Sunday, June 06, 2010

Three Cheers for Sears

For as long as I've been a purchasing member of society, I've never really seen any appeal to shopping at Sears, with one notable exception.

I've always believed that if a person is buying tools, the person should buy Craftsman tools, from Sears of course. Craftsman tools are quality to begin with, and they have an unsurpassed (and unsurpassable) guarantee. Craftsman tools have a lifetime guarantee, and the few times I've need to swap one out the process has been completely hassle-free.

The latest episode occurred today. About 20 years ago I bought a 50-piece Craftsman ratchet and socket set from Home Shopping network. Honestly, it was the first time I'd ever seen Craftsman products sold outside of a Sears store.

A few months ago I discovered the entire set was covered in some nasty rust. Chrome wrenches, ratchets, screwdrivers, and sockets aren't supposed to rust. I thought of this while in Sears yesterday buying some deep sockets to work on the MPV. So I asked a clerk and he said that yes, I could still exchange the socket set after all these years.

So I returned toi Sears today, carrying the rusty set. It was no surprise that the store didn't carry an identical product. I was surprised at the way they handled the exchange. First, I found a similar socket kit (Retail - $39.99). That kit only had two wrenches however, and my original set had 6 wrenches. So the clerk let me pick out an 8-wrench wrench set as well (Retail $29.99). At that point I was almost completely whole, excepting a magnetic screwdriver handle with a set of interchangeable bits. I felt like I was pushing things though, so I went ahead and paid for the screwdriver & bits myself.

Still, the process was completely hassle-free, and Sears gave me a new $30 wrench set and a new $40 socket set in exchange for an approximately 20 year old socket set that had rusted.

I've got a new appreciation for Sears.

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