Friday, April 20, 2007

If I Didn't Have a Service Contract, I'd Get Someone Else

Grumble, grumble, grumble. For the past several days, I've been trying to get someone in to fix my furnace (well, okay, the people at Sears insist that it's a boiler, but the point is, it heats my house).

It got rescheduled three times, and the first two were the fault of Sears. The third is at least partly my fault in that I'm lousy at answering my home phone, and apparently, they didn't seriously try to reach my cell phone. I think I told them when I first called them that they'd be better off calling my cell phone, but I don't remember the call that clearly. I do know that every time I called to get an ETA after that, I made a point of giving them both numbers. Anyway, the first time I tried to get an ETA for the scheduled visit, they rescheduled for two business days later. Since this was on Friday, that meant I had to wait four more days for the rescheduled visit. Oh, and they told me that if a space opened up on the originally scheduled day, they'd get the tech to my house, except that of course they didn't, and in the meantime I couldn't go anywhere on the off-chance that they might. Tuesday rolls around, and they reschedule again for Wednesday. At least this time, they didn't give me any BS about the possibility of a space opening up.

Wednesday's the messy one. I got an ETA for the afternoon. Now, my home phone is in an area that should be nicely accessible and was when I first put it there. It's not especially accessible now. So, I missed their attempts to call me on the land line. When I called them after the scheduled window passed, they told me that they'd have the right department get back to me. I made sure they knew to call my cell phone. They didn't call back on either line. I called a second time, and that's when I found out I'd been dropped from the schedule because I didn't answer the phone. Sheesh, they couldn't tell me this the first time I asked what was going on? So, reschedule again. They had to delete my home phone from their records to assure that they'd call my cell phone. They finally fixed my furnace yesterday. I'm only posting about it now because my monitor died in the middle of all this, but that's a separate rant.

Please note: I have no complaints about the service techs. They got the heat back on and now my house is a reasonable temperature. My complaints are about the central office's inability to get the techs out here.

The service contract? That expires in October. If I have the funds this fall, I may sign up for a new service contract with the local gas company... which is owned and run by the city... a city not known for competent employees. They can hardly do worse in the scheduling department.

One more thing: When I first had the furnace installed, I was told that I would not need to bleed air out of the radiators. This is a common annual ritual with hot water mediated central heating because air bubbles can build up in radiators and interfere with water circulation. Well, before I called Sears the first time to schedule service, I bled any radiators in the house that I could find bleed valves for on the theory that I should try the simple fix before calling for help. Three out of four of them had significant amounts of air in them. So much for not needing to bleed them. That's another reason I'm annoyed with Sears. Pity bleeding the radiators didn't solve the problem. I could've avoided the rest of this mess.

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