Home » Oh Sears. Still Not Dishing it Up?

Oh Sears. Still Not Dishing it Up?

sears canada

Sears Canada has a big problem. Their legendary quality and service is being questioned. Social media is the new BBB.

Earlier I had posted about an ad on Kijiji regarding a dishwasher (“Beautiful Sears Kenmore dishwasher -or a really nice boat anchor”). It was not necessarily for sale, but it did highlight the plight of Shauna Jones and Gerry LeBlanc regarding the old run around from Sears. Seems that the Sears reputation for standing by their products and service is not what it is cracked up to be. It is still to me incomprehensible how corporations do not understand that if they don’t live up to their brand, then social media will come back many fold to bite. And rightfully so.

Today Gerry was interviewed on the regional CBC (Mainstreet) about his ad. Kijiji pulled it, after 50,000 hits and a lot of social media sharing (it violated Kijiji’s policy of no opinions or warnings being allowed in the ad copy). The couple had hundreds of responses, and the story had taken an interesting recent turn with a donation made to charity in honour of the dishwasher. Shauna messaged me that  Sears called them and gently ‘chastized’ them for posting the ad – but offering nothing. Now why would a corporation go out of their way to contact an obviously upset customer with no solution or offer of recompense. That is just – well stupid is it not? From the looks of the posts on the Sears Facebook page, they have a BIG customer service issue. Back to Eaton’s I go.

Gerry sent me the original ad copy, as well as some more information about the story. It’s a great read:

Well, who ever thought that it would take 50,000 views to sell one crappy dishwasher?  But that’s what it took to get an offer that we could live with.  That solution most certainly didn’t come from Sears, who did call us, by the way.  It appears that they are not happy with us, and they rather scoldingly asked why we didn’t call them so they could help. What have they been putting on their Count Chocula in the mornings? Peyote?  Mescaline, perhaps?  Do I look like Charlie Frickin’ Brown?  “Here, Charlie, I’ll hold this football for you one more time, and if you kick it, I promise I won’t yank it away at the last second, and you won’t come slamming down on your arse again. Promise”.  Not this kid.  I’d rather eat the dishwasher with some salt meat and fat back than put my wife through their crap again.

Really never thought our ad would get much attention, but it’s good though, ‘cause although you cheap folks wouldn’t pony up for the tank of gas, or the Sushi, or the pants, it seems like the Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon has taken a big steamy dump on Sears through this whole process.  My attempt to get enough for a pair of jeans in exchange for my $800 dishwasher resulted in numerous people posting the ad on the Sears Facebook page, though I probably have more complaints about Sears appliances in my in-box than they do.

I finally got two offers that were really tempting.  The first was an offer for fifty bucks if I included a video of me blasting away at the dishwasher with bird shot (his daughter had the exact same model dishwasher, same bad service), but I’m afraid that my weapon of choice is a catapult, and I don’t have any guns.

But the dishwasher goes to the kindest bidder, who offered $17.82 so I could buy some really nice jeans, PLUS $100 donated to our favourite charity.  Sir, I could not have gotten a better offer!  Thank you!

That said, I’m still out of pocket $800 minus the $17.82 (I did the math 3 times, and got a different answer every time). If, after all of this, you still feel my pain, you could help me raise the $800 for my charity, which is the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.  My 11 year old daughter has been living with the disease for 3 years, and will for the rest of her life.  Help me raise the cost of a dishwasher by making a donation here.

The way I figure it, this is the best possible outcome from this crappy story. It’s the karma train rollin’, rollin’ round the bend. If you good people manage to help me raise a few bucks for a worthwhile charity from this, I won’t come back in the next life as a dung beetle. Sears, on the other hand, and their crappy service, could spend the next decade in the Black Hole of Calcutta tending to the sick, and they wouldn’t build up enough karma to come back as the dung.

If you’re new to this ad, the whole sordid sales pitch is below.

Over 28000 visits to my ad, and that dishwasher is STILL in my garage with no credible “I’ll come over right now – don’t sell it before I get there” offer. Please come take this thing off my hands! In a final act of defiance, as we moved it, it decided to pee out all the remaining water, full of food particles, onto my hardwood floor and my wife’s brand new Mizuno running shoes as we carted it down the stairs – I got a reeeallly dirty look for the Mizunos – sorry, Hon.

We’ve gotten hundreds of email responses, but no offer that included cash in my pocket – people are some cheap, my son! Most replies were sympathetic, from people who had similar experiences – dishwashers, washers, dryers you name it. One was from a poor couple who had to wade their way through the Bangalore Bureaucracy with a fridge that wouldn’t stay cold! Talk about put my poor story to shame! How would you feel if you purchased a high-end Kenmore fridge, and while on warranty, the thing ended up eating so much electricity that the neighbourhood was experiencing brownouts, while at the same time the fridge was about as cold as the inside of the average colon, you had to keep tossing out food because it was growing faster than a Don King Chia head, and kept longer if you stored it in your armpit? Avoid that fridge model, my son!

We got a reply from a gentleman who had a problem with a Sears snowblower and created a YouTube video that made me pee my kilt!

We got two responses from well-wishers who told us how to fix our dishwasher ourselves. Thanks for that advice, Sport, but that ship sailed when we took our problem back to the Sears where we bought it and they treated us like pee-stained hobos reeking of Golden Glow and bumming for change! And I’m sure that the air-lock problem one of you suggested would have been picked up by the dishwasher repairmen who spent more time in my kitchen than my wife. And why should I be spending my Saturday and Sunday on my back with a flashlight gun-taped to my head under a dishwasher that is under warranty getting my fingernails dirty? After spending so much of my life getting them really clean washing dishes right next to an expensive dishwasher, it would be a shame, wouldn’t it? My pugs would be jumping all over my crotch, and I wouldn’t be able to drink my Medium Double Double. No deal.

dishsoaptermoOne dude in Winnipeg asked if the $57.50 included delivery. Couldn’t tell if that was tongue in cheek, or the guy thought I had Capt Kirk’s transporter in my garage. Really, dude?

I think maybe the warranty comments below may have put some people off. You’re right, the warranty is a liability rather than an asset, and the price needs to be adjusted accordingly. How about $17.82? That’ll buy me those really nice jeans I’ve had my eye on at Costco.

It’s still under warranty, you know. Did I mention that little nugget? Sears gave me this phone number to their service dudes in Bangalore or Bophal or New Delhi, and they are standing by to help get this dishwasher back into tip top shape. That phone number is embedded into the back of my aching skull, and I’ll include it with your purchase. All you’ll need is time, patience and a recreational drug of some sort so you don’t blow a gasket or go postal or something worse as you go through the Customer “Service” process! So, seeing that I’m out many hundreds of dollars because I couldn’t ask my wife to relive the agony of dealing with Sears Customer “Service” – last time she ended up gnawing the leg off one of our kitchen chairs, and I ended up falling on my arse when I was eating my Count Choculas (47 per cent sugar, you know) – the price is now $17.82 This covers my Costco wardrobe makeover – mum would be proud.

As I said last time, it washes dishes beautifully – probably the best of any dishwasher I’ve owned (actually my new one is better) – but it isn’t so good at getting rid of the water at the end of the cycle.

Two years ago, my wife and I built a house, and installed a Kenmore dishwasher. Within six months, it had stopped draining at the end of the cycle. So we called Sears, believing that it would be an easy fix. I’ve never considered myself a moron before, but my blind faith in Sears would prove that I should have my mittens tied together with a string, and I should only eat with spoons, as I could easily lose an eye if I tried a fork. Anyway, had to keep calling Buddy on the graveyard shift of Customer “Service” in New Delhi” to deal with the problem. Buddy hated me instantly because I woke him up- no way he was going to make this easy. In the meantime, we washed dishes by hand for weeks, waiting for their repair man to show up – I guess it took some time for the work order to make it the 15 time zones back to Halifax. Then we have to take 4 hours off from work (the repairman only promises to show up some time in the four hour block), burn our gas to get to and from work, only to be told, “we have to order a new drain pump”. Weeks more of hand-washing dishes. My finger nails have never been cleaner, and my hands never softer. “More than just mild. You’re soaking in it”. Remember that commercial? That was me, the new Madge, only with a five o’clock shadow, idiot mittens, and a fork stuck in my eye. In comes the part, so we have to book off another 4 hours of work, drive to and from work on our own nickel. In goes the new part, and the dishwasher works, kind of. . . for about 4 months, then it breaks again. Wash dishes by hand for 3 weeks. 4 hours off from work. Order part. Wash dishes for a week. Take 4 hours off. Install new part. Doesn’t work. Order same part again. Wash dishes for two weeks. 4 hours off from work. Part still doesn’t make it work. Order same part for the third time.

At this point we called back the Sears Buddy in New Dehli and suggested that we got a lemon. “Nope. Can’t be a lemon until it’s been fixed 3 times” they say. “It has been fixed 4 times”, says I. “Nope. The last 3 visits have been the same problem, so they only count as one”, says they. I went into the store where I bought it, and said “you sold me a lemon, please sir, may I have another?”. “Nope” says they. “We only take your money here. We don’t help you with your problems… call New Dehli. Now shoo, you’re scaring off our next victims”. So, I tell them that I’m going home to rip out the dishwasher, and I’m gonna sit on it in front of their store during their biggest sale of the year. And I would have, but after an exhaustive letter writing and email campaign with Head Office, the manager contacted us and after another few weeks, we finally got a replacement.

That replacement (same model) still washes dishes beautifully, but after 11 months of use, it doesn’t drain. Now, if I didn’t have PTSD from dealing with these clowns in the past, and dish pan hands so bad that they’re cracking, I’d tilt at this windmill again. I’ve thought about taking a page from the book of that raving lunatic in North Korea, let my kids starve while I build a catapult and threaten to launch the dishwasher through the window of Sears. But I’m too tired. The new dishwasher that we bought (NOT at Sears), and I shouldn’t have had to install but did, works beautifully.

So. If you have the skills and the time to replace the pump in this dishwasher (I have neither skill nor time), OR if you have lots of time, dirty fingernails that could use a long soak in dish soap, and the patience of Mr. Myagi from the Karate Kid, this baby can by yours for the low low everyday price of $17.82, or a pair of those really nice Costco jeans, size 32/32 – you could save me the trip. After several months of phone calls, drives home on your work time and numerous uncalled for bursts of rudeness to your significant other, you’ll have weathered the storm of being treated like a moron by Sears, and you’ll have a dishwasher that you can be proud of. And I will have the best jeans money can buy – I’ll be wearing them with my wife-beater shirt out to the local country bar, drinking warm beer out of a mason jar, and forgetting all about Sears appliances.

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See also this blog coverage: Anti-corporate rant that’s a great deal on a broken dishwasher (697)

Update: From Shauna on Facebook: “Wow! The never ending saga! Gerry did a marvelous interview on CBC Mainstreet. By the time he got home, we received a written apology from Kijiji and they have reactivated the ad. Here it is again… share liberally!