Monday, December 20, 2004

Adventures in Customer Service (Sears Sucks) Volume Four

Anybody can suck at customer service. Even people who complain about the lack of good customer service can be guilty of screwing it up now and then. And since most people only have one or two interactions with a company/employee even really good customer service outfits will come off poorly at one time or another.

What really sets Sears apart, however, is their ability to be so consistently bad at customer service up and down the line. Recall that at this point I have had bad service from a service technician, a saleswoman, a manager, and a customer service rep. But Sears was just getting warmed up.

About a week after the call from the customer service rep, I got a call from a manager in the customer service call center. I was a little wary as the last manager I spoke with called me a liar, but what the hell. He started by asking me what the problem was. Problem ten: they don't keep notes on complaints so every time someone calls they are starting from scratch (this will happen 5 MORE TIMES). Heads up Sears: when someone has a problem, one way to feign caring is to actually know what the person has complained about rather than just calling and saying: "So, what's your problem?"

Anyway, I told the guy what had happened and that I wasn't interesting in dealing with Sears anymore. He asked if he could do anything. I suggested paying me for the time I spent getting the plastic hose and hooking it up. See, I am still out the full day I spent waiting for the service tech guy to not do his job, but if Sears paid me their going rate for the work I did for myself that they were contractually obliged to do, I would be less pissed off. He said no because, while they are contractually obliged to do it, they were willing to if I had only waited two weeks. I cut this conversation off by asking that they never call me again.

The genius behind Sears bad customer service is that it extends to all levels of the organization (as we shall continue to see) and that they go out of their way to impose bad customer service on you rather than wait for you to come to them. Look to the next post to see this in its glorious execution.

Volume Five here

Volume Six (conclusion) here


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