That spiffy new oven/stove you see to the left was just installed in our kitchen. Our old stove (and I mean old) was a Jenn-Air style that had inserts you could put in to do things like grill indoors. A neat innovation for 1942 but it meant we had a small oven compartment because a grease trap took up the left quarter of the oven space. You’ll notice that our air vent in the new stove is in the middle of the cooktop, or in other words is a down draft. Our old stove had a similar set up, which means the ventilation runs beneath the oven, between the floor joists and through the wall to the right of the stove. When we decided to replace the stove (the stove top started spontaneously heating) Celeste did some research and found out that unless we wanted to completely re-do our ventilation system we had exactly two stoves to choose from, both of which were Jenn-Airs. For those not familiar with stoves, as I was, let me tell you that "Jenn-Air" = "four times the cost of your average stove."
So early in March we went to Sears to buy our new stove and a new dishwasher (our old dishwasher couldn’t clean a nun’s conscience). Celeste knew that if we waited long enough one of the stores that carries Jenn-Air would run a special and if we were patient we could take advantage of it. It just so happened that Sears had a special "12 months with no interest" financing deal on newly opened Sears credit cards in early March, and since she knew they carried one of the second mortgages, er, stoves that we needed for our kitchen we needed to steer our mini-van to Hanes Mall.
At Sears we were told by our salesman that we would get the dishwasher within a week but the stove, of course, had to be special ordered and wouldn’t be in the store until March 12. We said "fine" and went our merry way. Some time around March 15 we began to wonder where our stove was and Celeste called the store and talked to our salesman. He looked it up and said, "Huh, the stove’s here so I’m not sure why the installer hasn’t contacted you. I’ll get hold of him and have him call you." A couple of days passed and we heard nothing. Celeste called again and the same thing happened, so when she called the third time she talked to a different salesman and he gave her the installers name and number so she could talk to him directly. She called on March 23 and 25 and both times he promised to call back and never did. I finally called on the 27th and he said he’d install it today (April 2). He also said he’d call yesterday to get directions to our house, which he did.
Unbenknownst to me Celeste had called Sears on Friday and asked to speak to a manager. She filled him in on the situation and he promised to talk to the installer himself. I’m not sure if the installer reacted because he was talking to a man, which would be ironic since anyone who knows our family would tell him he that when he talked to me he was NOT talking to the person who wears the pants in the family, or because he got a call from the manager. Either way we finally got our new stove.
My message for Sears is this: Your salesman’s customer service left something to be desired and your subcontractor, who is you as far as I’m concerned, left a lot to be desired. Thankfully the installation went well but that cannot undo the ill will bred by the lack of responsiveness from your representatives. Five calls to get something like this scheduled is plainly bad and honestly we’ll not be shopping at Sears again any time soon.