I contacted Sears for home repair of my oven on July 1, 2013. The rep stated a repair person would be available on July 2, 2013...great!
The top burners and top broiler worked fine, but the bottom oven burner would not light/heat up the oven. On July 2, 2013, a repairman from A&E Factory Service contacted me and stated he was contracted by Sears and on his way to my home to provide a repair estimate for $75, that could be applied to the repair, if completed. The repairman was friendly and prepared the work area by laying blanket material in front of the oven and asking permission to connect his "equipment" to an outlet. He then got the model number off the oven door and instead of using any type of test equipment or even looking at the range or its current operation, he set up a laptop on my countertop and typed some things in.
In less than 5 minutes, without checking a single item in or on the oven, he declared the oven had a "bad ignitor" and it would have to be replaced. The cost: $274. ($149 Labor and $125 for the part; $40-$70 above competitors part prices, including Sears). When asked how he determined that, without examining or testing a single thing, he stated, "that's what is usually wrong..." I agreed to the repair (with reservation) and he proceeded to remove and replace the igniter or at he least tried to.
After twisting and fighting with the two mount screws holding the igniter on the burner tube, he managed to bend the mount bracket and then declared there is a hole in the tube and it would need to be replaced as well (apparently A&E techs do not know what break free/WD40 is). Of course he did not have a burner tube and would have to go get one. However, he first announced a new estimate would need approval and after adding the burner tube, the repair cost reached $407 (he added $133 for the burner tube, which on Sears.com costs only $88 and comes with a new igniter). At this point, I politely stated I would not be going ahead with the repair and would replace the oven or attempt to have it repaired myself.
At first, he did not want to reassemble the oven, but I insisted he return it to its previous state, so I could still use the broiler and stove top. When asked if I had a change of heart in the next 24hrs and wanted to talk it over with my wife and proceed with the repair, could the $75 still be applied to the repair? He stated "No, claiming rising gas costs prohibit them from return service without charging the $75 again. He could not accept a credit card, but did take a check after obtaining more personal information than my bank ever asked for.
Keep in mind, the whole experience lasted only 31 minutes from arrival to his departure. Thanks A&E for relieving me of that $75, they are certainly experienced at that at least. I wish I would have listened to my instincts and did more research and had seen all the negative feedback beforehand. After searching some great sights, I was able to obtain the burner tube with a new igniter and express shipping for only $78.
I also came upon an excellent video detailing the replacement and hope to have the part and my oven back up and running by Friday.
Lots of luck and remember, DO NOT USE A&E Factory Service...always request a Sears authorized repair technician or search locally for the best deal on repairs and "how to" on the internet first!!!
Monetary Loss: $75.