I had a similiar experience several years ago while trying to exchange a broken Craftsman rachet in the Albuquerque, NM Sears store. They, the Sears sales staff, acted as if I was trying to defraud them. At first they didn't want to exchange it at all. They were willing to give me a rachet repair kit to fix it myself. I insisted that it should be replace and that I shouldn't have to do any repairs, that was their responsibility. After going around this for perhaps 1/2 hr. they finally relented and gave me a new rachet! My next broken/inoperative Craftsman tool as a 1/2 breaker bar in which the detent spring didn't want to work. Instead of Sears I took it to Home Depot and exchanged it for a Husky. No questions asked, friendly service. The next hand tools I purchased were Husky from Home Depot!
I'm really disappointed in Sears in that they don't honor their warranty. They have lost my business over this.