The Proprietary Side Of Sears

I sold my contracting business some years ago and returned to consulting, so I may be out of date with these comments. Indeed, I hope that this has changed.

Our dispatcher would not send technicians to work on Sears equipment. The reason is simple — standard parts don’t fit, and to rethread for their proprietary screw, leave out one because it’s different from common center spacing, etc., might or might not be safe, but it could void a warranty.

We did get calls from their customers who no longer wanted Sears’ service. The dispatcher was put upon by the complaints of some of their customers who were locked into Sears service. Our company was not the only service company that had to decline to service such equipment.

To be fair to Sears, they were not the only ones that did this. We all know the names, and one company no longer exists.

It’s the reason that we stay mainstream with our computer equipment. There are well-known computer companies who have been building proprietarily. Their current slow sales may be showing that users are starting to buy from manufactures that use standard, interchangeable components.

J. Pat Geis, Principal, Energy Design Group, Santa Rosa, CA

Publication date: 01/28/2002