- Redondo Beach, CA
Since when does stainless steel. . . .rust?Sears Kenmore Elite 3 door RefrigeratorModel Number: 79578733800Purchase Date: 15 March 2009
We’ve spoken to Sears Customer Service several times and had Sears repair out twice to inspect the refrigerator referenced above. We also sent the following email to Customer Support and never received a response, even after we followed an automated response instructing us to resend our original email to a different address. Needless to say, we are getting more frustrated by the day.
Please see the full text of the email sent to Sears Customer Support Warranty Information after the second Sears service technician visit.
Re: Warranty Information Request (KMM29682911V17115L0KM)
Sears Kenmore Elite 3 door Refrigerator
Model Number: 79578733800
Purchase Date: 15 March 2009
Warranty Contract No: 165348149xxxxxx
Expiration Date: 16 June 2014
You’d think this would be a no-brainer but apparently our Sears’ warranty policy doesn’t cover rusting of stainless steel! We purchased Sears’ top of the line Kenmore Elite stainless steel appliances (gas range, microwave and refrigerator) for our newly remodeled kitchen in 2009. We also purchased an extended warranty with coverage through June 2014. About a year after the purchase, we started to notice very small flecks of what looked like rust on the left refrigerator door. Well, stainless steel CAN’T rust (right?) and initially we were able to remove the marks with stainless steel cleaner. However after about another year, the marks were no longer removable and were, in fact, getting larger and deeper, resulting in small rust “pits” in the stainless surface. One spot in particular was especially bad so we contacted Sears in August of 2013 to report the problem. The repair technician confirmed the problem, but Sears claimed it was a cosmetic issue, not technical, and therefore not covered by their warranty. They even asked if the paint was chipped…an odd question since the stainless steel surface is not painted! The rust marks quickly grew more numerous and much larger so Sears sent a second technician out on Saturday, 10/5. He confirmed the rusting problem and contacted the service center first and then Sears Customer Solutions but neither could authorize a repair. So, we now have a $2650.00 refrigerator that will soon be dotted with rust holes in the stainless steel surface.
The largest defect is about 25mm x 12mm and has rusted almost completely through the stainless steel surface. The others are small flake-like marks, as if contamination was rolled into the stainless sheet. I have several clear pictures of the defects available upon request.
I work in the auto industry and was for many years in the technical and quality assurance area. It’s quite obvious that that the stainless steel sheet used for this refrigerator was contaminated, ether during the manufacturing process or, more likely, when the steel was rolled into sheets. This was problem with Asian stainless in the 50s and 60s and it still common in stainless steel from China and India. It is clear to me (but apparently not to Sears) that LG, manufacturer of the refrigerator for Sears, used defective metal when they produced the door panels for this unit.
Let me be clear, this is a DEFECT. In fact, stainless steel is used for applications where rust and corrosion can lead to safety or health risks (nuclear reactor steam generators, surgical instruments, etc.). Stainless steel certainly should NOT rust in normal household use. So, either the stainless steel used in this refrigerator is defective, and clearly covered under the terms of our warranty, or the refrigerator was fraudulently marketed as stainless steel when in fact, it is demonstrably NOT stainless!
Please advise how we may resolve this situation to our mutual satisfaction.
Redondo Beach, CA
On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 5:58 PM, Sears Feedback wrote:
Thank you very much for contacting sears.com regarding your warranty
We would like to assist you with your warranty question, please direct
all inquiries to 1-800-827-6655. If you are needing repair, please
contact us at 1-800-4MY-HOME and we will be happy to assist your service
Thank you for allowing Sears to assist you today.
This is an automated response. If the information above did not
properly address your question or concern, please reply back with your
Sears Customer Care
Sears Holdings Corporation