April 9, 2019 by phicks2012
On Thursday of last week (April 4th) I called Sears to request a service call on the leaking hot water heater in my basement. It was a slow leak, but a leak nevertheless, and needed addressing because I was getting puddles in my laundry room. Not deep enough to skip rocks across, but nevertheless annoying.;-)
The agent on the phone “Audrey” had me do some troubleshooting; then informed me that since it was leaking from the bottom it could not be fixed, and that, because it was covered by my Sears Maintenance Agreement, Sears would simply replace it. She was very nice, verified that it was covered, and said I’d be getting a call in a day or two to schedule the replacement. Excellent news!
But three days later on Saturday, while I was away at an SCA event waiting to take a Heraldry class, I got a very badly-timed call from a far less pleasant Sears agent saying she’d cancelled the order because my hot water heater was NOT covered by my maintenance agreement — saying it was a GE and they had it down (for some totally unknown reason) on the warranty info as a Kenmore. I have never HAD a Kenmore down there. I have a new Kenmore in my attic, but they had the correct information listed on THAT one, and when the basement unit was put onto the MPA agreement last June I made sure they had the correct information (model number, serial number, you name it), so it definitely was not my fault that they had it wrong. However, the woman was snotty about it and said I had to call the “Warranty and Benefits Department” (and several other departments) on Monday to straighten it out if I wanted anything done. Not her problem….and the horse I rode in on.
So I spent two hours on the phone Monday the 8th with a rep named “Phyllis” in the “Warranty & Benefits Department” to get them to correct their warranty information (that should never have been incorrect in the first place), and then to create another replacement work order for the correct hot water heater, after which I was guaranteed yet again that they would be replacing the unit, and told to expect yet another call to schedule.
That call had not come in when, this morning between 7:30am and 8:30am the hot water heater burst and flooded my basement so that there were several inches of standing water down there, rugs soaked, and probably small fish breeding. 😉
So, I called Sears back yet again today to try to expedite the hot water heater replacement, and finally managed to get past their computer only to be told by some guy whose name I couldn’t reliably catch that they had no record of a replacement order. I was transferred several times before I got to someone named “Marissa” who promised to help me — only she was in the “Warranty & Benefits Department” and she said the “Water Heater Department” first wanted to schedule a technician to come out and access the hot water heater and guarantee that it could not be repaired. Huh?
Why? Who are we kidding? I had already been told twice that it could not be fixed, even BEFORE it burst, so I now was supposed to wait for some tech to come out here and tell me that yet again when that question was pretty much rendered moot by a flooded freaking basement? Yeah. Tell him to bring a canoe.
She promised to resolve the issue by talking with them, and swore not to disconnect me. If she did, she said she would call me back, and then she put me on hold and disconnected me. She did not “call back’, so after a while I called again and talked to yet ANOTHER agent “Haley” to whom I had to repeat the whole story yet again. She said she would talk to the “Water Heater Department” and try to find out what they were going to do about the situation, and then SHE put me on hold.
This time though, I was transferred to the “Water Heater Department”, and someone named “Ashley”, who again listened to my tale of woe, and then put me on hold (promising not to disconnect me) while checking on when they would be doing the job. Fortunately, she came back assuring me yet again that they would be replacing my hot water heater, and telling me I would be getting a call by the end of the day to schedule the replacement. Again, there definitely would BE a replacement — she assured me — and she apologized profusely for the trouble and frustration. Well, I hope so!
In any case, apparently I finally pushed the right buttons, because I just got the call, and they’re coming tomorrow with the new hot water heater. At least, that’s what they say, and I have confirmation numbers, reference numbers, and this time even a direct phone number for the installers. They are supposed to call tonight with a definite time, within a 2-hour appointment window. We’ll see.
So at this point I still have a busted hot water heater, no hot water in the kitchen and basement (the unit being bypassed now), and Jason down there with a wet-dry vac and a mop trying to get the remainder of Castle Lake Reservoir out of the basement before he disconnects the hot water heater and shifts it outside. I did offer to help, but he seems to think I’d be in the way, so what the Hell!
The UP side — okay, well the basement floor is now much cleaner. 😉