Refill your drink and stop in the bathroom. This is a long story!

We are still having an issue with the water heater. I wrote about this on Tuesday (read it here) and I thought it had a happy ending. They ordered a part, it was supposed to be shipped next day and they would come on my day off, today, to install it.

On Wednesday, they called and left an automated message for us to make another appointment. We were busy with the 10,000 other things going on in our life and didn’t call them back until Thursday. By 4:00pm on Thursday afternoon, we still did not have the part and they were coming to replace it Friday morning. My husband was the one to call them back. (Hey, I get stuck talking to the health insurance guys all the time. Besides, being in sales, he is pretty persuasive.)

He talked to five different people and was cut off two times. For each person he talked to, he had to explain the whole story again. I was busy doing the after school shuffle, so I had to leave. When I got home 35 minutes later, he was still on the phone.

This is what he heard:

Person #1: The part shipped on Tuesday. It went out next day.
Husband: Well, it isn’t here. Can you track it?
Person #1: I’ll talk to my manager.
Person #2: We can’t track it for you. We can transfer you to the automated system for tracking.

He was disconnected when transferred. He called back.

Person #3: We can track it. It shipped out, but not overnight. It should be there Friday.
Husband: Why didn’t they ship it over night?
Person #3: It wasn’t ready to ship over night. (What?)
Husband: When did it ship?
Person#3: Tuesday.

They went back into “why didn’t it ship over night” again. He was transferred to another manager.

Person #4: We do not really know where the part is. We could ship out another part. It would arrive Friday if they shipped it over night.
Husband: Could they come Saturday to fix the water heater then?
Person# 4: No. There are no emergency spots open Saturday or Monday. You will have to wait until Tuesday.

My husband explained that it is a water heater that is under warranty and is less than two years old. It has been leaking for almost a week with a constant stream of water dripping into the floor drain. We are wasting water and gas. He asked again if there was anyway to fit us in. Still, the answer was no.

My husband asked why was it that Sears could get a brand new water heater here in less than 24 hours, but to get a part repaired, it was over a week? She agreed that he was right and offered him a new water heater. Now we were getting somewhere! When she put him on hold, he got disconnected again. He rested his head on the table to keep from losing it.

A few minutes later, she called him back. They ordered it and talked about installing it on Friday morning. Everything was looking up, until…..

She told him that the water heater was free, but the installation was going to be $300.00.

Are you kidding me? He battled back and forth, but she wouldn’t budge. There was no one else above her to talk to (or so she said) and nothing else she could do. We were stuck. We either got another water heater on Friday for $300.00 or we take another day off work, wait for the part and another repairman for $75.00. Let me remind everyone that I groom dogs out of my house and need the water heater. Taking off time for a four hour repair window throws a wrench in my day! Washing a dog in cold water is mean.

My husband calmly told them that this is the last $300.00 Sears will receive from us and to please let those people above her know that. Person #4 reminded him that there was no one above her and this was all she could do. He asked if Bruce Johnson was still CEO and thought that he was probably above her. Could she let him know? He also mentioned that he would be sharing his story with our many neighbors and friends that still had their original water heater. He would be directing them to Lowes or Menards. He got off the phone, pissed off and exhausted 45 minutes later.

But it was not over. While I was out doing the early evening shuffle with the kids, someone else called back. This time it was a part manager from New York. My husband asked him why he was getting involved. He said that he just stumbled upon our situation and looked into it. He told him that customers were the reason he had a job and he wanted to help. (How refreshing!) He apologized for the running around and the fact that they were going to charge us $300.00 to install a new water heater just because they didn’t know where this part was. He said the truth was, they are completely out of parts. They never shipped anything because there was nothing to ship. He could not explain why the other Sears employees were telling us false information. The part manager found a Sears parts store near our house that showed “low inventory” for this part. Could my husband pick it up? If so, they could fit us in on Saturday to fix it at no charge.

So guess what my husband is going to do this morning? To be continued….

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