Free Writing, Whatever Happened To Customer Service In America

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!

Free Writing, On My Soapbox!

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!

Free Writing, Friday Reflections

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!

ARTICLES, On My Soapbox!

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!

Free Writing, On My Soapbox!, Weight Watchers

No One to Blame But Me — At Weight Watchers


Dearest Readers:

I confess, today is my weigh in day at Weight Watchers, only I am not going today. I’ve decided it is in my best interest to remain at home today — moping…groaning…arguing with myself…I’m certain you get the picture, especially IF you are working hard to lose weight. This week hasn’t been a user-friendly week for me, and I’ve managed to eat foods I shouldn’t have, along with birthday cake. Yes, I know, I have no one to blame but myself! I am the one who lifted the fork into my mouth and ate those foods, and I am truly (almost physically except it hurts to do this) beating my head against a brick wall for being such a weakling! According to my scales, I’ve gained four pounds this week — since Tuesday of this week.

Allow me to explain…This week, combined with the latter part of last week, have been the weeks from Hell for me. Too much stress…too many disappointments… If you recall from my postings in June and earlier this month, I posted the details of the lack of appropriate customer service from the scheduling department of Sears. The week of June 26 was an extremely demanding and busy week for me and when I finally found the time to do laundry, I loaded the colored clothing, placed the detergents and fabric softeners in the appropriate slots, only to discover my front loading Kenmore washer would not power up. I checked the fuse box, other areas that I knew to check, and phoned Sears. To make a long, pressurized story short, the earliest they could get a technician out was July 8. I was furious! I was told, and I quote, “we are overbooked due to the holidays.” Duh???!!!??? Did I HEAR the voice correctly? I ask you, just WHO plans for the scheduling of a repair due to the holidays? The first party I spoke with had one of those accents from India, or somewhere similar. Seems she offered to ‘walk me through some diagnostic testing?”

Are you not listening, India? The washer will not power up. I do have common sense and my common sense tells me that IF the machine is not powering up, a diagnostic test cannot be completed! Do I need an engineering degree just to operate a Kenmore front loading washer? ‘I don’t think so!’

Sears must think I’m stupid! I’m not. Julia Sugarbaker reborn? Perhaps!

After the incident with Sears I went online, finding the Blue Team at Sears where I could send an e-mail. Ha. Ha! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

Yes, I sent an e-mail. I am not certain of the contents, but let us just say, my Julia Sugarbaker style kicked in — BIG TIME. A customer service rep from Sears phoned me, assuring me that when an earlier opening arrived, a service technician would phone me, and he did. I think he came to the house on July 1. I recognized him since he was the technician that repaired this same washer a few years back. Apparently the problem is the computer panel. As you all must know — EVERYTHING is computerized now so what once was a simple repair job is now a complete rehaul of the repair. A new computer panel was ordered. It arrived this Monday, July 7. The technician is scheduled to repair the washer tomorrow, July 11. It has been three weeks since I’ve been blessed to do laundry at home. I’m getting into the groove of going to the laundromat now. Fortunately, the laundromats in my neighborhood have been upgraded, so the characters I saw the last time I had the joy of visiting a laundromat no longer exist. Thank you, God!

Last week simply wasn’t my week. After Weight Watchers, I had lunch with friends and decided to complete birthday shopping for my husband. We were having storms and one thing retail outlets can count on is when it is raining like it does in Charleston, SC, people LOVE TO SHOP! Customers were coming out of the woodwork! After leaving Towne Centre, I started home, noticing a car so close behind me I could not see the headlights of the vehicle. Of course you can imagine what happened. When I stopped, so did she — right into my bumper. Fortunately, it was a minor fender bender; however, my bumper has a few deep scratches, so we called the police. I reported the accident to the insurance company and now I await their phone calls. I suppose I could continue listing the events of this week too, but it isn’t necessary. Just know, I need a break, and so today, after fighting with myself and shedding a tear or two, I decided to miss my meeting.

I forgot to mention yesterday. I went to a friend’s house to rehearse our songs for our show this weekend. After our fun rehearsal, we went to the pool and swam and soaked up a few rays. I was wearing my Fitbit One. It isn’t waterproof! I slipped (by accident) into the pool and ruined my Fitbit One. I have it drying out in a bowl of rice, but so far — nothing. Dead. What a week!

Repeatedly I have reminded myself that no one placed the food in my mouth. No one force fed me at all. My husband wanted to have his birthday dinner at P. F. Chang’s — one of my favorite places to dine. After looking up their entrees on Weight Watchers etools, I realized I should not eat one bite, but I did. Add to that, the birthday cake, and I recognize I am headed for self-destruction.

Nevertheless, today is a new day. Yes, the scale tipped upward of four pounds, but my new treadmill (Nordic Track) is laughing at me as I write this, so I must gather my thoughts to close this, turn on “Designing Women” and get moving!

I am so hopeful next week will be the beginning of a new and better, happier, less stressful week. And now, I am hopping on Nordy! Have a great week!

Free Writing, Losing Weight, On My Soapbox!, Weight Watchers

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!

On My Soapbox!

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.

On My Soapbox!

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!

On My Soapbox!

Sears — Customer Services for Appliance Repairs — NEEDS MAJOR IMPROVEMENT!


Last week, I fought with my Kenmore front load washing machine for much too long. I kept getting an “OE” error. I followed the instructions to the letter, cleaning the dust and lint from the areas suggested; nevertheless, each time I tried to use the machine it refused to drain or spin. My husband, a computer engineer, checked the unit too — several times! Reluctantly, I phoned the toll-free number to request repair service.

When I finally got a person on the phone, he apologized and performed what he needed to do to book a date for my dilemma. I confess, I was expecting to hear that a service person could be out soon. What I got was a shock to me! My history with Sears hasn’t been a good one, starting with their lack of professionalism and delivery etiquette when I purchased my Samsung French door refrigerator from Sears. Silly me, I thought Sears would adhere to the customer service they practiced many years ago, when my parents and grandparents only purchased items from Sears. Yes, like all things in life, Sears has changed — not necessarily for the better! Those who follow my blog probably remember the issues I had with the delivery of my refrigerator. It got so bad that the customer service rep that resolved the problems stated he would send me a $100 gift card for my grievance with them. Funny, that gift card never arrived!

Back to the phone conversation I had to schedule my washing machine repair. After holding on the phone for a bit, the customer service rep returned, telling me that ‘the first available date for someone to come to my home to check the washer would be Wednesday, January 23, 2013’ — exactly eight days away!

I gasped. “Eight days?” You mean to tell me I must wait eight days to get someone here to check and drain the washing machine? Eight days to have soaking, sopping laundry on my floor since it cannot spin the water out or drain? Eight days? Totally unacceptable!”

Without a doubt, my Julia Sugarbaker style was kicking in!

“Excuse me,” I said. “Do you not understand my situation? I have water on my laundry room floor from clothing I had to personally ring out with my hands, just to get it ready to throw into the dryer. Eight days is not acceptable. Something must be done!”

“Sorry, but we have no appointments in your area until eight days from now.”

Furious, I asked for a supervisor. No surprise there — no one was available.

“Then you must have additional phone numbers I can call.”

He shared two phone numbers. To say the least, Sears and I were not seeing eye-to-eye and I was ready to have my way with them — most diplomatically, Julia Sugarbaker style! When will Sears learn? You do not mess with a Steel Magnolia and when we, the customers purchase items, we are always encouraged to purchase additional warranties. For what — I ask you? For the customer to be inconvenienced until a ‘technician is in my area?’

The next morning, I had two cups of coffee, ready and able to share my thoughts with Sears. No doubt, I was not hanging up until someone assisted me with a suitable appointment — not eight days away!

The first phone call begins:

“Hello, Sears. Yes, this is Barbie Perkins-Cooper. I have purchased many appliances through Sears, with exception of my stove. Yesterday my front loading washer refused to drain and spin so I requested service. I was told that the “earliest available appointment in my area would be on January 23 — eight days from now.” This is totally unacceptable and I need someone to reschedule for today, or at the latest tomorrow.”

I was put on hold — then the phone disconnected!

This scenario continued for four phone calls — each time I got a new person and had to play my speech over and over again. Each time, I was disconnected and no one had the courage or customer service skills to return the phone call. There was no acceptable excuse there because each rep had my phone number!

The fifth time I phoned, my nerves were really frazzled. “Yes, hello, Sears. I hope your day is going well because this is the fifth time I’ve phoned to reschedule an appointment to repair my washer, and EACH TIME I’ve been placed on hold then disconnected. Please do not suggest that you need to place me on hold. If I have to phone again – I will probably seek additional means to resolve this issue. Sears, do I make myself clear?

The customer service rep apologized for my lack of service and said she would see how she could please me today. I laughed.

“Please me? Let’s just resolve the issues. I need my washer serviced and I will not accept that it will be eight days before a service technician can get to me. I was told that “there was no appointment in my area now. Again, I say, this is totally unacceptable!”

The conversation continued, but this time the customer service rep was a bit more understanding.

“I do need to place you on hold to see what I can do.”

“Oh please! I’ll just be disconnected again — for the fifth time!”

Reluctantly, I held — the phone clicked — disconnected for the fifth time.”

Now, I was really — do I say it — no, I think I’ll still be diplomatic, only this time if I have to go to the highest Sears tower, I will get my Way!!!

I redialed the phone number. My phone clicked with call waiting. I answered. The customer service rep was calling me — the first one to have such customer service skills.

Immediately she apologized, then she said she had found ‘a technician in my area and he could be at my home today!’

Imagine that! Sears was mistaken when they said there was ‘no appointment in my area until eight days from now.’ Were they lying to me? I think so! Rule number one of customer service skills — never lie to or deceive a customer! It’s a pity that Sears does not practice what they preach, nor do they provide the warranty customer service they always push on the customer — of course, for an additional fee!

I thanked “Aver, the customer service rep,” and I waited for the technician to arrive. Within fifteen minutes, Greg, a Sears Blue Service Crew Technician arrived. He examined my washer, discovering that the pump was clogged with sand. He cleaned it, drained the water and was on his way to the next customer in less than one hour.

Imagine that! I cannot help being curious to customers who do accept Sears customer service, along with ‘scheduled appointments in the area.’ Perhaps the customer service reps are programmed to schedule with inconvenience in mind. Perhaps they do not anticipate someone refusing to accept these comments and schedules. Perhaps Sears does not remember that Southern belles still exist, and I am not one. Southern belles might accept whatever Sears expresses. Steel magnolias — and I am most definitely described as a Steel Magnolia, do not accept this type of behavior. We sit back, think and reevaluate, while knowing that this type of customer service is not acceptable — and then — we get even, refusing to be pushed aside. We, the Steel Magnolias of the Twenty-First Century, do all that we can to get our way — not because we want to be selfish or demanding — we want to be treated like we are preferred customers. We are accustomed to being treated with respect, because we deserve it and demand it. The Julia Sugarbaker Steel Magnolia knows how to be diplomatic, charming, and ever so ever determined to get what we deserve. As for Sears, we deserve preferred customer service where we are treated with respect. While it took a bit of persuasion with Sears, I did achieve my goals, never doubting that something couldn’t be done. The excuse/fabrication/lie of “There is no appointment in your area until…”
was truly something I was not promised when I made my purchases. Just what would happen to the customer who has a refrigerator that is not working. Would they actually be told that it would take ‘eight days’ to get it repaired?

Sears — you really need to improve your customer service.

Later that afternoon, while washing laundry, I got an e-mail from Sears. A survey! Oh, let’s just say, Julia Sugarbaker truly kicked in. My motto is, if you do not want my opinion — do not ask! Let’s just say, the survey I completed — on a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the worst — Sears flunked — BIG TIME!

“Hello, Sears, yes…this is Barbie Perkins-Cooper reporting about your service…You failed!”

Regarding the technician — Greg — he was fabulous! He is a Sears Blue Service Crew Technician. The back of his card reads:

“Tell us how the crew did:

1. Did we treat your home with care? YES

2. Did we treat you as a valued customer? YES

3. Did we explain the cost and repair? There was no cost — I still have a paid warranty, but he did explain the repair.

4. Did we look and act professional? YES

5. Die we offer other products/services?  I IMAGINE HE WAS FOREWARNED ABOUT THE CUSTOMER — AND HER TENACITY!

6. Did we provide service you’d recommend?” NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT UNTIL JULIA SUGARBAKER SPOKE.

On the phone, I shared that I would never buy another product from Sears. It isn’t worth the hassle!

I have no faith in Sears anymore, especially after they promised to ‘send me a $100 gift card for the inconvenience of getting my refrigerator delivered” — I think it was two or three years ago. Perhaps that gift card was sent via pony express since Sears customer service refuses to move into the Twenty-first Century!