Sears Complaint - Nothing but Aggravation to Buy from Sears
This holiday season I've made numerous purchases on the Web and the unsatisfactory experience from some big-name retailers prompt me to share my experience here. In this day and age of mature e-commerce technology, I'm so frustrated by the dismal ability by some companies like Sears to attain a decent customer experience that there are really no excuses.
Sears is one of the worst. I've actually written here before regarding their non-existent inventory tracking system (under Sears > Communication Issues although Online Ticketing is just as valid a category to place it in). That was a couple of years ago and I don't know if they've improved their system on inventory data.
• An order was placed on 11/12, order confirmation states that the items will arrived at local store to be picked up between 6 - 8 days.
• Two weeks have passed and no update is provided in my order details page, no tracking info, and no email notifying of the delay.
• Contacted two customer service agents on 11/28, one told me the items need 3 - 4 weeks time to process (although the item details page has NO mention of the lengthly processing time); another told me the items arrived at local store on 11/16.
• Called store and confirmed they had the items. Went to store on 12/2, waited for 78 minutes and items couldn't be located. Store's computer isn't equipped to show when items were received or whether the items were ever received or if they even have the items.
• Contacted Sears webcenter email address on 12/2 and received 2 emails on 12/3 at night and a few hours later on 12/4 in the early morning. One indicates the package was signed for by the store on 11/16; the other says the package was returned to sender and that a Research Specialist will contact me.
• On 12/4, a little after 12 pm ET, a female agent from Sears called. Either she did an overnight shift and was delirious or she was calling from some Sears overseas outpost because the first thing the agent said was "Good evening." She didn't ask for the person whose name is on the order. My roommate answered the phone and she was confused when someone just started talking about an order. The agent said they would be sending the item to me and then she asked in a tone that suggests she couldn't wait to get this done and she is in a hurry to leave, "You still want it, don't you?" I hesitated a little since I was taken aback by her question, why wouldn't I still want what I ordered and paid for? I wouldn't have complained if I wanted to cancel the order. So, I said yes but then I reminded her that I ordered 4 items, not just the 1 item she said she would ship. She then said, "oh, they didn't tell me that," and proceeded to put me on hold, when she returned, she accidentally disconnected the line.
• After waiting for a hour and a half when she didn't call back, I called Sears and connected to I believe another overseas outpost because of the accent and after explaining the whole sorry saga, I was put on hold and the line was then disconnected, AGAIN!
What I learned from this fiasco is that Sears' operation is inconsistent, to be charitable. Sure, when things work, it works well but when things go wrong, they simple have no organized, centralized, and systemic ways to deal with the deviation:
• I am pretty sure Sears' policy is not charging customers until the order has shipped but they charged my credit card right away.
• The computerized system at the local store is antiquated and doesn't track incoming or outgoing packages.
• All those overseas outposts have faulty telecommunication system, when they put you on hold, the connection drops.
• After your phone connection drops, the agent doesn't call you back so customers just waste their time and accomplish nothing.
• Seems like they've different departments handling customer complaints; however, not all info is logged into one central space, so no one has a complete picture of what has transpired.
• Not all departments access the same information. That's why I received all those conflicting and different info. This is assuming any of the information is correct. They could be all wrong info, who knows.
• Agents either don't have access to the latest info or they're too unmotivated to dig deeper into a problem. Like that last agent, as soon as he realized I received an email already, no matter he doesn't know what the email says, he refused to look into the problem anymore.
• Whenever a company misses a delivery date and missing that date for 3 weeks, I expect the company send a replacement order out ASAP. It seems to me I'm waiting for Sears to do an internal investigation and find out what happened to the package. It doesn't matter if Sears shipped it, lost it, someone stole it at the store, returned it, none of that is a customer's problem.