When Icons Fall

My wife and I have just severed a long time relationship.  It is one that goes back to the early 1980’s .  We had a good run, but it is over now.  It was entirely preventable. No, it is not what you are thinking.  Thirty-something years ago I met my wife while working at Sears.  I was able to earn some cash selling Weatherbeater paint and lighting.  I loved working there, my coworkers were great.  A few years later, now married, we went to Sears to buy a washer and dryer.  The managers there, remembering us,  gave us a good deal setting the stage for future purchases of refrigerators, stoves and more washers and dryers.

Not quite six-years ago we bought a high-efficiency front loading washer and dryer combo at Sears.  At $1,000 each, we had to walk around the mall before deciding on making such a major investment.  We went ahead because we were convinced the quality and efficiency of the machines  would yield a return to us in many years of service.  Less than three-years into it we forked about $400 over to Sears to replace the blown computer board controlling the washer.

Now just over two-years later our washer sits in our utility room partially filled with water, inoperable.  We initially called Sears service where we were told that we could book a $129 service call plus parts and labor or we could pay $320 for the service visit including parts, labor and a $500 credit towards a new washer, should we need one.  Initially we went with the $129 then switched to the $320.  The day of the scheduled service call, a 1:00-5:00  window, we received a call saying the technician would be late.

By six o’clock we had heard nothing. Now the fun really began.  My wife called the service number only to be disconnected repeatedly, this despite her vows to get through.  As soon as she input our home phone into the service department’s phone system she was disconnected.  This was the number used to set-up the service call.  Miraculously, when she used her cell phone number, she was able to get to a customer disservice representative.

After verbally providing our information she was put on hold and disconnected again and again and again and again and again, well you get the idea.  It was no accident that the customer disservice system at Sears didn’t want to talk to their customer.  She was likely to be honked off because of a no show/no call service appointment. No one at the $8.00 an hour Sears disservice call center could be bothered, especially on a Saturday night.

We couldn’t be bothered either.  Contact was eventually made, after much aggravation, with a customer disservice representative, the disservice call was cancelled.  We took the $320 and put it towards a new washer from Manny’s TV and Appliance.  They are locally owned and have their own service team, which is now one of our criteria.  Free delivery and free removal.  What is really sad is Sears’ total indifference towards a customer, a former employee with fond memories of the place, who has continued with years of white goods purchases, has now moved on.

Bad Quality Expensive Merchandise

     +Expensive Repair of Crap Product

          +High Level of Customer Disservice

               =See Ya

This equation is why you see Sears periodically popping-up on lists of retailers likely to bite the dust.  Prior to this latest Sears experience I would have been sad to see Sears go under.  Now I feel they are asking for it. It is tempting to say Sears is the K-Mart of retailers, but that would be unfair to the blue light folks who now own Sears.   Once America’s premier retailer, it is amazing Sears has failed at the most basic of principals of business, love your customer.

Hey, its all good for Manny’s!

The new washer will be delivered Thursday.

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Posted on December 12, 2011, in Business, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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