Question

Tool Warranty/Replacement

Whatever happened to the Craftsman “no questions asked” tool replacement policy? I’ve always owned Craftsman tools, but my wrenches were almost exclusively metric until I received a 12-piece Standard SAE set (Part No. 947046) this Christmas. However, the finish on these wrenches all looked odd – some were heavily pitted – the box ends seemed coarsely cut and they just felt “different.” That’s when I discovered they were made in China.
My local Sears store has plenty of identical US-made wrenches on the individual racks, but they refused to exchange them. They said my wrenches weren’t damaged, but I pointed out the warranty only cites my satisfaction as grounds for replacement – e.g., “If this Craftsman hand tool ever fails to provide complete satisfaction, it will be repaired or replaced free of charge.” I was dissatisfied with the fit and finish, so I wanted new wrenches.
They asked for a receipt; I told them it was a gift. They offered a gift card for the last sale price of the set (about half MSRP); I declined because I wanted the wrench set. I suggested I could mix them all in a blender, then replace them one at a time; they actually said they’d call the police and have me arrested for fraud.
When I was in undergraduate school (I’m an engineer), I had an assignment to study the microstructure of a metallic object, so I decided to compare the compositions of a Craftsman wrench with a Japan-made one. I cut both wrenches into perhaps a dozen parts, mounting the samples in Bakelite and ultimately pulling the shanks apart (it looked like taffy). As a joke, I took the pieces of the Craftsman wrench back to Sears to see what they would say. The ONLY question I was asked before they gave me a new one was the wrench’s size.

Answers

5 answers

  1. This is intended as a clarification and addendum to my original comments. That I am dissatisfied with these wrenches has nothing to do with them being "Made in China." The fit and finish on these new wrenches are inferior, IMHO, to Craftsman wrenches I purchased twenty years ago. The fact that the older wrenches are "Forged in the U.S.A." and the newer are "Made in China" is coincidental. I am not xenophobic, nor jingoistic enough to declare *everything* made in the USA is superior to similar products made elsewhere, but these new wrenches simply do not meet my expectations.
    What I do take issue with is Sears' arrogant disregard for the Craftsman warranty. What was once a straightforward, painless process has now become an exercise in negotiation, anger management and, ultimately, futility.
    I normally don't make predictions, but I do not believe Sears will make it to the end of this year - at least not in its current incarnation. Business reporters talk now about "Sears' death spiral," but I feel an inflection point was passed in Christmas of 2012. Sears' controls are jammed, it's on fire and its canopy won't open. The only question now is the size of the hole it makes when it hits.
    It's a shame the Craftsman and Kenmore brands will likely disappear with it . . . until some Korean or Indian manufacturer buys the name and starts producing legal knock-offs, hoping that no one notices.

  2. Try exchanging a ratchet that has failed. Rather than providing a new one, Sears is now giving out ratchets that have failed, and have been rebuilt by a store employee. Many of these have been abused, one offered to me actually had damage to the handle where it had been obviously struck repeatedly with a hammer.

    I had 90% or more Craftsman tools in my toolboxes and spent thousands of dollars a year at Sears. I not only purchased tools for myself, I also would buy tools for employees at Christmas, and for younger relatives when they purchased their first car, and their first home.

    I have not spent one cent at Sears for the last several years, simply because of their unilaterally changing the warranty terms and conditions, and the absolute lack of customer service.

  3. Hi Kamaaina,

    Thank you for providing feedback about the tool set that was gifted to you and your experience with our local store representatives. For many years Sears has made strides to provide high quality products whether the manufacturer is located in the United States or abroad. We apologize that you feel the quality of the tools do not meet your expectations and that you are dissatisfied with our store replacement/exchange policy. While we are unable to process returns or exchanges without a purchase receipt we do seek other options to satisfy our members’ inquiries. My name is Brian and I am a member of the Sears Cares Social Media Support team. If you would like to discuss our return/exchange policy further, we would be more than happy to speak with you. Please send the following information – contact #, the name and phone # used at time of purchase, as well as the screen name (Kamaaina), to reference your post to smadvisor@searshc.com. Again, thank you for taking time to provide this feedback; we look forward to speaking with you soon.

    Thank you,

    Brian R.
    MySears Community Moderator

    1. In response to SHC-BrianR-2

      Thank you, Brian R. for your reply, but I'm not sure what can be said that's not already been thoroughly beaten into the ground. We could talk in the same tight little circles as I've been doing for several days now with your "Customer Solutions" team - e.g., Craftsman: "It's up to the individual Sears stores to determine tool exchange policy" versus Sears: "We just adhere to Craftsman's replacement requirements." The bottom line is that you shouldn't make promises you never have any intention of keeping. Not only is it dishonest, it's bad business. I'm with BigMike4511 . . . I'll never spend another dime in Sears again.

  4. Hi there, Kamaaina! Thanks for posting on MySears today. I am sorry to hear you aren't satisfied with your wrench set. I have sent your concerns on to SearsCares, the customer service escalation team. They will be happy to discuss this with you.

    A team member will be by in a bit requesting more information. Once a response is posted, I will send you an email letting you know.

    Thanks!

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