Wednesday, December 19, 2012

you can't get there from here

The spousal unit and I had matching looks of horror on our faces when he returned from his annual trip to the mall, while I sorted out the annual microwave repair call.  

Armed with a list that included model numbers, he arrived at the mall moments after it opened, figuring that an early Tuesday morning would be the least painful time to shop.  And it would have been, if the store he was looking for still existed as more than a just name on the you-are-here map at the mall info booth.  His attempts to buy my presents were equally stymied, since HMV now only stocks Ke$sha and Beiber.  Where do you buy CDs anymore? he asked in frustration. I tried to reassure him, you have to go to Seattle.  Sad, but true.

Meanwhile, my calls to book the annual microwave repair were a study in absurdist theatre.  It gets a little complicated, but essentially I knew from last year's annual repair that since the warranty expired a couple of months ago, I would need to go directly through an authorized repair centre.  But of course, there's a proviso - one of the parts (which was replaced last year) is still under warranty.  You would think this would be a good development, however ...

Repair Service: If it is the magnetron, you need to call Sears and get them to fax us a service order, because that's still under warranty. 

Sears:  Why are you phoning us? Your microwave isn't under warranty, so we are no longer responsible.  However, if it is the magnetron (which is still under warranty), then you would have had to call us and have a Sears repair person come out, in order for us to pay for the repair.  However there are no Sears repair people in your area, so we would call the same company that you did.  However since you called them instead of us, we can't pay for it, even if it is the magnetron.

Rather than cancel the service call that we waited a week for, in order to have Sears issue another one for which we will no doubt wait at least another week (last year we waited for a month), and for which we may not be covered under warranty anyway, I think we'll just suck it up and pay for it ourselves.  

The planned warranty invalidation is truly impressive.  It almost makes up for non-quality of over-the-range microwaves these days.


Anonymous said...

The hunt for CDs is soooo annoying. You tryly can't find anything in the stores! I spent yesterday afternoon scanning and passing. Tell, tell, where in Seattle can one go to find CDs????

Lesley said...

I don't even believe there is really something called a "magnetron" anyway. That sounds like a Transformer.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Next time you are in Seattle, I highly recommend you go to Easy Street Records on Mercer Street, ReBelle. It's record heaven.

I think you are right, Lesley and I am pretty sure I saw a Magnetron on Futurama once too.

Allison said...

I'm with Lesley. I can't believe the name. Or that you've had so much trouble with one microwave.

My little one I bought for $40 has lasted longer. I hope you're able to get it fixed soon!

SearsCare said...

Dear Bad Tempered Zombie:

My name is Susan with Sears Social Media Support Escalations team. We are a single point of contact for escalated issues which means that we handle situations start to finish with one dedicated case manager. I found your post here and wanted to reach out and offer our sincere apologies for the difficulties you are experiencing setting up warranty service for your microwave. We understand how frustrating and irritating this is since you contacted the company in your area that services for Sears yourself and now Sears won't cover the part (magnitron) that is covered under warranty. If you would allow us the opportunity, we would like to connect you with a dedicated case manager to further discuss your recent experience and see what can be done to turn this situation around.

At your convenience please contact our office via email at and a dedicated case manager will contact you directly. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number the microwave was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide your screen name (Bad Tempered Zombie) you used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

Thank you,

Susan R.
Social Media Moderator
Sears Social Media Support

Barbara Bruederlin said...

All fixed, Al! I absolutely will never get another over-the-range microwave though. Too many things to go wrong and too hard (and expensive) to repair.

Thank you for contacting me, Susan. I appreciate and applaud the efforts that you are making on behalf of Sears to rectify situations of customer displeasure. As it turns out, the part that required repair was not the one still under warranty, but I will still take you up on your offer to contact your office to speak with a case manager. I have some suggestions, which Sears may consider implementing, that may make the entire warranty/repair process less confusing to the customer.

Eugene Knapik said...

If only you could repair a microwave with a Bieber CD. Then life would be grand.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Eugene, that is well worth a try. I suspect it could be a very satisfactory effort.