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Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Posted by NewEnglandSara (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 18:13

Hi there,

We recently decided to buy the Whirlpool 28 cf french door fridge with an additional pull-out drawer on the outside of the fridge plus ice and water dispenser. The fridge is normally $3000, but Sears had it on sale for July 4th for $2199. Unfortunately, we just missed that sale! (It is now $2425 online and $2699 in store.) Today a sales associate at Sears (from whom we have purchased appliances in the past) offered to honor the $2199 July 4th sale price...but only if we buy a five year warranty for an extra $550!

We are trying to decide if this extra warranty is worth that much money. In the past we have bought the warranty and never used it. However, this fridge is a french door with ice and water on the outside, and I am not sure if that is more likely to break. The fridge comes with a one year warranty, and we will get an additional year of warranty by purchasing with AmEx. That said, by getting the July 4th discounted price, that would sort of buy us 50% of the five year warranty compared to the current fridge price. Then again, maybe there will be a good sale again between now and when we need to purchase by early September?

I welcome input on the Sears protection plan. Is it worth it? How likely is it that we will need it?

Thanks so much!

Sara


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Is this the dual evaporator model? If so avoid. See link for a discussion by appliance techs. It ain't pretty. More complicated fridges tend to have more issues but when someone reports that EVERY single one they've sold has failed, I sit up and take notice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Whrilpool French Door WRF989SDAF Dual Evaportors


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

hvtech42, it is actually a slightly different french door version with an extra exterior drawer. Do you think this one will have that same issue?

http://www.whirlpool.com/kitchen-1/refrigeration-2/refrigerators-3/-%5BWRX988SIBM%5D-1021865/WRX988SIBM/

I thought we had made a decent choice, but now I am worried! We need to decide by first thing in the AM since our kitchen cabinets are going to go into production!

Many thanks,

Sara


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

No clue whether that will have the same problems, or whether you'll need the warranty. I was really just trying to make sure you weren't buying that particular model they were complaining about. Whirlpool has had a good reputation for fridges in the past. Normally I think extended warranties are a waste of money but it could be worth it in your situation because of the discount and the fact that it is a pretty complicated fridge. Be sure to let us know how it works out for you once you buy.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Sears calls there plan a "maintenance" agreement, really there is no maintenance to do on modern refers. Sears is extremely high price on those plans.Home Depot 5 yr is $150. (yes I work for HD) Question is Sears going be around in 5 years ??????


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

How long does Sears price match on appliances? If you really don't want the extended warranty and want to buy it now, if their price match period is long enough, you might just want to pay the current $2400+ price, then roll the dice that it'll go back on a better sale.

My last fridge was a Samsung I bought at Best Buy. It was a very common Samsung and Lowe's kept putting it on sale. I think the price match period was 90 days. Maybe it was only 30. But I went back twice and they handed me money back. Can't beat that!


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

What is the warranty on the compressor / evaporator?

It should be 8 - 10 years - without an additional warranty.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

This is one of the poorest warranties I've seen on any Fridge!!!!

"For one year from the date of purchase, when this major appliance is operated and maintained according to instructions attached to or
furnished with the product, Whirlpool Corporation or Whirlpool Canada LP (hereafter “Whirlpool”) will pay for Factory Specified Parts
and repair labor to correct defects in materials or workmanship that existed when this major appliance was purchased. Service must be
provided by a Whirlpool designated service company. YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY UNDER THIS LIMITED WARRANTY
SHALL BE PRODUCT REPAIR AS PROVIDED HEREIN. This limited warranty is valid only in the United States or Canada and applies
only when the major appliance is used in the country in which it was purchased. Proof of original purchase date is required to obtain
service under this limited warranty.
ITEMS.

First note, no extended warranty on the "Sealed System"
(Compressor, Condensor, Evaporators valves~~etc.

2nd Note that it says:
"YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY UNDER THIS LIMITED WARRANTY
SHALL BE PRODUCT REPAIR AS PROVIDED HEREIN. This limited warranty is valid only in the United States or Canada and applies"

So if they can't fix it, You are "Stuck" (no offer of a replacement).

That's enough to "Scare Me Off"!!!!!!

Gary


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

TJMWine, I would love more info on how the HD warranty differs from the Sears one. It would be nice to have a warranty for around the $150 price; do you know what that covers? This would definitely be an incentive to buy from HD vs. Sears.

cal_quail, that is a good suggestion! One thing that is scaring me about Sears is that I can't get a "middle ground" extended warranty. It is $550 or nothing.

Gary, thank you for taking the time to look at the warranty that comes with the fridge! I think I assumed all of the initial one year warranties were similar. It sounds as if this one is really bad. Would a company like HD or Sears be able to offer protection beyond that manufacturer's warranty if we bought a plan? Also, do you think LG or Samsung offer something better? LG in particular has a similar style fridge that we could consider, but I thought their service was iffy too. Am I wrong on that?

Wow, this appliance purchase process has been more stressful than anticipated! Whew.

I can't thank you Gardenweb posters enough! :-)

Sara


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Ouch yeah, that is a bad warranty. My GE french door which cost about the same has 1 year full warranty, 5 years on the sealed system.

The thing is, even the ones with extended sealed system warranties are often parts only, not labor. Sealed system repairs are often labor intensive and take a long time, and most people do not have the tools or skills to DIY them. That compressor replacement will still be extremely expensive unless you have an extended warranty, even though the manufacturer is paying for the compressor itself.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 13:04


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

hvtech42, you seem so knowledgeable. Do you have any advice. Our goal is to have a very large capacity fridge for our family of five: 28+ cf. In the past, we returned a french door fridge since our freezer was disorganized, and the kids were opening the upper doors too often. However, it is also very hard to keep a deep side-by-side organized. We loved this Whirlpool model since it has an exterior fridge drawer for high-use kid stuff plus THREE pull-out shelves on the bottom for organizing the freezer. I think the only other brand that offers the three pull-outs in the freezer is LG. The GE and Samsung pull-out freezers have just two drawers (although Samsung does offer versions with the pull-out extra fridge drawer.) The Whirlpool fridge has everything we want, but I don't want to buy into a horrible warranty or fridge. Would you buy the Whirlpool and get a particular type of warranty with it? Or would you consider one of those other brands? If the other brands, which ones? Finally, which "big box" store would you try for a reasonably priced extended warranty? We were thinking of Yale, but the service there has been pretty awful. The salesmen just never get back to us via phone or email, and it is a very long drive to get out to Dorchester.

Many thanks in advance for any opinions! :-)

Sara


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

What I would do, Sara, Assuming you "must have" that Whirlpool fridge, is to "Check Out" local service companies in you area. Find the name of a "Prospective" Appliance Service Repair Company in your area. Then google the name of the company along with the word "reviews".

If you find some that check out to your satisfaction, then "Ring them up" and see if they will offer to sell you an after market warranty on that fridge.

A "Plus" for the fridge is the parts should be easy to get and "relatively" inexpensive compared to some of the fancier fridge makers in here, (Miele, SZ & Liebherr) for example.

When I was having trouble with my Jenn-air fridge, I looked on the net, and I could find parts galore and most at pretty decent prices. But more important than that was the Service company. I called Jenn-Air, they gave me the names of 3 companies, 2 of the 3 had Horrific reviews!
#3 had great reviews, and I called them. They diagnosed and fixed it "Straightaway" and for a really great price.

I'm so happy with them, that "IF" in the future I need to replace any appliance, I will be sure that it is one that service company will service!!!

As mentioned, it's not the parts that will destroy your wallet but the labor to put them in~~~~so a good, honest and reputable service company should be your "FIRST ORDER of business!!

"To me", at least, I've read far too many post about the time required and the difficulty of getting parts for both the Samsung and LG fridges, that "I, Myself", would shy away from them.

One other thing about the fridge you are looking at, most of the complaints center around its ice making ability (or lack there of) as well as it making ice where it should not~~~~so something to consider too!

Gary


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

My advice would be to stick with your original plan and get the Whirlpool with the extended warranty, especially since you get the discount.

I really like my GE french door, no problems yet in the couple years I've owned it. But IMO they don't have good double drawer offerings, and I doubt you'll be able to find one for as good of a price as you're getting on the Whirlpool.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Thank you to both hvtech42 and Gary! Gary, it sounds as if you are suggesting finding a good appliance repair shop that offers a five year warranty after-market. Interesting idea! hvtech42, would you go with that five year Sears plan for $550 because it offers more comprehensive service than a place like HD or Lowe's? The price on that is SO high, but maybe it is worth it. And you are right about the low sale price helping to cover that big warranty price tag.

I feel relieved to think that I can still get the Whirlpool fridge, and I guess I now just need to figure out a way to balance costs with getting proper warranty coverage. At least I am narrowing down the issues! ;-)

Thanks once again!

Sara


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

I do not "think" that hvtech42 was here when all the negative posts were here in GW about "A&E Service,(Sears).

See the helpful link at the bottom of my post to see some of these reviews.

I did goggle "New England Appliance Service" and I did find a number of "Good Possibilities" and even one store that does both Sales and Service with very good reviews~~~~perhaps you could see if they would price match "Sears".

Anyway, try the search and for even more companies just add the word company into the search string.

Gary

Here is a link that might be useful: A & E Service Reviews


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

You know, another option is to save the $550 and use it for a repair if necessary. The sealed systems usually do not break in the first 5 years which is why most manufacturers warrant them that long. I just had the first repair on my 12 year old KA and it was for a relay and cost around $200. I definitely wouldn't buy a Sears warranty if they plan to use A&E. I have a local repair shop that I use (infrequently) for appliance repairs. They usually show up within a day or two of when you call them.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

But Sears will not give her the discounted price if she turns down the extended warranty. So she would not be saving $550.

By no means was I saying that Sears has the best service, but I assumed she needed to make a decision fast and didn't have time to shop around.

If you can find it for a great price without extended warranty that's what I would do.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Is there another Sears within a reasonable distance and could you see if they'd price match without the extortion must-buy warranty?

note: I'm not always against extended warranties, in fact I think I'm going to get them on everything in my new kitchen. But that extended warranty is more expensive than I was quoted for an extended warranty on a SZ.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

NewEnglandSara Home Depot HDPP works this way for $150 you are buying 4 extra years (plan starts after 1st year) BUT the plan has a food spoilage allowance for up to $300 each occurrence and cover power surges from day one, manufacturer warranties do not have these features. Does not cover cosmetics and consumables but with the 4 year you can get 25 % rebate on water filters.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

I would find their boss and see if you can get that warranty for less.

Personally, I do not do any business with sears and would only take a kenmore product if given to me free. At least this is Whirlpool.

I would specially make sure it says that it will cover the water and ice maker in the warranty


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

We bought a Kenmore dd refrigerator from our local Sears store and the sales lady talked us into the extended warrantee. We never had a problem until the warrantee had expired. We did get to call to do a filter replacement if we bought the filter from them. I know we had routine maintenance done annually too. Hardly worth the price except for the security we felt at knowing major problems would be covered.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Wow, thank you for so much great input! I am certainly learning quickly about all things appliance-related (although maybe not quickly enough since I was silly enough to miss those July 4th sales!) :-)

The lowest current prices on the fridge are definitely at online stores such as Goedeker's, Abt Electronics or AJ Madison. Plus, these stores don't charge sales tax, so that is an additional savings. If we aren't going to get the extended warranty, my husband is wondering if it makes sense to order online. (Shipping is free, although it isn't "white glove." However, we have contractors working at our house who could bring the fridge in.)

One nice thing Sears offers is a 30 day exchange policy; if you aren't happy with the product within 30 days, you can return or exchange it. That is nice to know when we are trying a brand-new style of fridge. Still, I am so dismayed that their warranty options are so "all or nothing:" $550 or no warranty at all.

tjmwine, I do have one additional question on the HD warranty (if you see this.) Would that cover issues that go wrong with the ice maker or is it just on the very limited items that Gary pasted in (above) from the Whirlpool warranty? It sounds as if the HD warranty might be suitable for most fridges, but the basic warranty that comes with this Whirlpool fridge seems to hardly cover a thing. :-(

I will certainly figure this all out, my the input from the his group has been truly amazing and beyond helpful!

In appreciation,

Sara


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

This whole deal sounds dishonest.

First, any reputable manufacturer would warantee the sealed unit and compressor for atleast 5 years. All they are doing is selling the fridge cheaper by lessening their responsibility.

Secondly, I would never buy a 3rd party warranty. If the warranty company goes bankrupt you are SOL.

This happened to a friend of mine. Years back, he bought an extended warranty on a car. When he needed work done the dealer told him that the warranty company was no longer in business. The dealer explained that yes they sold the warranty to him, but the warranty company was the one who would pay the claims!!


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

The warranty I posted was directly from Whirlpool.
It is in their Operators Manual, for the fridge.

We ALWAYS recommend that you download the Operators manual BEFORE buying any appliance!!!!!!~~~that way you don't get "Nasty surprises"~~~~
like this "Anemic" (to be kind), warranty from Whirlpool.

So in this case we can't blame Sears or anybody else for the warranty~~~what we can do is send inputs to Whirlpool that we aren't about to purchase a fridge with such a useless warranty.

What you want to do, is read the "fine print" on ANY "3rd party warranty", you are considering~~~does it include the ice maker, (parts and labor), sealed system~~parts & labor, etc etc.

Again as I mentioned take the time to check out the company you are considering for "3rd Party Warranty"

Goggle (Home Depot Warranty reviews, New England) for example.

Now for some good news for you.

Looking at the reviews on the link you sent for the Whirlpool fridge, it got 59, 5 star reviews and 17, 4 star.
It got only 8, 1 or 2 star reviews, so that leaves us close to a 90% rate of highly rated reviews~~~~~it would be hard to find many fridges that can match that, albeit that these reviews are from posters that have only had the fridge for a short time~~~~so it does not (necessairily) indicate the "Long time reliability" of the fridge.

Of course this is only 1 web-site, but most reviews on other web-sites seem to be positive for the fridge~~~~and remember more folks will post complaints than will they "Atta Boys"!

Gary


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Sara, what state do you live in? We bought our refrigerator locally from a family run appliance company that has great service and a reasonably priced 5 yr warranty that we negotiated lower price due to a lower price of the refrigerator at another store.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Gary, all terrific points! I was also encouraged by the positive reviews, although I did see that they are recent since the fridge is new. You make some great suggestions about researching warranties.

Prairiemoon2, I live in Massachusetts, right outside of Boston. I welcome any suggestions if you are local!

All best,

Sara


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Sara, I sent you an email. Let me know if you don't get it.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Myself, I would google WRX988SIBM Massachuettes, and find the best price at a "Local Store" and then check reviews for them, and if the store "Checks out", (review wise), then I would buy it there, but "Your mileage may vary"!!

However, if you are looking for the lowest price, then this one would be hard to beat, (and no strings attatched)!!!!!
Go to the "Helpful link" at the bottom of my post to go to the "Appliance Connection"

To see their lowest price you have to click the "Cart" but it is an "Amazing price".

If that appeals to you, then next step is to check out "Appliance Connection", both here in Garden Web as well as elsewhere

Let me know what ya think of that price, with that much of a savings, that will more that buy you 3rd party service!.

By the way, their 5 year service plan is $179 as I recall!

Gary

Here is a link that might be useful: Best price for


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

1) 'So if they can't fix it, You are "Stuck" (no offer of a replacement)."
Haven't had a problem like that with Whirlpool. In fact in CA LEMON LAW applies to appliances, A Liberal state like Massachusetts would have some what the same
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2) Samsung , great product ,lousy service,Very hard to deal with. So much so I do not like selling them.Tries to get out of every thing but I have heard that once people threaten to call the CA ATTORNEY GENERAL's office they cave in.

3) Home Depot warranty starts after the manufacturer's warranty and cover any mechanical function including ice makers.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Hi again,

Prairiemoon, I found your email, and I will respond right away! Thanks so much!

Gary, that is a great website to check out for good pricing!

TJMwine, I really appreciate the clarification on the HD program, which sounds like quite a reasonable option.

It is so helpful to have multiple options to consider.

Many thanks again!

Sara


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Sears warranties are not worth a dime and will only invite frustration and cost into your life if my experience is any indication. I didn't even consider Sears for my new kitchen appliances because I purchased a washing machine and bought their expensive 'master protection' agreement. It has not worked in one year, all the while under warranty. It can take up to 2 weeks to get an appointment. They never, ever show up during the hours of your appointment. Except when I was out of town, I've had multiple tech appointments each month. Finally after 11 months, a tech figured out they had now put in the wrong new control board 3 different times and that was why I had not had a machine in one year...in spite of it being under warranty and in spite of approaching 20 tech visits and in spite of them spending 5 times what it's worth in parts to repair it. Multiple times I've been 'escalated' to Customer Solutions, but when I was told by Elizabeth in Customer Solutions (and later Trish) that I had already had 3 "non-functional failures" so if the tech couldn't repair it on the next appointment...and he couldn't...that would my my 4th non functional failure and it would qualify for replacement. I called and a new Customer Solutions person said their research indicated I had only had 2 non functional failures and denied the replacement. This week, I waited at home 2 days only to be stood up both days. So now, I guess that they can't repair it, won't replace it and no longer bother to show up for appointments they make. And it's always the same, until today's notes are updated, we can't do anything...call back tomorrow. Calls take forever.

So if you are even considering purchasing a Sears warranty, here's a tip: When you call for a problem and the person gives you their name, ask for their employee ID number before you even begin speaking. Make a note of it. I used to only write their names down until John denied my replacement and apologized that everyone before him had "misinformed" me. Thus far, the only thing I can see that the Sears warranty people are good at is apologizing.

I have pages and pages of notes of my ongoing saga...more than a year's worth. And my washing machine still doesn't work. It was a Maytag 4000 series, btw.

By stark contrast, I ordered my new Bosch appliances before Bosch was shipping them to the US and still they ended up coming in late. So the store manager where I purchased them offered me loaner appliances until they came in. Didn't take him up on the offer as my kitchen reno is also running late, but I am thanking my lucky stars I didn't order from Sears.


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

LTTN, I am SO sorry to hear about your stressful experience with Sears! I appreciate your sharing how things went, and I certainly hope your next appliance experience is a much, much better one. :-)

Good luck with the renovation!

Sara


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

Sara - We bought the refrigerator you're looking at a couple of weeks ago and had it installed this past Saturday. We paid a bit more than $2500 at a sale at Lowes. We paid $149 for an extended 5 year warranty. There's a somewhat different sale/rebate offer going on now - but the final price is about the same. Perhaps the really low sale price you saw at Sears was offset by the high extended warranty price?

FWIW - I wouldn't buy an expensive appliance like this without an extended warranty these days. Because manufacturers' warranties are so crummy. I haven't had much need for warranty service on the appliances I have - but all the major retailers here - regardless of the warranty company - pretty much use the same couple of repair outfits. IOW - you'll get the same level of service. I thought the Lowes warranty was fine - and my husband said it was better than the Home Depot warranty. But we've never had an issue with our couple of warranty repairs no matter where we bought an appliance.

BTW - we really like this new refrigerator and the way we can organize our food. It is of course too early to tell how it will stand up - but we haven't encountered any problems so far.

Two caveats. The freezer section really doesn't have room for "large storage". Like that really big Thanksgiving turkey. We have a unit in our garage for that kind of thing - but you may not. Also - unless your refrigerator cabinet enclosure is tall enough to accommodate the door hinges - the unit will stick out a ton from the edge of the enclosure (even if the enclosure is tall enough for the hinges - it will still stick out perhaps 1-2 inches more than a 25 cubic foot or so unit because of the depth of the doors). Robyn

This post was edited by shortyrobyn on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 18:45


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RE: Is the Sears 5 year fridge warranty worth the $550?

I thought I would post another follow up to the nightmare that is my experience with a product under Sears warranty. Finally, 13 months later, after much persuasion from me, Sears agreed to replace my machine about a week before the 10 business days/2 weeks of tech service 'research' into the part my machine needed, which is no longer made which was known from the day it went into 'research' and still Sears continued to take that 2 weeks for 'research'.

This meant I had to go into a store to choose my replacement, which I did, as per a robo call instructions stating the credit amount and that it would include removal of old machine and installation of new machine. Delivery came yesterday. Guys did not know nor want to remove old machine. Asked me where the hoses were for my new machine. And no, they could not use the ones from the old machine.

You would think that after more than a year without a machine, even though it was under warranty the entire time, they might either inform me I needed hoses when I went to choose the replacement or include it for free. No, of course not. So they left with the new machine. No installation.

Sears left me a number to call about rescheduling delivery. It's a disconnected number. I tried calling the local store. It goes to the same endless loop of useless customer service at the national level and I've been disconnected 6 times today. I give up.

I honestly think I'm going to go into the store and create a terrible scene. I've had it. There is one thing and one thing only Sears is good at in my considerable experience of, at the very least, more than 60 hours on the phone with them in the last year...they can apologize well for their shortcomings. I should have just cut my losses and bought a new machine a year ago somewhere else.

It's now over 13 months since my washer stopped working and I still have no machine. That's my experience with their expensive warranties. They have spent at least $4000 in parts, the wrong part as it turned out, but hey, at least they have put plenty of billing on the A&E books (tech service company they partly own) which it would certainly appear is more important to them than customer service. Company store culture. Maybe they thought I would just give up and go away?


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