Sears and Their Philosophy on Customer Service…


Dearest Readers:

Joy…Oh JOY! It has been three weeks in this household without a working, dependable washing machine. YES, it’s a Kenmore…LG product from Sears = DEFINITELY MY MISTAKE FOR BUYING FROM SEARS. The second time for them to return to repair the machine is this Tuesday, December 9! The first scheduled for THIS CASE NUMBER was November 28! Silly me — I ‘forgot to remind them to bring two technicians for that appointment’ since it is a ‘stackable unit’ — duh! Didn’t realize the customer needed to remind them. It should all be documented in their computer since I purchased the unit AS A PAIR FROM SEARS! Since the machine is doing the same thing it did in June-July, they did order parts — following my suggestion — AFTER I was told they could not order parts UNTIL a technician confirmed what needed to be repaired. The tech arrived last Friday, November 28 – Black Friday. Never did he look at the unit when we mentioned it was a stackable unit. He did order the parts, and it should be interesting this Tuesday, December 9 to see IF the machine WILL BE REPAIRED! The parts are here, awaiting the repair!

On another funny note — my Cuisinart Grind & Brew coffeemaker was leaking from the bottom of the unit two days before Thanksgiving. I phoned them to inquire what to do. My coffeemaker has a three year warranty. You’ll never guess what they did! And SEARS COULD TAKE NOTES FROM THIS SCENARIO! Yesterday, I received a new coffeemaker, with instructions to send the broken unit to them – at their shipping expense. Less than seven days to get this repair! As for SEARS – it takes FOREVER since “I do not live in a metropolitan area???” I did not realize Charleston, SC was considered an ‘un-metropolitan area.’ I suppose I live in the boondocks, according to Sears!???!

Never…no NEVER — shall I buy ANY appliance from Sears! I am paying for a broken washer — taking FOREVER to get it repaired for the third time since purchasing it in 2010. To date, I’ve received three replies from a complaint I wrote to “Sears Blue Service Crew…” Every reply is from a different Sears member services agent. One listed an incorrect ‘case number’ — the repair reported in June – July, 2014! I informed them the case number was incorrect. No immediate reply! Then I finally got another reply — AFTER I sent them another complaint. Apparently, customers can request a laundry voucher for each week at $25.00 weekly for the inconvenience. It costs me $28.75 to do weekly laundry at the laundromat! However, the $75.00 Sears can pay me is for a calendar year. Each time I get a reply it is from a different ‘Sears member.’ Talk about passing the buck and ‘CYA!’ According to the latest e-mail, I can receive an additional $25.00 laundry reimbursement. How generous! Only $100 per calendar year. What a joke! I do hope this generous “$25.00” does not break the bank of Sears!

And today, I read that Sears is not exactly doing that well. Wonder why!

Whatever happened to customer service in America!

Definitely NOT A Friday Reflection – Sears, Kenmore and HERE WE GO AGAIN…


Dearest Readers:

Yes, I understand – today is Saturday, not a Friday reflection. I had every intention to write a Friday reflection yesterday, before all H— broke loose. Allow me to explain. I awoke dreading the day due to another battle with insomnia. I do believe insomnia won this week. Almost every hour I have awakened, unable to sleep, and so, I turned the TV on. Are you aware of how many Christmas shows are running daily now? Lifetime has Christmas shows, Hallmark does, and so does the Hallmark Mystery and Movies Channel – on DirecTV, channel 565. I was amazed as I flipped the channels, attempting to sleep.

Thanksgiving is less than a week away! After several cups of coffee, I was ready to start the day. I planned to glue my butt to the chair and write, but first, I had to do laundry. I sorted. Threw a load of colorfast laundry in my Kenmore front load machine. Hit the buttons to turn it on. NOTHING AGAIN.
I mumbled a few choice words to myself, realizing I had to phone Sears again – just like before in July. I dialed the number, listening to the automated system – awaiting a real person. Never did I realize my voice was already being recorded. Let’s just say, even Julia Sugarbaker would’ve disowned me this time!

“Oh great. Here we go again,” I said. “Welcome to Voice Jail.”

Finally a male voice answered, lecturing me that I needed to calm down and not assume that “Here we go again.”

How dare him!

He looked up my warranty, doing all the things that customer service reps do while we the customer waits for a reply. After several discussions, he mentioned that I had an extensive warranty and might consider getting another washer.

“I bought this one in 2011, or earlier. I believe it’s less than four years old. Just HOW LONG does a Kenmore washer last?”

“The machine was purchased in 2010,” he responded, according to his records.

Funny, never would I consider a four-year-old washer “OLD!”

I remained on the phone with Sears for over one hour. You know the drill. Transfer to one department. Please hold for another so they can schedule your appointment with a technician, and then I asked to speak to someone about getting another washer since mine was ‘so old’ [four years???]. I was told I needed to have three or four more complaints before they would consider a replacement for me. After all, my washer is old. [Four years…!]

The technician will be at my house next Friday. The day after Thanksgiving. I must go without washing any household laundry for another seven days, unless I choose to treat myself to another day at the Laundromat.

As you can see, my Friday was a waste. I planned to jump on the treadmill; however, the only workout I got yesterday was my mouth and jaws! Today is the BPOE show at the Elks Lodge, so another day of so many things to do. Tomorrow, I will work out. My body feels deprived if it doesn’t achieve the daily goals of an intense work out.

I’m still annoyed with Sears. The machine is not getting power. Believe me when I say it needs another computer board. I am hopeful when the technician arrives next Friday he will repeat his suggestion that “You might consider getting another washing machine to replace this one.”

Remember — my washer is old. That’s what every person I spoke with said! [FOUR YEARS OLD!]

Never did I realize, until the discussion on the phone yesterday, that my warranty would grant me a replacement – HOWEVER, I must have three or four more complaints to determine I need a replacement. I suppose they are hopeful my warranty will run out and I’ll have to purchase another washer!

I ask you – what part of LEMON does Sears not understand? I paid my hard-earned money to purchase that machine and now I truly regret it!

My Kenmore front load washer should be painted yellow, to match the lemon that it is!

Enough of this. Maybe I’ll write more tomorrow. Now, I must go get dressed so I can dazzle the audience tonight. If only I could dazzle Sears and Kenmore to stop making lemons.

Maybe I’ll squeeze some lemons and mix a bowl of sugar and water with them – to make lemonade. On second thought, I think I need a large glass of Moscato wine!

How about it, Sears – are you listening? HERE WE GO AGAIN!

Whatever Happened To Customer Service In America???


Dearest Readers:

Today is Sunday, November 02, 2014, a beautiful, but chilly day in Charleston, SC. Undoubtedly, this week has been a week filled with much stress, starting with last Sunday. Late that afternoon, I drove my car to dinner with my husband; I heard a distinctive ‘ding’ noticing my engine light was on.
“Oh no…what is wrong with my car?”

I purchased the car from Car Max in Charleston in March, 2012. A beautiful gold 2010 Dodge Journey with everything I desired in a car. Although not brand new, it was affordable. I gave my old car, a 1999 Chevy Monte Carlo with 92,000 miles to one of my sisters in Georgia.

I pulled the file for my car, reading through the warranty, phoning Car Max, leaving a message. Since the office was closed, I waited for a return phone call early Monday morning. I left an additional message with the local Car Max Service Center. And so, the wait began. On Monday morning I waited…and waited…and waited. Deciding to be pro-active, I drove to the local Car Max Service Center.

Instead of parking my car in the parking lot, I pulled up to the service center and walked inside. Two customer service reps were at the counter. One, a woman, was moving a computer mouse around the screen while glancing at the computer. The other, a guy, was assisting a customer. The woman never looked at me, or acknowledged me. She continued to play with the computer mouse, never acknowledging me. I was curious if I was invisible. I pinched my wrist. Nope I’m not invisible. I feel the pain. I cleared my throat, hoping the woman would acknowledge me. She was more concerned with playing with the mouse! The phone rang. Quickly, she answered it.

After her conversation, I approached her. “Excuse me,” I said. “I need someone to check my car. The engine light is on.”

“Do you have an appointment?” She asked, in a condescending manner.

“No. I’ve been waiting for a return phone call this morning. When no one phoned, I decided to drop by.”

“You can’t just drop by. It’s been a busy morning and I only received one phone call.” She said. Reaching for her mouse.

“Excuse me…Didn’t you hear me. The engine light is on. I need it checked.”

“You have to have an appointment and it will take two weeks to get an appointment. You can’t just drop your car by for service. You MUST have an appointment.”

“The only service I need is the engine light checked. Something is wrong with my car.”

“You need an appointment…” She repeated.

“No…I need to have the engine light checked.”

By now I realized I was getting nowhere with the tall woman who had the customer service skills of a mouse. Maybe that is why she and the computer mouse were so closely connected.”

“You can take the car to Dodge. They’ll check it for you.”

And then…this woman with the customer service skills of a real mouse returned to her mouse, ignoring me!

I was livid! No one else approached me. I left Car Max with the visual discussion playing in my mind, recognizing that this woman, whom I shall refer to as Ms. Mouse, had reprimanded me? She truly had the customer service skills of a robotic mouse!

I drove to Dodge. When they checked my car, I was informed that the engine light was not on. Nothing could be done. By now, I am ready to attack the next customer service person that walks nearby. I drove the car home. Less than five miles from the Dodge dealership, the engine light winked at me again.

Thus began one of the most disappointing weeks for 2014 for me. When my husband arrived home from work, he wanted to know if my car was repaired. I rolled my eyes, explaining how lacking customer service was at Car Max. “Funny…” I said sarcasm spilling from my lips. “When I bought the car their customer service was terrific.”

I should say, I have a history with customer service, both in retail and the educational industries. I’ve won awards for my customer service skills!

My husband phoned the service manager at Car Max. They placed his call on HOLD…….!

For over one hour, he held on his cell phone and the home, cordless phone. Deciding that one of the calls would be answered. He was mistaken!

When the phone calls disconnected, he slammed the phone down. “Let’s go to Car Max,” he said. I did not want to go back to them. My discussion with Ms. Mouse played in my mind, and I felt like a little girl filled with shame because she did something unforgivable by driving to the Service Center at Car Max, in anticipation of ‘customer service.’

We returned to Car Max. The engine light still on and my lack of confidence growing. I should say, I am one of the rare people who actually does maintenance service faithfully. In August, the oil was changed – every 3,000 miles…the air filter replaced…cabin filters replaced…and the fuel maintenance performed. The engine light should NOT be on!

Arriving at Car Max, Ms. Mouse was still – standing tall – PLAYING with the mouse! The service manager was at the end counter. My husband approached him. Of course, he was on the phone!

When he hung up, we approached. I shared my experience of the morning and how I was reprimanded for ‘dropping by without an appointment…’ Now, I asked, “What is one to do WHEN the car engine light is on and she cannot get a simple phone call returned or someone to check her car?”

“Customer service is a busy, unpredictable service,” Fred began…I interrupted him.

“I have over 18 years of service in the customer service industry and I returned phone calls quickly…”

Ms. Mouse’s ears appeared to be stretching to listen to our conversation, but NEVER…NO NEVER…did she approach. She probably knew I was not one to intercept with her thoughts.

It was suggested that since Car Max was ‘overbooked’…with only four technicians to service cars, we should go to Dodge.

I had an appointment booked for Dodge…for November 3, not until. “I have two important appointments this week. What am I to do? Continue driving my car with the engine light on, in hopes the car does not blow up?”

Fred discouraged me to drive the car. He phoned the Dodge dealership, managing to get me an earlier appointment for this Wednesday.

Rejoice! So much for customer service!

On Wednesday, the car was repaired; however. When the customer service rep at Dodge made the attempt to contact Car Max to get approval for the manifold repair, it took him almost one hour just to speak to someone!

Car Max reported that I would have to pay for the repairs, $477.21 — minus $100 deductible, since I did not take the car to Car Max and they would reimburse me within two days of the receipt of the invoice. Returning home for the evening, I wrote a letter to Car Max, faxing the invoice and letter to them.

Remember – that was Wednesday! I am hopeful that my check will arrive this week – however, considering the customer service at Car Max – I DOUBT IT!

Perhaps my next blog posting will reveal the date I receive the check! Something tells me it will probably be sent to me – via Pony Express, or a slow train!

Whatever happened to customer service in America! Yes…Indeed. Customer service? What a JOKE!

My suggestion for anyone buying at Car Max – I say – think twice! The customer service to make a purchase is most professional. Customer service when you REALLY NEED CUSTOMER SERVICE – well, let’s just say, let us hope you do not meet a “Ms. Mouse…” She cares more for her mouse…not the customers who approach her!

Sears Continues To Call — Renewal of Warranty???


Dearest Readers:

Those of you who read my posts on a regular basis will recall the saga of my Sears issues…remember the issues I had with getting my washing machine repaired. It took over three weeks — almost two weeks JUST to get a technician out to check it to determine I needed a computer board….and then, it took over one week to get the part sent to us for the repair. What a joyous three weeks that was!

Moving on…Sears phoned me moments ago. This is at least the third time someone has called to remind me I need to purchase a new warranty for my refrigerator.

DUH!?! I asked the kind telemarketer on the phone what type of IDIOT would I be to purchase a new warranty when it takes Sears over three weeks to repair something? My Julia Sugarbaker demeanor kicked in… I reminded her that IF my refrigerator died, I would probably be told it will be ‘three weeks before we can schedule a technician to check your appliance…– due to the holidays????” That seems to be the apparently scripted response when I call the toll-free number to schedule repairs. I’ve had this history with Sears from the beginning – I’m thinking it could be about two years ago when I first used the Sears appliance repair center.

I thanked the kind lady for calling but I told her I would be a complete and total idiot to agree to buy another warranty from Sears.

Can’t help being curious WHEN they will phone me again.

“Yes…this is Julia Sugarbaker styled “Barbie” and I am so not interested in any warranties from Sears. I’ll take my chances. Besides, I can’t help being a bit curious — IF it takes three weeks to get service on a washing machine, TWICE — just HOW long would it take to get service for a refrigerator. I imagine the entire fridge would smell oh so delightful by the time they arrived. Now I ask you, Sears — why would I be so stupid as to spend my hard-earned money to waste it on Sears Warranties!”

To quote Julia Sugarbaker — I DON’T THINK SO!

Undoubtedly, the Week From Hell…


Dearest Readers:

Undoubtedly, this has been the week from Hell for me, starting with my washing machine breaking last week, unable to get customer service from Sears in a timely manner – that is, until the ‘two B’s in my name’ were revealed. Isn’t it shameful that in the United State of America customer service is outsourced to India, China – and who knows where else! When I phoned Sears to request service, I was transferred four times. Yes, I said FOUR TIMES! Each time, I had to re-communicate EVERYTHING all over again, and again. Finally, I asked IF they needed a blood sample! If I appear a bit frustrated, well – you get the picture. I am not described as a Steel Magnolia for being a sweet little Southern Belle. No, not me!

So, this week from Hell continued. At least Sears got word of my frustrations – I suppose after I posted on a social media site that appears to have a bit of clout attached to it – Yes, Facebook, and I posted on my Blog, and I managed to send an e-mail to Sears Blue Team. Well, let’s just say, a kind, soft-spoken man named John assisted me – even providing a case number. To make the epistle with Sears a bit of a short story, John managed to get a service technician out on Tuesday. The next chapter of my washing machine repair is – my washer needs a new computer panel, mother board, or whatever the description for it is – regardless, the blessed machine does not work and it will probably be until the 11th of July, or later before the new board arrives. Such is my life! I suppose in my neighborhood I could be described as the Drama Queen, or the neighborhood B—-! I’ll allow my neighbors to describe me!

Moving on this week, I managed to get some laundry done, after my husband volunteered to assist me. Bless his heart! This nice consideration from someone who is not domesticated at all. Heck, he still cannot turn on the oven or the burners, and the last time I asked him to check the laundry to see if the load washing was finished, he returned to tell me it was still washing. I have a stackable unit with the dryer on top. I asked him where did you check. His reply – ‘the light on top was still on. Isn’t that the washer?’ Sometimes men just don’t get it – do they? At least yesterday he helped load the dirty laundry – now two weeks’ worth, and he helped me get it done! Silly guy!

Today, I thought was a new day. Today is my Weight Watchers weigh-in day. Unfortunately, this chick has gained .06 of a pound – for the millionth time. I seem to behave like a rubber ball. Bouncy…bouncy…back and forth! Inches, well, they are falling off, but the scales all but laugh at me. After our meeting I had lunch with two friends from Weight Watchers. Today is a hurricane day in Charleston. Hurricane Arthur keeps blowing in the wind, so since I was at the Towne Centre, I decided to shop for my husband’s birthday gift. Rushing from store to store, and from rain band to rain band, I completed my shopping thrilled that I had my husband’s birthday all taken care of. Hopping in the car, I noticed a line of traffic. If you’ve ever been to Charleston, you will know, when it rains, people come from out of the woodwork – to shop. And the majority of the drivers stuck in the traffic are in a hurry, so they choose to all but attach to your bumper. The girl driving behind my car for blocks was all but attached. I could not even see her head lights! As traffic crawled along, cars ahead of me were stopping, so I tapped my break to stop. After I stopped, I heard breaks squealing and a crash! Yep, the little lady behind me chose to finally attach to my bumper!

After phoning the police and filing the police reports, I am finally home – and I think I will just find a good book and go take a nap. After all, I am safe at home. Incidentally, the only damage on my car is the bumper, and the contributor to the collision was the little lady – not me.

Maybe I’ll remain home the rest of the day. I think it is safer. What a day…what a hellacious week! And now, I have a headache!

I hope next week at Weight Watchers I will have a good week.

Happy Independence Day, USA!

The Saga of Laundry Day at Sears…


Making certain I am posting this on my site, and not Sears. After I posted on their site, they responded — almost immediately — giving me a case number, saying someone would get back with me and they reprimanded me a bit. Oh well. I shall be nice! Yes, I received a phone call about 45 minutes ago while working out. Someone from Sears (and I am writing their names down now) is checking to see IF they can get someone out here earlier — before July 8. Now tell me, why does it take becoming a bit of a ‘nasty girl’ to get your point across in the USA to get decent customer service? Why must I activate my Julia Sugarbaker style just to get a bit of customer service? I ask you — WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE IN AMERICA? I remember as a child, my grandparents only purchased appliances, tools, sewing machines and other items at Sears. When Papa’s Craftsman tools broke, he simply walked into the store and got a brand new one. No questions asked. No receipts necessary. Shouldn’t stores, such as Sears practice those habits now, or has Corporate America REALLY TAKEN OVER? It shall be interesting just to see how long it takes to get my washer repaired. I have a stack of laundry piling up — one weeks worth to be exact. By July 8, it will be three weeks of laundry. So unbelievable. Whatever happened to customer service in the country of the United States of America? — feeling determined.

Don’t Buy Appliances From Sears!!!!!!!


Dearest Readers:

Yes, I need to vent — BEFORE I EXPLODE! My washing machine is a Kenmore front loader. Today, it is not working at all. No power, cannot do diagnostic testing — like THEY suggested because — duh! There isn’t any power. When I phoned the service department I was told the earliest they could schedule service — because they are booked solid is Tuesday — July 8. I have spoken with three departments – getting no where — and to a supervisor — STILL GETTING NO WHERE.

So, the bottom line readers. When you are in the market for appliances STAY AWAY FROM SEARS!

Their service SUCKS!

Even my Julia Sugarbaker demeanor could not get anywhere with them.

Let’s see if the world wide web does.

Ooooooohhhhhh! I am so furious!

Reportedly, they will compensate me for laundry inconvenience with a $25.00 weekly voucher. I suppose none of them have ever gone to a laundromat in Charleston, SC. Let’s just say, you see interesting characters when you do laundry at them — at least the last time I had to use a laundromat — that was my experience. I left!

More details later, but I will never buy appliances from Sears again!

When Customer Service Makes Your Day


Dearest Readers:

After my last post, maybe I should write an update. Yesterday was a bad day for me…one where I wanted to simply crawl into the woodwork and NEVER come out. Today, I am happy to report is a good day.

At least it has started off better. Yesterday, I had one of my emotional meltdowns, right in front of a complete stranger. All I could do was cry, like a baby, as my husband would say.

Yesterday, when I had my meltdown I was at Gerald’s Tires, attempting to get an estimate on brakes and one more tire. I suppose I wasn’t communicating correctly since I was so stressed, but a kind and gentle guy at Gerald’s suddenly became my guardian angel. While I was struggling to communicate, between sighs and tears, a guy named Greg entered the area. He touched my hand, told me everything was going to be ok and they could get me an estimate on these repairs. Well, you guessed it — I burst into tears.

Why? I don’t know. Somebody turned on the water works and I could not stop.

Today, my car is at Gerald’s, to receive the final new tire and brakes. Now, when I travel alone, I will be safe. No monster will find me broken down, or with a flattened or blown out tire along the road. Thank you, God! Thank you, Gerald’s Tires — most especially, thank you, Greg! You were my knight in shining armor yesterday, and today on the phone. There is something to be said about customer service, and I must say, Gerald’s Tires in Mount Pleasant, SC is doing the right thing with their customer service! No Good Ole Boys — just GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE and they appear to understand the frustrations from a woman’s perspective! Now, I feel better — my writing day can begin!

AT&T — Another No Show!!!


I suppose all of my FB friends are curious as to what happened during the ‘scheduled appointment with AT&T’ yesterday. I reported ‘the technician is scheduled to arrive between 4pm – 8pm,’ according to the text sent to my cell phone at 9:02am yesterday… Well, the plot thickens. We waited from 4-8pm… I had a headache and exhaustion from three nights of no sleep. The clock ticked away…finally at 8:15pm I simply gave up…so, AT&T STRIKES AGAIN! There were no phone calls made to us to inform us when the technician would show…No follow up…Nothing! The customer service rep is supposed to phone me today to inquire about how the repair went…I can’t wait… I shall fill his ears full with my complaints.

So, FB friends, who should I contract with to end this joke with AT&T…I’m simply tired of tolerating this form of customer service. I’ve had AT&T thru several name changes for my home phone, better known now as a landline. Let’s see, at first it was Southern Bell, then Bell South and now, AT&T… Whatever happened to customer service in America…has it been outsourced too? When they phone me today I WILL GET A CREDIT ON MY PHONE BILL, and I will not book another appointment with them. I’m tired of AT&T! It is now “America’s Terrible and Tumultuous” phone service — perhaps AT&T’s new name! Can’t wait for their phone call today! Don’t mess with me, AT&T!

AT&T Still SUCKS


Hello, Readers:

Yes, it is me. Barbie Perkins-Cooper –once again stepping into the shoes of Julia Sugarbaker to inform my reading public about AT&T UVerse!

IF you are even considering ‘hooking up’ with AT&T for ‘bundling’ or UVerse think twice. I have been on the phone with them AGAIN after my landline UVerse went out again.

Now, I have an additional credit on my phone. Whoopee!

Tomorrow, dispatch is scheduled to visit my home again — oh joy — just like they were scheduled last week and failed to show because “Dispatch was cancelled since AT&T is having technical problems.” I let them know they better show this time, or they will deal with me once again, and this time — well, Hell have no fury like a woman scorned! And Yes, I have caps on in this paragraph for a reason — I am so annoyed.

How I wish my husband had not decided to switch to the ‘bundling with AT&T while I was so sick. That is something I can’t change, but I can certainly let my readers know about my experience.

Hello, AT&T — yes, this is Barbie Perkins-Cooper, reporting once again about the disservice I am getting with your new toy — UVerse! Why don’t you fix it? I am sick of calling you daily to report “my phone or Internet doesn’t work — AGAIN!

What ever happened to customer service in America? At least AT&T customer service reps handle the situation well.

Let’s just say — the Julia Sugarbaker in me kicked in again — and this time, she is ramming the newsstand just to get her point across!

I can only imagine how many landline business calls I am missing since UVerse chose to have these ridiculous problems again. This is getting to be a daily adventure for me.

Readers, stay tuned! The adventures of UVerse is coming to a city near you. Let us hope and pray you have a landline and an Internet that really works! I don’t like working or playing with ‘big boy toys,’ and that is all that UVerse is. If I had to critique it or grade it — it would get a BIG F. On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the absolutely worst — AT&T gets 10, and that is not good!

AT&T are you listening?