Monday, September 5, 2011

Sears broke my heart

Many people often ask bloggers why their reviews are mostly positive. The typical reason is because most of us research the items we plan to review ahead of time, and don't accept items that we think aren't a fit for us or our readers. If I do get something that isn't a fit for me, but may be a fit for other readers, I try to focus on those things in the review. I do this mainly because I like to keep things positive around here.

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.

Bottom line:

  • 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.


Nikki said...

Wow, what horrible customer service! We dealt with that several times at Walmart, but then, you kind of expect that there. People working on commission should know better. Actually, everyone who works in the customer service industry should know better. I'm glad you finally found a good sales person to help you.

Kari said...

What a terrible experience! I would be so frustrated. Hopefully your post might bring light to the situation so someone can make things better at that store.

Grammy Goodwill said...

I'm sorry that happened to you. There isn't a Sears at my mall, so I rarely shop there. However, I was at my mom's last week and we went to Sears. I was amazed at the general appearance of the store. It looked like it was going out of business and had very little merchandise. I'm like you, having shopped at Sears my entire life. I was very disappointed.

Jayne @ Green Country Girl said...

I didn't realize you were also an Oklahoma blogger. Sorry that happened. I would think that they would have jumped through hoops to help you.

janimar said...

I am so sorry you had problems. You would think with the economy today that those working for commission would be right there for you. Also makes you wonder, with managers not available if Sears has cut back there and so employees are supervised properly.

I did find it ironic as I went to find where your comments were that a GoogleAd for Sears showed up. :)

Elizabeth said...

I am sorry to hear about your horrible experience, I can relate to you unfortunately. I have been to my local Sears many, many times, my husband even worked there for a short time and I have had several horrible customer services experiences. I had even told my mother that it seems like the employees just don't care, not just about the customers but about the company as well. I can't count how many times I have been in mine and it is unorganized and even dirty! And I have also had the same experience with the employees in Appliance's. I was actually shocked that they stood there talking while I was looking at refrigerators, I finally asked for help but was so irritated that I left without buying! I now only shop at Sears if they have something on sale that I know I can't get anywhere else.

Hopefully corporate will do something for you, I never bothered contacting them. I wish I would have but just didn't think it would have mattered.

Hope you enjoy your new dishwasher though!

Sophie said...

I was raised in a family business, so customer service is a big thing around my home, but it is sad that it does not exist anymore. I think companies really need to be sent a message that just because people are looking for a great deal does not mean they want to be treated like crap and that customer service is no longer necessary.

Angela said...

I don't have Twitter, so I don't know how this works, but my friend Amy tweets, tagging the company she's angry about, and things happen. gave them a free product (when they screwed up to begin with) US Air let her off the plane (when they rerouted her plane to her destination airport and wouldn't let her off since she never made her connecting destination...because of them.) When people Tweet, millions of people can see it...including potential clients...sooo...TWEET!!!! Make your voice heard!!!


BrittanyGale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...

Really sorry you had such a bad experience at Sears - but I'm really not surprised, I'm sorry to say.

Since Sears and K-Mart were "combined" it has been a steady downhill spiral (at least that is what we noticed in New Jersey).

It really is ashame because Sears products USE TO BE good products - now well I'd rather pass most of the time.

SearsCare said...

Dear Ms. Puleski,

My name is James and I am part of the Social Media Support Escalations team at Sears. I came across your post and I wanted to reach out and offer our sincere apologies for the horrible example of customer service that you recently experienced inside our Sears at Quail Springs Mall. I am happy that you eventually received the help that you deserve from our associate Pearl; however, it is apparent from your post that our other associates failed to demonstrate the quality service that you have come to expect and that we require of all our employees. We appreciate your long time patronage and we would very much like the opportunity to speak with you regarding this issue in order to ensure a proper resolution. At your convenience, please contact our office at and a dedicated case manager will contact you directly. Please send us an email providing a contact phone number and the phone number the dishwasher was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number). Also, in your email please provide your name (Karen Puleski) for reference to your issue and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

Thank you,
James H.
Social Media Moderator
Sears Social Media Support