02 April 2008

Sears Responds

A.D. Freudenheim, The Editor

After my post the other day about trying to order a Kenmore water filter from Sears ... and after sending a note to the only two e-mail addresses for Sears contacts I could find, for a pair of Chicago-based PR people ... along with various reporters and well-known retail analysts ... and after sending hard-copies of my column to various executives at Sears Holdings Corporation ...

... I got a reply yesterday, in the form of an e-mail, from a woman named Stephanie at something called “National Customer Relations Executive Support.” The e-mail asked me to contact her so that she could “assist [me] in getting this resolved if possible.” There was a toll-free number.

Call I did yesterday afternoon; I left a message, and got a call back a couple hours later. Stephanie said she had read both my e-mail and the web post, and found the situation disturbing. She acknowledged that there was clearly some work to be done in terms of customer support and systems development for the Sears.com site. More importantly, she said she had contacted the manager of a local Sears, who was able to tell her the corresponding water filter cartridge part number – and he told her he would send me two free cartridges if I bought the filter unit. (I had, all this tsuris notwithstanding.) Stephanie took my address and said the replacement filters would be shipped to me.

I want to resist the temptation to draw a big-picture “moral” out of this story. I wrote my original piece because I was frustrated, annoyed – and flummoxed – by the systems Sears has in place. On the one hand, I think it’s great that Sears has a “National Customer Relations Executive Support” team to help deal with these issues. On the other hand it raises some questions both about normal levels of service, and about how the average customer would ever be able to take advantage of “Executive Support.”

In making a rather public stand, and putting time and energy into contacting various people, I was able to get more attention. But one clearly should not have to do that. I hope this is a further prod to Sears to make the changes to their systems and infrastructure that Stephanie herself acknowledged as being important.

I'll let you know how the water filter is, once we get it installed.


Blogger The Editor said...

Anyone interested in buying this filter: the final results have been great. See my post Water, Water Everywhere for more information.

6:40 AM  
Blogger The Editor said...

Also, for the record:
Chlorine replacement filter #34373
Sediment replacement filter #38480

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The interesting thing about this to me is over a year later I’m trying to purchase the same product and in trying to find the filter model number I've come across your posts and blogs but I have not been able to find the price for the filter. And even the parts dept couldn’t help me. When I asked them to transfer me to a manager, I was transferred to the portrait studio! So frustrated with Sears right now!

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$19.99 for the chlorine filter although it is out-of-stock for shipping and you need to buy it in the store.
I bought a 2-pack of sediment filters when I bought the unit ($13.99). It says "deluxe sediment filter cartridge 2-pack" 42 38480. The UPC is 6 33815 64615 8.
Hope that helps.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

19.99 for #34373 but store pick up only. $13.99 for "deluxe sediment filter cartridge 2-pack" UPC 6 33815 64615 8. #42 38480

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry I know I double posted but this may help the most. Order from sears parts direct and you'll save a few bucks over sears.com:
Kenmore Two-Stage Drinking Water Filter Model No. 625.384610
1. owner's manual: 7293858
2. faucet w/base & electronics: 7292674
3. wrench: 7193066
4. coin battery: 7154818
5. sediment cartridge, 5 micron: 42-38480
6. taste & odor cartridge, premium: 42-34373
7. sediment cartridge, 25 micron: 42-38478
8. taste & odor cartridge, performance tested: 42-34370
9. taste & odor / chemical contaminant cartridge: 42-34365
10. taste & odor / lead cartridge, performance tested: 42-34377

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How often do you have o change the filters? And for the record, the website still doesn't have any info about the replacement filters, as of Aug. 2009.

5:07 PM  
Blogger The Editor said...

The Sears material says change the filter every 6 months. I've waited 8 and that seems fine. But I think it depends on the quality of your water, etc., in the first place.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Rob Windsor said...

For the record, the paperwork that came with my filter (bought back in 2006) said to use 42-34370 (#8 in above post) and 42-34377 (#10 in above post).

I'm a relatively low-consumption water user (bachelor life) and the city water is pretty clean to begin with. When I went a full two years on one set, it was still filtering well.

11:28 PM  

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