly I get a favorable response.

I'd suggest a polite rather than hostile approach talking about the reason you buy from Sears is their reputation for quality and service. You might also point out that one of their recent press releases specifically states that Kenmore is "among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S." with Sears being "the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million service calls made annually." Then explain your situation including dates of missed appointments and names of people you've spoken with if you have them, state that you trust this matter will be rectified, you look forward to hearing from him and thank him in advance for his prompt attention to the matter.

It'll never reach him, but I'd be very surprised if someone on his staff will make sure you're taken care of quickly. You might even get a completely new dishwasher out of it, but they're far more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty for who says he wants to keep buying their products than one who is hostile and claims he'll never buy anything there again. I've used this approach with many companies with great success. The most recent was Air France when I got the runaround on how to submit a cash voucher for being bumped until it was too late, but I wrote saying how much I loved the airline, explained that I missed the deadline due to conflicting information I received when calling various departments, but whether they were willing to still honor the voucher or not, I still intended to fly their airline whenever possible. I included the voucher in the letter and about 2 weeks later I had a check in the mail. :-)

By the way, I got the voucher along with a bump to first class, access to the Air France lounge and an extra voucher worth 30 Euro to use at an aiport restuarant by being incredibly polite and reassuring the people at the ticket counter I understood it was not their fault and out of their control while all the other Americans were screaming at them and making demands. As I passed the ticket counter in Paris on my way to board my flight a couple of hours later, I saw those same Americans at the counter - still screaming and making demands, but unfortunately no available seats could be found for them. They might even still be there.

Good luck.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Chairman Edward Lampert named Lewis, the former head of Kmart and of Sears' retail business, to take over as CEO and president of the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company effective Sept. 30.2005. He will have responsibility for the company's 3,900 stores as well as home services, finance, legal, supply chain, information technology and human resources.

Lampert and Lewis served up platitudes about transforming Sears' and Kmart's cultures, winning shoppers' hearts with the right mix and price of merchandise, and letting hard-working employees be successful.

Lewis is clearly the go-to man, while Lampert concedes he spends most of his time where he lives, in Greenwich, Conn.

Lewis has led meetings with the company's top 500 executives, and is spelling out Sears' new expectations to store managers who are being brought to the Hoffman Estates headquarters for "eyeball to eyeball" meetings.

Lewis regularly visits stores unannounced, and each time gives a grade of "A" to "F" based upon exacting criteria such as whether a salesperson within 10 feet speaks to him. He travels on store visits two to three days a week.

Lewis said he has no illusions that shoppers will pick Sears or Kmart above its rivals. But he'd like for shoppers to consider Sears and Kmart as possibilities.The stores must be more compelling and exciting to baby boomers and to children, he said.

Earlier this year, Kmart upended employees' 9-to-5 weekday shifts by installing night and weekend crews to replenish shelves and serve the greater numbers of shoppers in the stores during those times.

Store managers are asked to act as cheerleaders by passing the rules on to their subordinates, and to pledge their allegiance to the new culture. If they don't, they must leave. The result: 35 percent of Sears' 870 store managers have departed since the merger, and 25 percent of Kmart's 1,400 have left.

Searsis the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman,
DieHard and Lands' End brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred
brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair
services with more than 14 million service calls made annually.

Last edited by 1Dreamer; 04-28-2006 at 05:37 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2006, 05:39 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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Dang, Dreamer... you da mang Thanks for the help, man!
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  #9  
Old 04-28-2006, 09:30 PM
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Frank Rizzo Frank Rizzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan
..........***** a Whirlpool?............

most Sears appliances are made by Whirlpool.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2006, 05:22 AM
SWISS SWISS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Rizzo
most Sears appliances are made by Whirlpool.
Ahh but did you know the Whirlpool factory is 20 miles from my house? (No I cannot get you a discount)
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  #11  
Old 04-30-2006, 05:40 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Rizzo
most Sears appliances are made by Whirlpool.
Ah...thanks Frank, you da man.
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  #12  
Old 04-30-2006, 07:33 AM
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Frank Rizzo Frank Rizzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWISS
Ahh but did you know the Whirlpool factory is 20 miles from my house? (No I cannot get you a discount)

Did you know my brother is a welder?


.
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2006, 02:23 PM
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fm_illuminatus fm_illuminatus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markseven
Our dishwasher broke over a month ago, and Sears has set up three appointments to fix it but has canceled each of them AFTER the tech was supposed to be at our house. Three Saturdays wasted waiting for the tech, no dishwasher, mucho frustration... do you think I have a case?

1Dreamer suggested I write a letter to Sears corporate. I'm going to do that, but am wondering if I can ask for some sort of compensation for the time wasted...

Thanks in Advance,
Mark
I think it depends on how much loss you have by not getting to use that dishwasher. If they won't replace/fix it, I'd at least sue them for the cost of the replacement, and perhaps added frustration of having to wash your dishes by hand for a month. They would probably just settle... they wouldn't want the bad publicity of a court fight. It's too bad you can't get this resolved by other means though. Did you talk to the store manager? I would storm into their office (every store has one, I believe, usually back by customer service, phones and the bathroom) and demand to speak with him in person. Court is always a headache. Which Sears was it anyhow? The one in the Brea mall?
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  #14  
Old 04-30-2006, 02:30 PM
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Dave 330i Dave 330i is offline
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I want to be the guy who fills out the small claim forms and file them for my clients. I bet I can turn this into a business and forget working for NASA.
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2006, 11:00 AM
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Mark: Got your vm and just saw this thread. Did you buy your dishwasher on your credit card? If so, your best leverage might be going through the credit card provider. If it's a recent charge, they will allow you to dispute the charge if the product/service advertised wasnt delivered and you have no recourse with Sears (past the return date). If it's a charge that's a few months old, some credit cards have product protection plans that could bail you out of this situation (they vary, check with your card issuer).
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  #16  
Old 05-01-2006, 12:05 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fm_illuminatus
Which Sears was it anyhow? The one in the Brea mall?
No, it was the Sears at the Mall of Orange (now called "the Village")

Quote:
Originally Posted by LA525iT
Mark: Got your vm and just saw this thread. Did you buy your dishwasher on your credit card? If so, your best leverage might be going through the credit card provider. If it's a recent charge, they will allow you to dispute the charge if the product/service advertised wasnt delivered and you have no recourse with Sears (past the return date). If it's a charge that's a few months old, some credit cards have product protection plans that could bail you out of this situation (they vary, check with your card issuer).
Thanks dude, that will prolly be my second to last resort, with a law suite being the last When I get some time, I'm going to go to the Sears I bought the thing from and speak with the store manager and write a letter to Mr Aylwin B. Lewis
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  #17  
Old 05-02-2006, 07:10 PM
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Hey, look at the info I just ran across by accident while looking on KRON's site for something else.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(KRON) -- What happens when you schedule an appointment for a delivery or repair and they fail to show up?

Barbra from Oakland writes: "I had an appointment on July 7th between 1 and 5 p.m., but they did not show up. What is the law on service calls with a no-show?"

Well, the good thing is, there is a law that concerns this very issue. Utilities and retailers with 25 or more employees have to offer a four-hour service window. So, you'll know if you have to be there between 8 and 12 or 1 and 5.

If the person just doesn't show up, you can sue them in small claims court for up to $500 and you have the law on your side.

But, it's not like you just get the judgement. The repair person or company will likely try to get out of the penalty.

If they called you and have a legitimate excuse or as the law says, if there were unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances, the judge will likely not rule in your favor.

But too many times, we hear about companies that just don't call or keep pushing back the time and never arrive. That's when this rule really works.

http://www.kron.com/Global/story.asp?s=3707614
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  #18  
Old 05-02-2006, 09:23 PM
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Elvis530i Elvis530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Dreamer
Hey, look at the info I just ran across by accident while looking on KRON's site for something else.
Whoa! Learn something new every day--I had no idea there even was such a law.

I don't know if it's necessarily going to help Mark, since he said they have called to cancel each time. Of course, three times in a row might sway the judge.

Maybe it might be worth threatening them with this after all?
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  #19  
Old 05-02-2006, 09:44 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Dreamer
Hey, look at the info I just ran across by accident while looking on KRON's site for something else.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(KRON) -- What happens when you schedule an appointment for a delivery or repair and they fail to show up?

Barbra from Oakland writes: "I had an appointment on July 7th between 1 and 5 p.m., but they did not show up. What is the law on service calls with a no-show?"

Well, the good thing is, there is a law that concerns this very issue. Utilities and retailers with 25 or more employees have to offer a four-hour service window. So, you'll know if you have to be there between 8 and 12 or 1 and 5.

If the person just doesn't show up, you can sue them in small claims court for up to $500 and you have the law on your side.

But, it's not like you just get the judgement. The repair person or company will likely try to get out of the penalty.

If they called you and have a legitimate excuse or as the law says, if there were unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances, the judge will likely not rule in your favor.

But too many times, we hear about companies that just don't call or keep pushing back the time and never arrive. That's when this rule really works.

http://www.kron.com/Global/story.asp?s=3707614
Dude, you are a on a roll thanks bro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis530i
I don't know if it's necessarily going to help Mark, since he said they have called to cancel each time.
Elvis, twice they I called after the window had passed, and only then did I learn that the tech wasn't going to show
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