HVAC Sagas, Part Deux

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November 27, 2018 by phicks2012

As some readers may recall, my Air-Conditioning stopped working on Friday October 5th, and I have a Master Protection Agreement with Sears that means they either have to fix or replace a broken (covered) appliance — like my furnace and a/c. It’s in the contract.

The technician came that day (a miracle), but instead of fixing the underlying problem he replaced a fuse, which blew out again a few hours later. Wonderful!

I called back, because that’s what I do, but Sears wouldn’t send him back until October 12th — when he still did not fix it, refused to replace a simple relay because he said he didn’t have the right “work order” for that, and did not return as promised, and did not order any parts, and did not schedule another appointment. Stellar!

Again I called, and again Sears wouldn’t send him back right away. Next available appointment? October 19th. “This will be the third visit” I told them, “so you’d better damn well fix it this time, or pay someone else who actually knows what they’re doing to fix it”. I wasn’t sure the agent (for whom English clearly was not a native language) understood my assertions, but I’ve dealt with Sears HVAC repair folks three times before, and I do NOT accept bullshit excuses not to do the work, and I do NOT shut up and go away.

So on the evening of the 18th I got a confirmation call from Sears stating that my repair visit was scheduled between 8am and 5pm for to 19th. Then on the morning of the 19th I got a text saying it had been CANCELLED. I called Sears, went through three agents, and was told the tech had supposedly “advised me” that they did not work on my furnace — which is total BS. 1) It is not true that they don’t work on it. 2) It is not true that he said any such thing. However, they said they had no available appointments for the 19th — even though I’d had one confirmed — and could not come back until Friday the 26th.

I was LIVID. I advised them that my furnace and A/C had been covered for 20 years, and that I would not just give up, shut up, and go away. I told them that either Sears had to repair the problem or authorize me to hire someone else and have Sears PAY FOR IT. I am STILL furious.

But in the interrim, because I was pretty much totally fed up, we went to an electrical supply house locally and purchased two replacement relays — a water pump relay (because my system is a heat-exchange and uses hot water to supply the heat) and a fan replay (because that was the one making chattering noises). A friend who does HVAC work swapped out both relays (because, why not?) at no charge, and VOILA! Problem fixed. He did say that my A/C needed a shot of freon though, because it was icing up, so I called Sears back and told them I needed freon in my A/C. The LEAST they could do, I figured, was to do THAT!

Nearly three weeks without functional heating or air simply because Sears refused to replace a cheap faulty electrical relay that we KNEW was malfunctioning. They paid two technicians by the hour to come out here on three visits and NOT do a simple, inexpensive repair.

On October 25th I got a call confirming my appointment for the following day, but on Oct 26th (3 hours into my appointment window) I received yet another text saying my new appointment had been cancelled — AGAIN, so I again called Sears, and was told (after a long HOLD wait) that my appointment had not actually been “cancelled”, but that they were simply having trouble finding a senior technician to do the job. He would, they assured me, still be coming!

By then, in total frustration and desperation, I had already had an HVAC person in to replace the relay Sears had refused to replace (a $12 part that could easily have been dealt with on the first visit), but the the a/c unit did still need freon, so I figured they tech they had coming (still coming) could hand;e that, right? “Oh no”, I was told. My appointment (despite what I’d been told) was only for my furnace and not for my a/c, so the same tech could not simply add freon. Huh? No, I needed yet ANOTHER appointment on Nov 2nd for THAT. In the meanwhile though, they were still sending a tech out on Oct 26th to check out the furnace and make sure the repair was good.

Fine, but he never showed up after I stayed home waiting on him, and when I called to complain I was told there was no record of my ever having been even SCHEDULED for an appointment on Oct 26th. You HAVE TO BE KIDDING!

I happen to have copies of texts proving otherwise, so this was ludicrous. So now I’m scheduled for a FIFTH appointment to have freon added to my a/c, but fully expect this also to be cancelled at the last possible instant on some ridiculous pretext.

MY UNIT IS COVERED BY MY MPA, and Sears is contractually obligated to do this work. Instead, Sears is paying phone agents by the hour to deal with me, and technicians by the hour NOT to do simple relatively inexpensive, pre-diagnosed repairs. According to my MPA and past experience Sears is obligated either to fix or to replace any covered appliance, or to pay a 3rd party to do so. Silly me. I expected this to be honored — and to add insult to injury I had just renewed my MPA (at serious expense) in June for another two years only to hear that Sears was declaring bankruptcy and probably would not honor the contract.

I have already been forced to spend money on a covered repair to get someone else to fix a problem Sears should have handled, and any HVAC tech with ANY sort of training ought to be capable of getting his or her butt out here and adding some freon to my a/c unit, right?

So, that night I posted a further complaint to the Sears Homes Services Facebook group, and on the 27th got a message back apologizing and asking for details which I supplied IN FURIOUS DETAIL along with details enabling them to access my service records.

On November 2nd I finally got a service tech to come out and inject some freon, but he said there was probably a slow leak in my evap coil, which is — you guessed it — inside the house in my furnace. To his credit, he measured the coil and ordered a replacement, but I’m willing to BET Sears will try to avoid replacing the part on some pretext or other. I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

I can tell you that as of November 27th no part had been ordered and Sears had not followed through. Big Surprise?

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November 2018


I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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