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.


  1. Uh, doesn't Lowes advertise that they'll haul away for free?

  2. What Does Little Birdie Say?


    What does little birdie say,

    In her nest at peep of day?

    Let me fly, says little birdie,

    Mother, let me fly away,

    Birdie, rest a little longer,

    Till the little wings are stronger.

    So she rests a little longer,

    Then she flies away.


    What does little baby say,

    In her bed at peep of day?

    Baby says, like little birdie,

    Let me rise and fly away.

    Baby, sleep a little longer,

    Till the little limbs are stronger.

    If she sleeps a little longer,

    Baby too shall fly away.

    -----by cheap rs gold

  3. So, poetry spammer, is the baby bird a metaphor for the fridge flying away from the apartment?

    Ezzie - Why'd you guys buy a fridge if you are renters? Am I missing something?

  4. Poetry spammer - I think you've already posted that one somewhere. You're running out of poetic inventory!

  5. Noy - Could be, but this was a really good deal in general. Plus, when we first started looking, Sears had a free haul away promo running; in the end, the promo ended but they lowered the price more. And $10 isn't bad, if they actually do it. :)

    RM - Well, we're actually getting the cost back by taking it off of rent. But it's the principle of it, and should we decide to buy the apartment, it would be ours.

  6. Slightly happier ending with Home Depot - the delivery folks (an outside firm) wouldn't hook up the replacement dishwasher because the hookups were not in the same room (they were completely exposed in an easily reachable basement, a few inches below the floor). We had to call a plumber to hook up the new one. Home Depot refunded the delivery / installation charge plus gave me 10% off the cost of the dishwasher - altogether not as much as the plumber's cost, but close enought that I could at least be grateful for decent customer service.

  7. Was feeling sorry for you because lousy customer service from a place you expect better from hurts, but I am now in your position, only with National Grid (Keyspan), and given what they are doing to us, I'd be grateful for Sear's lousy service right about now.

  8. Tesyaa - Not bad, and not HD's fault.

    ProfK - Oysh! Sorry to hear...

  9. I'm curious as to WHY your old fridge did not simply roll out. You said you had to get a car jack?? Did the numnutz landlord install a raised floor in front of it, or what? Sears' "standard delivery" assumes your kitchen is normal and does not require the use of tools to remove the old fridge. Abnormal situations like yours should have been brought to the attention of your salesperson up front--having a fridge "wedged in" between cabinets is NOT normal. Because you hid this fact from Sears, it is not their fault.

  10. Dave - It's an older fridge, hence why we needed a new one. The front left "leg" seemed to be sticking, and the fridge itself seemed to be stuck at the bottom - the wall and the cabinet produced quite a squeeze.

    I didn't "hide" anything at all, and again, it took me just a couple minutes. There was nothing particularly difficult about it. Moreover, the primary issue was that they claimed they would come back if I got it out, and I was then given a runaround.

  11. How did you clean behind the fridge all this time if it was so hard to move out of its place? Did you use a car jack every time?

  12. We didn't, but it's pretty hard for anything to get back there. We cleaned it out now before putting the new one back there, and there wasn't really much behind, just some grime underneath.