The Kenmore Elite Refrigerator I currently own is barely a year old. Having personally learned how expensive repairs and replacement refrigerators can be, I had purchased the extended warranty on the refrigerator–and this week, I had to make my first call into Sears repair.
The problem with the refrigerator: splits had appeared in two of the shelving units mounted on the inside of the door, specifically that the pull-out door crisper and the one gallon shelf attached to the top of it.
When I called Sears Repair, I waited on hold for about 5 minutes. When I spoke to a live person, the customer service rep on the phone asked me if I knew how the damage had occurred, and I told them I wasn’t sure–but that no accident had occurred and that it had occurred during normal use. I asked if they needed to come and examine the damage or if they preferred for me to take photographs and send them in. To my surprise, the rep told me that neither would be necessary; they would simply mail the replacement parts directly to me.
I was very pleased that I wouldn’t have to make arrangements to leave work and meet a repairman during the week–nor would I have to take the time to photograph the damage. Less convenience to the customer means better customer service–and it speaks to the Sears Repair rep’s character that he was willing (and I assume, instructed to) give the customer the benefit of the doubt in this sort of situation.
Comparing this call to Sears Repair to a similar call made for the previous model of Kenmore Elite refrigerator, one year prior:
On my last Kenmore Elite, I also had to call into Sears Repair to have several internal parts replaced: both vegetable crisper drawers had developed huge cracks in the plastic that were so large, they could no longer be used. In adaddition, cracks had developed in the plastic supports of two of the refrigerator. When I had contacted Sears report about this problem, they had required that I set up an appointment for a technician to come out. So I took a few hours off work and, on the day of my appointment, reported home to await the Sears technician. But the technician called me on the telephone twenty minutes before the tale end of his arrival window to inform me that he could just order the parts without coming out to my home. So essentially, this was the same end result as my recent customer service call, but with a great deal more inconvenience and lost time for me.
The Final Call
Sears Repair gets an excellent rating for their quick response to my recent call for repair. However, the Kenmore Elite refrigerators do seem to be awfully fragile, when it comes to their shelving. This, combined with the high cost of replacement shelves, seems to make the extended service warranty well worth the cost on this item.