Monday, August 10, 2015

The Death of Customer Service and Why Sears is Failing~

At one time the consumer could rely upon Sear & Roebuck for reliable appliances and tools. The Kenmore and Craftsman brands were legendary for providing high quality products at reasonable prices that would last. And Sears stood behind those brands. But that is a time that has passed. Sears Holding Company is NOT Sears & Roebuck. The once stellar customer service has been replaced with excuses, rudeness, a lack of accountability, the need to call numerous 800 numbers to speak with representatives that are not interested in problem solving, buck passing, and most concerning – an acknowledgement of a design defect that numerous consumers have identified but a refusal to accept responsibility.

My most recent frustration began with my Kenmore Elite clothes dryer model 79681728010 (wrongfully identified on the sticker affixed to the actual dryer as model 79681728000, which, I have been told does not exist), Serial Number 108KWWZ07233 ruining yet another item from my wardrobe. The lint screen has never fit flush. From the outset the right corner has protruded, catching unsuspecting delicate items by the strap, armhole, drawstring, waistband, neckline or hem and causing said item to become twisted, stretched out, torn, or otherwise not wearable. We cleaned out the lint box the screen slides into. We replaced the lint screen.  But the problem continued. As a work around I generally secure delicate items into a lingerie bag or hang to dry. But I shouldn’t have to do so. This dryer has a delicate cycle.

On prior occasions I called the 800 number to complain, but was told I would have to pay for a service call. So I declined until today when the very expensive dryer with steam refresh ate my favorite tunic. That was a new top and I loved it.

This is not my top - but another customer posted this photo:

I called the Sears Customer Service numbers and received the typical run-around.  I was transferred and / or disconnected 8 times. Two “customer service” reps hung up on me.  One woman told me I could call the CEO Edward S. Lampert, and he would also tell me that despite the fact that numerous websites, including “ShopYourWay”, upon which numerous customers complained of the exact same problem, would tell me that I had no recourse because I did not buy an “extended warranty”.

From one “Google” search this morning I found the above links. The Customer Service reps kept telling me that they had to send a “technician” out to confirm the problem – even though they ACKNOWLEDGE THIS IS A PROBLEM. And they insist on charging me $79 for the visit.

So I will post this blog and plan to call Sears Holdings Corporate Office tomorrow.  For anybody else with similar problems, the phone number for HQ is (847) 286-2500. 

For sending a certified letter, which I plan to do, you can mail your complaints to:

            Edward S. Lampert
            Chairman & CEO
            Sears Holding Corp
            333 Beverly Road
            Hoffman Estates, IL  60179

I plan to send a separate letter to:
            Mr. Arun Arora
            Sr.VP & President of Appliances & Home Services

According to Yahoo Finance, these are the key executives:

Mr. Edward Scott Lampert , 53
Chief Exec. Officer, Chairman, Director, and Chairman of Fin. Committee
Mr. Robert A. Schriesheim , 54
Chief Financial Officer and Exec. VP
Mr. Jeffrey A. Balagna , 54
Chief Information Officer and Exec. VP
Mr. Arun D. Arora , 44
Sr. VP and Pres of Home Appliances & Home Services
Mr. James P. Mixon , 70
Sr. VP of Supply Chain & Operations

Perhaps if all customers that have received substandard customer service contact these key executives, they will understand why the company is losing money.

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