Sears Canada Warranty, Gift Card Questions Answered: Roseman

31. October 2017.

Sid Nightingale: My Kenmore dishwasher is under recall, but I couldn’t call to set up a repair appointment. The numbers provided didn’t work. It was very frustrating.

Power: Sears contacted BSH Home Appliances on Nightingale’s behalf. He later received an apologetic email, saying BSH was training more phone representatives and he’d hear from customer service shortly.

Serge Parenteau: I bought a heat pump from Sears in 2012. My contract says I’m covered for 10 years, parts and labour. I need repairs, but I was turned away. This isn’t a $50 blender, but a $5,000 unit.

Power: There is no immediate recourse, unfortunately. Parenteau will have to arrange for his own repair at his own cost. He can file a claim as an unsecured creditor once the process is established.

Diana Kalinowski: The $75 gift card I bought last Christmas has been cancelled. Aren’t gift cards considered cash? The stores are still operating, so it’s unclear to me why Sears has jumped the gun on this.

Power: We accept all gift cards in stores during the liquidation sales, as well as Sears Club points. We asked Kalinowski to send a photo of her gift card showing the number and arranged for her to use it at the store of her choice.

Bonnie Ashcroft: What about the long distance phone call plan with SearsConnect. We’ve had it for years. Will it stay in business?

Power: Yes. Sears Connect long distance, mobile and Internet plans, powered by Yak, will operate as they did before. We plan to post a list of manufacturers for Sears-branded merchandise and services, such as travel and insurance, at our website shortly.

In my column last week, I advised those who have paid for, or are still paying for, Sears warranty protection that will not be delivered in future to contact their credit card issuers.

Here are official replies from the two major card brands.

Lauren Mostowyk, MasterCard Canada: Cardholders should contact the bank that issued their card about their concern. The issuer would review the claim and determine if the supporting documents confirm the service – in this case, the warranty – wasn’t provided as purchased.

After that, they could receive the reimbursement. The chargeback would cover the amount of the warranty purchase that was not received by the cardholder. (It would not involve any promise of the retailer’s reward points, rebates or in-store credits.)

Visa Canada: Cardholders have protection for services not rendered. They should reach out first to the merchant. If unsuccessful, they should directly reach out to their Visa card issuer to discuss the matter.

Ellen Roseman’s column appears in Smart Money. You can reach her at [email protected].

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