Is This a Scam?

I find it hard to believe that Sears is operating a scam, but what else am I to think after my current experience with their home appliance protection plan?

Some time ago, our stove went out and when I called Sears to get it fixed they talked me into buying an appliance protection plan. Under the plan, I would pay $49 a month and $75 for each service call.

It sounded like a fair deal, and – as we have been buying stuff at Sears for decades – I said OK. They’ve charged my credit card monthly ever since.

So when our washing machine went dead about  three weeks ago, I called Sears. I thought they would send someone over to fix it right away.

I was wrong.

Sears assigned a company in Kissimmee – DLS Appliance Experts they call themselves – to check out the washing machine.

DLS took several days to send someone and when he managed to get here, he said the control board was dead and it would be another four days before a new part would arrive.

Now, two weeks later, no part has appeared, and we still have no machine to wash our clothes. Sandra has been washing the things we desperately need in a tub – the way past generations used to do. And I have been making a lot of irate phone calls.

When I phone DLS they say the part has not arrived. And when I phone Sears, they say DLS should have received the part on July 12. Each time I call, someone at Sears promises to track the order but nobody ever calls me back.

When I phone Sears, I get transferred round and round and nobody can tell me when our  washing machine is going to be fixed.

Are they waiting for me to give up and buy another machine?

Should I cancel the appliance protection agreement and ask Sears to return my monthly subscription fees and the $75 I paid DLS?

Is there a consumer protection agency that might be able to help me?

Should I call the cops?

Can anyone offer any advice or explain what on earth is going on?

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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