Dear Kenmore...Part 2

If you've spent any time reading my site you know I am a fairly mild-mannered, happy-go-lucky, let-it-go kinda gal.


I have a saga to share about my vacuum.  My KENMORE VACUUM. 

Maybe you will recall I wrote about this sucky appliance once before:

Here's the story:

Bought said vacuum at the end of 2011, to replace a Kenmore vacuum we'd bought in 2009, which broke and got relegated to garage duty.  I hate upright vacuums, and for whatever stupid reason we keep buying the same canister vacuum from Sears.  It. is. completely. insane. that. we. continue. to. do. this.

However, we have gotten smarter over the years and purchased the extended warranty...(for whatever THAT'S worth!).

At the end of October (of this year) the plastic piece which connects the hose to the canister unit cracked.   Damn It! That means a trip to our local Sears store, 20 minutes from the house.  Pack up the vacuum, head to the store.  Come to find out, from the really nice back warehouse attendant, they no longer take vacuums at the store for repair.  He says I have to fill out a form and send the vacuum in through my nearest UPS Store to the maintenance center.  That's a bummer, I think to myself, since I have brought it in to the relatively close Sears store for fixing twice in the past 18 months.  With a smile on my face, I thank the nice man for the form and make my way to the UPS Store with the vacuum in the backseat of my car.

Fill out form and make my way to UPS on November 4th.  Decide, along with the nice lady behind the counter, we don't need to send the entire vacuum...that would very wasteful and costly for Sears.  Off the hose goes!  She gives me the receipt with the tracking information.  Simple, right?

About a week later, I get a message on my cell phone from a woman who tells me the vacuum hose will cost $133.00 to fix and if I am interested in moving forward to please call her back at 423-892-3760 x 9780243.  By the way, my hose is in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

So, on November 9th, right after I got the message, I call the number.  The phone rings continuously, then the line dies.  Try again, maybe I got the number wrong.  Same thing happens.  I think, third times a charm, right?  Nope. 

No more time to deal with this situation until the third week of November.  At which time I take a look at the copy of the form I sent with the vacuum hose (I always make a copy of paperwork, mainly because my husband tells me to.)  There is only one number on the sheet:  1-800-4-MYHOME.

I dial it up...explain to the woman on the other end I am trying to clear up a problem with my vacuum hose in Chattanooga.  Explain the message left on my cell phone about $133 repair cost and how the vacuum is under warranty until October, 2016.  So there should be no charge.  (I have the original sales receipt from the vacuum and warranty in front of me for reference.)

She cannot help me.  She transfers me onto the next department where I (calmly, nicely) explain my situation (again).  This time I don't even get told I am being transferred, instead I get hung up on.

Call back...try again.  Explain (nicely, calmly) the situation to FOUR MORE PEOPLE before I get transferred to James in the Escalations Department.  He listens attentively to my story and then transfers me to Mark.  Mark is kind enough to listen to my long, long story.  And to offer to help me track down what is going on with my vacuum hose.  He even creates a "case management" number and gives me a phone number I can check back with him on if I don't hear anything within 24 hours.  Thanks Mark!  Over an hour later I finally hang up the phone.

(Side note:  with every successive phone call I have made regarding my vacuum hose, the more upset and frustrated I become, the quieter/calmer my tone of voice becomes.  That's the way it works with me....I realize the person on the other end of the phone is not going to want to help me if I get pissed off AND it is not their (personal) fault that Kenmore makes a shitty vacuum.  Or that we continue to buy a shitty vacuum.  This is what my therapist would refer to as "internalizing my anger" is very bad for my psychological state of mind).

TWENTY-FOUR HOURS LATER I call the case management number and refer to ID#2989196.  Donya, who is the lucky winner of my phone call, tells me the hose will be fixed and sent back to me.  It should arrive within TEN business days.  Today's date:  November 20th.

AWESOME!  Knowing we have the Thanksgiving holiday in there, I assume it may take a day or two more.  BUT....IT'S ON THE WAY!

(Meanwhile we have moved, to a home with brand new carpeting, so I am not really, really concerned about vacuuming at this time).

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

December 8th loving husband says to me, "Maybe you should call and check on the vacuum hose." 

Ah man, do I have to???!!!  I don't have an hour to waste...but, knowing he is right, I make the call because at this point my house could actually use a good vacuuming.

I now call the Escalations Department immediately (888-391-8867), instead of farting around with the 1-800-4-MYHOME-waste-of-time-number.  Alena is today's winner of hearing my now incredibly long story.  For an hour she goes back and forth (typing and receiving information from some person in the Operations Department) to try and help me get the situation resolved.  I hear everything from "we have called you several times and sent letters registered mail and gotten no response" to "we have no record of your vacuum warranty". 

I am starting to lose my cool...

"Alena (I say, in a sweet, calm, very nice voice) here's what I want (under the notion ask and you shall receive, right?):  I want my vacuum hose returned, as soon as possible, fixed, free of charge.  Alena, I need you to make this happen."

(I can hear her typing like a madwoman on the other end).

She tells me all she can do is ask a supervisor to call me, which should take place within 72 hours, to discuss the situation further.  Almost whispering I tell her, "well then Alena if that's all you can do, then please write up that ticket."


Shortly after that, I receive a voice message on my cell phone.  It's Josh from the Escalations Department.  He is apologizing up and down for the miscommunication and issues.  He says when the warranty was put into their system "someone" messed up one of the letters and that's why this whole thing has been such a huge problem.  He says, "We will fix your vacuum hose, which is completely covered under your warranty, and return it to you as soon as possible."

Damn, I wish I hadn't missed that phone call!

(You know why they call it the Escalations Department don't you?  Because the customers emotions when dealing with the repair system chain of command escalate into sheer madness!)

So, hubby says to me today (December 17th)..."Think we should call and check to be sure the hose is on it's way back to us?"

(You know when you are married and your spouse says "we" what he really means is "you", right?)

Sure, I got an extra hour to do nothing, why not honey?

 I talk with Donya...I remind her I spoke with her about this same vaccum waaaaaaayyyyy back on November 20th (when she told me the hose was on it's way back to me).  Funny, she doesn't remember me.  (Maybe if I had gotten irrate at that time she would have...).

After thirty minutes of complete b.s. and more story-telling, she says:  "The hose is still in the process of being fixed, when it's been shipped we will let you know.  I am being told I cannot guarantee it will reach you in time for the holidays."


Now that I think about it...poor Donya....I should probably send her a floral bouquet or something...

So, here it is in a nutshell:  My vacuum hose has been in Chattanooga, Tennessee since November 6th when "Steve" signed for it on the dock of the Sears Repair Center.  And, at this point, I don't think I will ever see that piece of shit hose ever again. 

I am incredibly mad at the service I received and the only way I might change my mind is to have the flipping president of Kenmore deliver a brand-spanking new "top-of-the-line" vacuum to my door with a big smile on his face.

Here's hoping YOU have a vaccum that works this holiday season!