Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sears = Bad Customer Service

So I don't want to use this blog to vent but sometimes you have to and sometimes when you feel continually ignored by a company you do what you have to do to be heard - or at least tell random website followers not to use that company. Something I learned in marketing class is the power of word of mouth.... you can have the best customer interaction in the world and you'll be lucky if that person tells one person. On the other hand, if you have one bad customer interaction that person will on average tell 10 people (since I've been out of school for awhile it could be more than that now). Ten doesn't sound like a lot but think about it - one day one of those random ten people will be talking to someone else and your company will come up in the conversation and random person will be like "oh my friend so and so said this really bad thing happened to them there."

So here is my really bad thing.

I've ordered things from Sears in the past and had issues (see previous post about tool kit where I was trying to be nice and not name names). But for some reason (maybe I like being tortured) I keep going back. I keep wanting and expecting them to be better and then I feel like they crash and burn on a massive scale. (I could be dramatic here but they've had two days to redeem themselves and at this point I'm pretty ticked off).

For Christmas my parents said they would give us a stove and microwave (thanks mom and dad!). We trotted off to Sears and they helped us pick something out. The sales associate (who I will say was more than helpful) said that if we went ahead and got a dishwasher (something we had been debating) they could knock off a percentage for getting multiple items. Great deal. We'll do it.

We scheduled the delivery for a week out (this past Friday the 11th). The delivery man called me the night before and said 11-1. I never heard from anyone else or Sears that all three appliances wouldn't come at the same time. My husband and I took off from work. We could knock the delivery out in the morning, clean up for his brother and his girlfriend and still have time to do some Christmas shopping. Around noon the delivery people show up - microwave and stove in tow. No dishwasher. They were really friendly and said if they had to go back to get it they would - until they found out it had to be installed. They didn't install dishwashers. Not a problem - they gave me a number to call (an 800 number start the dread music) and the woman at the other end said the second delivery would be there between 1 and 4.

We were disappointed but hopeful the guy would show up around 1:30 or so and we'd still have time to go out. 3:30 rolls around and the delivery person still hasn't shown. I call to double check. I'm assured he'll be there by 4. 4:30 comes around and I call back. The woman says she has paged the delivery person and he'll call me right back with an estimated time of arrival. 5:00 comes and I call back. I'm frustrated and angry that I wasted a whole day at home. I talk to a guy who claims to have talked to the delivery person and due to inclement weather he'd be there by 5:30 (first off it was cold but not rainy or snowy anywhere near where I live so unless he was driving from Wisconsin I don't know what kind of weather he ran into).

At 5:30 I call back. I was ready to harass them. This was way past ridiculous. The woman says she'll try to reach the delivery man. I ask to speak to a manager. I'm assured the manager will call me back in 5 minutes that he has stepped away from his desk (I'm still waiting for the manager to call me back). I finally call the store and say I'm never buying anything from them again unless they track down my dishwasher. I'm finally told by the store that the delivery person is MIA but they've paged him, etc. They can't send someone else because the delivery person has my dishwasher and now delivery probably won't be until Monday. I'm sure there are more calls I'm missing but you get the drill.

Finally at 9:30 the delivery man calls me to say that he'll come out on Saturday between 11-3. By 2:30 still no delivery man and now my guests and I have been sitting around all day watching bad TV. I call the 800 number again. I'm told now he can't be there until 4. Then between 4 and 4:30. It's 5:00 now and I finally have my dishwasher but I'm still mad. I asked for compensation - actually a refund of the $150 installation fee and the store said they couldn't do it but the Installation Department was going to call me because I would be getting it back (the store actually said it should be returned). I hadn't heard from the Installation Department so I call them and I get some woman on the phone who claims they are all managers but basically have no authority what so ever to refund my $150 and I'm so sorry that you're angry.

I know I should just let it go and next time go to Home Depot or Lowe's (which I will). But I'm writing a letter to the president of the company. I doubt I will ever hear back but in a small way it makes me feel better - as does venting on the blog.


  1. Wow! This does sound like a nightmare! I'm so sorry! And I can't believe they allegedly can't give you a refund of the installation. There is NO WAY you should have to pay that! This really was so ridiculous, and I don't blame you for a second for posting a blog! Hope it wasn't too terrible for the out-of-town guests! What a weekend! :(

  2. Thanks! I know right. I'm like I know this is what you wanted to do when you came to visit... not to mention I was bored from sitting around for two whole days. I'm waiting to see what they say about my letter. K says they won't do anything - we'll see.

  3. Sometimes a letter can work, so I'll keep my fingers crossed!