Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sears Customer Service: Oxymoron is an Understatement

Reminder: This post may not be suitable for all audiences. Dad, I'm pretty sure that means you. I swear. A lot. This is also really long. Please forgive me, I get wordy when I rant.

I've worked in customer service. I get it. I've been screamed at because the kitchen couldn't cook a steak well-done enough. I've been stiffed on a tip by soccer moms who don't think it's necessary to tip the girl stuck cleaning up after their hooligans. I've had very large women try and convince me that they didn't wear the underwear they are trying to return. I've been there. I know it's a shitty, thankless job. I also know that people don't deserve to be strung along, lied to, and hung up on because of a mistake that was COMPLETELY not a fault of their own.

Last week our dryer went out. It was old, and came with the house when we bought it, so we decided we should just go ahead and buy one of super awesome extra large capacity ones. One that dries a comforter in 3 minutes. One that flies. We opted to go to the Sears Appliance Outlet, biggest mistake ever, and it seemed like we were getting a really good deal. Yeah. We got it home and plugged it in and the damn thing didn't work. It turned on, it spun, but it didn't put out any heat, which is, ya know, essential, for a dryer. So we called the repair department. Their BRILLIANT advice was to make sure the circuit didn't break. Seriously? Do you think we are THAT stupid? The dryer is running you dipshit, of course the circuit didn't break! The only other option was to have a tech come out to the house which was going to take a week. So Charming Husband called the store, and ended up going in and talking to them. They immediately offered to replace it with a brand new one, still in the box. That alone makes me a little suspicious that they knew they were selling us a faulty dryer, but whatever, they were trying to make it right. They told us the brand new one would be delivered on Saturday. Done and done, right? Not so much.

I received at least 3 phone calls from an automated system telling me I would get a call Friday night (the night before delivery) with the time of our appointment. Sure enough, they called and said they would be at my house between 9:30 and 11:30 am. If you all remember, by this point I was in KS with my family and Charming Husband was at home, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our brand-new dryer so that he could finish the 8784 loads reasonable amount of laundry on our floor. Around 12:30 the next day, 1 hour after the expected delivery, CH called to ask if I'd heard from Sears, which I hadn't. I gave him the number so he could call. Apparently, even though they had called me 4 fucking times to make sure we would be at home, they didn't show our delivery in the system. But not to worry, they put it all in. 3 hours later, I received a call telling me that the delivery team was running late. Ya think? But they weren't sure when the delivery would arrive. They would have the team call me immediately. They continued to call every 2 hours or so to tell me the same damn thing, the team is late and the driver will call me but they ARE on their way.And of course, every time they called it was an automated system that I had to work through just to get to someone who barely spoke English and couldn't pick out Denver on a map of Colorado. And I never once got a call from the driver. 12 hours, 12 HOURS!!!! after they were supposed to be at my house with my stupid dryer I called back. They said they would have the driver call me. I said bullshit. I want to speak to a manager. NOW. Someone who will get me a goddamn ETA. Someone who can tell me that I can release CH to leave the house for the 1st time on a fucking Saturday now that it is 10:00 at night. Someone who isn't a complete moron. They transferred me to a manager, and after being on hold for 5 minutes I hear "click". I don't think so. I called again. I went through the same bullshit, but this time I finally talked to a manager. I asked her what she is going to do to make this right. I wasted a good 4 hours of my vacation on the phone, my husband sat at home for 12 hours, and still, no one can tell me when the dryer will arrive. She even tells me she can't guarantee it will be that day. Uh, it better not be! 10:00 at night is too late to be banging around a dryer when children are sleeping (I didn't bother to mention that the children were not actually there, but it helped my case so...). She offered me a $50 Sears gift card. Seriously? I charge $15 an hour, and my husband's time on a Saturday is worth at least $25 an hour. You don't have to be a mathematician to know that $50 ain't gonna cut it, but I took it anyway. I was tired. It was late, I was at risk for losing my fucking mind so I took it. And I went to bed. They got 12 hours of patience out of me, which is about 11 1/2 more hours of patience than most people get. They should have felt lucky.

I called the next day out of sheer morbid curiosity. And that, my friends, is when I lost it. The man on the other end of the line who barely spoke English told me, "Thursday. Your dryer will be delivered Thursday." The I demanded to speak to a manager. Here were my exact words: "What do you mean Thursday? Why isn't going to be delivered tomorrow?" and he said, and get this, "There will not be inventory available until Thursday" "What do you mean there is no inventory? What the fuck happened to the 'inventory" that was supposedly on a truck on its way to my house for 12 hours yesterday? Why was I told 7 different times that the dryer was on its way to my house when you didn't even have the inventory, let alone have it on a truck for delivery? Get me a manager. I am done talking to you. I want to speak to a manager, now!" Again, hold hold hold OH NO HE DID NOT. The next woman I spoke to was actually an American, or at least she sounded dumb enough to be from the deep deep south, and I'd be willing to bet she wished she hadn't answered my phone call. "Are you a manager?" "No, let me get your information so that I can better serve you" "no, I'm not giving anyone else my information because I am tired of repeating myself. Get me a goddamn manager, and get one right fucking now" "Ma'am I am going to have to hang up the phone if you continue to use that language" "well that's because you're a fucking dipshit. Get me a fucking manager" "I have to put you on hold to do that" "I HAVE BEEN ON FUCKING HOLD FOR 12 FUCKING HOURS!! I DON"T WANT TO BE ON HOLD I WANT A FUCKING MANAGER" Hold music. While on hold I said to my sister, "Stupid fucking white trash, that's what you get for being 60 and still working at Sears" Click. Ok, I might have deserved that one. At least that bitch never had my name and address.

I called and canceled the order for the dryer. I received 3 more phone calls from Sears in which they verified the new delivery date, verified my cancellation, verified that I was getting my refund, and every all ended with, "thank you, we appreciate your business". Yeah, I'm pretty sure I am done doing business with you. We bought a dryer somewhere else. We installed it tonight. It isn't super fancy, it doesn't dry a comforter in 3 minutes, and it doesn't fly. It does however heat up, and it is in my laundry room. I've had it for an hour and it already beats the stupid phantom dryer that Sear's was supposedly delivering.

I tweeted about how awful Sears was, and they responded with an email address and asked me to tell them my story. You can bet your ass I am going to do that, although I'm thinking I'll censor it first. In the mean time, I want everyone to hear my story. I want everyone to avoid the pain I endured. I want everyone to tell Sear's how unacceptable their customer service is. If you want to help me get the word out, pass this along. Has anyone else had a similar experience? If so, please share!


Casey casto said...

I've had a similar story like that with rooms to go but not neerly as bad. They tried to deliver a coffee table to my house but couldn't find my have one job and that is to deliver quest it. So no table after the first day. I had to call and reschedule for another day for them to deliver. While talking to the lady she informs me that the table is back ordered and that I wouldn't be able to get mine until was august!!!!!!! I said what happened to the one that was you were tying to deliver???? After being put on hold and her maybe trying to widdle one out of a block of wood I was informed that they had Magically found one and that'd I'd get it later that week. Still not as good as your story but another example of the idiots that are out there.

Brandie said...

So happy I found your blog!! I'm a new follower from Blog Hop Friday!

Kristin said...

You are not alone. This past black Friday hubby and I went to Sears to get a Christmas tree. We get there bright and early to find out that they didn't have the tree in stock at that time. No biggie the woman put an order in online to get one delivered to the store and I got charged the black Friday price and she tells me to call back a couple of days later to check the progress of the item being shipped to the store. I call and it's not there, I call the following day and it is still not there. Then a week later someone so kindly informs me that the tree was discontinued and they won't be getting anymore in. So now I am upset, my goal for Black Friday was to get a descent looking non Charlie Brown tree and they sold me a discontinued tree, let alone advertised it in their black Friday ad. The manager at the store wouldn't help me and told me that there was nothing that she could do. That I could go and pick out a different tree for a sale price at the Sears store or get my money back. Only problem was they had crap left. So when I got the store and told the associates there my story (they were shocked at what happened) and that I wanted the tree that I payed for they started calling all Sears in the State of VA, MD and I even told them that we would be visiting family in NY so to call all the state in between VA and NY. Half the stores had my tree but refused to sell them because they wanted to have them for display or had other customers inquiring about them. Finally the guy talked another store into giving me their display tree. I drove the 3 hour drive south and picked up my tree. Then got home and wrote a long letter to corporate about my experience. I had the lady from the store that gave me my tree call and apologize for my trouble and knocked more money off the tree. Needless to say I don't plan on relying on Sears for anything either. Sorry for my rant, but yours brought back bitter memories. But when in doubt I found that a descent letter to corporate always works.

Rambling Housewife said...

You are girl of my own heart!! Love it!!
I've worked in customer service for over 15yrs, and I too, expect to be treated like my money is wanted. Getting "it'll be there tomorrow, uh, I mean next week" seems to be a common way of business recently. And I'll tell you girl, moving recently to the deep south from the Pacific Northwest, customer service Sucks the BIG ONE here!! I can stand for 5 minutes at a deli counter and watch the staff chat and when one finally approaches me they have that "What do you want?" look on their face and they don't even say hello!! I feel like spitting in their damn face.

Visiting from NEW FRIEND FRIDAY. I'm your newest follower:)

KyAnn (like Cayenne Pepper, only HOTTER) said...

Great Blog!! I am your newest follower. Found you on Friday-Follow!


Island Gal said...

Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm now following you too! ;)

Enjoy the weekend!

qandlequeen said...

Nothing like a good healthy rant! What fuckers. That is wretched customer service. I hope they all stub their toe. But, really, most of all, I hope they hear you loud and clear. I am totally fed up with crappy service. I will pay more and wait longer for efficient and friendly service... which usually means I will wait less and pay less. Go figure.