http://femomhist.blogspot.com/2011/12/decline-of-once-great-american-business.htmlback in the day, department stores were palaces of consumption. With shiny marble and electric lights, they became destinations for ladies who lunched in their tea rooms. In a strange way they resembled nothing so much as our modern museums, with cases dedicated to rarities, in the case of department stores, the latest wares.
One of my favorite movies has a wonderful scene (starting at 23:00)
As a little girl I remember the joy of visiting Santa in the store, shopping for back to school outfits, and browsing through the catalogs. Sadly those glory days are passed. American department stores outside NYC are a pathetic remanant of what they used to be. I rarely set foot in one unless my mother is visiting, but this year as I searched online for a replacement mattress for my sofa bed, I was surprised to see sears pop up at the top of Google. Hmm I thought, should the mattress have any problems, it would be nice to have brick and mortar option for return. So I place my order, scheduled to arrive in store for pick up on or about Dec 23-25.
Holiday approaches, and I'm busily working away, wrapping packages, finishing up last minute errands. No email from Sears telling me to pick up my mattress. I check website, order still "processing."
Day after Christmas, sick child and I laying on lumpy old mattress, I again check order. Processing. HMMMMM email customer service. Receive auto reply thanking me profusely, buried within, the following informationPer our records I see that you have placed the order for "Memory Foam Sleep Sofa Replacement Mattress" on 12/15/2011.I see that the expected delivery date was on 12/23/2011. As the expected delivery date has been passed.I have processed the request to the Research Specialist for the research. The research process may take some time. Please allow us 5-7 business days to get back to you with an update.We are here for you!Fabulous, Sears is there for me, which is good because as my parents are coming this week, I will be sleeping on said mattress. I log in to chat with representative. I'm sure this person is located far far away, and is bedeviled by annoying First World Problems all day long. I engage in endless loop in which I request to know if/when/where item shipped from, only to be told "5-7 days." Finally learn item is "in transit." Again "when/where."
Sears doesn't know! Yes your grandmother can track her mail from the freakin' P.O. but apparently Sears has no tracking information on their order.
I request 1. replacement with expedited shipping or 2. cancel my order
After an hour I get disconnected when original rep attempts to transfer chat to supervisor. HAHA Sears, I copy and paste the prior chat and restart
Get transfered to supervisor with clearly higher level de-escalation skills, straight from a script either generated by AI or written by person who has acquired English in addition to another language
Derrick: You have all the reasons to be concerned about this purchase. Honestly speaking even I would be concerned the same way if I were to be in your place.
YAY "Derrrick" feels my pain. Perhaps I *will* get my replacement shipped, or a credit for my inconvenience! I wait, and I wait. fMhson and I play some Lego Heroica Fortran (sigh as I hate kid games).
I wait.I wait.I wait.
At least 30 minutes has gone by since "Derrick" and I bonded. Nothing appears in chat window, yet I am still connected. I do some online searching. Apparently other people think Sears Sucks (at CS at least) both on blogs and Twitter. Sears is apparently aware that it sucks, as it has a team of people (with the FAB euphamistic" Social Media Support Escalations team") who respond to the many online rants (geez here is an idea, try putting the time/$ into improving the CS in the first place!)
At least an hour has passed since supervisor "Derrick" swooped in. I've spent more than 3 hours online this AM with Sears. I call it quits.
Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Shipping Service.
Monetary Loss: $251.