Hey dude, you're not alone in this.
I just bought a 2012 escape last month with 100,000 miles. The transmission went out 2 days after I bought it in cash 8K :( needless to say I was fairy pissed off as I was stranded on the 295. Anyways, I'm looking at what I need to do. I had read that the transmissions on these were horrible and the number 1 complaint (problem) from buyers, but I didn't think I'd get a crappy one. I'm highly considering doing a manual transmission swap if I can find an 5-spd XLS in a salvage yard somewhere. I have heard of people replacing or repairing their dead auto transmissions and then having the new ones fail too. Maybe its not true, but what do I know, I'm new to the escapes. That having been said, I really like the vehicle itself. Just not the gear box.