Berlin Woman Looks for Help With Lawn Mower

A routine lawn mower maintenance appointment turned into a month-long battle for Berlin resident, Alicia Tucholski.

Her technician installed the wrong drain plug on her Craftsman riding mower, leaving Tucholski with a growing lawn and a reel mower.

“Every weekend, when it approached the weekend, I was such a mess thinking, 'Oh my gosh, the lawn’s got to be cut again',” said Tucholski.

What usually takes her sister 90 minutes on the riding mower, took two of them four and a half hours, she said.

The sisters noticed a problem the day after the service appointment. The drain plug was too long, so when her sister turned the wheel, the oil spilled out of its tank and onto the grass and driveway.

Tucholski told NBC Connecticut Responds she called Sears immediately. A second technician came out the following week, but didn’t have the correct, shorter drain plug. They placed an order, which took another week.

Meanwhile, the lawn wasn’t going to mow itself, so Tucholski asked Sears for a loaner.

“I was sick to my stomach,” said Tucholski. “In tears. Stressed out to the max, and I was told someone would call you, someone would call you.”

Nobody responded.

After cutting the grass the old fashioned way, she reached out to someone who would.

“I’ve seen (NBC Connecticut Responds’) pieces on the news and I know that you respond to every call. I didn’t know if it was something worth looking into, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Why not,” said Tucholski.

Tucholski wanted Sears to reimburse her the original $295 service call, plus the $644 worth of damage caused by the oil spill and the $150 push mower she bought when the reel mower became too strenuous.

Sears, and its claim processing company, Sedgwick, agreed to cover everything except the push mower. In a statement to NBC Connecticut Responds, a spokesperson for Sears said:

“At Sears, our top priority is the satisfaction of our members. Our member services team further looked into Ms. Tucholski’s situation and has repaired her tractor, as well as providing her with a refund for the service call. In addition, Sedgwick, our third-party claims administrator, is compensating her for further cleanup of the area where they performed the work. We hope she remains a loyal Sears customer and Shop Your Way member.”

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