jekyll and hyde customer service

Customer Service Jekyll & Hyde: The Sears Conundrum

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review. Not that there weren’t experiences I didn’t think were worth sharing…I just wasn’t inspired. Considered me inspired. I’ve had a guest post on The Upsell before but never have I reviewed Sears myself. I recently bought a condo and, since the first thing you do when buying a condo is fill it full of stuff, I was in the market to spend.

THE ORDER:
My girlfriend and I decided to check out Sears Home. Not a place I’d ever been to but the products they sell have often been recommended and, what they hell, they had a sale on. We ended up buying not only a washer / dryer set but also a mattress. They even threw in some pillows. I told you we needed stuff. For big ticket items though, it isn’t just an in-store experience, you also have to get what you bought delivered. I’m actually waiting on the delivery as we speak…but we’ll get to that.

THE SERVICE:
To really get an understanding for this customer service experience, I need to break it into two reviews.

In-House: From the moment we walked in to the moment we left, we were treated well. From the mattress section where the sales person would pop in and out of our decision making to answer questions and offer advice without hovering to the appliances area where we were engaged on a personal level with one employee and offered constructive advice from another who knew we weren’t going to buy anything. We left having happily bought everything on our list. We even talked about the next time we could come back.

Out-House: We were first informed that the washer/dryer would be delivered with the mattress. Then I was told that unfortunately I wouldn’t be getting the mattress on that particular day…but they couldn’t tell me when it was coming. No idea. How is that possible? Is no one accountable for anything? How do you run a delivery business without knowing when your product is sent to and from places? Are there magical pixies creating my mattress and delivering it by teleportation? At this moment, I not only have no idea when it’s coming but also no idea when they’re going to follow up with me.

I’m a social media guy so where do I go to complain? Twitter. @SearsCA saw my remark, apologized and asked to privately get my email so they could get back to me. Sounds great right? That was 3 days ago. Still nothing. Nice.

Finally, I wait for my washer/dryer to arrive between 5-9pm. I, of my own fault, missed the phone call at 5:55pm that told me they had arrived…by 10 minutes. So I called to ask if they could stop by my place later in the evening as they still were delivering for the next 3 hours. Did the customer service agent say, “sorry, our delivery scheduled is packed tonight and can’t make it” or “unfortunately our deliveries are taking us pretty far and we won’t be able to come by your way again tonight”? Nope. Their answer: “We don’t do that.” What? You don’t put your customer first? Or you don’t want to engage me in conversation and an explanation.

“We don’t do that.” Maybe that’s what I’ll say if someone asks if I shop at Sears.

THE CONCLUSIONS:

In-House: Going Steady – This could be the beginning of something major. For their in-store service, I had amazing conversation, received the right amount of attention, all with a friendly personality. I would love to meet up again…unless…

Out-House: Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.” …you bring this “friend.” Inappropriate, complete lack of people skills or respect. I have a friend who desperately will hang out anyone. I won’t even give him your number.


Service Rating System:

Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.”
Booty Call – If I don’t have anything else better going on, I’ll stop by.
2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance.
Going Steady – This could be the beginning of something major.

8 thoughts on “Customer Service Jekyll & Hyde: The Sears Conundrum”

  1. I can relate – the delivery experience we had there was horrendous as well. It was hours, yes hours, late. The drivers broke a piece off of our new fridge and to top it all off, we had a call a few months later from sears asking us about extending our warranty. We had purchased the 5 year warranty on both our fridge and stove, or so we thought. Apparently the sales guy made a mistake and although he said he had corrected it and we would receive confirmation in the mail it never came. I still don’t know to this day if I am covered, but I am certain I won’t buy big ticket items from there again if I have a choice.

    1. Thanks for the comment Kristy,
      Sorry to hear about your experience though as I hear from more and more people, you’re not alone. I’m hoping I get a happy ending but it’s too soon to tell. Blog pt. 2? Probably. I’m trying to be optimistic.
      Any organization that’s similar that you’d recommend?

  2. I am not shocked by your post at all. I will never shop there again. Which is unfortunate. They have good products, but the ‘service’ team seems to have become too big for it’s britches.

    I house-sat for friends and it took 7 repairmen to fix the dryer they bought at Sears, that was under warranty. 

    My mom bought a stove for her cafe, they insisted that she should get the warranty because it would be valid in a commercial setting. Guess what, it wasn’t and they didn’t want to refund her for it.

    I bought a vacuum. Now you have to order bags for it, they are not available in store. They can’t seem to come up with the correct part number to order said bags.

    They have taken too much of my money, and even more importantly, my time. Never again will I shop at Sears, and I hear this more and more. I am sad to hear that you have had the ecperiences you ahve had. Unfortunately it doesn’t surprise me…

  3. If they do ever get back to you, ask them if they want to hear the audio files I saved with their “service” department, where they accused us of putting a false address into their ordering service … presumably, for a lark.

  4. Thanks for the comments Paul, LB and Kristy. This experience has certainly struck a cord with a LOT of people. Whether here, in real life or on Twitter, I’ve had so many similar ssituations shared with me. The next chapter of this scenerio should be coming soon but regardless of the outcome, it really looks like Sears has a serious issue on their hands.

  5. Thanks for the comments Paul, LB and Kristy. This experience has
    certainly struck a cord with a LOT of people. Whether here, in real life
    or on Twitter, I’ve had so many similar situations shared with me. The
    next chapter of this scenario should be coming soon but regardless of
    the outcome, it really looks like Sears has a serious issue on their
    hands.

  6. Sears deceitful, worse than incompetent:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpBJYlTPIsY – a 3-minute video that shows everything very clearly

    June 20, 2002, 25-year roof shingles and attic vents were installed by Sears Home Central. They installed the ventilation improperly, causing premature deterioration of shingles, also water infiltration as a result of ice dams. I had requested that they make sure there was proper ventilation at the time of contract. The salesman, Ken Campbell, recommended the Maxi Vent system and I agreed.

    I called Sears the day following installation, concerned about the placement of the Maxi Vent. It is half way down the roof. The salesman came back and looked from the ground, from one side, never went up on the roof, never checked for blocked soffits or other vents interfering with the Maxi vent. Still he said there was plenty of ventilation. Against my better judgment, all I could do was hope for the best.

    That summer, I noticed excessive falling off of granules from shingles, a sign of trouble.
    July 11, 2009, I noticed shingles becoming bare, curling and breaking. I called Sears Home Central to report this. It took several calls before someone got back to me.

    July 31, Sears sends an inspector, Marc Pagé, to have a look. Without hesitation, he informs me that the ventilation was not properly installed, that this was causing excessive heat buildup in the attic, and it was entirely Sears’ fault. He told me that Sears would fix the ventilation and replace the shingles at no cost to me.

    Meanwhile, I visit Maxi Vent website http://www.ventilation-maximum.com/English/recommendations.html and found, according to their very clear instructions, that indeed the ventilation was all wrong. (See video)

    Since that time, Sears has flatly refused to fix anything. All I get from Corporate Customer Service and the local manager in Ottawa is excuses, untruths and gobbledegook.
    Last year, 2010, I had the whole job redone by a local contractor to the tune of some $6,000. That included opening up plugged soffits, adding a second Maxi, and redoing the whole attic ventilation system and reshingling the entire roof.

    1. Wow. You can feel the frustration in your comment, EvyB. Shoddy work and improper service does happen. That’s not the problem. The problem is more how that shoddy work and improper service is handled by the business. Customers are exceptionally understanding if they are listened to, apologized to, and feel the situation is made right. This story shows multiple opportunities to right a wrong…
      Thanks for sharing this.

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