Monday, January 21, 2008

Can Anyone Explain This To Me?

This is another installment in the "What's Up With That" Series

I have to admit at the get go, I am not a mechanical person. I have a difficult time making keys is true; just ask Jim! The poor man is married to me and he is brilliant in the mechanical department and can fix just about anything. Our son, Chris has his PhD in Mechanical Engineering but me...nothing in that department. As long as something works, I have no aptitude for or interest in how it works. So that stated flat is my story for tonight:

Yesterday Jim tells me that the dryer is not working properly. There is no heat which pretty much renders a dryer useless in my opinion. Although he normally fixes everything around here he is very busy now, had plumbing issues at his mom's this afternoon, etc, so he suggested I call Sears and make an appointment for a repairman to come out.

So far I am totally on board with this, this I can do. So I call Sears and go through the long phone tree where I select my language, put in my phone number, etc. choose my selection from the ten choices and finally get a person. Then I explain that we have a gas dryer that has no heat..pretty straight forward, right? So the person says, "I see your dryer right here it was purchased in 2001, right?" I say," I guess so." So the person says it is most likely the heating element. I ask the cost of the repair and she says $65.00 for the service call and $180.00 for parts and labor. OK. But she says I should just get the 1 year service warranty as that is only $193.99 plus tax so it would be cheaper and we would be covered for the whole year. OK. I ask about the part that needs replacing and she says it is a heating element and is going to switch me to the parts department for a price check on the part. I get the parts guys and he says that would be $27.98 and it can be shipped to us by the weekend.

With my limited math skills, I realize that it is 10 times more expensive to have a guy come out than for Jim to put it in. The guy on the phone assures me it is basically a drop in and if there are any problems just call back they have tech support available to answer your installation questions.

So I am feeling really good about my ability to handle this and decide to call Jim and run it all past him. He is definitely interested in looking into getting the part. He comes home from a messy plumbing job and I give him the paper with all the quoted prices, phone numbers, model numbers, etc. and he sits down to check it all out.

He calls the parts department and tells them what we need and goes over some things with the woman in the parts department. After sharing the model number and looking at the schematic they discover that the other people, even though they had all the correct info on the computer and the model number had given me all the wrong info. What they gave us was for an electric dryer not a gas dryer. Looking back on it, this woman was the only sharp crayon in the box.

Square 1 has now become Square 2...I start over at the beginning. Using the same words I explain that our GAS dryer does not have heat. OK they say...$72.00 for a service call and then I will get an estimate for the repair at the time of the visit. They cannot explain how the first person I talked to had a $65.00 service call and an amount for the repair in advance. I ask for the service department. The guy knew even less than I do about dryers and parts. At this point I hand the phone over to Jim and he discovers in about two seconds flat this guys knows nothing about dryer parts at all. In the background I am saying..they have technical help available ask for one of the techs. So he asks for the tech and he tells the story once again and the guy says, "...Hmmm, let me refer you to the parts department. " At that point, Jim said "no thanks" and hung up.

Square 3... Jim is at his computer studying the schematic drawing of the dryer and getting frustrated as there is a part on the drawing #24 and it is mysteriously missing from their parts list. No kidding, it goes 21, 22, 23, 25! And that #24 is probably what we need. Hello! Sears is a nationwide company that touts over 4,000,000,000 parts in their cache and the schematic isn't even right. So I decide to call again as each time you get a new person and a fresh chance at finding one with a brain. This time I get a guy who sounds like he has at least graduated from high school. I explain all that has gone on, and say, "I just want to talk to a tech support person to help with narrowing down the problem so we know exactly what to order. " Then I hear these words, "We don't give no tech support or diagnostic support over the phone at all Mrs." I say "WHAT?" with a little edge to my voice now. "Nope, no tech support at all, what 'probly' they meant was if you need help a technician can come out to your house to help you put it in." OK THEN! Now I am mad and I am not giving up.

Square 4 ...I make my last call to Sears. A lady answers the phone and tells me that if a technician comes out it will cost me $72.00 if we decide not to have the repair done. If we do have them do it it will be incorporated into our parts and labor costs and not a separate amount. I told her I had heard so many different stories that I was going to choose hers at it sounded the best so far. She then confirmed they do not have tech support on the phone, they do have the warranty for $193.99 plus tax but if I don't sign up for it tonight they will have to list that I refused it on my account and then I will not be able to get it later. So I said that was fine but I wasn't deciding tonight and hung up.

In the meantime Jim was browsing through some dryer stuff on his computer and when I got off he said...."Guess What?" "What?" I say, entirely too exhausted from this whole fiasco. He says, "Tomorrow go pick out a new dryer. I'll have it installed before bedtime." Geeeesh! What a hassle, after all that poor Jim still has to do it! I think even I could have figured out how to fix the old one before Sears could find one person who knows their business. I can see that their merger with K-Mart was a very groovy idea! Birds of a feather flock together!


Miss Jen said...

yikes, WUWT? (what's up with that?) Customer service is a thing of the past I'm afraid!

Laura said...

What a nightmare! Sears has also given us grief with our washer. We got a "new" one that didn't work and they had to change it out. NIGHTMARE!

Deanna Munoz said...

That is so funny, but sad at the same time. Christian gets so frustrated with ANYTHING mechanical because for comes so easy, he cannot understand why it makes no sense to others. lol! I am sorry you had to go through all of that!!! Jim is a lot like good old Harold. My dad is great at fixing things...once he gets to them! lol!
As far as teaching...I am teaching at Heald Business College. I teach the Medical Billing and Coding as well as the Medical Terminology. I love it so far. Its great and I am off by noon everyday, so its really working out well....I just LOVE being able to keep up with the Mattson family through the blog world. I am sad about your loss to cyberspace, but know that the Flud family loves the Mattsons too!!!

Deanna Munoz said...

P.S....I just read your "pet peeves"...and can I just say AMEN to the "not learning english in the US" pet peeve!!! AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!! And that is coming from myself as well as my SPANISH SPEAKING HUSBAND!!! That is one of Christian's BIGGEST pet peeves, it really bothers him that you have to press one for english...and that 90 percent of hispanics in the US do not speak english!! DRIVES THE MUNOZ FAMILY CRAZY!!! I cannot tell you how many times we have gone to a restaraunt when the waiter or waitress see's that Christian is hispanic and then proceeds to speak spanish...he always looks right at them and says, "NO NO NO, we are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!! You need to learn English"!!!! lol!!! Just another reason why I love my spouse!! LOL!

Bon's Blog by Design said...

It was funny, Deanna, in spite of being very exasperating. I get so tried of having to investigate every purchase so you can tell if the clerk knows anything about what they actually sell. I did go get a dryer and guess what...not at Sears! Once bitten, twice shy! We will be up and running again by Saturday as they had to order it. Bummer, but we will survive nicely until then.