Sears vs. Black Friday – A Comedy of Errors


Dearest Readers:

Yesterday was Black Friday, normally a day I will shop for Christmas gifts in the afternoon. Never do I fight the early lines, simply because years ago, when I worked in the retail industry, I saw people losing their dignity and integrity over an item on sale. Originally on Black Friday, I do shop at Kohl’s, or other places where sales are really a bargain; however, this year, it is unfortunate that Sears repair, or I should say, Sears Blue Service Crew dictated my Black Friday.

Allow me to explain. If you read my blog on a regular basis, you’ve probably read my recent post, https://barbieperkinscooper.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/definitely-not-a-friday-reflection-sears-kenmore-and-here-we-go-again/

This morning, I feel I must share the ‘latest’ about our issues with Sears…the Sears Blue Service Crew program…and customer service with the Sears toll-free number. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. Here’s the scenario from yesterday:

Our scheduled appointment for the ‘repair of my Kenmore front loader washer was scheduled between the hours of 3 – 7:00 pm yesterday, November 28, 2014 — Black Friday. All day long I was fearful to go shopping because there was a possibility the service tech would arrive on time, or earlier. He arrived about 5:15 pm. Upon arrival, we noticed only ONE technician, not the required two to repair the machine. The unit is a stacked unit. The washer is the bottom unit. To repair it, the entire unit must be disassembled so the washer can be repaired.

‘How do you know that?’ Yes, I heard you mumble that question, and the answer is simple. I’ve been down this road with Sears before, on June 26, 2014 the washer broke – when the technician arrived he determined it was the computer board. I should mention it took over two weeks, if not longer, to get a technician to arrive to check the unit. He determined it did need a computer board, since all electronics are computer generated now and he would order the part. It would take seven to ten days to get the part and it would be sent to our home. He scheduled the tentative repair for July 11 — PROVIDED the part arrived beforehand. July 11, the repair was completed. While the technician was here, he mentioned to my husband that this washer has had lots of problems with it, and we might consider replacing the machine. Little did I know that he was suggesting that our machine needed to be replaced at Sears expense since we had the ‘extended warranty.’ All I heard was the suggestion that we needed to replace the machine…meaning we needed to BUY another washer. I should mention I was just a bit annoyed with Sears at the time since the washer is only four-years-old!

I did make enough noise with the Sears Blue Service Crew online and one of the department heads attempted to reach out to the service department to get the service changed to an earlier date. Reportedly, we were placed on the list of cancellations — in the event someone cancelled an appointment. Nevertheless, from June 26 – July 11, I did not have access to my washer and went to the laundromat several times. No doubt today I will return to that laundromat. Supposedly, Sears has me on the laundry vending list, or whatever they call it, and I will have to let them know I need compensation at $25.00 weekly for the lack of my washer. When this incident happened in July, I received a check for $75.00. Now, history is repeating itself – so I still say, Hello Sears…HERE WE GO AGAIN!

What is so annoying with Sears and the toll-free number you must phone for service is the customer is placed on hold repeatedly. While on hold, the customer waits…and WAITS…AND WAITS. If on hold for a bit of time, your call is transferred to another customer service agent…and then — YOU — the customer — must share your information over…and over…and over AGAIN! Of course, by this time even the Pope would be a bit annoyed!

When the repair was scheduled for Black Friday — the EARLIEST appointment we could get — my phone conversation was transferred to THREE different people. I will admit, I started the conversation nice and diplomatic…by the third person conversation, my patience was thin!

Bryan, the first customer service agent mentioned that I might consider ‘replacing the machine…since I’ve had so many issues with it and it was an ‘old’ machine.’ I reminded him it was only four-years-old. Again, he suggested replacement since I had the extended warranty and it would replace the machine! Based on the history with this four-year-old, undependable Kenmore washer, I might consider replacement.

Bryan transferred me to another department. After holding the line, I spoke with three additional departments. I mentioned I needed to inquire about replacement for this machine since it was unreliable and ‘four-years-old’ with a history of breaking down. Again, I was placed on HOLD!

Paula was the next agent to service me, telling me that the technician would need to come to the house and determine what was wrong with this machine. I inhaled…exhaled and said, the computer board is out — AGAIN! The machine is doing the same thing it did in July. No power. Nothing!!!

She listened, told me she understood the frustration, but this was the procedure. She could not order the computer board until the technician determined it was indeed the computer board! I suggested a replacement, she mentioned that ‘she could not do this. All resources have been used.’

Whatever that means!

We were trapped in a debate going no where. She did mention that according to the guidelines of the extended warranty, I would need three more appointments to determine this machine had a history of needing repair and would need to be replaced. Yes, you read this correctly, to get a replacement, I would need three more incidents –within a 30-day time frame!

RIDICULOUS!

Tuesday afternoon while away from the house, I received an e-mail about a package delivered from UPS. Arriving home, I got the package — from the parts and service dept., College Park, GA. Opening the package I found parts — not a computer board — but something that resembles the front panel of my Kenmore washer — ??? The question is WHO ordered this part? Odds are — it is the wrong part!

Yesterday when Kevin, the Sears Blue Crew Service Technician arrived, I showed him this box. He responded that since the unit was a ‘stackable unit’ he could do nothing since the repair needed two techs to do the repair. He made a phone call to another tech. No answer! Truly my Black Friday was a wasted day! Nothing was done. No service. No repair. Nothing! Never did he check the machine!

Before he left, Kevin suggested I needed to phone the Sears Blue Service Crew hotline. He booked ‘the earliest available date to repair the unit — December 11, 2014! He suggested asking about a replacement and he said, if they do not assist you, just hang up and call back! Reluctantly, I agree to this date — what choice did I have? This is the way Sears schedules appointments. On December 11, my washer will be broken for 21 days — THREE WEEKS!

I phoned the Sears Blue Service Crew hotline, speaking with Laura. Now, this is where this comedy of horrors really gets interesting!

Laura was kind. Compassionate. I was kind. Frustrated, but still patient and kind. Laura was the first agent I spoke to that shared that a ‘case number for customer solutions was assigned.’ That was news to me! No one even mentioned a case number of customer solutions previously. She placed me on hold – what I call as voice jail. I listened to the music and waited…and waited…to see if Laura could establish a way to get this machine replaced.

After waiting a bit of time, you’ll never guess what happened! Yes, the phone is transferred back to the hotline. Now, I am speaking with Edna. She wants to inquire about my call. Reluctantly, I start the entire story over again…and then I ask Edna if I could speak with Laura. Oops. She doesn’t know who Laura is! No surprise there!

Was I speaking to a ghost previously?

And so, here I go again — sharing all of the incidents. Edna tells me I sound frustrated. “Duh. Wouldn’t you be too?” I ask her. Edna proceeds to lecture me. She also mentioned I should’ve requested two techs since I have a stackable unit. Really? I should mention that Sears has all of those records since I purchased the washer and dryer as a stackable unit — and Sears is the party that stacked it in the beginning upon delivery! Edna could not determine if the scheduled appointment on December 11 was scheduled since it wasn’t on the computer. By now, I am about to explode, so — I hang up.

I do not know what or how this comedy of errors will end, but I do know I have contacted searshomeservices.com and I plan to post this blog on their site too. I’m hopeful that this comedy of horrors and comedy of errors will end on a positive note. Personally, I am sick of Sears. Once I had total confidence in Sears. After all, Sears was the only place my grandfather would purchase his tools. He reminded me “Craftsmen tools are the best and Sears takes care of their customers.”

My grandfather would never believe the incidents I have tolerated at Sears Home Services.

Be advised — my growing number of readers — I will keep you abreast about what happens. Hopefully, I’ll have clean clothes soon!

Thank you Sears for making my Black Friday a nightmare. A comedy of horrors and a comedy of errors!

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