We bought our Kenmore dishwasher in 2010. It has now broken for the fourth time. The interesting thing is, the same part keeps failing; however, Sears still wants to charge me for my fourth Control Panel to install myself.
When it broke the first time (13 months after we bought it, one month after the warranty ran out) in December 2011, we had an appliance repairman, whom I found on yelp.com, come out and fix it because he charged $35 for the visit plus parts, while Sears wanted much more. The other thing the repairman did was show me what he was doing so I could fix it myself if I had too. I have degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, so I am able to understand how to fix appliances when shown.
Low and behold, eight months later, in August 2012, the same part goes out. I went on SearPartsDirect.com and found the part and ordered it myself and did the install as instructed. It then failed another 9 months later in May 2013, so I ordered and replaced the same part again. These dishwashers are the same as Whirlpool and Maytag brands as well, and if you do a google search on control panel failures, you can find a huge number of people with similar issues.
This brings me to last month, when for the fourth time, the control panel failed again. I called Sears, including their executive helpline, and explained the situation, including the providing the order numbers for the multiple control panels I had ordered. I was told, that earlier this year, Sears changed their parts warranty and instead of one year, it is now 90 days. Hmmm, I wonder why?
The dishwasher itself cost less than $400. I have now spent over $300 in parts, and Sears wants to charge me another $112 so I can fix it again. My wife and I decided that even with Thanksgiving coming up and 15 people over for dinner, we can do without a dishwasher for a while. Sears sold me and I suspect a lot of people a lemon of a dishwasher and they will not get another cent from us.
UPDATE: Sears noticed my tweet of this post and called me to offer me a brand new dishwasher at 25% off. Wow, what a deal. That only puts me another $200-$300 in the hole to Sears. Are you kidding me? I also have no guarantee that this one won't fail and if I buy a more expensive dishwasher to make sure it does not fail in the future, I will be out even more money than I paid for the original dishwasher 3 years ago. I told them that their deal was not acceptable and I would now no longer shop at Sears.