Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sears: From Impressive to Horrible to Eh

It's amazing how a company can go from one you hold in high esteem to one you are extremely disappointed with in an instant. We bought a new refrigerator from Sears (a Kenmore 16.5 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator Model #6472), which seems to be a really decent fridge for a good price. One of the especially good parts about buying from Sears was that it was on sale, delivery charges were reasonable, and in addition, they were offering to haul away the old one for just $10. This is obviously a huge deal for us, who would have much difficulty trying to bring in or take out a large refrigerator from a second floor apartment.

Three guys showed up to deliver the refrigerator as I quickly finished taking out all of the food. They were nice enough - they brought up the new fridge, then set out to take out the old one. They pulled, but it didn't move too easily, and they asked me to sign a waiver in case of damages since it was wedged between a wall and the counter. Before I even did this one of the workers said to the main deliveryman "we're out of here" and left with the other one. I signed the waiver immediately, and the one left pulled again - nothing doing. He said that it probably needs to be jacked up slightly and pulled out that way, but he couldn't do it, and he also left very quickly.

Before leaving, he said that if we could pull it out, they'll come right back to get it. I thought for a couple minutes, went out to my car, got my tire jack, jacked up the fridge, and slid it right out of the spot by myself. It took me about 5 minutes of work. We called the delivery guy immediately, and he called back a little while later to say that we had to call Sears and set it up. Annoying, but all right. We called, and they said they'll send someone out - but not for two days! They'd leave a soon to be smelly fridge in our kitchen for two days! This was not right.

After arguing with the representative for a short time, explaining that this was not right nor what was expected, and that to have a refrigerator that would soon start smelling taking up my kitchen - and growing plenty of bacteria, when I have two little girls - was simply not right, I was being stonewalled. I finally asked for a supervisor, and after trying to avoid transferring me, the rep put me on hold for a while. The supervisor merely repeated the same things - they "can't" send out a truck, though he admitted there were trucks available. I asked him to explain why they can't; they're a service provider, I'd paid for the service, and I wanted it done. He argued that they're still doing it, just two days later, which is ridiculous; he also argued that it "couldn't have been done" because it was stuck, even though I did it myself in a matter of minutes. He even refused to take responsibility for the deliveryman saying they'd come right back if we could get it out, claiming that they would in two days, and it's the same thing. He finally claimed that Sears - despite having trucks available! - is "unable to ever do special deliveries or pickups", something that I find to be completely unbelievable. I asked again why they couldn't come, and was told simply "We can't" - 'Why can't you?' - "We can't."

Finally, I asked to speak to his immediate supervisor. I always find it interesting how they will spend so much time on the phone trying to convince you there's nobody to talk to, they're the manager on the floor, then admit after pressing that there is actually someone above them. After another decent hold, a person picked up. I asked for her position: "Delivery Specialist." He had lied about hooking me up with his supervisor, but at least this person could do something, maybe. She was nice enough, and said that there simply was no way to send out any trucks today, as the drivers had already gone, but she'd at least get one for tomorrow, and gave us a $50 Sears Gift Card for the inconvenience. This was not fair - would you house a recently unplugged fridge in your kitchen for $50? - but she claimed that that was the highest she could authorize, and that they were unable to offer credits, so we took it.

All in all, Sears - whom we specifically used because of their supposed excellent customer service - was reasonably disappointing, though at least the fridge seems to be a good one. Now I just need to figure out who to write to about Unhelpful Supervisor Simon #24201.

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