Sunday, June 24. 2007

BBQ from Hell

BBQ Grill from Hell,
Sears an American Institution, now just a name where quality and service are just words.

What started out as a pleasant trip to Sears’ lawn and garden turned into the BBQ from Hell with meat begging to be grilled still sitting on the refrigerator shelf. To make a very long story, that still has no end in site short, we ordered a Kenmore grill that would fit nicely on the deck with our older lawn furniture. There was no stock, original delivery first week of June. Then the second week and then we finally get the call. It will be delivered tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and we get the call that there was a store mix up and it will be delivered on Thursday. This gave my wife too much time to think. The old furniture with a new grill, no way. So off to buy a table, chair, bench, umbrella, pillows, etc etc etc. Now we need to get the deck ready for the new grill and furniture. The old grill was put out with the trash.

Thursday comes and the truck arrives. The driver explains that he picked up the grill and it is damaged. So the decision, do we take a dented grill for over $1000 or refuse delivery and fix the issue with the store. Thursday night, we go back to Sears. Guess what no stock, nothing in any location near by and the floor model is missing. I asked the obvious, did I get the floor model. Everyone swears up and down that we got a new grill. The sales person and manager went out of their way to be very accommodating, actually the only pleasant part of this nightmare experience. We were able to get a discount due to the problem, they arranged for a Saturday morning delivery of the damaged grill and a replacement grill as soon as they get more in.

Saturday, the big day. BBQ coming, new furniture coming and a few friends to share the food that is still sitting on the refrigerator shelf. The door bell rings 30 minutes early. There is a man with a Sears shirt saying we can’t make the delivery; it is too heavy to lift. Is this the first time they ever shipped one of these? I never heard something so ridiculous in my life. These guys were serious. They actually called the delivery center and made some arrangements. The delivery center was to send someone to disassemble, put it on the deck and reassemble. We agreed because we had no real choice at the time. It really wasn’t a problem.

The doorbell rings again and the lawn furniture arrives (we bought it at a different store not Sears. Yes Sears sucked big time but didn’t have the monopoly on stupidity. I open the door and tell the delivery men it goes on the deck in the back of the house. One would think that if you deliver outdoor furniture to the back of one’s house you would walk to the back by the way of the side of the house. I guess I was wrong, because struggling to get the furniture through the front door were the delivery men from hell. I mean struggling. I said wouldn’t be easier to go around the side. They did. Now they have to bring the chairs. Again struggling through the front door and now through the screen door in the back. If it was a TV sitcom it would be funny, but this was my house. Not only did they try to get the chair through the door, the chair was still in the box. A huge f’en box. This was like trying to put Rosie in Paris Hilton’s pants. Not that she wouldn’t mind being there. By the way the lawn set is nice, actually typing with my notebook on the new table. Bench is comfortable. Saturday night comes, had to cancel with friends, kind of hard to BBQ without a grill. The phone rings it Sears confirming Sunday’s work order. They set it up for Sunday afternoon.

Now enjoying the nice Sunday morning with coffee in hand the phone rings its Sears again. We are reconfirming for today and just double checking to see if the grill is there. No more than ten minutes later the phone rings again. It is Sears, I am a manager at the distribution center we do not assemble we just deliver. I explained the situation and what transpired the day before and the call 10 minutes earlier. She repeated herself I am a manger here, we do not do that, please take it up with the store. I called the store and left a message for the department manger to call me back. Then the thought came to me, they don’t assemble they deliver, so I redialed the number on caller ID and asked for the person I spoke to. The problem now is I speak English and I couldn’t press one. I finally got someone to help me, and she says you are still on for today and I told her again what they said, but twice she reaffirmed that I was on for today. I was about to hang up she said hold on, now back on the phone is the manager. I said if you don’t assemble why can’t you just deliver and put it where it goes, I said I paid for assembly and delivery, she said, ready for this, we deliver, we DON’T LIFT. The department manger did call me back and said he will check with the delivery center and get back to me. One hour later, I am still waiting for a return call I guess he also speaks English. Since K Mart took over Sears the level of service and professionalism has dropped to the K Mart level something one would expect at a low end store. It is really a shame what happened to an excellent American institution, worse than that I am $1000’s into this lawn and BBQ deal and still can’t cook.

They just called at 2:15 saying they will be here between 3 and 5. I questioned her 3 times, she must have thought I was nuts. Then I called the store to verify. They said they will check. I got the call they are on their way and I will have it up and running by dinner time

Three men in Sears’ shirts walked into my backyard and asked me where the treadmill is?
When I explained to them what needs to be done, he said we don't do that. They then attempted to call the delivery center and at the same moment the store called. So I put them on the phone with the store. After a few moments of listening to non sense I was handed the phone. The girl at the store which has been perfect in her attempts to rectify this seemed more frustrated then me. This was the conversation, which I overheard. Send someone to take it apart, and then call the delivery center to deliver it to the deck. Then the delivery center will call someone to reassemble this.

Does anyone own stock in the company, is this any way to run a business Still have no way of BBQ'ing and it is now 3:10 PM Waiting for another call. After all the bullshit, my son, his friend and a neighbor just got tired of the non sense and put it on the deck. There were some damaged parts so I called service for replacement parts, after 20 minutes on the phone I was disconnected. This time I had my wife call back. While she was on the phone I hooked up the gas tank and turned it on. Guess what, the f'en thing didn't work. So replacement parts turned into a service call. When my wife gave them the information, they told her to call the store, being that I bought a FLOOR MODEL I wasn't entitled to service. So while the wife was waiting for a manger I tried reaching the lawn and garden department. Four times I called and four times it went into voice mail saying the lines were busy.
This time I called and asked for Ladies lingerie, I figured nobody would buy that there, and guess what I got through to a department and asked for a the store manager. I spoke to a manager, explained what had transpired, but I never really got through to him. He said I should call Kenmore for assistance
There is allot of stuff I left out, but enough is enough.

I am still getting calls from Sears but it seems like the store, delivery and service are not related.


Finally arrangements are made and service will be here tomorrow.

The Next day 6/25/2007. The service man arrives and takes a look at the grill. He said, Oh My God I never in all my years seen anything like this, it must have been dropped during shipping. You should have never accepted it that is probably why it was covered in stretch wrap. There are a number of things broken and it is beyond repair. You should call Chicago and ask for corporate customer service and tell them your story. He couldn't understand why the delivery men wouldn't deliver it. He said the store should make more than good on it and give us a better unit for the same price.

I called and left a message for the store to call me. I went on the Sears website found a customer service number and called. I explained what transpired over the last few days, up until the serviceman’s comments. The person was very understanding, but said I need to put you on the phone with my associate and she will help you from here. I got the service representative who actually wasn’t listening or had a zero level of compassion. She said that they needed to get the serviceman’s report, it would take a few days and then they will make a decision. I said enough of yours and Sear bullshit. Take the f’en grill off my deck now and refund my money. She said the store will contact me.

I called Sears Holding Corp in Chicago. Asked for public relations and had this woman on the phone for 20 minutes. I was promised results and a call back within 48 hours from some distinct manager.
I got a call back from the store, stating that they will credit my account, pick the grill up tomorrow, but was not sure if they can credit the shipping. I said I would stop by the store and speak to the store manager. Instead of charging me for shipping you should give me a couple hundred dollar gift card for my nightmarish experience.

It still doesn’t end. I get the grill delivered on Saturday and the credit card invoice on Monday. They charged me the day I ordered the BBQ. That was about a month ago. Not only did I get the bill, I also was received a finance charge. Now I have to deal with the credit card company. We went to the store, I spoke to the department manager and she explained that the sales girl was able to give me a full credit including the shipping. She took care of all the paperwork and that the grill will be picked up on Tuesday. The delivery center will contact us. The manager apologized for our horrendous experience. I actually felt bad for her and the sales girl who worked hard to make this right. The manager also told me that Chicago had contacted them and they have a lot of explaining to do.

Monday night and no phone call. My wife calls the delivery center and guesses what. We do not have you down for any pick up, we do not do that. You need to contact the store.
It is now 6/27/2007 and Sears pick up is due between 9:30 and 11:30. That was not before 4 calls were made to Sears Holding Corp in Chicago yesterday. The first call, went over all the crap of the past few days and then I was nicely transferred to the delivery center. Guess what we don’t do that you need to call the store.

The second call almost the same as the first, except this time they switched me to the store. The store of course had no knowledge of anything and I was told that the department manager had a day off and they were going to reach her. I said. let her enjoy her day off without hearing my name. I got a call from a store manager who was going to call the delivery center. He seemed pretty annoyed when I said who I was, but I never heard back from him.

Call three, starting to get a bit pissed. I said this is my third call. Here is my name and number you do the rest and get back to me. I never heard back.

Call four, I got on the phone, apologized for what they may hear and said I had enough with Sears, their customer service department , distribution center, even the store. I want this resloved and it done immediatley. He said he will get the store on the phone and asked me to hold for a moment. Many moments later. He gets back on and says the lines are very busy. I comment, I guess I am no the only one getting screwed by Sears. The store manger gets on the phone. I again explain and he said where can I reach you. I said call my wife, make the arrangements and by tomorrow noon have that crap off my deck.
I abruptly hung up.

9:35AM , finally my deck freed of the grill. Now lets hope the credits come through and I should be getting a call by sometime today from Corporate. They promised me a 24 – 48 hour call back




Ed Note: This happy Sears Customer tells me he's going to make the above saga into a comic book, we'll link it in when it's done!

UPDATE!

The first segment of the comic is up! Click here to read it!

 

Attorney General's Office
California Department of Justice
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

Dear Sir,

I am concerned that my local Sears store, located in Rosevilleís Galleria Mall, is not complying with the law in regards to returning items purchased at their store. The following happened to me after Christmas, 2005.

A pair of earrings I had purchased for my daughter for Christmas were found to be broken when she opened them. I brought them back to Sears with the original receipt and the store did not want to return them because they had been purchased on September 9, 2005. I was informed that the companyís internal policy prohibited accepting merchandise that had been purchased more than 90 days before a return. I pointed out that on my receipt, Sears had clearly written the words "Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Please retain this receipt to receive a refund in the form of your original payment." I was told by the store manager that was no longer their policy and hadnít been since 2004( however my receipt was marked 2005) He finally agreed to take it back (please remember these earrings were broken) provided that I gave my driverís license. My driverís license number, phone number and address were entered into their computer.

I called their credit department to find out if I had been placed on a list of customers who submit bogus receipts and was informed that I had. Since my receipt was valid, I requested that my name be removed. After numerous calls failed to accomplish this, I called their national office in Chicago. The head of customer service said that my name could not be removed nationally and that if this occurred three times, Sears would no longer return anything I purchased regardless of my receipts. She, too, said this had been the companyís policy since 2004. I asked the head of customer service if this policy that she was referring to meant that Searsí was saying , in effect, that I , as a consumer, could not purchase any item, no matter how good the sale earlier than the end of Sept if this item was to be given as a Christmas gift. She stated that was indeed what Sears was saying. But no where does this Internal policy appear so that the average consumer. Can be made aware of said policy. And how is it legal to refused to take back an item with a valid receipt after the 90 days and if two other returns happen after said 90 days, Sears can refuse to take back the item no matter what the cause including damaged goods.

My name remains on this list. Iím attaching a copy of my receipt, a copy of their return policy frown. www.sears.com, and a copy of a current ad which includes their return policy. No where on any of the receipts, www.sears.com return policy instructions or on the copy of the current ad, does this internal policy appear.

Sincerely,

Diane L. Anderson

cc: Sears, Roseville, CA
Sears, Chicago, IL
Senator Barbara Boxer

 

 

This just in from an email.

From: "Rick Even" <rickeven112@mchsi.com>
To: <steve@searsscrewscustomers.com>
Subject:
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 20:46:35 -0500
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1106

I had soffits replaced 2 years ago by Sears home improvement.  Now they are falling down.  Our agreement was that all rotten wood would be replaced.  Where the soffits have fallen, I can see rotten wood AND the old soffits which I paid to replace, not cover!  At least 20 calls have gone un-returned, the only thing they have told me is that they would charge me $100 to give me an 'estimate' on redoing the work. (like I'd pay them repair the botched job?)  I'm trying to sell my home, I can't have damage like this and expect to receive full asking price.  They failed to remove rotten wood, as was in our contract.  Now they refuse to even call me back.  The one person I was able to talk to told me that he's sure that the storms experienced in the Midwest caused the wood to become rotten.  If the job had done right, no amount of rain would cause damage to wood that is underneath the product.  They refuse to help, so I will continue to make sure everyone I know is informed of the 'scam' that they are running.   
P.S.  I have emailed the attorney general in the state of Iowa, I hear he hates Sears.  I'll keep you informed.
Rick Even
Dubuque, IA

 

Dear Steve,
Just want the rest of the world to know what happens when you pay for
Instillation of Sear Garage Door Openers.
I purchased 2 garage door openers ($269.98) at Sear-Lake Grove Store on Long
Island.  At the same time I purchased installation ($229.99).
A very nice fellow came at the time he said he would.  Installed the garage
doors.
When he was finished, he said, "That will be $150.00 more".  FOR WHAT I
asked, "other things that weren't included in the basic charge".
Asked Sears "What is included in the basic charge?". Installing THE garage
door opener.
It seems that the springs, pulleys, wire and track length were "NOT CORRECT"
he had to "correct them".
So all in all 2 garage door openers cost me a total of $649.97.
AND THE CHARGE ON MY RECEIPT FOR REMOVAL OF THE OLD SEARS GARAGE
DOORS.....Installer said "I don't do that" and walked off.  Hope the garbage
man takes 'em.
caveat emperor
Carolyn In Stony Brook, NY

 

Got this from Consumer Affairs:

Sears has been trying to "rebrand" some of its divisions, which is understandable considering the sorry state of the Sears name.  But the new brands are revealing their parentage.

Pamela of Matthews, NC, writes (1/2/03):
I called the Sears Wishbook on 11/15/2002 to order a Krazy Kar for my son for Christmas. That evening I decided to purchase a scooter instead, so I called Sears Wishbook back and canceled the order. Five weeks later UPS delivered the Krazy Kar to my door. I refused the delivery and immediately called Sears Wishbook to find out what was going on. I was told not to worry, that my credit card had already been charged, but since I had canceled the order and it should not have shipped, they would gladly credit my VISA account.

When I got my next VISA statement I found that they had indeed credited my account, however only for the amount of the actual product. They had still charged me $13.89 in shipping, even though the product should never have been shipped, since the order had been canceled. When I called the Wishbook and spoke to someone, (Rob E.) who claimed to be the manager of the call center, he informed me that even though I had called to cancel the order less than 3 hours later, Sears would not refund the shipping costs because their system would only let them "request" a cancellation, and this did not guarantee a cancellation.

He also informed me that his computer showed that the product had been received at a Danville, VA address and signed for by someone named "Wyatt". I told him that he must have someone else's record mixed up with mine, because not only did I not reside or know anyone who resides in Danville, VA, but I also REFUSED the shipment when it came. I explained to Rob E. that when I called to cancel my order, I was told it would be CANCELED, not that they would "request" that it be canceled. In addition, when I called about the credit, it was never mentioned that they were not planning to refund the shipping charges. I also expressed to him that I could understand if they felt they had to charge shipping charges if the product had been shipped immediately, but that since it obviously hadn't (it didn't show up on my door until five weeks later) that this was indeed a problem with their internal processes, and therefor not something I should have to pay for. He said that it didn't matter, that due to their system limitations, it was their policy to charge shipping on items that were actually shipped, even if the order had been canceled.

I then asked who else I could speak to, since he obviously could not help me, and he told me there was no one above him, and no one else could help me. I informed him that there had to be someone else higher up that I could speak with who could correct this situation, because to the best of my knowledge, he did not own Sears, Roebuck & Co. He would not give me a name, telephone number or e-mail address, but finally agreed to give me a mailing address, and advised to send it to attention: Mike. He also stated it would do no good for me to complain, since this was their policy. Needless to say, I will NEVER shop at any Sears entity again, since they obviously do not have the Customer Service infrastructure necessary to compete in today's consumer world. Their complete lack of professionalism, willingness to cooperate and lack of regard for customer satisfaction leaves me wondering how they've stayed in business as long as they have.

Lisa of Wendell, ID, writes:
I placed an order with Sears Wishbook on Dec. 9, 2000. They cancelled it on the 10th. They said there was a problem with the address. So I called and talked to someone about it and got it all straightened out. She went ahead and reordered it so it would not be a problem. I paid extra for fast service. I called today (Dec. 20) and they said they cancelled it for the second time.

I have six kids to explain to that Sears Wishbook messed up on my order and said that now they are out of the stuff I ordered. They said they're sorry for thei mistake but I still have to tell my six kids they're out of Chrismas because of it.

Here are some complaints from Christmas '99:

Kathleen of St. Joseph, MI, writes:
I ordered a Christmas present in mid-November and was told that it would arrive in 7-10 days. When it hadn't arrived by the first week in December, I called Wishbook. The CSR and I discovered that the item was sent to Texas instead, due to an incorrect zip code entry.

She told me that she couldn't reorder and guarantee it by Christmas. She told me to wait to see if the item would show up. The following week and 6 times since, I have called to get credit and/or the item. I have asked for managers to call me back each time but no one did.

I still have not received my credit, nor the Christmas present for my 3 year old daughter. Isn't this illegal and unethical and wrong?? I was charged $64.94 on my Visa in November. My daughter did not get her "BIG" Christmas present we were hoping to give her. I have spent a lot of time and effort just trying to get my money back. I am angry and frustrated. I want my money back and I want Wishbook be accountable for their procedures.

It is indeed illegal. You can (and should) report Sears to the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov).

 

Pam of Fairfield, OH, writes:
I placed an order on 11/26 for two items that I was told were in stock.  One item was shipped to me promptly, the other never arrived.  I called the next week and was told the item was to be shipped the next day.  The next week I received a card in the mail that it would be shipped on 12/18, I called to confirm and was told it would PROBABLY ship on 12/20.  

It was not likely it would make here before Christmas, so I chose to cancel the order.  The rep told me that she would place the cancellation but the item may arrive at my house.  I do not want the item, nor do I want the hassle of sending the item back if it comes to my house.  I would have to ship it back and pay postage for it myself.  

I realize this happens, but if I would have been told the item was backordered, I never would have ordered it in the first place.  I don't want to wait for a refund from something I don't have because I need to go out and get a replacement gift right away.  I would appreciate any help I can get for this mix-up that is not my fault.  Thank you, Pam Prescott.

Pam should refuse delivery and contest the charge to her credit card by writing -- not phoning -- immediately to Sears and her credit card company.

Patty of Pittsburgh writes:
I placed an order on Dec. 2 and several days later I called to check on it and they said my credit card had been rejected and I got no notice saying that it had happened so when I tried to reorder two of the things I wanted to get are no longer available and one other thing is on backorder until the 20th of December.

So I could at least order the last thing on my list, but that I should call back two days after placing that order to make sure the same thing doesn't happen with this new order.  So I called and it is still waiting for authorization, so now I have to call back on Dec. 14th to see if it went through.

I thought that all my Christmas shopping was done and that all the little ones were taken care of, but at least I found out before the date I was expecting to receive my order so that I still had time to fight the maddening crowds at the toy stores.

Sherry of Olathe, KS, is wishing she'd never heard of Wishbook:
I purchased the 40th Anniversary Barbie out of Sears Wishbook $79.99. This was a Thursday. Over the weekend I found the doll to only sell for $59.99 and everywhere had it for $49.99. 

I called immediately to cancel my order. They said it had been shipped. I asked if Sears guaranteed the price with its Sears stores and other stores. I was told no. The person was not helpful. 

I went to their online page and filed a complaint and found a customer service phone number. I called and was basically told I could return the doll if I wasn't happy with the price. I said yes I know that but the $20.00 is shipping cost is what concerned me.

I stated I would pay the charges to ship to me, I did order the doll. But whished Sears to pay the shipping return.  They were selling the doll for $30.00 more than it sells for in stores. I do realize some of Sears' Wishbook items are about $5.00 more than at stores. 

But $30.00 is taking advantage of consumers.I was told that I could keep the doll or send it back it didin't matter to them. But I would be responsible for all shipping. I asked to speak with a supervisor and was told he was the highest person there. I asked for a phone, fax or address said he didn't have one.  I called Sears billing and they gave me a fax and an address.  I faxed and wrote a letter to them and the letter I wrote on their Web site and have not heard from anyone.  

I'm so disappointed in their customer service or lack of one. I'm a loyal Sears person and this has upset me. 

I also ordered a race car costume and was told it would ship 10/14/99. Today I got a card saying 11/14/99. I called and the guy said it says here 10/14, I asked what my card meant he said he didn't know.  But he would probably not count on the costume for Halloween. I have a 6 year old who is waiting for this. 

Sears Customer Service where are they?

Good question but with Etoys, Amazon.com and Wal-Mart are going after the online toy market, Sears had better wake up.

Shawna of Burlison, TN, has learned that no matter what you call it, Sears is still Sears.
I ordered a scooter online with Wishbook.com within the last week of December, 1998.  The scooter was for my son's 4th birthday on January 12, 1999.

A few days after I ordered the scooter, I decided to buy a helmet and safety pads through Wishbook.com as well. As I checked out, I noticed that they had the scooter down on my new order and I assumed that it was because they were showing what all was being sent my way and what all had been purchased by me.

A few days later I got online to check the order status and noticed that they had 2 scooters on backorder for me. I called Sears and told them of the misunderstanding. They told me that their policy was that they cannot cancel an order unless it is on backorder. I told the CSR that it was and the CSR said they would cancel one of the scooters.

I checked the order status online several days after that. The order was never fixed so I called again. After calling 3 or 4 times about where the scooter was and how I only wanted one, I received both scooters (a week after my son's birthday).

Not thinking clearly, I accepted both boxes from the shipping service and brought them in. I ended up calling Sears again to find out what to do and how to return the unneeded scooter.

They said I had to fill out a paper included in the shipping papers and call the shipping service for a pick-up. Also, after asking about the shipping charges they said to mail them the receipts and they would reimburse me. I sent the scooter with my husband to work so he could take care of the return shipping. He never got around to it, so after 5 months the scooter is still sitting at his work, in the box, in a back room, and I'm out $50 plus shipping & handling.

Oops, maybe you should beat the $50 out of your husband, since he's presumably closer than Sears.

 

Received this via email: 

I will never set foot in the AWFUL store called SEARS FOR DUMBIES. I brought an MA on July 11, 2001 when we purchased a LOUSY craftsman mower. On April 13, 2002 our mower stopped for no reason. We took it to the repair place, which they kept for 5 days. When we brought it home on April 19th my husband immediately started mowing the lawn; after 5 minutes it stopped. We called the manager named Roby at Lloyd Center in Portland, Oregon to get a full refund, and he told us to take it back to the repair to see if it is a lemon. Can you believe that? Well, we took it back and they said we were using the wrong gas. Okay, we changed gas. July 4th before guest came over my husband goes to mow the lawn. The mower is starting and stopping. We call Roby again to tell him we want our money back we are not happy. Obviously we have a lemon. He says he will check into it, and call us back the next day. When we don't hear from him, we call him. Again, we tell him we want a refund. He goes through the protocal process, the warranty is good for 3 years mess, and if it doesn't work after this last repair then we can talk about getting our money back. How does management define LEMON...DAH!!! He actually argued with me for 15 minutes. Can you believe it? Boy, Sears really knows how to give excellent customer satisfaction. It's like he is brain dead and doesn't have a clue. LISTEN ROBY AND SEARS WE DON'T WANT YOUR LOUSY PIECE OF JUNK!!! I wrote a letter to the CEO, let's see what happens with that. I plan on getting my refund. There needs to be a class-action suit filed against Sears for fraud in regards to their shoddy products and warranty repair operation they are running. They are stealing customers blind. I WILL TELL EVERYONE THAT CAN HEAR, SEE, TOUCH, WALK, DRIVE, FLY, AND CRAWL---DON'T EVER SHOP AT "SEARS FOR DUMBIES".

Received this via email: 

First off thanks for the site. Me and my wife have been shopping at sears since 1988. We have purchased over 50,000 dollars in products since then. We had credit cards from sears along with a home improvement account. We received premier cards in 1999, but cancelled them when sears refused to extend more credit at Christmas time even though we had great credit and earn about 100,000 dollars a year. We then paid off are 5000,00 balance three months later. We continued to buy things at sears paying cash. I called to renew my card and they said I had to re apply at the store. I went to the store and they refused to give me a new card. This is the thanks sears shows to it's loyal customers. As much as I like craftsman tools I will never buy one thing from sears again. Tim & Kathy Smith. Milwaukee, WI.

I got this quick note from a customer in the New England area who wished to remain anonymous.

"4/98 was the move in and we ordered a washing machine/dryer from Sears and told them it was our new address.  About 10/98 they finally billed us. Took them a year to bill us, then they left a black mark on our credit report that then left for many months after they said they would remove it. 1/99 I found out about the credit report, and it was months before it was cleared, after they said they would. In their favor,  they reversed all interest/penalties when I just paid it off."

Received this via email: 

hi, I was a sears employee from Oct.. 1988 until last Friday 12/1(i was fired). they said I had poor performance. here's my information= I was a call taker/customer consultant at sears home services 1 8004MYHOME(1 800 469 4663) or the old phone#1 800 473 7247). customers call to make repair calls for=appliances, lawn equipment, electronics, & to request home improvements=roofing, etc. it was an hourly paid job but they treated employees as if they were paid on commission. when a customer calls for repair services it's mandatory to offer/sell additional products/services= laundry detergent, furnace cleaning for the season. they had a quota employees were expected to reach & if they didn't we were penalized. they never understood you can ask the customer 1000 times & if they choose not to purchase the additional services/products we employees shouldn't be penalized. also they had a dialogue employees were to follow=1."thank you for being a sears premier customer",2."thank you for holding, I have xxxx on the line who will help you further",& other phrases. we were expected to say these phrases during a certain period during the call & were penalized if didn't or not at a certain time during the call. they focused so much on dialogue, other minor things but not on improving the quality of service, products for the customer. the example that's in this email was the call used during my employee evaluation=I was told I didn't use the proper dialogue, etc. & was penalized. I didn't include the customers name, phone# in this email to protect her privacy, but included what her call was about. I myself don't use sears services or purchase products from them because of the daily horror stories I received of problems customers had with sears.  **Sears Misleading Consumers** Sears Home Central/Services 1 800 4 MYHOME(1 800 469 4663) or 1 800 473 7247(old#,same dept.)

1.Selling Defective Products=Customers Calling In For Repairs On Appliances, Electronics or Lawn Equipment Which Was Purchased Same Week Or Month?

2.Return Visit On A Recent Repair=Customers Calling In For Repairs On Appliances, Electronics Or Lawn Equipment Which Was Last Serviced Same Day, Week Or Month?

(I've Seen More Than 2 Return/Repair Visits On Same Item?)

3.(2)Installation Depts.? 1=Local Store When Purchase Is Made,2=Thru 1800#(These Depts. Don't Share Information=Example: If Installation Made Thru Retail Store When Purchase Was Made & Cust. Calls 1800# Because Installer Hasn't Called, Cust. Is Told To Call Retail Store Of Item Purchase Because Appointment Won't Appear In 1800# Computer System?).

4.Cust. Not Being Called As Promised=(1)When Appointment Scheduled Cust. Is Told Would Receive A Call On Service Date? Not Always Called (Cust. Having To Call 1800# To See Why Haven't Been Called),(2)Home Improvements/Installation/Heating & Cooling (To Purchase Heating & Cooling Equipment)=Cust. Not Always Called After Dept. Has Been Notified Cust. Needs.

5.Parts Delay=If Repair Tech Comes & Doesn't Have Needed Part & Not Stocked In Local Area, Orders Parts Usually Takes Days (I've Seen Even Emergency Ordered Parts Take Days (Example=An Elderly Cust. Had A Broken Furnace=No Heat (Part Was Taking Days For Tech To Receive (Cust. Wasn't Offered Any Help=A Temporary Heater Until Theirs Could Be Repaired).

6.Repair Tech Doesn't Always Come At Time Cust. Is Told=1 of 3 Occur,(1)=Tech Comes Too Early & Cust. Not Home (Not Always Informed Tech Coming Earlier Than Orig. Time Given,(2)=Tech Comes Too Late,(3)=Tech Doesn't Come At All (Cust. Not Called, When They Call 1800# Seeing What Happened Computer System Usually Displays "RN" Status=Cust. Needs To Resched.

7.Inshop Repair Items (When Cust. Brings Item To Local Repair Center)=(1)Cust. Not Always Called With Estimate Before Item Is Repaired,(2)When Item Sent To A Special Repair Center (Local Unit Couldn't Repair For Some Reason=Cust. Not Always Called/Informed

EXAMPLE= Product=Microwave, Brand=G.E.,Purchased From Sears=2/1/2000 Model#JVM1642AB001,Serial#HV922650S Purchase Location#1313(Nashua,NH Retail Store) Problem Cust. Had=Noisy, Has A Burnt Smell Tech Came=11/2/2000 Tech Comments=Shorted Diode, Replaced Magnetron & Diode Cust. Comments On Message Screen=Sears Would Pay For A New Kitchen If Microwave Caught On Fire, Service Unit Told Cust. Sears Only Sells Appliances, Should Take Legal Action Against G.E. Microwave Was On Warranty, But If Wasn't, Listed Below Are Charges Cust. Would've Had= (Sears):$159 Labor (To Replace/Repair Magnetron & Diode) **On Job Code Screen** (Sears):$54.61 (Part=Diode#WB27X1160) **On Parts Screen** (Sears):$164.43 (Part=Magnetron#WB27X10017) **On Parts Screen** (G.E.):$64.95 Diagnosis (Waived If Repaired, Pay Only Labor, Parts) **From G.E. Repair Dept.** (G.E.):$36.45 (Part=Diode#WB27X1160) **From G.E. Parts Dept. & Internet Website** (G.E.):$91.30 (Part=Magnetron#WB27X10017) **From G.E. Parts Dept. & Internet Website** **If Microwave Wasn't On Warranty Sears Would've Overcharged Cust.= Sears Labor=$159,G.E. Diagnosis=$64.95(Sears=$94.05 More Than G.E.) Sears Parts=$54.61 Diode#WB27X1160,G.E. Parts Price=$36.45(Sears=$18.16 More Than G.E.) Sears Parts=$164.43 Magnetron#WB27X10017,G.E. Parts Price=$91.30(Sears=$73.13 More Than G.E.) **G.E. Information Retrieved From= G.E. Appliance Service #1800 432 2737 G.E. Parts Dept#1800 626 2002;G.E. Internet Website=www.geappliances.com

Received this via email from one of my guild brothers:

Hi.

Oh, man, this one tops your Leathercrafter story, I just know it... Got my Sears bill today. I love those Craftsman tools, because when break a wrench or something, using it as a hammer, they'll replace it. But. Saw down at the bottom of the bill, a $25.00 late charge! Huh? I always pay my bills on time. The day they come in, usually. I hate owing money. So I called up... my last month's bill was $8.34 and I had sent them $8.33. Wow. They wanted to charge me $25.00 becaise I owed them $0.01. I threw around words like "usury" and they removed the late charge. Paid my bill, and enclosed my scissored up charge card taped to a piece of paper. I wonder if they'll "get it". Or care. If I ever do quit this business, it is going to be because of my suppliers.

Yet another story via email. This one from Canada. 

Steve, you wanted Sears stories. About 3 years ago My wife and son wee in a Sears store shopping when closing time came up. I was sitting on a bench, in the mall, just out side the store. I seen a clerk lock the door and leave. A few minutes later my wife arrived at the door and could not get out. She stood there and waited. After 20 min the lights went out in the store and my wife was still waiting at the door. I got on my cell phone and called the store to see about getting her out, but no answer. Another 15 mins. passed and a mall Security Guard came by and I showed him our problem. He got on his radio and made a call and finally a woman came by to open the door. She began to lecture my wife on shopping hours and just being very rude. Finally the door was opened and I got my family back. The next day I went to the store, talked to the manager and gave him our cut up card. I have never been back to Sears since and I never will. The manager thought my story was funny and still placed the blame on my wife. This happened in a Canadian Sears Store.
John

 

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