I'm a Better Dad Than Him. . .

Sears Works Hard to Convince Me to Never Buy a Major Appliance in Brantford

Long-time readers (and readers willing to read long walls of text) will know about my several month long drama with T&A Appliances. You'll also know why I'll never buy a single thing from that mismanaged store again. It seems like Sears heard about this event and said to themselves, "Hey, a big box store can do everything better than a small regional store chain! Especially when it comes to screwing over the customer. Screw them, guys!"

With the arrival of Everett, we decided life would be far easier if we finally sucked it up and got a dishwasher. I don't like doing dishes to begin with, but I also appealed to the argument that we're already busy and the baby will take up so much time. We needed a dishwasher to spare every few minutes we can muster. So, we did. Actually, it was an incredibly generous gift, but the point is we got a dishwasher. We decided that Sears would be our venue of choice.

The dishwasher was delivered and installed without any problem. We didn't have to wait several months for it to arrive or hear several contradicting stories of why it is taking so long. It seemed like we were going to get a "non-hair pulling" appliance experience. Oh how naive I was.

I should have seen the signs for disaster when the dishwasher was installed and Emily started to check it out. We weren't able to see this model in the store, but our salesperson assured us that one of the dishwasher models in the store was almost exactly like the one we were purchasing except there wasn't the extra spray in the back (or something -- I was thinking about muffins). Emily noticed this dishwasher was missing quite a few more things, and really wasn't anywhere close to "exactly like the other dishwasher."

But I decided it wasn't a big deal, because we got a good deal on the washer (a gift!). Plus we aren't planning to stay in the house forever and ever. The plan was always to get a dishwasher that will keep the dishes clean (the original job of Crosby and Summit), and buy the all-powerful "make your drinks and massage your feet" type of dishwasher for our "permanent" home (Everett?). We let the salesperson's trickery slide, and got ready for a wonderful life of machine washed dishes.

That lasted about two or three weeks. Suddenly, our dishwasher wouldn't turn on. Since my technical skills end with flipping on the light switch, I decided to call customer service and see if they had any ideas.

They didn't. So, they called on a repair person to come in. It was all done quickly, and within a few days he was already out to check on the dishwasher. The issue ended up being the latch was faulty, and we would need a replacement.

The thing is, this was a brand new washer. It was less than a month old. I didn't want to already be putting on new parts. But luckily, our warranty stated we can get a replacement washer within the first 30 days. I called up customer service and let them know that is what I wanted to do. They informed me that I would be able to do this, but I needed to talk to my original salesperson. She was going to contact her for me, and get her to call me back.

Two days later I got a call from a confused salesperson who didn't understand what I meant by a faulty latch. It seems like the message went to a salesperson in the vacuum department. A department that doesn't really deal with a lot of latches. Eventually, I got transferred over to the right department and got to talk to my original salesperson.

After about 5 minutes of explaining to her that she was my salesperson, ("Who was your salesperson?" "You were my salesperson." "What was your salesperson's name?" "Am" "That's me." "Yes" "I was your salesperson?"), we got to move on to me explaining for another 5 minutes that I already had a repair person come to my house and I just wanted the replacement dishwasher that is promised in my warranty. The conversation ended with her saying that the new dishwasher will be sent out ASAP and she will call me with the day and time.

Excellent. Despite a conversation going a little longer than I wanted, it looked that my issue would be resolved promptly.

I'm so naive, sometimes.

It was about three days later, and I had not heard anything from my salesperson. I decided to give her a call. I was notified she wasn't in today, and she had not left any record of our conversation or proof a dishwasher had been ordered. Huh. But I was promised that they would leave a note for her, and she would call me promptly the next day.

She didn't.

I called her, and got to play the game where I let her know she was my salesperson. After I won that round, she notified me that she talked to her manager about the dishwasher and was just waiting to get something sorted out. What exactly needed to be sorted out? Maybe it was the last dishwasher of its kind, and they needed to arm wrestle a warlock to convince him to have his elf soldiers fly it over on the backs of their unicorns. Or maybe she just realized she didn't do anything, and needed a cover. Either way, I asked her when I'd hear back, and she promised she would call me at 11:00 the next day.

Surprise, she didn't. When I called her, she let me know she is just waiting to hear from her manager (deja vu!), and he happened to be trapped in an ice cube at the moment (or something like that). I told her this was starting to get a little silly, and all she had to do was order me a new dishwasher as the warranty stated. I also reminded her that she originally told me that it was just a matter of ordering one and setting up a delivery time. She promised everything would be taken care of, and I'd get a call the next day. So, she essentially just replayed the previous day conversation, except I didn't need to convince her she was my salesperson.

Did she call me the next day?

Are you even paying attention? Of course she didn't. She didn't call me because she was now on a two week vacation. Makes sense. I wouldn't call a customer on my vacation either. I probably would have told them that Friday was my last day, and then arranged someone else to take care of the matter. But maybe that is why I'm not a Sears’s employee.

I talked to the manager that day. He promised that he had been talking to the salesperson. They were just trying to figure out the cost issues, because they didn't feel it was right that I'd have to pay.


Of course, I wouldn't have to pay anything. This is why I have that warranty. Sears covers the cost, and I get a new dishwasher. All sorted out. I wasn't exactly ready to call this guy over for a beer and wings. He did tell me everything would get sorted out soon, and he would be calling me every single day to keep me updated.

Two days later I called after not hearing anything. He was at a conference. No one knew anything about my issues. But by golly, I could leave him a voice mail! I did. I let him know that if things weren't resolved promptly that I'd be letting the higher ups of Sears know about his "service."

A day later I got a call from a guy letting me know that a repair person was coming to my house the next day. I told this guy that I didn't want repairs, but I wanted a new washer. The call guy said he actually didn't know squat, and he was just calling me to let me know someone was coming to my house. Maybe it was going to be a serial killer? A clown? He-man? Who knows? But someone was coming to my house. It may have to do with my dishwasher too.

I got the call the next day from the repair guy to alert me he was going to be over in 15 minutes. I had a rather bad feeling based off the previous phone call. So, I asked him if he was bringing a dishwasher.

Of course not. He was bringing a latch. You know the thing that my dishwasher needed. The thing that I didn't want because it was a new dishwasher. Well, I let him know that I was expecting a new dishwasher and I didn't want the latch. I cancelled the order, and the guy was nice enough to volunteer to call Sears for me and sort things out.

He called back to tell me the manager wasn't in, and no one wanted to do anything without him around. Apparently, they are all electronic toys, and the manager is their battery.

I called anyway. I left another great message for my buddy, the manager. I told him I needed that dishwasher because the sink was getting pretty full and I expected to hear a date for the dishwasher's arrival promptly.

Two days later, I decided to call again. No one answered. I left a message letting them know that it had been weeks since I was promised a new dishwasher, and they had three days to contact me and arrange a time for its arrival.

Two days later I called again. The manager was busy. Instead, I got a wonderful gentleman who greeted me with an irritated tone once I revealed my name. "Listen, the dishwasher has been ordered." Well, I then made sure he was ready to listen. He heard my entire story. It included a healthy dose of sarcasm and rage. It changed his tone rather quickly. He admitted he didn't know the full story. I admitted that I was about an hour away from contacting people who can get me results.

Then magically, the manager called me a half hour later. He must have been meaning to do this for days. It couldn't have been my last conversation that got him to call me so quickly.

He apologized for the delay. He informed me that not only has the dishwasher been ordered, but it had magically arrived in the store this very moment. He just needed to call the install guys and set up a time.

They then proceeded to call our house five times the next day. They seemed to want to make up for the lack of returned called before.

So, now here I wait for my dishwasher to be installed. Again. Hopefully, this time it lasts a bit longer than 3 weeks.

I want to get a new BBQ. I'm thinking I'll shop around in Hamilton.


  1. Oh my goodness, I'm so happy to be able to read about your terrible ordeal (not happy that it happened) but it's always good to know when stores are giving you the big run around. After this ordeal is done, I would suggest writing a letter to the corporation - do you have a good papertrail / proof of exactly what Sears Brantford did? Perhaps the next time would be to say that you will come into store and force them to take care of the paperwork right there and then in front of you :(

    I'm so sorry this had to happen to you and now I'm all worked up too! Someone's gotta pay for this lack of accountability!

  2. I'm just happy to have a dishwasher that works in my house. I've thought about taking things further, but then there is the whole "don't like doing more work than I have to." Maybe I'll just promote this article more, and get people to read this delightful tale about customer service. It'd be funny if this ranks high on searches for Sears.


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