This past week I have been doing a lot of sanding on the jPod in preparation for painting it.  In the middle of my mind numbing “sand-fest”, my random orbital sander suddenly developed a problem.  I would turn it on and it spun & looked great.  However, the moment I applied the sander to the surface to be sanded, it would quit spinning.  Needless to say I was frustrated.  Since it is a Craftsman sander, I called Sears to see how I could get it repaired.  Here is a brief outline of all I went through with this small problem (the whole process took about 4 hours on the phone).

  1. I called my local Sears who verified my account and then referred me to their local parts & repairs department
  2. I called the local Sears parts & repairs department.  They verified my account and then said they didn’t have a technician who could help and referred me to
  3. I visited & couldn’t find my problem in their databases so I called them too.  They verified my Sears account got me connected with a technician who gave me another number to call for assistance.
  4. I called the new number and found that it was the direct line to my local Sears parts & repairs department (who I spoke with in step 2). They verified my account and referred me to another number for help.
  5. I called the new number and spoke with a customer service representative at who was as slow as molasses in January when it came to verifying my account information.  After verifying my account information (8 min) he gave me the SAME number I received in step 3 for my local Sears parts & repairs facility.
  6. I hung up.  Grabbed the sander and went into Sears determined to stay there until someone could figure out what to do with my small problem.

So I walked into Sears and asked the first baby-faced teen employee if he could help me.  Of course he couldn’t but he conveyed my concern to the Manager.  I never met the manager but waited in the isles of sears with my problematic sander in hand.

In the end, Baby-face found me staring blankly at a display of fake tools for children.  He took my sander from me, marched down the sander isle, matched my sander with one on the shelf.  Then he thrust the new sander into my hands and said “have a nice day.  Do you mind if I keep your old sander?”  I was stunned but did not object.

When I asked why I was receiving a new sander instead of some tech help, he told me that the manager of my local Sears had just made the same convoluted sequence of phone calls.  Sears seems to have an internal problem.  Eventually she shouted out a colorful metaphor into the phone at the last person she was talking with and then told Baby-face to just give me a new sander and tell me to go home.  So…I went home and sanded into the night.

I can’t complement Sears’ technical service but I am not complaining about my new sander.  My new sander may look the same as my old one but it isn’t.  The new one is better because it works and it came with a really great story.

The New Sander

The New Sander


After the initial publish of this blog post, Consumerist & Gizmart picked up the story and published it.  This is a fun event for the jPodbuild.  I have offered more information about this story & my reaction to it being picked up by the bigger news people in another post “My Blog Makes It Big