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!


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?

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!