Am I pissed at Sears....yep, but not just for the reasons you might think. Sure I've had some bad buying experiences there for example, I took my car in for new brakes and the wheel fell off the next day. I had a headlight replaced there on a different occasion and they broke the headlight socket. But, they were not horribly difficult to deal with and they did eventually fix their mistakes.
What makes me angry at Sears is because of what Sears has become. Even as a person in my thirties I can remember when Sears was an honorable retailer. They once sold quality American made products that they stood behind. Now they sell the same junk you can buy anywhere else and if you expect them to give a rip when it breaks...you have better purchased the extended warranty usually for an additional 20% or more or good luck! But the problem doesn't stop there. Talk to any Sears manager and they will sell you the "we pride ourselves on customer service" spiel all day long. Heck they might even believe it, but it's all nonsense. The Sears sales model is self defeating for customer service. For example, I have a childhood friend who's father retired from Sears.....did you catch that?....i said RETIRED from Sears! He worked there for 25 years as an appliance repairman. This guy was a career professional. People called and asked for him by name. People would stop him in public while he was strolling around with us kids to ask repair questions, update him on the appliance they had purchased, or just to shoot the breeze. Have you looked around a Sears store lately? It looks like an after school program for teenagers. Now no offense to the younger members of the workforce. Many high school aged workers are dedicated hard working employees....but who are they supposed to learn from? There is nobody there to teach them to be top notch sales professionals because nobody with a mortgage can afford to work there any more.
Sears "associates" (God I hate that) are trained on the products they sell by watching ridiculous computer videos that highlight the features of the product. This is all well and good until a customer has a question about application or work scope. The "associate" typically doesn't have the work or life experience to answer the question adequately. But, this it what $7.25 an hour will buy you...someone who can work for $7.25 an hour....for 20 hours a week. The other part of this equation is that the focus isn't service it's about sales. But not necessarily product sales.
Sears has two sales focuses that drive customer service straight into the dirt. The first is the extended warranty. Associates are required to sell these "golden turds" in obscene numbers. Ever wonder why when the kid asks if you want to buy the warranty and you say no that he is still relentless about it. The reason why is that he is required to sell a certain number of these things in order to qualify for his sales commission. I personally know a guy who was a Sears "million dollar" salesman. He would actually get other employees to ring up sales for customers who didn't buy warranty so that it didn't screw up his "credit". So if the other sales people were busy guess what the customer had to do...you guessed it...wait! He even told me that if he didn't sell enough warranty or Sears credit that he had to attend classes at the store on his days off to teach him to peddle this garbage. And if it continued to happen then he would eventually get canned. So where do you think his focus was....on customer service and getting you the right product....or up selling you an overpriced interest laden *** sandwich? I'll give you a hint...it's not customer service.
Sears doesn't care about customer service...not really. They only care that their online customer service survey numbers are at the correct percentages, and they usually are....Because employees actually call them in themselves so they can....get paid....OR NOT GET FIRED!!! Instead of experienced managers working side by side with employees to help them develop professional sales skills and rapport with customers you have instead a 16 year old kid going it alone being graded by a telephone call. It's a recipe for disaster and it bakes up a perfect disaster every time.
That's why I hate Sears!!