SANFORD, FLORIDA -- Sears has been a disappointment to my family these last 2 years. We redid our kitchen in 2010 and purchased Sears brand appliances (Kenmore) and their warranties. The double door refrigerator had to be replaced within the first 3 weeks because the water dispenser had a drip that wouldn't stop. It took several calls before Sears would admit that it was a problem and agree to swap out the refrigerator.
Then the glass top on the stove broke. This they however responded to without too much problem. We also used Sears to put in a new AC unit. Well this was a comedy of errors (or should I say a tragedy). The installers were unprofessional and didn't even call in the inspector to sign off on their finished work. The unit they ordered was too big for the space of the unit they replaced. They had to reorder and we were left for a day with no AC unit and a gaping hole where the old one had been. They had to make a bigger hole in the house for the air handler and the vent hole grill that they put in still looks like a rough job, not professional at all.
The fun continued with the fact that a few months after they did the work, work that the inspector was never called to sign off on, we had to call them again because we couldn't get any heat as the weather got colder. The repairman who came remarked that the installers had failed to hook back up the heating element. He couldn't do it because he needed the other work to be approved first before he moved on. So we, months after the installation, contacted the inspector who immediately lectured us about not having the AC unit inspected before use. He pointed out that the wrong type of piping was used in the installation. The repairman was now charged with obtaining the right type of pipe and redoing the work of the installers.
He then informed us of how much it would cost for him to obtain a part that was not covered with the heater and install it. At this point we just had him bring the AC installation up to code, so the inspector could sign off and hired a local guy to get the heater up and running. Fast forward to 2012, we have now had this AC for only 2 summers and the fan motor needs to be replaced. So out comes the warranty. Yes it's covered, and the repairman tells us that he has ordered the warranted part and it will be delivered to the house and then he will return to put it in to the tune of over $300. My husband and I decide to use our local guy who says he can put in the part for $100. However when we call Sears to check on the part we find out that they will not give it to us unless we agree to have their technician put it in. Basically it is extortion.
We have paid for a warranty and feel we are entitled to have the part we have paid for. If we choose to have someone else install it and Sears doesn't want to uphold the warranty, then that is on us. Sears continues to be consistent in its poor service repair department and their poor quality appliances. It has now sunk to a new low in our opinion as it began to extort it's loyal customers with its warranty policy and the ridiculous per hour charge for repairs. It is disappointing to know that this is the last generation of my family that will purchase or recommend Sears for appliances. And we would never recommend buying any of their warranties; they only overcharge you and extort money for what is rightfully yours.
FAIR OAKS, VIRGINIA -- Our garage door opener stopped working. We went to Sears Fair Oaks, VA, got their advice on which replacement to order, bought it and paid for installation.
The Sears installer came when my less-technically gifted wife was home alone. After he installed the unit, he tried to sell her new rollers for $225 (on a door that is high quality and not that old). When she told him that exceeded the cost of the install itself, he said well we can give you a discounted installation cost of $175. Feeling something was wrong, she refused.
After he left, we realized that he had blocked our only attic access door with the physical mounting location of the replacement unit. This is unacceptable of course.
This is when we hoped Sears would step in and correct the problem. They sent more installers out many days later who said we would need to replace the unit to use our attic door; the unit installed could not be moved. They then tried to leave telling us to call and schedule another team to remove the old unit. We told them this was ridiculous and insisted they stay and do the work they were qualified for, without locking us out of our attic another week. They said they could not without office permission.
We then started the process of trying to get a person on the phone to grant permission. The installers were not happy with all the wasted time wading through phone menus trying to get to a real person. Welcome to what your customers have to deal with Sears!
Finally someone granted that permission, and they removed the opener and left it on our floor to drive back to the store.
In the next phase of the Sear's bureaucracy, we were directed to call “Customer Solutions” in Central Texas, where representative 80720 told us she could process the return of the hardware, but not the installation cost. When we pressed her to acknowledge that a bad installation should not be our responsibility, she said we had to drive the removed unit to the local Sears and ask the General Manager to refund the labor portion, then call her back to get the materials cost refund. She said she was powerless to help even though she insisted she was the ultimate in Sears' customer solutions. Her policies and procedures prohibited her from talking to the Sears store and getting the labor refunded. It was like dealing with two different and fueding companies. It's amazing that Sears puts their customers through this.
Bottom line, do not use Sears for installations anymore. They have engineered a process that eats your precious time away, tries to get more dollars out of less knowledgeable buyers, and in the end doesn't provide the service once standard at Sears.
We just went to get replacements for our washer and dryer today, and spent $1800. We excluded Sears from consideration because of this. Pass the word! Sears is no longer a good choice for appliance installations.
NJ, NEW JERSEY -- We've been having bathroom remodeling since mid-March, but it's still not done (Now it's the end of May);
Sears office in charge did not return our (many) phone calls or emails for weeks. I had to call the customer service to see if they abandoned our bathroom project. They tried to get away with things that they promised us to have done when we signed up, such as spackling and sanding the wall, taking care of city inspection.
Sears demanded the full payment although the project is still not completed, at least three times. When I refused to pay it at that point, the customer service rep said we needed to pay at least half of it since it would be 99% completed when they come next time. (Note; our contract says we pay them when it's 100% completed. Actually, we thought we were getting 12 month interest free payment plan when we signed up, but it turned out that the sales person "forgot" to get us sign the paperwork, and she later denied that we have the interest free payment plan. Rather than arguing about it, we decided to pay off in a lump sum because we rather not deal with these people for another 12 months.)
After installing the bathtub, we had a drain problem we did not have before, so we called Sears to take a look at it. After the plumber fixed it, we had sewer back up. It's been two weeks since I called them for that problem. The "project coordinator" never called back with an appointment schedule although he said he would three times. Finally, we had to call their customer service twice, just to get the appointment set up. The Sears rep, his name was Andy, called it "unnecessary visits that cause additional costs" to them. All the while, we have lived with a messed up sewer that made me afraid of using water anywhere in the house.
This was our first time using Sears Home improvement service. We will probably never use them again.
GONZALES, CALIFORNIA -- We called Sears to give an estimate for our flooring needs. From the start the assessment went wrong! The "salesperson" should up an hour late. It was already a evening estimate so one hour late made it 7 pm when he finally arrived. He remained at our house for 2 hours and 15 minutes, which would have been fine if he had showed up at the time he was supposed to. While he was conducting his "professional" assessment of our flooring needs he excused himself to use OUR restroom. Only to proceed in CLOGGING our drain! He came out of MY restroom asking to use a plunger! If that was wasn't bad enough after that he proceeds to ask us if he can call his wife... don't mind the time or the fact that we wake up early to go to work... he excused himself and went outside to talk to his wife. After he came in we asked him to leave and call us with a quote as he said the remaining time for the estimate could exceed a half hour more. Before I could go to bed I had to clean our restroom as I have a 9 year old daughter and do not like that a stranger sat on our toilet. The following day we received no telephone call from him. He came to our house for the assessment on Thursday. On Tuesday morning as I was cleaning my bathroom I picked up my toilet bowl cleaner (the one that sits in a little cup like holder)and as I picked it up something dark and watery splashed on my wall. Inside the cup holder was DIARHEA! the dark wattery stuff that splashed on my wall was FECAL MATTER! I AM INFURIATED! In my own home I had to clean up someone's fecal matter. I immediately called the company headquarters. I did not receive an immediate response even though I told my story to the person answering my call... since I had called several times and left several messages. When I finally did get a response it was from a manager from a different area and after I explained my situation to him he offered to get in touch with the "sales persons" manager. This was on a Tuesday. I finally made contact with the manager and explained my complaint. He apologized and asked me what he could do. Since we hadn't received a quote still I asked for a quote. HE offered a discount I didn't ask for one. He said he would get the numbers from his "salesperson" and call me back the following day. Wednesday came and went. On Thursday afternoon I received a message from him indicating the flooring would cost "approximately 7500.00." The original request was for 2 areas of my house. He only provided me with one area. I thought that if you ask for an estimate you receive exact numbers... not an "approximate" number... I returned his call early Friday morning explaining that there was the second area that was missing. Although I called early morning I received no call back from the "manager" indicating he was working on it or that he even received my message. On Saturday morning I called them to advise that I would not be using their services!
PORTAGE, MICHIGAN -- What You Get From Sears Is Apologies and That is All!
I had shopped at Best Buy for Washing Machine and Gas Dryer to replace my 12 year old Maytag Neptune Front Loader. I had their price in hand and went to Sears (I have purchased almost all my Home Appliances from them and returned because of customer loyalty, their reputation and reliability). They had a Salesman my wife and I trusted and he was knowledgeable and helpful. He matched the price at Best Buy.
On Sunday, May 15, 2011 I ordered an LG Washer and Dryer. I also needed a 10' Drain Hose which was not in stock and ordered separately by my salesman as was a 10' Water hose ordered online by him for me. Delivery and Installation (included) was promised for the following Sunday, May 22nd. Later in the week, Sears left a message confirming the purchase and delivery/installation for Sunday. On Thursday, my Father-in-Law passed away and Visitation was scheduled for Sunday and Monday with the Funeral Services scheduled Tuesday. My wife and I discussed this matter and it was decided that I would stay home (my Father-in-Law's family lives in Sturgis, MI) and prepare for, wait for and assist with the delivery and installation (the following week would be the services and family to deal with as well as work and it would be inconvenient to wait as well). On Saturday, a confirmation call from Sears came confirming Delivery and Installation with a 2 hour window between 4:45pm and 6:45pm. I had also placed an ad on Craig's List and a couple interested in my older Maytag Neptune Washer and Dryer (purchased from Sears a decade ago) agreed to purchase it for $300 and pick it up after Sears installation of my new Washer/Dryer as they were moving and needed it right away.
The day of delivery, I prepared the area and moved all obstacles for a swift installation and piled things in the nearby kitchen to get it out of the way of the installers (my hope was to make it easier and swift for the installers and to be able to clean it before my wife's return). By 7pm no one arrived or called. The store was closed at 6pm so I called the same number that confirmed the Delivery and Installation (the number also left with the confirmation call). A lady (obviously outsourced) was polite and automatic but indicated there was no record of a Washer/Dryer purchase or scheduled Delivery/Installation despite my giving her my SALESCHECK number 011101265476 which she reported as "invalid." She was very apologetic but insisted on connecting me to the store which I told her was closed. However, after 45 minutes, she connected me to another woman (again, obviously outsourced) who I repeated my tale. She insisted I had the wrong department, was very apologetic and gave me the original number I called to call back. When I explained that it was that number I had called, we got disconnected.
I then called the number again and repeated my story a third time. We went through an identical process with identical results with the included obligatory apologies. After an hour and a half of wasted time on the phone and a day of preparing (and not being with my mourning family), I gave up and decided I had it! I had passed frustration and my blood pressure was immeasurable. The couple who had come for the old Washer and Dryer could not wait and my $300 sale of the older Washer/Dryer went dry (they did not want to disconnect the Gas Dryer or Washing machine themselves and my wife would not let me disconnect the gas).
On Monday morning, my wife and I decided it was not worth it and we would no longer do business with Sears (I had spent well over $10,000 at Sears the past 5 years and had plans for remodeling which would have meant much more). I again tried calling Home Delivery (the store would not open until 10am and I had to go the Monday's Visitation for my Father-in-Law). I got the identical run around as again as they could not find the purchase (they did find the order for the Drain Hose).
At 10pm I called the store and discussed the events with my salesperson. He was appalled and offered many apologies. Afterwards many calls back and forth, he stated the Manager was also angry but to save the sale would pay for the Washer's 3 year extended Warranty ($199). As this would not even cover the cost of the lost $300 sale on my older Washer/Dryer, much less the lost time, aggravation and stress, I told him that this was not satisfactory (it was like being offered free dessert from a restaurant that just served an awful meal with terrible service). I have lost my trust in Sears.
In summary, I had gotten two confirmation calls for an item Sears could not find a record of purchase or scheduled delivery and did not deliver as promised or notify me of their inability to deliver. I have been more than inconvenienced and angered. I cannot purchase the items elsewhere as my credit card is maxed out on this Sears purchase. I lost the sale of my older Washer and Dryer ($300). I do not have time or patience for this and I have lost my confidence and trust in Sears Holdings.
I am not alone with my story. There are several sites online with complaints from customers about Sears Home Delivery. One for example is :
This one has complaints from 2005 to present! Many are very similar to mine. I am sharing this event with them and other sites to help others from experiencing the same frustration and disappointment.
One thing for sure, I got a lot of apologies from Sears employees. If they backed their apologies with action, I would be happy. If they gave me a dollar for each apology, the cost of the Washer and Dryer would be covered. But alas, I just got lots of apologies.
I have never written a negative review of a company online…I never wanted to be one to complain anonymously about a company and have always been extremely adept at allowing negative experiences roll off my back. However, in the case of Sears, I can no longer hold my tongue. I am in the middle of a 5 month nightmare with seemingly no end in sight. I purchased an elliptical in July 2010 online, picked it up at the store, and brought it home. After my husband and I spent half a day putting the item together, we were relieved to be able to turn it on to give it a try. Well, imagine our disappointment when the resistance was impossible to change and seemed to be stuck at the highest setting. Oh, well, I thought…a call to Sears the next day should have us well on our way to fixing the issue.
Fast forward 3 months and innumerable repair visits (all of which I of course had to take time off of work to meet)…no repair and the repairman (who was a very kind person and one of the only bright spots in customer service of this experience) is forced to give up and deemed the elliptical “nonrepairable.” Per the repairman, I would have a call within 24 hours to arrange for a pick-up of the old item and to offer my options for an exchange or refund. 24 hours comes and goes, and no call. I have always tried to be understanding and give it a few days more. I receive a call late one night, and after attempting to listen to the jumbled and muted message more than once, reasoned that it must be from Sears. The person on the message never offered a call back number, only a random case number to take into a store. No pick up; no options as promised.
My husband and I rented a truck in order to get the original elliptical home with us, and we did not feel it was our responsibility to return it to the store after such a long ordeal, and as such, I called the online customer care number to discuss my other options. I am not exaggerating when I say I was transferred to no less than 8 different people, all of whom I was forced to tell and retell the situation to, and becoming disconnected during the process.
I finally spoke with an agent in “Customer Solutions,” and I was so relieved that I was finally speaking to the correct person!!! However, the only option she would give me is the exchange. I had decided at some point during my “every-other-week” visits from the Sears repairman that if he was unable to rectify the situation, I did not want to risk the whole ordeal occurring again and would just want to return the elliptical for a full refund. I explained this (and the entire situation) to the agent and she insisted that refunds are only available within 30 days. I explained to her that I could have easily returned the inoperable item within 30 days, since it never worked from day 1, but I allowed Sears to try to rectify the problem, which was unsuccessful. I asked to speak with a manager.
The agents at Sears seem to be trained to avoid that…I was informed it would be at least half an hour and I should just have them call me back. Instead, I remained on the line, and was told it would now be half an hour to create a case and then another wait to speak with a supervisor. I advised the agent that I would hold. 40 minutes later, she returned and told me she spoke with a manager on duty and they would refund my credit card. Back on hold I go for them to process the refund. 20 minutes later, the agent comes back to request my credit card number. I found it odd that their system didn't retain it, but went ahead and gave the number to her. She advised they would process the refund and pick up the elliptical in a couple of days. Three and a half months after my original purchase and three and a half hours after dialing Sears, I was confident I would have my refund soon. I could finally relax!
Of course, this was not the happy ending I was expecting. Sears did follow up on their promise to pick up the item…that happened two days later, as promised. However, weeks go by with no refund. I allowed for the standard 1-2 billing cycles and when there was still no refund, I called back on 11/19. After explaining the situation to the agent, he advised it normally takes 21 business days from the date the warehouse receives the returned item. Since the warehouse didn't report the item was returned until 11/4 (not sure where the delay was in there), the magic date would now be 12/6. Well, I can wait a couple more weeks…no problem! I had an end date and hung up fairly content.
I'm sure everyone knows where this is going…my magic date (12/6) comes and goes; no refund. I allow a few more days and call back only to be told they will need to check into the situation and for me to call back (not for them to call me back, but for me to call them back…hmm…the customer service is beginning to lack even more than it had previously).
I allow them a few more days and finally call back on 12/15. The agent I spoke with advised that it takes 10 business days AFTER the promised date for the refund to process. I now realize that I am a sucker and have been given the run-around from Sears this entire time. I could be in a never-ending pattern of calling Sears repeatedly and being advised to allow for 10 more days on and on and on…well, I explained that I was promised the refund on 12/6 and I can no longer understand a delay. She offered to email their “Offline Billing Department” and have them contact me within 24 hours.
Of course, we all know now that 24 hours come and go and no contact from Sears. I call back again. And again; with no luck. My husband, who has wanted to give up and just work with our credit card company to dispute the original charge talks me into it…but I want to give Sears one more chance to do the right thing. I call back again.
I am lucky enough to speak with the most unhelpful agent to date…she can only email the Offline Billing Department again. I advise I already tried that with no luck and no response and ask for another option. No other option, according to her. I ask to speak with a manager. There are no managers there. I tell her I find that difficult to believe, since previously a manager has had to assist with this ongoing catastrophe. She insists there are no managers. (I hate to call anyone a liar, but….). I continue to insist as politely as possible and finally she tells me a manager will only tell me the same thing and places me on hold. After 15 minutes, I get a manager. He does not want to know the situation; he only wants to send an email to the Offline Billing Department. I explain to him that it's already been done and the promised 24 hour window passed 12 days prior and if no one is able to assist me that I will have no choice but to give up on Sears and work with my credit card company. No response other than I will hear from the phantom department in 24 hours.
The moral of the story? Don't purchase anything from Sears (and maybe listen when people tell you to give up on a company). This has been my first large purchase from them. I could have been a new and retained customer, who would go on to try them again (as you can see from my long story, I am an eternal optimist). Instead, I am now angry and dissatisfied and feel as if I have been taken advantage of by them. I have never gone out of my way to discuss my poor experiences with a company before, but being that I gave them ample opportunity to do the right thing and they continued to refuse, I feel that I now have a duty to warn friends, family, and internet strangers from the danger of purchasing anything from them. Ever.
If you were able to make it this far, thanks for your patience. I hope whichever other company you select for your needs treats you better than Sears treated me.
PUTIAN CITY ,FUJIAN PROVINCE, CHINA -- SEARCHAAA. COM IS A SCAM! BEWARE! THEY SELL IMITATION PRODUCTS REPRESENTING THEM AS REAL, AUTHENTIC NAME-BRAND AND DESIGNER BRAND PRODUCTS. YOU DO NOT KNOW THIS UNTIL YOU HAVE ALREADY PAID THEM AND HAD THE ITEMS SHIPPED TO YOU, IN WHICH YOU PAY EXPENSIVE SHIPPING COSTS AND YOU ARE LUCKY IF YOU CAN GET THEIR SO-CALLED CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE TO REFUND YOUR MONEY.
The web site, Searchaaa.com, says on their home page, when you scroll down to the bottom, under the section "Why buy wholesale goods from us?" :
"Buy Wholesale products at wholesale price from leading Chinese wholesalers", listing many different popular brands and designer brands, and their clothing and accessories.
Then under "Quality & Experience" it says:
"We choose to sell only the best wholesale shoes, clothing and accessories products available for resellers. We guarantee your satisfaction with the quality of every item we sell. When you buy from Look Low Price, your products will arrive as described on our web site. And we guarantee your satisfaction."
I ordered four Sinful sweatshirts from this web site. The pictures on the web site are of authentic Sinful brand sweatshirts and t-shirts, with the Sinful watermark across the pictures, and even the models are the same models from the original Sinful web site. All of the other brands sold on this web site have pictures of the original, authentic brands and designer brands pictured as well. NO WHERE on this web site does it tell you that the products they sell are imitation. When I received my package, I was very excited to get it and see my four sweatshirts. When I opened the package and looked at the sweatshirts, each one of them was obviously a very cheaply made, poor imitation of the original. The screen printing job was horribly done; on one of the sweatshirts I could barely make out the image that was supposed to be printed on it, and it was even the wrong color. On another one, the artwork was similar but obviously not the same because it was so poorly done. It was the difference between a child's coloring book drawing compared to an original piece of art. I was pissed off as soon as I opened the first one. I opened a claim with PayPal, since that was the form of payment I used to pay them. The next day I received a couple of emails from Debbie Wang in their customer service department. She had written me before during the transaction regarding shipping information and was very nice and helpful. However, she now says that I must have known all of their products are imitation, otherwise how could they offer the real thing for what they are charging.
Here is part of her email to me:
"dear shannon, before you buy the products, you must know all of our products are imitation. we never didn't say we sell real sinful. and as we know , $42.99, this price can not offer the real sinful sweater. let us find the good solution, OK ?".
If you can not offer a product you have pictured all over your web site at the price you are selling it for, then you should not have the original, authentic, real products pictured on your web site advertising all over the world that they are a wholesaler, leading people to believe that is how they can sell the products to you for less. NO WHERE on that web site does it say anything about any of it's products or brands being imitation. Now that they have gotten over $200 from me, now they have the nerve to email me back and tell me that I must know these are imitation because, as we know, they can not offer real, authentic products at these prices. This is the very definition of FRAUD.
I have been emailing the customer service representative the past few days trying to get my money back and getting nothing but nonsense and hassle. Here are some of her other emails to me:
Dear shannon ,
thanks for your letter .
I'm really sorry and really sad .
not only you lost money, but also we lost money. and also, I will lost money ,
my boss will reduce my wage .
dear shannon, can we find a good solution ?
you sell these four sinful sweaters to other people .
or we refund part of money to you, please, dear shannon, hope that you
can understand us. all of our products are not original, everybody knows it ,
all of our clients also know it .
Dear shannon ,
I have to tell you all of our products which we sent to our clients ,
they never didn't satisfied with them, including sinful sweaters .
if you can, please take a photo for us, we want to see the quality which you discrib .
I can not believe it. because our products is not too bad just like you describe .
you never didn't think about my feeling. we also lost money. if you know before you buy. I think all of us will not lost money, but now, you have received the products, and let us refund all money, we can not accept it, hope you can understand, dear shannon ,
dear shannon ,
we refund 106.10usd to you, OK ?
As you can see, trying to return their worthless, counterfeit merchandise has been a hassle. At this point it is clear that they do not honor their guarantee, or their refund policy. Why in God's name would anyone accept half of what they paid, to return crappy merchandise?
I have finally worked them up to saying that they will refund $171.96 of my $206.18. I had to point out a few times that what they were trying to get me to accept is clearly dishonest and dishonorable, when they charged me $42.99 X 4, which equals $171.96, plus shipping and an extra shipping fee on top of that one for using PayPal. I do not understand how some people out there can feel OK with lying to, taking advantage of, and stealing from people and then giving them the run-around, trying to tell them that is not what they are doing, when it's right there slapping you in your face.
Thank you for reading this post and I sincerely hope it helps keep anyone and everyone from having it happen to them.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- The adventures of ‘The Refrigerator Nightmare'.
On Sunday, February 15th, I purchased a refrigerator from the Franklin Mills store. It was scheduled for delivery on Tuesday, February 17th, between 2:45pm and 4:45pm. I left work at 2pm and went home to prepare for the delivery. I emptied my old refrigerator and stored my food outside temporarily. On Tuesday, at 2:20pm, I received a phone call, from the warehouse, stating that the delivery would be late and not arrive until 5pm. I received a second phone call, this time from the driver himself, informing me the delivery would be delayed even further. I then received a third phone call delaying the delivery even further. The truck finally showed up at 6:45pm.
I told the driver that the refrigerator doors would need to come off to pass through my front door. As I watched as the driver removed the doors I could see that he was mumbling under his breath, as if realizing he made a mistake. He brought the door in and informed me that there was a broken prong on the wire coming from the door and I would need to send the refrigerator back to the store to have it repaired. As I proceeded to call the Franklin Mills store the driver took the door away and called his office to inform them that I had refused delivery because the refrigerator was damaged. I spoke with Michele and relayed to her what had just happened.
Michele informed me that if it was sent back my account would be credited and I would have to come back to the store and pick out a new refrigerator. I told Michele that would be very difficult for me since I live 40 minutes away from the store and would also have to make arrangements for a friend to take me there since I only drive a scooter and the scooter is unable to go on the highway as it's top speed is 40mph. Michele suggested the best solution would be to keep the refrigerator and have a service representative come out and fix it. I then asked the driver to bring the refrigerator back into the house but he refused, saying it was already packed on the truck and they would bring it back to me the next day. This didn't make sense to me since it would take more time, they were coming out of Flemmington, NJ which is an hour's drive away, and man hours to do that as opposed to just bringing the refrigerator back into the house. I felt it was out of laziness that the driver gave me this response. I recalled Michele who then spoke with the driver but he refused her request as well.
I tried to explain that it would be a hardship to take more time off of work as I had already taken 3 hours off that day to wait for the late delivery. But he said, ‘Too bad Boo that's what you're going to have to do.' I was appalled. I did not appreciate the unprofessionalism of being called ‘boo'. I did not appreciate the unprofessional lazy attitude and the blatant disregard for the financial hardship I would suffer in taking more time off of work due to the drivers' clumsiness in breaking the refrigerator in the first place.
I asked the driver if he was sure that the refrigerator would be delivered the next day and he gave me his word that it would be. He even told me he would probably be the one who would be delivering it. He assured me that when he returned to the warehouse he would have the office call me to make the arrangements. He even went as far as to tell me that it would take him an hour to get there and I should expect the call then. Needless to say, the call never came.
In trusting the driver I called Sears service department, and after relaying the story of what had happened, set up an appointment for repair for Thursday afternoon. Once again being inconvenienced due to the drivers' clumsy mistake.
Because the driver had called me to say he would be late I had his number in my cell phone. I called him first thing Wednesday morning and asked him why I hadn't been called yet with the delivery arrangements but he didn't have an answer for me. I asked if the refrigerator was on his truck and he told me he hadn't received his manifest yet. I asked him for the phone number to his warehouse and he told me he would text it to me. He also agreed to text me when he received his manifest to let me know if the refrigerator was on his truck.
I received the text with the phone number, which turned out to be the phone number to the Sears Home Delivery Service. I then received a text stating the refrigerator was not on his truck.
I called the Sears Home Delivery Service and spoke to a woman. She informed me that the refrigerator would not be delivered as promised but she could set something up for Thursday delivery. The woman sounded very rehearsed which became very irritating. Although she constantly apologized it wasn't said with any empathy because she was so rehearsed. We went back and forth for about ten minutes and I felt as if she wasn't listening. I told her a Thursday delivery was unacceptable and asked to speak with her manager but she insisted she could help me and continued to repeat everything she had already said for the third time. I asked again for a manager and she finally put me on hold for eight minutes until I heard the phone ring and a gentleman answer saying, ‘security'.
Frustration had really set in now. My response to the man who answered the phone was, ‘Oh great'. I was thinking the home delivery agent transferred me to the wrong extension. I told the man who answered the phone there wasn't anything he could do unless he could get me my refrigerator that day. He tone was very calm; he must have realized I was very frustrated. His name is Walter Jurtzak and with his soothing tone he asked me what the opportunity was. I explained and he was very understanding. Walter said he would do everything he could to help me and he accomplished that.
While waiting for Walter to call me back I called the home delivery line again and found out my order was cancelled. That certainly hit a nerve. Every agent I spoke with at the home delivery line, and there were many, need coaching in their approach with a client on the phone. Not only do they sound like scripted robots but they have no empathy in their voices. I know a lot about customer service as I am the assistant to the general manager at the Westin Hotel. By the time a guest gets to me it means that they haven't been happy with any of the other managers they have spoken with so far. So I know how important tone is and how to help a guest calm down, just as Walter does. For these reasons it takes a lot for me to get frustrated because I do have empathy for the person on the other end of the phone because on most days it's me. But the experience I had with the persons I spoke with that morning drove me off the edge.
I called Walter back to tell him I found out the order was cancelled and expressed my frustration as there was no way I could get back to the store to pick out a new refrigerator. I do not have a car, as I live in Center City, and had to rely on a friend to get me up to Franklin Mills on the day I picked out the first refrigerator. Walter assured me he was working on it and would call me back. I asked Walter for a number where I could lodge a complaint against the trucking company and he gave it to me.
Talk about another nightmare. From Vincent I was redirected to an Andrea who tried to get the trucking company on the phone but was not successful in reaching the manager. Andrea informed me that Kelly Schwartz, manager of trucking company, would call me when she got back to the office. I asked Andrea how she was going to follow through and she seemed confused and asked me what I meant. I told Andrea that I would like her to call me back to make sure that Kelly had indeed called me. Andrea said she would call me back in two hours. It never happened. Not only did I not hear back from Kelly but Andrea was a no show as well.
I called the complaint line again. Now keep in mind that every time you call anyone you have to explain the entire story again and again. It's my experience that the more you make a disgruntle client relive the problem it only gets worse for the client and in the end the client winds up never happy. Perhaps someone might consider that with the home delivery service reps and the complaint reps. It is my opinion if the agents took better notes on the client, for everyone to see, the repetition would not be necessary. This time I spoke with Jessica and explained that Kelly never called and Andrea never followed up. Jessica apologized and said she too would have Kelly call me and Jessica would follow-up with a call the following day. Again both never happened. I'm thinking what kind of company this can be that their customer service is so horrendous. I'm dumbfounded that anyone finds this acceptable.
It's the end of the day, I haven't got much work done as I have spent most of the day wasting my time with Sears' home delivery service specialist (what a joke that title is) and the Sears complaint department and I still have no resolution. Emotionally exhausted I go home.
Walter calls me that Wednesday evening and tells me he has located a refrigerator for me so I won't have to be further inconvenienced and it will be delivered on Friday. Thank you Walter for being the only person, out of the eight I spoke with, to be able to get something done and provide excellent customer service.
Thursday night arrives and I receive an automated call from the all too famous Sears home delivery specialist, only it's automated and trying to get a live voice is impossible. The call tells me that the refrigerator will be delivered between 9:45 and 11:45 am. This is not acceptable to me since I have already been heavily inconvenienced already and one would think someone would try to work around my schedule. I don't think it's a lot to ask. I call back and speak with one of the robot agents who refuse to work with my schedule and puts me in a position where it forces me to take another day off of work.
So when the call came at 11:45am to tell me the delivery was going to be late my only response was to say, ‘of course it is', because this is the kind of service I have come to expect from Sears.
In closing I want to say you have a treasure in Walter and I hope you appreciate him as an employee. Walter knew exactly what to say and how to make the event salvageable. Walter took a situation turned sour by a trucking company and the Sears home delivery specialist and made it bearable. I thank Walter for all he did to make something happen and I realize my experience with the trucking company and the so called home delivery specialist was out of his control.
However, it is not out of Sears' control. I find it hard to believe that I am the only customer this has happened to. Nor can I be the only customer that has complained. So it is Sears I hold at fault and for that reason I will no longer be a customer of Sears again.
Thank you for your time and I sincerely hope someone with the power to make changes reads this.
P.S. I went on the web to search for where, a Sears, I could send my complaint and was astonished at what came up when I typed in Sears complaint. Now I know I'm not the only one. In fact I'm a very small minority to the amount of complaints Sears has against them. It is sad that it appears that Sears isn't listening to us.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I am a former Sears / A&E Tech Manager and I understand everyone's pain dealing with repairs with Sears and A&E Factory Service, which many of you know, are in fact one and the same company. And that's why you receive the same service, or lack of service, whether you purchased your product at Sears or some other appliance dealer.
Many of us have trusted Sears and their products for many years. One thing we must remember about Sears is that "SEARS MAKES NOTHING" Sears sources their products from other manufacturers and places the Kenmore or Craftsman brand name on them. Consumers trusted the products they purchased from Sears, mainly because in years past, the products were quality products and although Sears didn't manufacturer them, Sears stood behind the product, the service and most of all, were dedicated to 'Customer Satisfaction'.
But companies in order to make shareholder's money have cut costs on product components. Parts are manufactured overseas and that increases availability time and cost. Now, I have nothing against overseas manufacturing, many quality goods are manufactured overseas and it certainly enables the US consumer to live the American Dream, but we are not seeing the quality and longevity of products that we are accustomed to having in the past. Let's face it, I don't expect my DVD player to last as long as my refrigerator, but I do expect my refrigerator to last many years, or at least longer than my DVD player.
During my experience as a tech manager, I have seen many brand new $1,500 - $1,800 refrigerators stop cooling within a week after being delivered at the customer's home. Most of the time it's the 'Compressor', the heart of the cooling system, which has stopped working. Now the consumer can complain to the retail store until they are blue in the face, but Sears will not replace the unit, they will send out a technician, who most likely will not have this particular compressor in his truck stock. The technician will have to order the compressor and come back in about 7 8 days to evacuate the sealed Freon system, braze in a new compressor, test for leaks and replace with new Freon. Nor Sears or any other retail store wants this refrigerator back, why?? Because they can't resell it as new.
In part, the lack of quality on major appliances is due to the consumer. Consumers want stylish appliances with 20 wash cycles or an in-door water and ice dispenser that enable us to have either ice cubes or crushed ice, water or juice, a clock and a cute illuminated night light. Very convenient, but we want all this convenience for a very affordable price. Manufacturers don't want your refrigerator to last 20 years, as it did years ago. Sears just monopolizes on poor manufacturing. By the way, that electronic control board is about $500.00, + Labor. And if you're fortunate, you'll be within the warranty period or have paid for a Sears Protection Agreement.
As I said, I am a former Sears / A&E Tech Manager; I have heard many customers complain about the products and the service. So, possibly I can enlighten the consumer on the Sears / A&E In-Home Product Repair business.
Let's start from the beginning. Mrs. Consumer has a problem with her appliance and calls
1-800-4-MY-HOME. This call is connected to a Call Center in Round Rock, Texas, where you will be greeted by a representative. If you are a first time caller, the Rep will need to create a new account for you. If you are a repeat caller, your account will be on their computer system. Your account will have the usual customer name, address, telephone number(s) and a list of all your appliances with purchase dates, model/serial numbers and whether you have a Protection Agreement on that appliance.
You cannot ask any technical questions to the Rep, because they only make appointments. You cannot be transferred to anyone for Technical Assistance. Your only option is to set up a service call on a mutually agreed date, either an AM or PM appointment. The Rep does one other very important part of their job description; they will "push the sale of a Protection Agreement (PA)".
Protection Agreements are the life blood of Sears. Protection Agreement pricing structures vary greatly from product to product. They are historically and statistically priced by the cost and frequency of component failures. One important fact to remember when being solicited to purchase a Protection Agreement; once you purchase it you are locked into Sears / A&E as your repair company. And once your locked in, you, as the consumer are locked in to missed appointments, late running technicians, waiting at least a 7 10 days for a part and the ultimate frustration, after waiting a week or so for the part, either the part arrives broken or once the part is installed, the appliance still does not work and another part needs to be ordered. And YES!! This happens daily in the life of as Sears / A&E technician.
Getting back to your service appointment date. Your service date is directly connected to 'CAPACITY'. Capacity relates to the number of Technicians (that work on your appliance) and the geographic area in which you live. Capacity is fed into a computer by the Regional Routing Center. Daily capacity is built by the number of technicians scheduled to work in any given day by location and industry. Capacity is built like airline companies sell seats they overbook!!
Sears has the ability and does overbook technicians, why?? Because they know there is always the possibility that on the day of the scheduled appointment, either the customer has forgotten about the appointment and went out, or the customer has cancelled because of any number of reasons. But a customer, who has waited a week for a scheduled appointment for a refrigerator that is not cooling, will not forget about the appointment. Also, there is a process in place, which automatically telephones the customer the night before the scheduled appointment to remind them of the service call. The District Management also has the authority to force overtime capacity into the technician's schedule, which they have done.
Everyone in the Sears Product Repair business is rated on PRODUCTIVITY. From the District Service General Manager, the District Technical Manager, the Technical Managers and the Technicians. Productivity within Sears / A&E is rated on the number of jobs (Service Calls) per day. When a customer is 'not home' or 'cancels' their scheduled appointment that reduces the number of service calls the technician has on his route that day. Sears will do everything in their power to insure a technician does not complete his route early.
There are many reasons why a Technician is late for their scheduled AM or PM appointment. I have already touched on the practice of overbooking. When a technician has a full route and there are no cancellations or not at home's, most likely, the technician will run late on his/her AM appointments, which has a domino effect on their remaining route. Worst case scenario, the technician may not complete his/her route that day and service calls will need to be rescheduled.
Another reason why technicians run late is because frankly, the appliance refuses to cooperate and it takes longer than normal to complete the diagnosis and/or repair. One of the biggest complaints technicians have is that there in not enough time allotted for the repairs. Each repair is allotted a certain amount of time which equates to the number of parts to be replaced. I have seen the auto-routing software schedule 5 AM appointments for a technician, with considerable drive time to each customer.
Additionally, Tech Managers have been known to add emergency service calls to technician's daily routes. Emergency service calls are added because of irate customers, who may have been rescheduled the day before, or a multi-attempt repair that has stopped working, once again.
When you call the 1-800-4-MY-HOME number to inquire the whereabouts of your scheduled technician, just ask to be transferred to the local district's Customer Service Reps. The 800 number is a national call center, they don't have access to the technician's route. Ask the 800 number Service Rep to transfer you to the local district's customer service Reps. It's the local Customer Service representative that will be able to find where your technician is and when he should be at your home. It's the local district customer service representative that will be able to get all the answers you need about your schedule, appliance replacements, parts status, and the Tech Manager responsible for your service and repair.
Another big frustration by customers are Reschedules. Reschedules at Sears are a way of life. Customers take off from work, wait all day for the technician to arrive and they never show. Why?? Well, overbooking can play a role in reschedules, adding an emergency service call to a technician's route can also contribute to a reschedule. Some common reasons are sickness and truck breakdowns. When a technician calls out sick in the morning, there may be 10 -12 service calls on their route that day. Now, given the fact that technicians' routes are overbooked by design, doesn't provide an avenue to redistribute 10 12 service calls to other technicians. Also, technicians do get sick during the day and elect to go home prior to completing their route. And of course truck breakdowns, their mechanical and are subject to breakdowns. This also contributes to reschedules.
The last reschedule problem I want to touch on are two man, helper calls. Many service calls require a HELPER to assist in moving appliances or completing the repair. I have seen the Sears automated scheduling system schedule the primary technician as his first call of the day and schedule the helper as his 3rd or 4th call of the day. This frustrates the technicians and at times both the primary and helper never get together and the service call is rescheduled. It is the responsibility of the primary technician to contact the Regional Routing Center to find out who his helper is, than he must call the helper to see when they will be available to meet. Helper calls can be ugly to both technicians and customers.
Now, customers may or may not get a telephone call notifying them their scheduled appointment, the one they have been waiting for all day, will need to be rescheduled. Technicians will not make that dreaded phone call to the customer and frankly, it's not their responsibility. The responsibility to notify the customer that the technician is running late or their service call must be rescheduled, falls on the 'Router' at the Regional Routing Center. And frankly these Routers get beat up by angry customers, who Sears once again disappointed.
Each Regional Routing Center has a Router, this person is assigned a group of technicians and monitors their route throughout the day. Technicians can contact their Router when they need to notify them of potential problems with their route, if they get sick and are going home or when their truck breakdowns. The Router also contacts the Tech Manager with technician issues and problems. Technicians will also contact their Tech Manager directly throughout the day with problems and issues.
Another problem that frustrates customers are product replacements. As I stated earlier, even a brand new appliance in the customer's home will not be replaced, if it can be repaired. Sears and A&E are in the 'Repair' business, not the replacement business.
I have spoken to angry customers who have a Protection Agreement on their appliance who will argue to have the appliance replaced, because the price of the repair is more than the replacement cost. Customers must remember, Sears is in this business to make money. Technicians are paid by the hour and installed parts cost about half of what a customer is charged for the parts.
An In-Warranty replacement of a product is charged back to the manufacturer, a product replacement under a Protection Agreement is charged back to the District. Each District maintains a monthly product replacement budget, but will do everything in their power to repair the product and not replace the product. For this reason I have seen customers wait many weeks for a part that was on back-order to arrive, rather than replace the product. The only sure way to obtain a product replacement is, if it needs a part which is 'NLA' No Longer Available.
It is the responsibility of the Tech Manager to forward all replacements for approval. Replacement approvals are generally reviewed by the District's Operations Manager. The operations manager has responsibility for the districts budget as it relates to product replacements, technician's tools, supplies, safety equipment etc. Once the operations manager approves the replacement, the retail store is sent a replacement authorization, generally by e-mail and the customer is notified to come to the store.
Another complaint customers have are that the technician wasn't familiar or knowledgeable with the product they were supposed to diagnose and repair. I have already touched on the fact that some technicians cross train in another industry and do not possess the same product knowledge or experience as the technician who work on these products exclusively.
Years ago, manufacturers had technical representatives who would visit regional training centers and train technicians on new products. Manufacturers have stopped this practice of providing field training. Sears now has employed the practice of providing Computer Based Training (CBT'S) disks. Technicians don't like the CBT's as it doesn't provide the same level of training by hands-on instructor training. Also, the time a Tech Manager can allot to training is minimal, at best.
Tech Managers generally have "Ready Meetings" with their techs. Ready Meetings are designed to give the Tech Manager the opportunity to get his/her technicians together to disseminate information, procedures, handouts, or update their SST's. Many Ready meetings can only be scheduled for 1 hour, because remember, everything revolves around 'Productivity' and a technician cannot be productive if he's attending a meeting.
Many Ready Meetings are held for mandatory procedural education by Sears. Procedural education has absolutely nothing to do with product troubleshooting and repair. I can safely say many of the technicians get their training while under fire at the customer's home. Many new appliances technicians are sent to repair, they have never even seen before. I have been told by technicians they were embarrassed in front of customers, because they didn't even know how to open up an appliance. At the very best, possibly the technician was given a training CD, but he was never given the adequate time to view it.
HAVC technicians at Sears are specialized. They had to go through formal training and have a certification in Freon handling. Again, Sears does try to hire experienced technicians, but experienced HVAC Techs are very hard to find. Sears will hire an HVAC tech right out of Technical School. Some technical schools are very good, some just teach enough to pass the certification test. Many HVAC technicians do not possess the troubleshooting skills to adequately diagnose and repair a problem the first time or the second or third time. That's why there are so many repeat service calls for the same problem. And this is not just HAVC, this practice runs all industries. Sears will send a new technician out on the road with an experienced tech for maybe, 2 - 4 weeks of training.
This training focuses mainly on how to operate as a Sears tech on a daily basis, learning how troubleshoot and repair are weak at best. The tech must learn how to operate his SST (Sears Smart Toolbox), this is the metal laptop that each technician uses to order parts, reschedule follow up service calls and oh yes, to determine your service bill if this was a collect service call. The SST also has product diagrams which show the technician a schematic of product components, which the tech uses constantly.
The technician also has another alternative HELP Hotline, 'STACK'. STACK (Sears Technical Assistance Center). Also located in Round Rock, Texas is a technical call center, providing additional technical assistance. They have diagrams and microfiche
diagrams to assist technicians in the field. But STACK is only as good as the technician is able to clearly communicate the problem. I have myself spoken to STACK and some of the complaints were that the technician wasn't able to clearly articulate the problem.
Parts, lets talk a little about parts. I have been told by technicians and angry customers that when they called the 1-800-4-My-Home, they were told by the call center agent that the technician would have the part on their truck. In fact, there are many parts, hundreds of parts on each service vehicle. But the vehicle cannot carry every part for every model and manufacturer, it's just impossible. Now there are two possibilities the customer was told the technician would bring the part, either the agent was new and shouldn't have committed that the technician would have the part on the truck or the customer was angry and demanded the technician bring the part with him and the agent agreed, just to end the call. Yes I have heard about both scenarios.
You may wonder why the technician schedules his return service call 10 days out in the future. This is done because of the US Postal Service. Sears knows it takes at least this long to process the order and ship it out. Yes, the part will most likely arrive days prior to your scheduled service date, but to be sure the part does arrive, Sears uses a 10 day lead time, to insure the part arrives. Sears does not want to cancel a scheduled service call because the part did not arrive. (It's a PRODUCTIVITY ISSUE). And yes, parts can be Emergency ordered, but technicians generally need to obtain permission from their tech manager before emergency ordering a part, why?? Because it is very expensive to emergency ship replacement parts. So who suffers ??. The consumer suffers.
Why does it take so long to get someone out to look at my appliance? Well, if it's your refrigerator that's not cooling during your home areas' hottest months; good luck getting a service technician to diagnose your problem. These are the peak periods for 'No Cooling' and the technicians are normally swamped with calls. I have seen some customers wait for two weeks for a service call. And on the day of the service call, the tech called out sick and the customer had to be rescheduled.
The period of time, when you call for service and when you can obtain a service date is known by Sears as "State of Service". State of service can be all over the calendar. If you call for service and you are not happy with your appointment, call the retail store and complain. The retail stores have a relationship with the District Service & Repair managers. Often the relationship is strained due to poor service, unhappy and often angry customers. But the retail store's Brand Central or Operations managers can place some pressure on the district to satisfy the customer.
I think you can now understand, why at times, technicians have such a hard time diagnosing and fixing your appliance the first time and why it takes so long to receive replacement parts. Sears sends inexperienced technicians out in the field and they leave the local Customer Service departments and Tech Managers to do 'Damage Control', when they don't or can't fix the product. Believe me, there are way too many 'Better Business Bureau' and 'Attorney General' complaints reaching Hoffman Estates, then funneling down the respective District Offices.
Let's talk about Technician Productivity a little. Technician Productivity is rated on the number of 'COMPLETES PER DAY', not 'CALLS HANDLED'. There is a distinct difference between the two categories. Completes per day simply means the technician diagnosed and fixed the problem on the same day of the appointment. Calls handled means the technician diagnosed the problem and a part needed to be ordered and a future follow up date needed to be scheduled.
Industry is a term used by Sears to designate the type of work performed by a technician. Sears service multiple industries; IE 'Laundry' for Washers and Dryers, 'HVAC' for gas and oil boilers and furnaces, Central Air & Window air conditioners, Dehumidifiers, Water Softeners, Reverse Osmosis water filtering systems, Hot Water Heaters, 'Home Electronics' for tabletop and wall mounted TV's, 'Lawn & Garden' garden tractors, snow throwers, power washers etc and
'Refrigeration' for Refrigerators and Freezers and 'Cooking' for stoves, ranges, microwaves, dishwashers.
It is worthy to note, many Sears Technicians cross industries, as many industries are seasonal. A Technician could face a layoff if he didn't expand his skills and cross train in another industry. This is one reason why some technicians aren't as comfortable diagnosing and repairing appliances because they don't repair these appliances on a regular basis.
Sears brags about being certified as an ISO 9001 company. For a manufacturing company, being ISO certified means constantly reviewing the manufacturing process, to cut down on waste and defects. Manufacturing companies strive for ZERO defects. And, if a manufacturing company consistently uses quality materials and processes, that they themselves set forth as the standard, hypothetically, a quality product will be manufactured the same way; day and day and week after week.
But Sears does not have ISO standards for troubleshooting and diagnosing problems, technicians don't have ISO standards for fixing the appliance, right, the first time. Sears does have an ISO Standard which states: the Technician will be in his/her service vehicle and punch in on their SST at 7:25AM each and every day they are scheduled to work.
Sears does have a standard that states the technician leaves from his driveway at 7:25AM and drives to his first call of the day, period!!. The standard goes on to say that the technician cannot stop on the way to his first call to get a cup of coffee, he can't stop for gas. The technician is not even allowed to call his first call of the day to be sure the customer is home.
Plenty of technicians have arrived at their first call to find an empty house. The same standard applies to the technician's last call of the day. The technician can only drive from his last call back to his/her driveway, no stops, not even for gas.
Sears Tech Manager's are just as overworked as the Technicians they manage. The Sears Tech Manager who manages his team is part 'Manager' and a big part 'Detective' and 'Enforcer'.
Sears mandates compliancy from its Technicians and the Tech Manager is the instrument of Enforcement. Sears places more rules and regulations on its technicians than our current day military. Under the umbrella of being "ISO Compliant", Sears mandates their technicians to follow many, many, rules and frankly, the technician does not have a 'Rule Book' to refer to, all the rules must be set in his /her memory. Tech managers spend too many hours trying to smooth over angry customers and trying to catch technicians doing something they shouldn't be doing.
Many Technicians strive to get away with doing less. If a Tech wants to reach his Tech Manager and can't reach them, he will contact another tech manager to forward a message. But if a technician doesn't want to be contacted, he will not answer his cell phone. Then the tech manager has no alternative, but to call him at the customer's home telephone number. Some Tech's will do anything and everything to get out of work and they know how to do it while in the field. Especially at the end of the day, when you need to add an extra call to their route. They will not do it.
One last note, there are many knowledgeable and friendly Sears Technicians and many that are not. Think twice about your past experiences with Sears before you purchase another Sears Protection Agreement.
I hope I have been able to bring to you some consumer education about the Sears / A&E repair business. And provide you some insight into making an educated decision with your purchasing power.
WALDORF, MARYLAND -- I purchased Heat Pump from Sears and I am now past the initial 1st year of having everything covered. After first year - parts are covered and every service call comes with a $100 service charge on top of the repairs.
1 - Called Dec 22 because heater stopped working. 20 degrees outside. Service scheduler says that someone can come out on Jan 4. I asked if he is telling me that I have to go without heat for 2 weeks and he replies, "That's not what I am saying, but we can't get anyone there until Jan 4."
I changed out the 50-amp fuses myself.
2 - Called January for same reason - heater quite working again. They said someone could come out in 5 days. Unacceptable, so I fixed it myself again.
3 - Called because heater stopped again and this time, the fuse did not fix it. Luckily, the weather was not as cold, so several space heaters were used until the Sears to came out. Service rep (nice guy who knew a lot about these systems) said the system was inproperly installed and that the wires had never been tightened causing the wires to MELT! He did not charge for the labor - but still charged $100 for the service call.
4 - I told Sears that I did not want to continue with the purchase of a new system for my 2nd home because of the poor warranty service I received on the previous system.
5 - I called the Sears customer service line at 800-762-3048 to ask for my $100 back since it was a problem with the initial install - something that Sears should take care of themselves. The person who answered could not understand English well enough to take down my number to look in their "system" for my information. She was finally able to understand me enough to send me to another division, but hung up on me while transferring the call - 15 minutes.
6 - I called the number back again and talked to a person learning English again. I had to go through all the same steps with this person, too. He went to transfer my call and I was on hold for 7 minutes before the phone went dead. 22 minutes.
7 - I call again and immediately asked for a manager because the last two efforts were less than rewarding. I still had to go through the whole "phone number and let me look up your information" again. I told him that I was being dropped in transit, so he said to hold for a minute - where I was dropped again. 10 minutes
8 - I called again and asked for a manager again. I was assured that he would stay with this one until he knew there was a manager on the other line. I was on hold for 10 minutes, then I heard some shuffling when someone picked up the line. Then it went dead. 22 minutes
9 - I called again and did the "number" thing, then explained all that had happened so far. The guy assured me that he would not be like the others and he would stick with me on this one. He put me on hold 3 times to see what to do, then he said he was waiting on the manager to come.
I asked if he would take my phone number down so they could call me back if I was hung up on and he said they would. He put me on hold again and the phone went dead after 4 minutes. 30 minutes
10 - I took a break for a couple of hours before calling back so I could keep a cool head. This was really unbelievable so far.
When I called, I asked for a manager again and finally got one (after all the initial "phone number" steps were done) and was told that there were problems with the outsourcing of customer service and they were addressing those issues. She put me through to the money people and after being on hold for a long time, a person answered and took down all my information, telling me that someone would be calling within 24 business hours.
11 - I did one of those "look for your phone number online at Google to see if they are giving out your address" since someone reminded me through an email that it is a good idea. I wasn't even thinking of Sears at this point, but there I see it - plain as day. My name and phone number displayed in a list on one of their contact sheets for new sales of home heating/air systems. I am shocked so I send an email to their customer service center. I got nothing back. I am furious!
11 - One week later, a Sears "National Customer Relations" representative called.
Is this Mr. Cleaver?
"Yes, it is."
"I am Brenda from Sears calling about your heat pump."
"Hi, I'm surprised that it took so... "(she cut me off)
"Excuse me for a second." (she drops the phone and I can hear her turning off the television and getting kids out of the room)
"OK, Mr. Cleaver, about your heater..."
She tells me that after the 1 warranty, the service warranty includes a $100 service charge for each visit. I start to tell her that I think it is wrong for someone to install something improperly, then charge me for their mistake and that this is an easy fix. Just have someone refund the $100 and all is good.
Mind you, this woman has no concept of customer service whatsoever. I told her about the poor service in scheduling the first two problems with my system AND about the name and # being posted on a Web page. I told her about being on the phone for a long time trying to get a person to help me with a refund. I told her that she didn't seem to want to hear my side of any of this.
She said that she could sit here and lie to me and tell me that she would look into those things if I wanted her to, but it would not help any.
We continued on because I could not believe what I was hearing. I asked why a National Customer Relations representative could not tell me where to go to resolve these problems; Why a National Customer Relations representative could not even apologize for this trouble; why a National Customer Relations representative could not assure me that she will let me know how these problems will be resolved; why a National Customer Relations representative could not even ask what the Web page was so she could have it removed - and mostly, why a National Customer Relations representative was not in possession of any customer service skills to begin with.
She then said that she would look into these things. Then she asked me if it made me feel better now that she said it - even though there was nothing she was going to do about it.
I asked who I could talk to about all of my current concerns and she said I could go up to corporate, but that the problem would come back to her and she would be making this same call again - so I should save myself the trouble.
I told her I understood why Sears service has fallen so far below every other company. It's because people like her are teaching the lower service representatives to treat customers just as she was treating me.
She then said that she has done all she can and that I should have a good weekend. Then she hung up.
Sears Corporate, here I come. Please keep Brenda on your staff so that others can learn from her customer service skills. That way, Sears will eventually not be able to sell anything - thus saving the world from their terrible services.
Oh, and thanks for improperly installing the system so that wires actually MELTED - causing an unsafe environment in my home!