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!
On May 3, 2006, I purchased a gas range online at Sears.com and requested an afternoon delivery for the following Friday, May 12, 2006. In the meantime, I donated my range to Habitat for Humanity. Since that time, I have been insulted, disrespected, laughed at and hung up on by your so-called customer service representatives.
It began simply enough when I received a call Thursday, May 11, 2006, that my range was to be delivered between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. This is not a convenient for me. I had requested a late afternoon delivery. I called to speak to a customer service representative because I am unable to leave work in the middle of the day to take delivery of the range. Additionally, I work more than hour away from my home. I called and spoke with Anthony, another gentleman and Roberto in the delivery department on May 11, 2006, regarding the delivery of a range purchased through Sears.com.
After receiving absolutely no assistance or understanding or even an attempt at listening to my situation from Anthony, I requested to speak to a supervisor. Anthony advised that it didn't matter who I spoke with, I would get the range when it is scheduled and there are no deviations from the way the computer prints out. I again asked to speak with a supervisor. Anthony placed me on hold for eleven (11) and one-half minutes and then a very rude, fast speaking, heavily accented male, whose name I could not understand, picked up, and after interrupting me numerous times, I asked to speak to his supervisor. This is when Roberto got on the line and appeared at first to listen. However, when I explained to him that I work far from home and cannot make it home for a mid-day delivery, Roberto told me "many people spend 8 times more money that you do and they get their purchases when the delivery people say they get their purchase" and there are "no guarantees and you will not get a time frame on your delivery until the night before. End of story." I was in total shock and disbelief that I was being treated this way by not one, but all three of these so-called customer service representatives. I asked to speak to Roberto's manager, who I was advised was Mike. However, Mike was "out to lunch" and not available. After spending over one hour on the telephone with the delivery department, I decided I would wait until the following morning to speak to someone else and to call and lodge a complaint.
On the morning of Friday, May 5, 2006, at 8:31 a.m., I spoke with a customer service representative and received the Sears National Customer Relations telephone number. I advised the operator of my problem and she promptly transferred me to the Rebate Department who of course was no help and the wrong department. I then called back and spoke with Sara. Sara advised that Sears.com contracts out the delivery company and Sears has absolutely no control whatsoever over the delivery division. I find this hard to believe. I believe that I lodged a complaint at that time; however, it appears that anything I have done to this point has fallen on deaf ears. It was crystal clear that I was not going to receive any assistance whatsoever from Sears with regard to the delivery of my range.
Next, I received a telephone call from Arthurene in the delivery department who after 35 minutes of having to put me on hold to get the answer to every single one of my questions, was also no assistance in rescheduling this delivery at a time that was convenient for me. At first I was told that the delivery could take place between 3 and 4 p.m. on Friday, which was acceptable and what I requested from the beginning; then Arthurene called me back and told me that the driver was going to be on the "other side of Palm Coast" and could not deliver in my neighborhood. Palm Coast is not Orlando, it takes 15 minutes to get from one end of Palm Coast to the other. This could have been done that day. Please understand my request is simple: last delivery in the afternoon.
At this point, I suggested they drop off the range my local Sears Appliance Store and I would, at my own expense, rent a truck and pick up the appliance myself. Arthurene, after placing me on hold, advised that me that this could not be done.
I again called Sears National Customer Relations. I spoke with Sue who told me that there was nothing she could do to assist me since the purchase was made through Sears.com and not the physical store. I asked to speak with a supervisor. I was connected to Maria, who advised that I might want to consider canceling the order with Sears.com and purchasing the appliance directly through my local Sears, since the delivery department was difficult to deal with at best.
After some thought, I attempted to call Maria back to ask some additional questions. I called the Sears National Customer Relations number and spoke with a man who refused to give me his name. I requested to Maria, the supervisor, I was just speaking with. He advised that Maria was not a supervisor and that he did not have the capability to transfer me to anyone and began to laugh at my frustration. When I told him that I had just called this same number a few moments before and was able to get transferred I told him that I needed speak to supervisor when he said let me transfer you. When I astonishingly questioned him why did he just tell me that he could not transfer me and now he can, he hung up on me.
Fine, at this point I decided that I had had enough and I was going to cancel the order; however in doing so, I was advised by Chris in the credit department that the credit would not appear on my card for 48 hours. I pondered this as I am having the gas line installed on Friday, May 19, 2006, and after speaking with Tom at my local Sears Appliance Store was advised that the order would need to be placed that day (Friday May 12, 2006) for delivery prior to Friday. Chris suggested that since they have not fulfilled my need that I may not be charged with the 15% restocking fee. He also advised that a sales credit could be issued and the store sale should still go through.
Armed with this information, I called to cancel the range, I spoke with Kevin who was completely unwilling, after hearing about this fiasco to waive the restocking fee. I then spoke with his supposed supervisor, Robert who advised that the credit would take 5-7 days for the credit to appear on my account and I would absolutely be charged the restocking fee. Hence my total frustration with the lack of concern, compassion, understanding, truthfulness and problem solving of your customer service in each department that I have spoken to on Friday morning.
At this point, I had spent 3.5 hours of my employer's time being lied to, disrespected, mocked, laughed at and hung up on by your so-called professional customer service representatives and supposed supervisors.
In the meantime, at 11:43 a.m. Jerome, the delivery truck driver called to tell me that he was on his way to my house. Jerome advised that he was told to call me prior to delivering the range and nothing else. Unbelievable.
At my wit's end, I called to completely cancel my order and spoke with a Ruth in your sadly lacking customer service department. Ruth, to her credit, tried to appease me and made a last ditch effort to save the sale. She got Keegan in your delivery department on the telephone at approximately 12:15 p.m. who said that my range would be delivered the next day - Saturday. At no time has anyone offered to deliver the appliance on any other day than Tuesday or a Friday. I was thrilled FINALLY some resolution. Keegan advised that I would receive a telephone call after 5:00 p.m. on Friday advising when to expect the delivery on Saturday. I received that telephone call at approximately 5:30 p.m. and through a recorded message was advised that my delivery was scheduled between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Saturday, May 13, 2006.
The delivery never happened on Saturday, May 13, 2006.
I received a telephone call from Alisa at approximately 9:35 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2005, who was calling to reschedule my delivery. I assured Alisa that this was taken care of and I was scheduled for delivery later that day. Alisa tried unsuccessfully to reach anyone in the warehouse and after three telephone calls to me, apologized that she was not able to confirm or deny the delivery as she could not get anyone to answer the telephone.
After rearranging my Saturday plans to remain at home between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and not receiving my range, I began another round of telephone calls to Sears at 3:40 p.m. I spoke with Lori in delivery who advised that she did not see my delivery scheduled for that day. She placed me on hold and when she returned she advised me that Keegan did not put in the correct code and therefore the delivery was not scheduled. What should be a simple, routine task, has now become a comedy of errors. Because of the incompetence of your employees and Keegan, I am again going days without a range. Lori offered a $75 gift card from Sears but that is little compensation for what I have had to deal within the past two days. When I asked to speak with Keegan, I was advised that he was conveniently not available.
My range is supposedly scheduled for Tuesday, May 16, 2006; however Lori advised that Tuesday is a very busy day, so it may actually be delivered on Friday!! I am appalled at the treatment I have received from just about every Sears customer service employee. I cannot fathom what type of training your employees receive, if any. If the policy of Sears is to demean, disrespect and belittle your customers you have achieved that goal.
You can be certain that I will never purchase another item from Sears, Sears.com or any of the Sears subsidiaries and will not hesitate to verbalize my frustrations with your company with every person I have the opportunity to meet. After investing more than 5 hours with your various customer service departments, I am in a no better position than I was when I first contacted them on Thursday.
I would appreciate it if someone, with some authority to make decisions and rectify this problem would call me as soon as possible to deal with my issues.
I was contacted by Sears Home Improvement salesman after looking online at their flooring. I set up the interview. After the interview, after all the promises, and the claims of exceptional warranty, my wife selected the linoleum she wanted in our house. We were contacted by David ** shortly after, and an installation date was scheduled. We had some issues with our existing flooring and all was explained to the salesman (Michael **). He assured us that everything would be taken care of, that's why it cost more than anyone else.
Upon arrival of the installation crew, they pulled some of the carpet back, looked at the sub-floor, which was 3/4" tongue and groove OSB (Oriented Strand Board) and told me they could not install linoleum on that, that they had to install 1/4" luan over it first (which was not on the contract). They proceed to the second issue, (floor not level), told me that it also had to be repaired before they could install the linoleum. I explained to them that the salesman said that everything would be taken care of (he added into the cost).
A phone call was made by the installers, and the cost went up. I told the installers I couldn't afford the additional charges, so they left. Angry, I called David (see above) and explained everything to him, his reply was this is an unforeseen problem, and my whole house was going to have to be covered with 1/4" luan, at an additional cost. I told him to cancel my order.
I called his boss (Emilio **) and explained everything to him. He offered me a $400.00 discount. Being angry, with our house destroyed and barely livable (we moved almost everything out ourselves), I felt $400.00 discount on a $8500.00 job was an insult, and told him to cancel my order. Now even more angry, he offered me a $700 discount which I quickly refused, and again told him to cancel my order.
About a week later, my wife received an invoice, from the credit company, we went through, for a payment. I called GE Money, and found out that Sears had charged $2500 on the account. I explained the situation to the agent, she told me that Sears had not cancelled the order, and we were going to have to contact Sears Home Improvement. We tried to contact everyone on the contact list we were given by the salesman, with no one at home. We left messages, no call back. Finally after 4-5 days, I received a call from Emilio, telling me that we were going to have to pay that $2500 because it was a non-refundable deposit of 30%.
More angry, I asked him when I could come pick up the product that was ordered for me. He told me that couldn't happen. I was frustrated and disappointed. I made a call to the District General Manager (Glen **) who, after going through our file, finding no cancellation order, told me that we had exceeded the 3 day right to cancel agreement, and he concurred with Emilio explanation. To make a long story shorter, and after explaining everything to him, I came to the understanding, that they were not refunding our money, and that we were not going to get the product ordered for us.
After telling him that was wrong and that I felt screwed over, he proceeded telling me that he could not return or resale the linoleum. He went on to say that he had all types of flooring in his warehouse, that he could do nothing with. I guess I'll have to pay the $2500 to the lender, however you can rest assured, I will not recommend, or have anything else to do with Sears. Thank you for reading about my experience, and if can be of any help or offer any advice, feel free to contact me. Please excuse any grammar or spelling issues.
I would like to warn everyone about Sears Delivery. Please avoid them like the plague. I wish I had read these reviews before choosing Sears because in the end I had to cancel my order. We ordered new kitchen appliances from Sears - Refrigerator, Microwave, Dishwasher and Gas range. You would think with such a large order they would try to keep my business - but NO.
Sears was supposed to deliver our items on September 9. We got a call a week before at 5 am on a Saturday from Sears, telling us our fridge is unavailable for delivery on the 9th. Because fridge is probably the most important appliance for us, I decided to change the model which was available. They agreed to deliver the Fridge on September 12 and send the remaining appliances as scheduled (Sept 9). On the date of delivery they called to tell us that they were running late (and since my building has time specifications), Sears said they would not be able to deliver until very late.
While this may not sound like Sears' fault, we told them about the building time specifications at the time of placing the order. Needless to say, none of the appliances arrived on the 9th. They rescheduled delivery for the 12th. Again, the following day (Sept 10), Sears calls at 7 am to inform us that the second fridge ordered was unavailable. By then, from experience we knew that the Sears call center was full of incompetent people, who are not only powerless but also clueless.
We went to the store to place an order for a third fridge that was available. We requested that in the interest of time they deliver all 4 of our appliances on Wednesday September 14. Again, we repeated the building time specifications (delivery allowed between 10 am and 4pm). Sears called the night before the delivery to tell us that they had given us a time window between 7 am and 9 am, which is outside the building time window.
Obviously, there is no way for us to request change of time window because the call center is full of useless people. The appliances arrived the next morning at 8:40 when the building would not allow delivery. I called Sears and was told that someone would call me in the course of the day to tell me when they would deliver the appliances (the same day). No one called. I had to call Sears from my office and spent 3 hours trying to find someone to help. Needless to say, no one could help me connect with someone who has decision making power. They wanted to reschedule delivery for almost a week later.
Finally understanding my frustrations, one delivery manager told me she had spoken to the warehouse and scheduled my delivery for the next day (Sept 15) and that Sears would call me between 6pm-9pm the same day to confirm the time window. I repeated the building time specifications about 25 times. As expected, no confirmation call between 6-9. When I called Sears for the Nth time, another clueless call center person told me, that while he saw that Sears had promised me delivery the next day, they were unable to fulfill their promise.
After spending 4 hours on the phone with Sears, I hung up at 9:30 pm, finally canceling the order. We went to one of Sears' competitors around 10 pm who delivered the appliances the next day. Dealing with Sears has caused extreme emotional distress (because they just don't understand the simplest things, even after you explain it to them 20 times), monetary loss and cost me time. Additionally wasted my aunt's time who came to help us with Sears delivery. So, please heed my warning - it will save you time, money and mental anxiety.
PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA -- I bought an LG Refrigerator on Jan 27 2009. It want bad on Thursday Sept 17th, I called CS on Friday Sept 18th and they told the next available repair appointment was on Monday Sept 21st.
The technician went to my house and said the mother board was not working, he ordered it and the part arrived on Tue Sept 22nd. A different technician went to my house on Wed Sept 23rd to install the part and after he did that he realized the compressor was not working either.
He said he was going to order it. The part was supposed to arrive on Thursday Sept 24th, but it did not. I called on Friday to get information and a representative in CS gave the wrong tracking number, I called again requested the tracking number and again it was a wrong number, this time I was still talking to the person and I explained to her how frustrated I was and she said the best she could do was schedule an appointment for MONDAY the 28th!!!! She transferred me to the Tech Support Dept where William was kind enough to check when the part was supposed to arrive (it is supposed to arrive today)and he said the next available appointment was MONDAY THE 28TH!!! I said I could not afford to be there on MONDAY, first because I can not loose another day at work, second because it is JUST UNBELIEVABLE that I went to Sears because of the GREAT SERVICE and all I am getting is 10 days with no food, 3 days lost at my job - no pay- and a dead end to my problem.
He transferred me to the Escalation Dept, where Rhoda took the call and she said she could not do anything, Saturday was completely booked and there was nobody else on top of her..."this it the higher you can get" I felt she did not try to anything to help me. After, offering me a $50 gift card (which I accepted, even when I am not walking into a Sears Store EVER AGAIN) I explained to her that I did not want to get money out of Sears...all I wanted was my fridge to work and I did not care if they have to pay overtime to some Technician to go there on Saturday but I was sure there was something else that could be done. She finally transferred me to Carlos (according to her Carlos is her Manager Partner or so)He could not do anything for me either and even told me that if I could not be there on Monday the 28Th then they could go on SATURDAY OCTOBER THE 3RD!!! I asked him if that was a joke. I asked him if there was a private service that I could use and Sears could reimburse me, he said there was not such a thing and if I did have somebody else to take a look at it my warranty will be voided. I talked to 4 different people, nobody could give an alternative, I still do not have a fridge and I was threaten with losing my warranty and I all wanted was my fridge to work.
I was really upset to a point I apologized to every person I talked to because I understood it was not their fault, but it was Sears fault and they have to do something to fix it. The answers I got were: this is the higher you can get, you have to grateful because Sears is giving you a service and "good luck" with you equipment if somebody else repairs it.
This is the WORST customer service experience I have ever had. Nobody could help me, nobody could explain to me why I did not get the part on time, nobody could give me a solution. I understand Sears won't care about losing a customer, but I will do whatever I have in my power to avoid people to buy ANYTHING there...It is not fair to customers, there is no excuse and "things happens" like Carlos told me IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO SOMEBODY THAT HAS BEEN WITHOUT A FRIDGE FOR MORE THAN A WEEK!
KAMLOOPS BRITISH COLUMBIA CANADA -- Sears Customer Service
In the past 40 years we have purchased large item appliances from Simpson Sears/Sears, and because of their warranty and customer service we are still buying from Sears. We have lived throughout Canada also in the United States.
We knew that wherever we went in either country that Sears's service was available and thus the reason for our last purchases which included a gas range, hood fan, microwave, dishwasher, combination refrigerator/freezer, garberater, and built in vacuum. Total costs of these appliances were over $10,000.00. We also purchased a kitchen table and 6 chairs, as well as all our window blinds (Blinds alone cost $6000.00)
A move from Alberta to a retirement home in British Columbia was the reason for the last purchase. We built a new home and installed all new Sears bought appliances.
We bought our appliances in Alberta before the move and then Sears kept them in storage until our house was far enough along that we could install them. The one year warranty that comes with the appliances did not start until January 29, 2009 when the appliances were delivered.
The complaint we have with Sears is with their Service Department. Our side by side refrigerator/freezer stopped making ice and the freezer was not keeping the food frozen.
We did what we have done in the past when one of our Sears appliances broke down, we called their service department. Since we live in a small village on the Shuswap we were advised that they could only send out a serviceman on Thursdays. On the next Thursday a service man from Giddens Appliance repair in Kamloops arrived and proceeded to check out the Refrigerator/Freezer.
He confirmed that the unit was not working properly and advised us that he would have to take off a panel on the inside. Once the panel was off he observed that only a few coils had frost on them and he said that was part of the problem. He then said he needed to check something at the back and pulled out the Fridge and took off another panel. After another inspection he stated that there were no leaks in the coils or anywhere. He then said that he needed to make a phone call and then turned the fridge off and gathered up his tools and went out to his van. We assumed he was checking with his office and we were surprised when he drove off.
Two days later we had still not been contacted by either the Repair service or Sears. We then called Sears and were advised that the serviceman had not put any report of his findings in the file, they suggested we call Giddens to find out what was happening. We did this and were advised that the serviceman who came to our house was not there as he had taken a day off. I asked if they could call him to find out what course of action he would be taking. They told me that they would not contact him while he was on a day off. The call I made to the Service repair was in the morning of the 27th of June.
Later that day I called Sears Service again and was advised that an entry had been made in their file stating that the refrigerator/freezer had a leak and had to be removed from the house and taken to Kamloops for servicing. Kamloops is approximately 55 kilometers from our Village.
The entry in the file contradicts with the statement that the serviceman made in that he said that there were no leaks, yet suddenly there is an entry in the file stating there is a leak. (Could this be because it became known that we had an extended service warranty?) We may never know.
We advised Sears that we wanted a new one because the refrigerator/freezer was only 4 months old and that we had paid in excess of $2800.00 for it. The Sears Representative became rude and advised us that if we would not agree to have the unit removed and repaired that we can go without a refrigerator. This was from a Sears Customer Service Representative.
We agreed to have the fridge removed for service and on July 9th they came and removed it and said that Sears had provided a “loaner fridge” for us to use while our unit was being serviced. Upon inspection of the “loaner fridge” which was still in the van, we decided that it wasn't good enough to be a beer fridge and we would not put any food in it in the condition it was in. The delivery personnel said they felt the same way, so we refused the “loaner fridge”
We called Sears Customer Service on the 14th of July for an update on when the Refrigerator/Freezer would be fixed and delivered. They advised they would check with the service company and get back to us. We received a phone call message on our answering machine stating that the service technician was on holidays and would not be back for a week and then he would start work on the Refrigerator/freezer.
We will be filing this complaint with B. C. Business Practices and Customer Protection.
Buying from Sears is not an option we would be venturing into in the future.
Where is Sears loyalty to their long term customers, when needed?????
MASSACHUSETTS -- I'm a former Sears Service Technician from New England and I just want to let everybody know what working for Sears is like. Keep in mind that I had almost no experience in appliance repair but was hired immediately for scoring high on a basic electricity test.
We wake up every morning with a computer from 1994 that is always malfunctioning with 13 calls on our route. 9 of these calls are 8-12, 4 are 1-5(typically). Not to mention the fact that some of our days consist of 150 miles of driving. We don't get paid until we arrive at our first call, hence why we can't(by law) call you and usually end up meeting you at the front door in your underwear. Upon punching into our computers, we get flooded with messages from our so called "Routing Department" who ask us to call 6 of our 9 morning customers who called in, to let them know when we'll be there. Keep in mind these "Routers" have access to a tech's full route as it appears on our computer and are already on the phone with the customers!
We then attempt to fix your appliances with our 1 month OTJ training and common sense. When and IF! I STRESS THE IF!, we do find the part it needs, we go out to our van of $hit that we never use" only to find you need a part that we don't have. Keep in mind that each tech is assigned to a specific industry such as "REFRIGERATION" or "LAUNDRY" and each carry different inventory. Wouldn't you think that we would have the right part with that huge van and only specializing in one area? OF COURSE NOT! After explaining to the customer that the part is model specific(as instructed by management to avoid the look of incompetence), we jump in our van in embarrassment and move on to the next call.
Having a problem? Run into something you can't bypass and therefore can't complete your calls? After calling all the tech managers(6) twice each with no reply, the frustration keeps building. Finally you drive by their office while calling and find them shopping on Lands End for clothes while hitting ignore on the phone. There is absolutely no support whatsoever in the company! Most techs don't make it a week without quitting.
You're penalized for not selling enough service agreements. You're always being questioned on your whereabouts. There is NO TRAINING on the new machines that come out and if you let a customer know you aren't familiar with the product you get crucified, "don't ever let the customer know you don't know what you're doing" as my manager once said. The vans they provide are dangerous to ride in and to take your van to SEARS Auto is like gambling with your life. Better make sure those lug nuts are on...
All in all, SEARS sucks. Don't shop there, work there, or get any type of service done by them or A&E Factory Service(SEARS IN DISGUISE) as my manager would say. The labor rates for their service are ridiculously high and uncalled for seeing as though their employees are basically learning on your machine. Not to mention you can find almost anything at SEARS for cheaper elsewhere.
My recommendation is to say no to the service agreement, wait for a failure, and call a family owned and operated repair shop who really needs the money and appreciates your business. Most can be at your house the same day and get this, THEY HAVE THE PART! Thank you for your time and I hoped this helped.
SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI -- I used Servicemagic.com to find a reputable contractor to replace my kitchen cabinets and laminate countertops. Sears responded to my inquiry by calling within ten minutes of completing the request. The operator was adamant about setting up a time for an estimate as soon as possible. I was told by the operator that the consultation would last about two hours.
A few days later, a couple of salesmen, not contractors, showed up to do the estimate. We sat at the kitchen table, which I figured was to talk about my intentions of the remodel. Not quite, the salesmen asked about my personal life and broke the ice with small talk and jokes for the first 45 minutes. One of the guys didn't even do kitchen remodels and was an HVAC salesman. Why he was there, other than to laugh at the kitchen salesman's jokes, I don't know. After the kitchen salesman was finished measuring, he had me decide on the materials to be used in the remodel. The brand of cabinets he offered were the same as what I was offered by three out of the five local contractors I had already met with. While the kitchen salesman was figuring out the price, the HVAC salesman piped up and reminded him of the huge $250 limited time discount. The kitchen guy boasted about how great of a savings I was going to receive and how great Sears' construction workers were and how nobody should ever refuse their work. This was after he had told me they weren't there to pressure me into buying anything.
I patiently waited for an hour and a half to get the estimate. The kitchen guy spun the paper around and said he would take an additional $1,600 off the price if I signed the dotted line right then and there. He said if financing was a problem, he could set me up with a Sears charge card to finance the work if I didn't already have one. Finally, after I acknowledged that the $1,600 would be a great savings and that I wasn't interested in a charge card, the salesman got to the price. My estimate came to a whopping $16,000! After gaining control of my adrenaline and urge to go off on these two salesmen, I politely told them I wasn't interested. The kitchen guy reiterated, “if you don't sign today, the $1,600 discount walks out the door with us.” I once again held my composure and asked them to leave.
Until Sears was suggested by Servicemagic.com, I had never heard of the construction side of the company. If you're ever tempted to use them, I suggest getting other estimates first, just in case the price is actually within reason. I don't know about their quality of work, but I choose not to use Sears because my five other estimates were between $3,600 to $4,300!