Sears once was a great American company.
I don't know what happened. Competition has beat them down although they still sell some good merchandise.
But, as I learned the hard way this week, you should not rely on them for repairs.
I have an old Kenmore vacuum. It still works well, but it needed a filer, light bulb and new wheels. So I ordered them online from Sears.
Those few small parts cost $100. I should have known right then I was in trouble.
Light bulb and filter were no problem.
But when I looked at the two plastic wheels I discovered they didn't have any recognizable way to remove them.
The vacuum manual, which I had, was no help.
Calls to Sears for repair instructions were fruitless. A series of emails resulted in them telling me to take a hammer and smash the old wheels then "snap the new ones on." Ridiculous. They don't snap on. They slide onto an axle, but something has to hold them on the axle.
They didn't tell me that, nor had they sent me the two little nuts or washers to hold the wheels.
Every time I asked, they kept hinting that I should take it to a Sears repair shop.
So I called the local Sears repair.
I got a phone robot, which switched me to some guy in New Jersey. He gave me the phone number for the local shop that I had just called.
I called back, the bot switched me again. This time to Texas.
She got someone at the local store on the line and connected me. It was the wrong place. After being switched twice, I got a repair guy.
He told me that if I brought in the vacuum, they should ship it to Orlando. Two weeks later, at a cost of $125, I would have it back.
So replacing two little wheels, a bulb and a filter would wind up costing me about $250 -- more than the entire damn machine did when I bought it new.
All because they couldn't send me 25 cents worth of nuts and washers with the parts and simple instructions to replace the wheels.
When I bitched, the guy says if I would bring the vacuum and wheels in, he would "try" to help me.
I finally went to Lowe's, found two little lock nuts for $1.86 and got them on by myself, saving two weeks and $123.14.
No wonder we now live in a throwaway society.