Adventures in Customer Service - Sears Home Repair

Friday, June 25, 2010
I swear to dog - my frickin' house is falling apart.

The latest casualty is the electric dryer, which, during last week's laundry lost it's ability to generate heat:

6/18: I made an appointment for a service technician to come to our home to repair our electric dryer. The technician, after arriving late, determined the issue and indicated he had to order parts to fix it. He did so, and made an appointment for today to come and install them.

6/23: I received a call from the Sears Home Repair service center asking if the parts had been received. I told the representative that one part had been received, but not the other. He told me he would check on the status, and hung up. I subsequently discovered that the second part had been delivered to our front porch, so I attempted to call the service center back and let them know. After waiting in queue for over five minutes, I hung up.

6:24: I called the service center again. I informed the representative that both parts had indeed been received at our home, and asked to confirm the appointment for today, 6/25/2010 between 8:00 am. and noon, as printed on the receipt given to us by the technician. The representative indicated he did not see an appointment for me on that date, but would schedule one for today at the same time.

Today: I waited for the technician to arrive. When he did not appear by noon, I called the service center to find out the status. The representative told me that the appointment had been cancelled because the parts were not shown to have arrived. Since I had spoken to another representative just the previous day and confirmed the appointment, you can imagine my disappointment that the Sears Home Repair call center had poked the pooch and screwed up the appointment after I had been without a dryer for a week. The best the representative could do was to reschedule my appointment for 6/30/2010.

I asked to speak to a supervisor, and when he got on the phone, he informed me that the customer relationship management software did show my call on the 6/24/2010, but they had no record that the parts had arrived. I asked him do whatever he needed to do in order to get a technician to my home TODAY, since I had informed Sears Home Repair of the status of the parts and received verbal confirmation of the appointment. The best the supervisor could do was reschedule the appointment for 6/30/2010 – the same offer as the representative. I asked him to escalate the issue, and again – the same offer. I’m unsure why the moron in question thought repeated apologies and an absolute refusal to provide customer service constituted an “escalation,” but he also refused to allow me to speak to anyone above him. I suspect some remedial training may be in order for the original, incompetent representative, and the powerless supervisor to whom I was “escalated.”


I love dealing with customer service people. No, really.

Fuck you, Sears Home Repair. I hope your General Manager enjoys reading my letter of complaint.

___________
Update: So we had also scheduled the handyman to come out today to do a few things. He was supposed to be here at 1:00 p.m., but called and said he'd be delayed, although he was "definitely" coming out today. Then he called at 3:00 p.m. and said he was still delayed. Then he called at 4:30 p.m. and said the owner would have to call me and reschedule the appointment. "I don't think that word means what you think it means."

At least he had the courtesy to call and keep me informed, and the tasks I had for him aren't critical (unlike the dryer). I just wonder - is it really so hard for people to actually do what they say they're going to do, and perform the work for which they're paid in anything less than a half-ass and perfunctory manner? No wonder there's oil pouring into the gulf - the yahoos in charge of safety probably thought of their job as "customer service."

14 comments:

CkretsGalore said...

It's so disheartening as a consumer to feel basically powerless no matter what company you deal with. All across the board companies basically say in a nice way, Fucking deal with it...*insert evil laugh here*

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

Okay, so why is the onus on the customer to receive the parts? This has Epic Fail stamped all over it. The guy should get the parts from Sears. End of story.

Dr. Phil

Janiece said...

CkretsGalore, I have been a shit magnet for poor customer service for well over a month. You said it, sister.

Dr. Phil, I'm not sure why they do it that way. But the technician orders the parts, and the warehouse sends them to the site of the repair. Obviously, I think it's a #fail system, but hey, I'm a shit customer service magnet, so what do I know?

CkretsGalore said...

I must admit that I've worked quite a few different jobs in customer service. I haven't in many moons because it was basically miserable and it pays nothing. Companies are quite shady when it comes to the customer service and training. I little bit of me would die inside when I would go to work. Ok I'm being a lil dramatic because I'm good at that but in all seriousness, never ever again.

Jerry Critter said...

You've got the parts. Get someone else to put them in. Downside -- it will probably cost you more money. You might be able to talk Sears into reimbursing you, but I doubt it.

Sorry. Dealing with service people is a pain.

vince said...

Sears Home Repair definitely poked the pooch. As for the handyman, it could be that when he started working on whatever it was before he was due to visit you, it turned out to be a much bigger project than expected. I've had that happen to me, and there's just me, so I have no choice to to move times, and occasionally, days.

It's a Dilbert world out there, and sadly too many companies don't see customer service as a priority.

Nathan said...

Don't have someone else install the Sears parts. Even if you're willing to pay for the service call, having someone else do the work will probably void your warranty. (Assuming it's under warranty in the first place.)

mom in northern said...

SHIT...good word that.

Janiece said...

Vince, I understood the handyman's dilemma. I don't blame him for not leaving his current job until it's finished - it's the right thing to do. I'm just frustrated by my constant shit magnet status.

Nathan, the dryer's over eight years old, so no warranty issue there.

Mom, I wrote a nasty letter, as is my wont. Not that large companies seem to give a good goddamn when I do so, but it makes me feel better, so there you go.

Warner (aka ntsc) said...

We had to replace a Sears fridge, within the full replacement at no cost warranty period, because the repairman said it could not be fixed.

Sears insisted on a second opinion before they would ship.

Two replacements arrived at Sears so damaged Sears would not ship.

Two other replacements arrived at our house so damaged we would not accept. I'm talking fork lift fork through a door and a side.

For all of this they had the same model sitting on the floor with a sign about 24 hour replacement warranty.

My wife demanded and got her money back. Along with nasty letter to Sears and Andrew Cuomo. Sears told Cuomo it was our fault.

We bought replacement from a local store, Sears tried to deliver a fifth replacement the day after the local guy delivered.

江婷 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Janiece said...

*TONG*

Nathan said...

...the dryer's over eight years old, so no warranty issue there.

Now you tell us. Sheeee-it. You should've taken the "bigger hammer" option days ago!

LucyInDisguise said...

So, the 12 year old Kenmore dishwasher finally died. Rather unexpectedly, I might add. My wife patiently explained to me in terms that were easily understood that this was an unacceptable (read: intolerable) situation.

I purchased (what I thought was) a suitable replacement which was, admittedly, not the high end machine but we could afford it and delivery was only 3 days out (as opposed to 7 to 10 days for every thing else ...).

Dead machine out. New machine in. It leaks. From the bottom of the door. From three little "weep" holes punched into the bottom of the door. (... wait ... WTF???)

GE Customer Service: "Where is it leaking from?"

Lucy: "From three little holes in the bottom of the door."

GECS: "Those are there to allow condensation to drain out of the door."

Lucy: "Out of the door, onto my new hardwood parquet floor?"

GECS: "Yes, sir. You see, steam causes ..."

Lucy: "I understand the process. So, let me get this straight; you designed this POS to leak water onto my hard wood floor instead of back into the machine?"

GFCS: "Well, yeah, it's our cheapest model. What did you expect?" *

Lucy: "How about a machine that isn't designed to leak!?!?"

GFCS: "Would you still like me to schedule a technician to come out and look at it?"

Lucy: "No, that won't be necessary. Our new new machine will be a Kenmore. All of my GE appliances will be removed from my home forthwith. Thanks for showing your true commitment to customer service."

*[I swear, that's a direct quote!!!]

So, from now on, when they ask the question: "would you like the extended warranty?" I'm gonna tell my story.

The real question now becomes, "Why bother with the service thing anyway?"

Lucy