Sears Home Delivery Specialists / delivery nightmare
The adventures of ‘The Refrigerator Nightmare’.
On Sunday, February 15th, I purchased a refrigerator from the Franklin Mills store. It was scheduled for delivery on Tuesday, February 17th, between 2:45pm and 4:45pm. I left work at 2pm and went home to prepare for the delivery. I emptied my old refrigerator and stored my food outside temporarily. On Tuesday, at 2:20pm, I received a phone call, from the warehouse, stating that the delivery would be late and not arrive until 5pm. I received a second phone call, this time from the driver himself, informing me the delivery would be delayed even further. I then received a third phone call delaying the delivery even further. The truck finally showed up at 6:45pm.
I told the driver that the refrigerator doors would need to come off to pass through my front door. As I watched as the driver removed the doors I could see that he was mumbling under his breath, as if realizing he made a mistake. He brought the door in and informed me that there was a broken prong on the wire coming from the door and I would need to send the refrigerator back to the store to have it repaired. As I proceeded to call the Franklin Mills store the driver took the door away and called his office to inform them that I had refused delivery because the refrigerator was damaged. I spoke with Michele and relayed to her what had just happened. Michele informed me that if it was sent back my account would be credited and I would have to come back to the store and pick out a new refrigerator. I told Michele that would be very difficult for me since I live 40 minutes away from the store and would also have to make arrangements for a friend to take me there since I only drive a scooter and the scooter is unable to go on the highway as it’s top speed is 40mph. Michele suggested the best solution would be to keep the refrigerator and have a service rep come out and fix it. I then asked the driver to bring the refrigerator back into the house but he refused, saying it was already packed on the truck and they would bring it back to me the next day. This didn’t make sense to me since it would take more time, they were coming out of Flemmington, NJ which is an hour’s drive away, and man hours to do that as opposed to just bringing the refrigerator back into the house. I felt it was out of laziness that the driver gave me this response. I recalled Michele who then spoke with the driver but he refused her request as well.
I tried to explain that it would be a hardship to take more time off of work as I had already taken 3 hours off that day to wait for the late delivery. But he said, ‘Too bad Boo that’s what you’re going to have to do.’ I was appalled. I did not appreciate the unprofessionalism of being called ‘boo’. I did not appreciate the unprofessional lazy attitude and the blatant disregard for the financial hardship I would suffer in taking more time off of work due to the drivers’ clumsiness in breaking the refrigerator in the first place.
I asked the driver if he was sure that the refrigerator would be delivered the next day and he gave me his word that it would be. He even told me he would probably be the one who would be delivering it. He assured me that when he returned to the warehouse he would have the office call me to make the arrangements. He even went as far as to tell me that it would take him an hour to get there and I should expect the call then. Needless to say, the call never came.
In trusting the driver I called Sears service department, and after relaying the story of what had happened, set up an appointment for repair for Thursday afternoon. Once again being inconvenienced due to the drivers’ clumsy mistake.
Because the driver had called me to say he would be late I had his number in my cell phone. I called him first thing Wednesday morning and asked him why I hadn’t been called yet with the delivery arrangements but he didn’t have an answer for me. I asked if the refrigerator was on his truck and he told me he hadn’t received his manifest yet. I asked him for the phone number to his warehouse and he told me he would text it to me. He also agreed to text me when he received his manifest to let me know if the refrigerator was on his truck.
I received the text with the phone number, which turned out to be the phone number to the Sears Home Delivery Service. I then received a text stating the refrigerator was not on his truck.
I called the Sears Home Delivery Service and spoke to a woman. She informed me that the refrigerator would not be delivered as promised but she could set something up for Thursday delivery. The woman sounded very rehearsed which became very irritating. Although she constantly apologized it wasn’t said with any empathy because she was so rehearsed. We went back and forth for about ten minutes and I felt as if she wasn’t listening. I told her a Thursday delivery was unacceptable and asked to speak with her manager but she insisted she could help me and continued to repeat everything she had already said for the third time. I asked again for a manager and she finally put me on hold for eight minutes until I heard the phone ring and a gentleman answer saying, ‘security’.
Frustration had really set in now. My response to the man who answered the phone was, ‘Oh great’. I was thinking the home delivery agent transferred me to the wrong extension. I told the man who answered the phone there wasn’t anything he could do unless he could get me my refrigerator that day. He tone was very calm; he must have realized I was very frustrated. His name is Walter and with his soothing tone he asked me what the opportunity was. I explained and he was very understanding. Walter said he would do everything he could to help me and he accomplished that.
While waiting for Walter to call me back I called the home delivery line again and found out my order was cancelled. That certainly hit a nerve. Every agent I spoke with at the home delivery line, and there were many, need coaching in their approach with a client on the phone. Not only do they sound like scripted robots but they have no empathy in their voices. I know a lot about customer service as I am the assistant to the general manager at the Westin Hotel. By the time a guest gets to me it means that they haven’t been happy with any of the other managers they have spoken with so far. So I know how important tone is and how to help a guest calm down, just as Walter does. For these reasons it takes a lot for me to get frustrated because I do have empathy for the person on the other end of the phone because on most days it’s me. But the experience I had with the persons I spoke with that morning drove me off the edge.
I called Walter back to tell him I found out the order was cancelled and expressed my frustration as there was no way I could get back to the store to pick out a new refrigerator. I do not have a car, as I live in Center City, and had to rely on a friend to get me up to Franklin Mills on the day I picked out the first refrigerator. Walter assured me he was working on it and would call me back. I asked Walter for a number where I could lodge a complaint against the trucking company and he gave it to me.
Talk about another nightmare. From Vincent I was redirected to an Andrea who tried to get the trucking company on the phone but was not successful in reaching the manager. Andrea informed me that Kelly Schwartz, manager of trucking company, would call me when she got back to the office. I asked Andrea how she was going to follow through and she seemed confused and asked me what I meant. I told Andrea that I would like her to call me back to make sure that Kelly had indeed called me. Andrea said she would call me back in two hours. It never happened. Not only did I not hear back from Kelly but Andrea was a no show as well.
I called the complaint line again. Now keep in mind that every time you call anyone you have to explain the entire story again and again. It’s my experience that the more you make a disgruntle client relive the problem it only gets worse for the client and in the end the client winds up never happy. Perhaps someone might consider that with the home delivery service reps and the complaint reps. It is my opinion if the agents took better notes on the client, for everyone to see, the repetition would not be necessary. This time I spoke with Jessica and explained that Kelly never called and Andrea never followed up. Jessica apologized and said she too would have Kelly call me and Jessica would follow-up with a call the following day. Again both never happened. I’m thinking what kind of company this can be that their customer service is so horrendous. I’m dumbfounded that anyone finds this acceptable.
It’s the end of the day, I haven’t got much work done as I have spent most of the day wasting my time with Sears’ home delivery service specialist (what a joke that title is) and the Sears complaint department and I still have no resolution. Emotionally exhausted I go home.
Walter calls me that Wednesday evening and tells me he has located a refrigerator for me so I won’t have to be further inconvenienced and it will be delivered on Friday. Thank you Walter for being the only person, out of the eight I spoke with, to be able to get something done and provide excellent customer service.
Thursday night arrives and I receive an automated call from the all too famous Sears home delivery specialist, only it’s automated and trying to get a live voice is impossible. The call tells me that the refrigerator will be delivered between 9:45 and 11:45 am. This is not acceptable to me since I have already been heavily inconvenienced already and one would think someone would try to work around my schedule. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask. I call back and speak with one of the robot agents who refuse to work with my schedule and puts me in a position where it forces me to take another day off of work.
So when the call came at 11:45am to tell me the delivery was going to be late my only response was to say, ‘of course it is’, because this is the kind of service I have come to expect from Sears.
In closing I want to say you have a treasure in Walter and I hope you appreciate him as an employee. Walter knew exactly what to say and how to make the event salvageable. Walter took a situation turned sour by a trucking company and the Sears home delivery specialist and made it bearable. I thank Walter for all he did to make something happen and I realize my experience with the trucking company and the so called home delivery specialist was out of his control.
However, it is not out of Sears’ control. I find it hard to believe that I am the only customer this has happened to. Nor can I be the only customer that has complained. So it is Sears I hold at fault and for that reason I will no longer be a customer of Sears again.
Thank you for your time and I sincerely hope someone with the power to make changes reads this.
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