Thursday, January 30, 2014

Under Construction: Every Renovation Has Its Horror Story

Don't want to miss out on any of our renovation shenanagins? 
Click here for a full list of my posts on it!

It's been a little over a month since there has been any movement forward in the renovation; we've been working on other projects, rest assured! But I wanted to share a little story with you all about how we just barely avoided a renovation horror story.

Don't get me wrong, this renovation has been going extremely well. It's our second one and we learned A LOT from our first. I can write a whole blog series about renovation horror stories based on our first one! Luckily the list sanfus on this renovation is extremely short, but what happened this past week could have really made mama upset.

For our first renovation we bought all of our appliances through Lowe's on a Black Friday sale plus we had a 10% off coupon for moving recently - it was a pretty stellar deal. This time around there haven't been the same deals so I went a different route by taking a look at Sears Outlet refurbished appliances. I've been able to save over 30% in some cases, and a few months ago I snagged my favorite oven (a stainless steel Bosch 30" 500 series wall mounted beaut) for 40% off list price.

It was in a Sears Outlet in Phoenix, so it had to be shipped to me. Within a few days of ordering it I got a tracking number and then about a week later I got a voicemail from Sears Outlet letting me know that my oven would be delivered the following day. Yippee!!

I waited in anticipation as our delivery window approached the next morning. Then I got a call from Sears Outlet saying that the oven couldn't be delivered because the glass door was damaged during shipment. Tears! I asked if they would deliver the oven without the door and I could just order a replacement from Bosch directly (it was less than $200), but no, liability something or other prevents them from delivering an incomplete appliance. Even the shipping insurance that was automatically factored into the order didn't make a difference (which makes me wonder what it was there for in the first place). More tears.

Their course of action was to refund me the money and I would have to source a new oven. They had more of the same ovens on their website, but the prices were much higher than what I had paid. At this point it was getting frustrating because it put a hold on our very steady headway on our renovation.

A few of you know me personally and you know that when things like this happen, I don't give up. I contact whomever it is that I need to and work my way to the top until I find someone who can either legitimately explain to me why they can't help me any further or I actually get some help. It takes hours, sometimes several days of phone calls, repeating the same story over and over. I did just that, worked through a couple representatives and finally got in touch with the right guy in the right department. He did me a solid and worked out a deal where we got a brand new (not refurbished) oven from Sears directly and they matched the price that I originally paid for the refurbished oven. Seriously, high fives all around for stellar customer service.

So the new oven arrives and we decide to keep it in the original shipping container until we are ready to install it so as to minimize any scratches / Penny trying to open the oven and climb inside of it. About a month and a half passes by and one evening Penny is reciting the letters that are on the outside of the box. "B.. O.. W...H..I..T..E..." Panic races through my veins as I realize what this may mean and I have Adam open the box.

It was a white oven. Not stainless steel, like we had originally ordered. Tears!!!
S... C.. H...

So Bianca jumps on the computer and emails her fantastic rep who helped out before, who then has to route her through another department because this was a brand new order. The following few days are spent on the phone talking to more representatives, explaining the situation as well as the inconvenience it's caused. Again, my bulldog mentality got me to the right gal in the right department and she was able to put in a request for a replacement oven, but she wasn't sure if they were going to be able to exchange it at no cost to us. This didn't make sense because I didn't place the order online myself; I gave the specs to the rep as well as our charge info. And then there was the argument that the white ovens are less expensive than the stainless steel ones so they wanted to charge us more for a stainless steel. I countered that price match that we had been given on Oven #2 was based on the price we paid for Oven #1 (it also was a stainless steel finish).

Where do we stand now? The ovens are getting swapped and delivered/picked up at no cost to us. It's due to arrive in a couple weeks, which doesn't fit perfectly into our renovation timeline but I'm very thankful that we were able to get this figured out and best of all, at no additional cost to us. My fear was that I'd be stuck with a white oven when all of my other appliances are stainless steel.

Morals to the story?
  • Don't let this story discourage you from researching refurbished options when buying new appliances. Prior to buying this oven, I've bought a microwave through Sears Outlet online for a fraction of the price that was a "floor model" and was anticipating it to come looking used. Not the case - it just didn't have the original packaging and protective stickers on it like you would get when you bought a brand new one.
  • When something does go wrong, keep badgering. Perhaps this is more of a personality thing, because I know that not everyone has the time or wants to deal with the hassle of calling and telling the same story to multiple people. I'm not going to lie, I lost my patience on several occasions. But persistence pays off. And in this case it saved me well over a thousand dollars.


  1. Sounds like a big hassle. We redid our bathroom once and I never want to do that again. It was horrible.

    1. I totally understand, it's not enjoyable for everyone! And I'm not going to say that I've loved every moment of ours either, but for the most part it's been very rewarding to us.

  2. I love how positive you are! We recently bought a new home and would love to start renovations but we are not quite ready yet. Right now we are just doing little things like painting, fixing moulding, and trying to decide whether or not it's worth to salvage old flooring or install new flooring. When we eventually get to the big stuff, I hope I can be positive and not give up!

    Erin K. (

    1. Erin, salvaging old flooring is a huge money saver and not that hard! If the floor itself is in good condition and just needs to be refinished, it's just a few days work. Here's what we did:

  3. WOW, it is neat that Sears made good eventually on your oven, it is a shame that you had to go through so much to get relief, but at least you now have your stainless oven and I bet your kitchen redo is looking great. Neat that your PEnny started to read the box when she did, to help alert you to a future disappointment, when you open the box and find a white oven. Glad it all worked out

  4. Ah, the joys of home ownership. It seems like once you start renovating you never really finish.

  5. Oh my goodness! What a headache. We have gotten stuff through the Sears outlet before and been really impressed with the prices. We normally get it ourselves but I couldn't imagine the stress

  6. My hubby is good at this. I hate it but it does save a pretty penny in the end.

  7. I am absolutely a badgerer too!! I used to work in customer service and know that the right amount of badgering can get you pretty far!!

  8. I'm glad everything worked out and you were persistent. I'm sure it was frustrating at the time but is worth it in the end.



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