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Aug 8, 2017
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#1
Thanks to this site (which I have used in the past for travel issues), I managed a (sort of) resolution today with Sears...

Back in mid-July my wife and I purchased a new mattress from Sears in store. They placed the order and scheduled delivery for July 25, telling us that we would get a call from the delivery service the day before. When we were not called on July 24, we contacted the store the next day and were told that there was a "computer glitch" and the order had not been placed. They gave us 50,000 "Sears points" (essentially a $50 gift card) and reset the order, now scheduled for August 4.

While the gift card was sort of nice, it wasn't exactly $50 off the mattress. And they set the new delivery date without consulting us, which was frustrating because we could not be home between 7 AM and 9 PM that day. I called to reschedule and was told they only deliver in my area on Tuesdays and Fridays, so the next possible delivery date was August 8. I set that date, and again, they told me they would call the day before.

You probably know where this is going. No call on August 7. My wife calls the morning of August 8 and is told the box spring is in but not the mattress. This is sort of ridiculous, because by rescheduling the delivery date we gave them an additional four days to get everything in for delivery.

On my lunch hour I went to the store on August 8 and met with a sale associate and explained how we had now been shafted twice without even the courtesy of a phone call, setting aside two days to ensure somebody would be home for delivery. To my surprise, the associate told me that the mattress and box spring were both on side. I asked him why they had not been delivered... he had no idea, but gave me the phone number to the delivery service.

I called that service and spent the better part of 60 minutes in various states of being on hold and getting some ridiculous stories about why the mattress had not been delivered. I explained I had just been at the store and was told that the mattress and box were there and ready to be delivered. The delivery service at one point claimed the mattress was not present, to which I pointed out I had just been at the store and was told the opposite. Then the delivery service told me that the mattress at the store was a floor model, not a new one like I had ordered. I explained no, the sales associate told me the ordered mattress was at the store, not a floor model substitute.

I explained the numerous failures of the store to contact us about the delivery issues. Being that the mattress and box were both on site, I politely asked that they deliver the mattress on August 9 (Wednesday) because I was off work that day and could be home. The delivery service repeatedly told me they do not deliver to my area on Wednesdays. I said I understood this, but because the service had failed to deliver the product on the scheduled date, it would seem the right thing to do would be to add some cost, make an exception, and provide some outstanding service when it was now convenient for me, instead of once again inconveniencing either me or my wife to be home an entire day of their choosing. As you can imagine... no luck.

Frustrated, I finally got to the point of asking no less than five times a very simple question: "Can you arrange for delivery on Wednesday, and if not, can you please put me on the phone with somebody with the authority to make that decision?" I seriously asked this question five times and had to interrupt the phone rep (I know, rude, but he was refusing to answer a yes/no question with a yes or no!) until he finally became exasperated and agreed to let me talk to a supervisor.

After another 10 minute hold, I spoke with said supervisor. She mostly gave me the same line, but offered 100,000 Sears points ($100) as compensation for my trouble. She reiterated it was impossible to deliver the mattress on Wednesday, but we were scheduled for Friday, August 11. I said I appreciated the offer, but at this point I really didn't want or need $100 to spend at a store that had failed to deliver on its promises or treat my time like it was something of value. I politely thanked her for her offer and we cordially hung up.

I talked it over with my wife. We had no reason to believe, after two failures, that Sears would actually deliver the mattress on Friday or provide us with a phone call on Thursday. We decided to order a new mattress from another store and cancelled the order with Sears.

However, using the Elliott.org contacts, I did send an email to the VP of Customer Relations for Sears explaining what had happened to us. Regardless of our final decision, I felt like somebody in management needed to know how our time had been disrespected.

Within an hour, we received a phone call from the local delivery warehouse that (surprise!) the mattress and box spring were on site! They explained that they had been unable to deliver it today because the mattress was damaged. Apparently, in one hour they either fixed the damage or somehow magically found another mattress just like this one that was not damaged... once again, the story changes. My wife pointed out that if the mattress was damaged, how come nobody had called yesterday to give us the courtesy of letting us know? No good answer for that.

But they had made arrangements to deliver the mattress to us on Wednesday if we wanted!

We said no thank you. In our discussion, it was clear that Sears really was not interested in providing us even a narrow margin of acceptable customer service. Instead of understanding the inconvenience of twice asking us to clear our schedule for an entire day and never giving us the courtesy of a phone call with problems, they ignored us. When I tried to point out that (a) they had inconvenienced us; (b) the mattress was a scant 6 miles away from our house waiting for delivery; and (c) all they had to do to make me happy was simply make an exception to their protocol and find a way to move the mattress those six miles, they could not be inconvenienced. I even told them that if they couldn't do it, we would cancel the order. My wife and I were in agreement that if there were problems with the mattress, their 100-day guarantee would likely be as big as, if not a bigger, hassle to get them to honor it.

It was only when we actually cancelled the order that suddenly they could accommodate my request. I never asked for money or discounts, I just wanted them to go a little out of their way to make up for their mistakes. It was only when they actually lost our business and I contacted the VP that suddenly people felt the need to understand where we were coming from.

I still think this site is great, even though the outcome here maybe wasn't what a lot of people would consider satisfactory. I feel like the only way to get companies to understand the value of customer service is to vote with our feet. Sears lost a $1000 sale because a few people thought it was too big a problem to make a delivery on Wednesday instead of Friday. Perhaps next time they won't treat the next customer the same way.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,262
6,323
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San Francisco
#2
What a horrible, hilarious story, vetshak. Sears is hopeless. Sears has always been hopeless. I tried to buy a bicycle from them 25 years ago and there was not a single person in the store who could answer my questions.

I later purchased a refrigerator from them after ours died, so it was quite an urgent matter. My driveway is steep, and the delivery guys refused to drive their truck up the driveway! Never mind that I've had three 18-wheelers up here at once when installing a new roof, these clowns were afraid to bring their truck up the driveway. I offered to drive it up, turn it around and drive it back down again, to no avail. Then they started with the "speaka no English" stuff. I finally said (yelled) "You have no intention of delivering this reefer, do you?" With that the driver nodded, drove off and I cancelled the order.

I was strolling around Macy's San Francisco flagship store last week for probably 45 minutes. Not a single person asked if they could help me, nobody even said hello. Retail in America is in deep peril, and the big guys cannot figure out what to do about it. So they just let the employees and outside contractors handle it all, with results just like this. Those statistics about how much merchandise Amazon moves are not surprising.
 
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mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
780
865
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#3
Retail stores today either don't have enough employees or the employees do all kinds of busy work behind the counters and in closed office spaces to avoid helping any customer.
I was in a TJM store yesterday and there were three out of 12 cashier stations being operated, a huge line of customers (I'd say eight were in line behind me and more walking up every minute.). There were three more employees working behind the cashiers, no eye contact available.
I had been in the store approximately 30 minutes shopping and of course never saw an employee out on the floor for any type of service.
There was a sign by the handbags that bags could be unlocked if I wanted to look closer, but no one around to ask to do that, was I supposed to stand in line to get that service too? No one at the jewelry counter either.
I bought some new socks for my husband. Not much profit there for them.
 
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,262
6,323
113
San Francisco
#4
Retail stores today either don't have enough employees or the employees do all kinds of busy work behind the counters and in closed office spaces to avoid helping any customer.
I was in a TJM store yesterday and there were three out of 12 cashier stations being operated, a huge line of customers (I'd say eight were in line behind me and more walking up every minute.). There were three more employees working behind the cashiers, no eye contact available.
I had been in the store approximately 30 minutes shopping and of course never saw an employee out on the floor for any type of service.
There was a sign by the handbags that bags could be unlocked if I wanted to look closer, but no one around to ask to do that, was I supposed to stand in line to get that service too? No one at the jewelry counter either.
I bought some new socks for my husband. Not much profit there for them.
TJ Maxx, right? Somehow I expect little service in those kinds of stores, since they are offering me "amazing bargains". I presume that fewer employees equals less overhead equals better bargains for me. I have noticed, over the past couple of years, that the nice discount stores like TJM have someone saying hello to you when you walk in. It's often the security guard, but hey, it's a friendly greeting. Better than I receive at Macy's.

However, a Sears or Macy's is considered (don't laugh) a FULL SERVICE department store. Why pay those prices for no service? People are staying away in droves; smart people like us are frequenting the TJMs of the world. I have to amble into Nordstrom one of these days to see if their legendary service is still intact.