However, yesterday, I had the WORST customer service experience of my life, and I have had some bad ones. Admittedly, I do have high standards for customer service, and that is because when I worked with the public I gave excellent service, so I expect that when I am out somewhere shopping.
Most of my long time readers will recall that we had a flood in our home in January. Our insurance finally agreed that our dishwasher was ruined due to the flood and sent us a check to replace it. Because I like to be practical and as frugal when I purchase things, we put a LOT of research into what we were planning to buy. We literally spent hours comparing brands, features, price, etc. When it came down to it, we were deciding between 2 different Kenmore models. I worked at Sears when I was in high-school and college, and we have almost always exclusively purchased Kenmore appliances. I trust the Sears brand, and we have had issues with any non-Kenmore appliances we bought, but had great experience with Kenmore, so we ultimately decided we should invest in a Kenmore Dishwasher. We watched the sales fliers for a while, and for this weekend, the Labor Day Sale had the lowest prices we have seen.
On Sunday, we got the kids all ready, packed up the car and went to Sears. We had done all the research online, but wanted to SEE the item, ask some questions, and decide which model was best. I knew I could purchase online for the same price as in-store, and even get $10 off with a code and get back 6% on a rebate site (which isn't an insignificant amount), but we needed to physically see the difference and ask some questions. Having worked there before, I knew the appliance salespeople worked on commission, and I would feel bad to go and take up their time and not give them the commission just so I could save $10 and get $40 in rebates. I was hoping they'd give us a deal and knock $50 off the price to match the price I could pay online, but they said that they don't offer discounts anymore, only the advertised sale price, no negotiation or price matching.
The problem came when we arrived at the store. We went to the appliance department, and FIVE salespeople were standing there socializing. No problem, there was one associate helping a couple, and we were the ONLY other people in the department shopping. After 15 minutes of looking at every machine there, NOT ONE of them had offered to help us. I had to ASK THEM TO MOVE so we could see the machine they were blocking and they still said nothing. One went to look at a computer, one started stapling papers, one went to ask SOMEONE ELSE if they needed help, and the other two just moved to block another machine. The two items we went to look at were the only two items in the department without any description tags or price tags. I asked the two men if they could tell us the difference in the two machines, they looked at me and walked away. I walked back and asked if they could at least tell me the prices. Again, they looked at me and walked away. So, I went to the microwave/vacuum department and asked the salesman to call for a manager. He stumbled and said "Sears is just disorganized and falling apart, the manager is at home. I'll go ask them to help you." I told him no, they had had their opportunity, I wanted a manager, and I knew there had to be at least ONE manager on duty. He called for one over the loudspeaker and no one came. 5 minutes later, he came over and told one of the salesmen, Henry that we were angry and looking for a manager, so Henry then said "Well, if they're that mad, I guess I'll offer to help." He came over and then asked to help and Nick told him NO, WE WANT A MANAGER.
Henry called and got the manager on duty from Lawn And Garden, and we explained the situation to her, and I told her that we didn't want Henry to help us and get commission from our sale when he had been so blatantly rude to us. She found us a lady in washer/dryers, Pearl (who happens to be the same lady that sold us our washer/dryer, and she is great!). Pearl didn't know the answers to all of our questions, but she did find a product book that told all the details, so she went out of her way to find the answers, then we looked up the prices.
- If we knew were another Sears store was that was close by we would have left and gone there.
- Had we not been set on Kenmore after all of our research, we would have gone somewhere else,
- Pearl is amazing, and we know that we need a new stove and refrigerator in the near future, and will find out when she is working and ask her to help us, even though it isn't her department.
- Henry and the other appliance salesmen (except the one who was actually helping people) need a serious lesson in customer service. Here's a hint: YOU WORK ON COMMISSION, YOU MAKE MONEY BY HELPING PEOPLE NOT IGNORING THEM AND BEING RUDE!.
- I am very disappointed in Sears. What happened to salespeople who were nice, knowledgeable, and willing to help people.
- What happened to price matching, customer satisfaction discounts, or just going out of your way to make a situation right. If it weren't for Pearl, I would have come home and bought my machine online and saved $10 and gotten my $40 rebate.
- I am really sad, and did I mention disappointed. My entire family has shopped at Sears for various things my entire life. I LOVED my time working at Sears. I liked what they stood for and they extra mile they'd go to, just to keep customers loyalty. We have tons of Craftsman things, Kenmore things, Sears linens and towels, kids clothes, shoes, undergarments. Sears is the foundation of so many things in our family and always has been. I feel like Sears broke my heart yesterday, and shattered the pedastal I kept them on. I no longer have the confidence that I can go there and have even a satisfactory customer service experience.
- While Pearl is amazing, she can't help us in every single department there with every single purchase we make.
- If you live in Oklahoma and go to the Store at Quail Springs Mall, and need help. GO FIND PEARL. When someone treats me right, I will do everything in my power to help them and promote them. I will be writing a thank you note to Pearl, sending a copy of this post to the manager of the Quail Springs Store, and to the corporate store.