Lawn & Garden Stories

From: Fennimore, Robert L. []
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 6:11 PM
Subject: Leaf blower model 358.797920


I guess this goes under lawn and garden...

In Fall 2003 I bought a Craftsman leaf blower model #358.797920.  It came with a 2-year warranty.  It worked great for a year or so, and then one day it stopped and no amount of struggle could start it.  I took it back to Sears and they said "just go grab another one, as it is still under warranty".  This was OK, I figured I just had gotten a "lemon" the first time.  The new one worked great until about 3 months ago, when the exact same malfunction occurred.  It was out of warranty, so I tried to fix it myself.  I checked the Web for guidance (search terms: Craftsman leaf blower model 358.79720), and got back all kinds of horror stories describing the same exact problem, along with stories about how Sears told them to "get @#$%" when they took it back to Sears and complained.
I took it apart and cleaned and fixed everything that looked like it might be out of whack and put it back together (no easy matter).  It did not start, what a waste of time, but I persisted, taking it apart again.
After some more tinkering I narrowed the problem down to the carburetor.
It could not be anything else, as everything else looked fine.  The carburetor was stamped "Made in China", so I figured Sears had outsourced the carburetor for this model to some shop in China, and you have heard all the stories lately about companies who have done that.
Yesterday I finally got up the nerve to try taking it back to the Sears store where I bought it and try my luck complaining to them.  It was the Sears store in the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, VA (in case Sears is checking out your website, which I hope they are - the date was May 6,
2008 and it was about 2:30 PM, you morons)  As expected, they told me to get @#$% and I stormed out of there after a few choice words, including "no wonder there's nobody in this bleeping place" (The salesmen where all standing around picking whatever and there was nary a customer in sight).  I don't think Sears, or any other retailer, should be this indifferent to complaints from customers who feel violated because they wasted their money on a clearly inferior product (warranty expired or not).  I spent about $85 on this leaf blower and I expected it to blow leaves for 10 to 15 years.  All my other power yard tools are at least this old and they work fine, except for a lawn mower that just died this Spring, but I'm OK with that, I got many good years out of it, and will gladly buy another one just like it, and I got it at Wal Mart, not Sears.  By the way, when I complain to Wal Mart (Sam's Club) they always straighten things out and leave me a happy customer, I love that place.
Sears - take a lesson - do not forsake your customers for the sake of saving a few cents per component on the manufacture of your products, you are trashing the formerly respectable Craftsman name.  By the way this story is also circulating via word of mouth, and you know how powerful the grapevine can be.

Sears - send me a check for $85 or I am never coming back: Robert Fennimore,
8901 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA, 22102.


From: Hurley Daniel TSgt 181FW/SV []
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 1:49 PM
To: ''
Subject: Craftsman 18" Gas chainsaw/ extended warranty

I have a Sears Craftsman 18" gas chainsaw that's about 1 1/2 years old.  When I got it I used it for about 2 months and then did not used it for a few months until winter came and I need firewood.  I work find until one it would not idle they became hard to start.  I took it to my local Sear store they sent it in for repair it was past the 12 month warranty so I paid around $60.00 to have it repaired they said it was the fuel cap was leaking air (this was in April 2005). Sears sent me the paperwork for and extended warranty I purchased it $100.00 for thee years,  About 2 weeks  before Thanksgiving I went to use the saw after I had cut about 1/2 a truckload wood the saw started doing the something would not idle and hard to start.  I took it back to Sears at Linton, Indiana where it was purchased from he look it up on the computer and told me it was covered by warranty they sent it in and told me it would be about a week.  After 2 weeks I had my wife stop at Sears in Linton, Indiana the manager Vic said it had not come back yet, she ask him to check and see why.  The next day he left a message on my home voice mail that it was going to cost me $139.00 to repair the warranty would not cover it, because it was abuse and had not been lubricated.  That is no way no how true, I mixed the 2 cycle oil with the gas as prescribed in the owners manual and also used bar oil so there is no way that it did not receive lubrications

Now this is my case the charged me the first time for the repair and said it was the fuel cap and charged me $60.00 and now under the extended warranty I purchased from Sears they are telling me it is abuse.  I think their whole service center is set up to rip off the consumer because if it was abuse why would they have not said this the first time?  Now I believe the just don't want to fix it because it has to be done with the warranty.

I have call the Sears national complaint line and have also filled a complaint with the BBB, my next step is to file in small claims court.

Let me sum it up with this the saw cost was $149.00 plus tax, the first repair was $60.00 and $100.00 they want to charge me another $139.00 to repair it.  If I would have purchase about the same chainsaw from Wal-Mart if would have cost $139.00 and if I would have this bad of problems they would have just replaced it.  I was under the impression that I was buying quality because it was Sears and Craftsman.

I would never recommend that anyone buy anything from Sears to include their warrantees. 

Daniel Hurley, Tsgt, IN ANG
181st Services
DSN:    724-1350   FAX 724-1340
COMM: (812) 877-5350   FAX (812)877-5340


From: binu sunilmon []
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 12:25 PM
To: steve@searsscrewscustomerscom

we bought a lawn mower[craftsman] from sears in november,2004,besides manufacture warranty,we took warranty from sears too,if something goes wrong they come home and fix it.In may 2005,mower broke down ,called sears to fix it.our story starts now.....almost 10 technicians came home ,between ordering wrong parts and right parts,our mower is not fixed yet until today,september 2005.I call Sears atleast every week,fight with customer service people for a new machine or to pay to cut my 2 .5 acres grass.THE ANSWER IS A BIG NO.Technicians who come to fix the mower are totally ignorant of what they are doing,they come home look at the mower ,order new parts and a new tech show up next time., and it went on and on.Over night delivery for sears takes 7 days.They don't document anything in their computer,we have to explain our story to everyone who picks phone from top to bottom..Well,what I learned.I would not buy anything from sears anymore. Lawn tractor repair 12:36 PM 8 KB 05/10/2005

I,unfortunately,own a Sears lawn tractor that is under warranty.During startup,one of the bolts securing the cooling fan,came loose and destroyed the fan and housing.I loaded the tractor in my pick up and drove 20 miles to the repair facility.They advised they no longer repair tractors at the facility and I would need to schedule an in home repair.I made the call and advised exactly what was broken to be sure the repairman had the parts.I was told there was no guaranty he would have the parts.I requested they note re the fa/assembly.This was verified via phone later.......The date for repair was set for 8 days later.I took the day off from work as they would only state arrival between 8am-12pm.The repairman arrived at 1120am.Took one look at the tractor and stated 'I'll need to order a fan."I told him of my advice to the service advisor on the phone.This did not faze him."It will take 3-4 days to get the parts,I cannot get back here till some time next week."I asked why I would not be placed at the top of the list for repair....He laughed!!!!stating "no one gets put at the top of the list."I inquired as to who I could complain,he stated "All you will get is a recording." ........I own several other Craftsman items of recent purchase.....pressure washer,generator,push mower,snowthrower and woodchipper totaling over two thousand dollars.In my opinion SEARS/Craftsman items are only as good as their service.......CRAP....II WILL NEVER SPEND ANOTHER DOLLAR AT SEARS and have shredded my Sears  card..IT IS NO WONDER THEY ARE CLOSING DOWN STORES NATIONWIDE!!!!!!!!       PLease post this so others will be warned.