I saw an article in the Cape Cod Times today reporting that the
To bolster sales at their automotive repair centers, Sears decided to pay their service advisers commissions on repair work. This was tantamount to putting the age-old practice of pushing unnecessary auto repairs on steroids. Come in with a broken windshield wiper; leave with a flushed radiator, four new tires, and a brake job.
I was the target of a fraud committed by the
His diagnosis turned out to be right on the mark, as I’ll explain in a minute. I was happy to hear that they could replace the ball joints by the end of the day. I didn’t assume that they had a set on the shelf for a 1975
I recall paying close to $400 for the repair. I drove away poorer but the disturbing racket in the suspension was gone and I felt safer knowing how serious a ball joint failure could be.
A week or so later I read that
On Monday, June 22, 1992, Edward Brennan, chairman of Sears, made the most ridiculous statement ever uttered by someone in charge: “When our integrity is on the line, we must do more than just react—we must overreact.”
What? No. We should never overreact, Mr. Brennan. That’s not how to solve a problem and salvage your integrity. (The definition of overreact is “to react to something with disproportionate action or excessive emotion.”)
Another couple of weeks later, those noises in my front suspension started making a comeback. Not wanting to return to Sears, I sought out a second opinion from an auto mechanic that a knowledgeable friend recommended. His diagnosis? The ball joints needed to be replaced.
I recounted the
What probably would have been a knock-down-drag-out battle, before all of the publicity about Sears’ string o’ frauds, ended up being a short and sweet refund process with a contrite cashier.
I wasn’t forgiving, however, and to this day I refuse to shop at Sears. When I’m at the mall on a hot day, I go out of my way to walk through the Sears store and soak up as much of their air conditioning as possible, but never buy anything. Mary is careful to always pay cash and hide the receipt for anything she buys from Sears.
Also on my lifetime boycott list: Sprint and Chrysler. Stories for another day…
Copyright 2009 Randy Hunt