My Horrible Experience

When I started this blog, I was hoping it would be about positive consumer experiences, however the past month or so, I have had my share of negative ones. I have often wondered what the advantage is of buying a product online and then picking it up in the store. A few weeks ago, I purchased a bunch of patio furniture from for in-store pick-up so that I could get a discount from Upromise. The first order went okay, but the second order was a mess. The website crapped out on me three times in a row after I had filled my shopping cart and gone through the entire checkout process, telling me that it had timed out and erasing all my info. I called and they put the order through for me manually, although they could not honor the Upromise discount over the phone. One of the pieces that I needed wasn’t available for pick-up, it was only available for delivery for a fee that was equal to half of the item’s price. I had to get into this whole complicated discussion with the rep about their inventory system. I asked why they couldn’t just tell me where I could buy that single item from regular store inventory, but did not get a good answer. Finally, I just gave up and ordered the items that were in stock.

When I got my confirmation e-mail for my “in-stock” items, I was told that they were expected to be in the store within seven days. I called back and asked why an in-stock item would be not ready for seven days and again I got finger pointing about the in-store versus online inventory…..blah blah blah.. There is nothing I hate more as a consumer than one part of a company blaming another; I don’t care, I just want someone to take responsibility. The final straw was when I realized that one of the items I ordered and paid for had not been given to me at the time of pick up. I called again and the woman I spoke with told me that I would have to deal with the store. I inquired why I should have to deal with the store when I ordered from and she gave me the same explanation about how they are separate from the store, however this time for an opposite reason. I inquired, “Doesn’t your system track on an item by item basis if it was actually picked up?” Not getting anywhere, I just asked her to cancel the reservation for the missing item and return my money which she did, but not before asking me if I wanted to cancel items that I had already picked up. If I were dishonest, I would have tried it to see what happened.

Bottom line, treating your internet arm as a separate entity is a horrible idea. Customers look at a company as a single brand and shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of poor internal processes. In the future, if I want to buy online, I will, but that’s probably the last time I buy online for in-store pick-up unless it offers me a dramatic price advantage. I also found an interesting article from another customer who had a very similar experience.

Incidentally, we love the patio set, it’s a combination of hardwood and aluminum that looks nice, but won’t require a ton of maintenance.

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2 Responses to My Horrible Experience

  1. says:

    The only unsurprising part about this post is that your challenges were with Sears. We have had several horror stories with Sears, and we now have a family ban on buying anything from it. The problem is not the products, per se, but the service and responsiveness of the company when things go wrong.

  2. says:

    Here is my ongoing terrible experience with Sears…see my email exchange with them at this point and spread the word to NEVER buy anything from them.

    SEARS SAYS: “We value you as a customer and can assure you that your feedback and
    comments are important to us. We look forward to meeting your needs in
    the future.”

    MY RESPONSE: Absolutely unacceptable and untrue. Here are my experiences to date:

    I drove up here for 2 hours to be on time for my appointment from 1pm until 5pm to fix a leaky, brand new refrigerator that is fast destroying my kitchen floor…got a phone call at 3pm that the driver wanted to confirm the address and would be here in 10 minutes and then never showed up…no one ever called to say anything…so I called Sears and chatted with an individual last night around 6pm who told me that I should call back this morning (Sunday) to reschedule for Monday as the only appointment available is Thursday when I won’t be in town any longer…he gives me a “direct line” number to call and so that brings me to today (Sunday)

    I called the “direct line” number and speak with an individual who first tells me that while he can make the appointment for Thursday, he can’t do anything for Monday…and that I’d have to speak with someone on Monday morning since I need to speak to a local router of some sort…which is not what the gentleman told me last night…and it doesn’t make sense that he has access to schedules for Monday and Thursday but can only make an appointment for Thursday. When I mentioned my frustration that no one has communicated with me about the activities of yesterday, I get the standard script I’m sure you provide for all customer service representatives of, “I certainly apologize for…” I then call the 1-800 number you provided me in this email to see what more I could do and get a lady who tells me that apparently, the driver was in an accident yesterday and that apparently they tried to call to tell me…and apparently called the incorrect number…she claims it was the primary number (425-572-0006) which doesn’t make any sense since I specifically noted that the number to contact us up here was 425-260-4101…which I know to be true/a fact since that’s the number I was called on at 3pm telling me the driver was 10 minutes away…again, apparently the fact that the wrong telephone number was called is my problem…again, unacceptable and untrue…last but not least, when I’m trying to explain to the lady on the phone that the mistaken phone number isn’t my problem, she hangs up on me. I certainly hope that isn’t a practice you teach your customer service representatives. None of this would be a problem had someone called me on the correct telephone number at the point when they knew the appointment was going to be cancelled…as I would have had enough time to reschedule for Monday and wouldn’t be dealing with constant water on my kitchen floor with no solution in site.

    We have purchased 2 refrigerators, 2 washers and 2 dryers from you over the past couple of years and this type of “customer service” is something I’ve never experienced…never mind the complete lack of assistance and excessive rudeness I’ve had to experience throughout.

    I am expecting a telephone call from a representative from your organization by 10am Pacific Time tomorrow (Monday) morning at 425-260-4101 (make no mistakes which number this time) with an acceptable solution otherwise I will absolutely, positively be forced to take these matters up with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, local/regional/national consumer publications and online sites designed to rate/promote major corporations such as yourselves as I am a public relations executive and this has to be one of the worst cases of unacceptable business practices and customer service I have ever seen in my private and professional lives.

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