When Good Stoves Go Bad

By staff December 30, 2006

It was bad enough that my new stove broke—but to be forced to stay home all day for a service call?


By Judi Gallagher


I do not mean to complain, but 2006 did not end on the happiest of notes. If you read January’s “Dish” in SARASOTA (p. 232) then you know all about my new high-tech Kenmore Elite stove. Well, apparently high tech comes with a price (other than the $1,800 we already forked out). A few nights ago, I set the oven on self-clean and went to bed. Around midnight, I awoke to flashing lights and alarms going off on the stove. I stumbled into the laundry room to search for the operating manual and followed procedures 6 through 19 under the fitting heading “when alarm sounds.” Mission accomplished—until 2 a.m. when the alarm went off again.


I stumbled out of bed again and called the 24-hour hot line and was instructed to shut off the circuit breaker for 15 minutes and then follow procedures 12-19. Two days later the alarm went off again. Time to call the friendly help line. After 20 minutes on hold, I was offered two times for a service visit—oops, we are disconnected, redial, get put on hold and 20 minutes later I’m offered Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Is Sears owned by the cable company?)


While I waited for Sears to show—no they won’t make a courtesy call ahead of time, so I could actually have gone out of the house and done some errands—I  managed to walk 40 minutes on my treadmill, make a batch of Bolognese sauce, some sausage and peppers, a full recipe of oatmeal raisin cookies, a frittata and some  roasted asparagus. Then I went out to check the mail and found the new J. Jill catalogue and spent an hour selecting six items I wanted to order.


At 1:00 p.m. the appliance repairman arrived. While he went back to his truck to check on the necessary part, I called J. Jill. I was informed that out of my six items, not one was available other than in extra small (yeah, right), extra large (not yet) or the wrong color—usually a bland olive. (I don’t even eat green olives.)  


“But you don’t understand,” I whined. “I have lost a whole day waiting for my stove repair man and now I can’t get the jeans I want even though your catalogue just came today!”


“You should have gone online a few days ago,” the J. Jill order-taker responded.


That is like a server telling you the nightly specials, letting you get all mouth-watered and excited with anticipation and returning to the table to inform you that they sold out of that special 10 minutes ago. At that point, in walked the Sears repairman to tell me that he did not have the necessary part in his truck. That meant another week to wait, and another 8 a.m. to whenever day waiting for the service call.


Happy New Year!



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