Thursday, November 19, 2009
To Whom It May Concern,
I need to take this moment to share with you an experience that I had with the delivery of our refrigerator that we purchased from the Sears located in Meadowwood mall in Reno, Nevada.
On October 2nd we had scheduled the delivery of our GE refrigerator. The refrigerator arrived and the delivery staff was very courteous and friendly and appeared to have a good knowledge base about the product that they were delivering. However, the refrigerator was badly damaged. It had significant dents and scrapes along the side and back of the unit and it appeared that it may have sustained a puncture in the back wall. The unit worked however, the delivery person mentioned that there may be a concern with the puncture. He said that an open puncture allowing air to leave the refrigeration compartment may reduce the useful life of the unit. As a result, we opted to have the refrigerator replaced but they left it for us to use until the replacement could be ordered. It was, after all, the only refrigerator we had in our new home.
The delivery of the replacement unit was scheduled to take place two weeks later. The delivery team arrived at 7:15 AM which was 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled appointment. The team came in with the unit and began unpacking the unit. One of the team members left to remove the packaging materials. The other team member (name removed from public posting) was acting as if he either had significant medical challenges or he was under the influence of narcotics. During the process he was shaking severely and his eyes would roll back into his head. At one point he dropped to his knees and looked as though he was about to pass out.
During the time (name removed from public posting) was in my house he moved the refrigerator close to the location where it should reside and he hooked up the water hose. The entire time he was distracted and mumbling, singing and saying odd things that just did not make sense. He had not finished the installation nor removed half of the external packaging materials and none of the internal packing materials (see pictures attached) when he came to me and said "I need a signature." I said I would sign once the installation was complete. He said "I need a signature and then I will finish the installation" During this time he was shaking and acting very confused. Trusting that he would finish the installation and fearing for my own safety, I signed the document. He then said "I need a 5…I need a 5…" I did not know what a "5" was. He said "I need a 5 saying that this installation was completed above expectations". I said "but you have not finished installing the unit". With a pen, he kept hitting the rating section on the form saying "I need a 5, I have been here and I know where you live". At that point I became very nervous of what this individual was capable of. In order to get him out of my house in a quick manner, I wrote the number 5 at a random place on the form and he demanded that I circle it too.
After that, (name removed from public posting) went outside and I figured he was coming back to finish the installation. However I was also concerned that there was something seriously wrong with the way that he was acting and I wanted to get information about the truck that he was driving so I could alert his supervisor and call the Reno Police. I looked outside through the window and saw him trip over and literally break two of the entry way solar ground lights. At this point I went to call the police. I was almost to the phone when I heard the delivery truck start up. As I went back outside I saw him driving the truck to the end of the street, turn around and drive out towards the entrance gate to our neighborhood. At this point I was concerned for other people's safety because he appeared to be driving in a reckless manner. I was unable to get the license off the delivery truck as I didn't have time to get into the street and read the back license plate as he drove away.
I tried to call the service center however they were not open nor were they taking calls. I drove over to the service center and followed an employee into the employee entrance. I spoke with a man named (name removed from public posting) who claimed to be the delivery supervisor. (name removed from public posting) said he would send someone to intercept (name removed from public posting) at his next place of delivery. He also said that he would call and let me know when someone would be over to finish the installation.
I waited 2 hours and no one had contacted me. I called the service center again and they said that they would have another installer contact me. About 30 minutes later I received a call from an installer named (name removed from public posting) saying that he was booked and would not be able to come by until the next day. This was not his fault – I understand he already had his work assigned to him. I did feel that the situation was unacceptable as I had a new fridge, uninstalled and all of my food from the old one in ice chests, sitting in the middle of my kitchen. Again, the entire situation was unacceptable.
After talking to (name removed from public posting) I called the Sears store and talked to a woman who says that she is the Appliance manager and asked for her help. She explained to me that it really wasn't her area as Sears contracts with the delivery company and that she has no control over what they do. I explained to her that I bought the refrigerator from HER department and that someone needed to come finish the installation. She said she would call me back. Thirty minutes later she did, to tell me that she had talked to the delivery manager and hoped that he would get the situation resolved.
I called to call her back at the main store about an hour later as nobody had contacted me with an installation time yet and was told that she was in an interview and couldn't be disturbed. I explained to the person on the phone that I needed to talk to a manager. That person connected me with a man named (name removed from public posting). The male said that he was the store assistant manager and I told him the situation. He tried to pass it off as the delivery companies issue and that he had no control over them. I told him, in no uncertain terms that "I don't care if you need to put on a T-shirt over your suit and install this yourself, someone needs to come over here and finish this installation". Thirty minutes later the delivery manager called and said that he and another gentleman were on the way over to finish the installation. The delivery manager and another man did come over and finish the installation at about 2:30 that afternoon.
While the delivery manager was in my home I explained the situation to them, pointed out the damaged entry way lights and the scuffed freezer door shelf that the installer had dropped and kicked across our kitchen floor AND showed them the pictures I took of the unfinished install. The delivery manager mentioned that they would get back to us about the situation and that he was going to the main store as soon as he left my home to talk the entire situation over with Sears management. It has been over a month and no one has contacted me. Not a single person….nobody.
In my mind, I went to a company that I thought was a trusted name in the industry for appliances and delivery service. At this point I am not sure that I will ever buy an appliance from Sears again. Most defiantly not one that requires an installer to come into my home. I keep thinking what if it was my wife who was there alone instead of me? She would have been traumatized by the situation. The thought of an individual like that going into a home where there is a woman with children scares me to death. I was home alone and I was intimidated and I am not easily intimidated!
The thought of an individual like this driving in a school zone, during hours when children are walking to school concerned me. Additionally, my wife was talking to her friends she has heard other horror stories as well. One of her close colleagues tells her of a story where the installer picked a verbal fight with her husband in front of her young daughter.
What has happened to Sears? They use to be a company with great customer service and appliances that you could rely on. I understand that you contract with these installers however they are placing a significant blemish on what used to be a great name in the retail world. Does Sears not have standards for the installers that they contract with? Maybe you should consider bringing this in-house. After all, in a world where consumer dollars are severely limited by the status of the economy, and every retailer is cutting their prices to compete, the only other thing you have left to differentiate yourselves is your customer service. All retailers are essentially selling the same product. Customer service is what is going to make Sears the best or send it into bankruptcy.
What I would have expected as a result of my situation was first and foremost a sense of urgency to make the situation right, a follow-up call with an apology, a removal of the delivery fee from my initial purchase, a replacement of the scuffed freezer door shelf and the replacement of the damaged entry way lights. At this point, (because none of the above things did occur) I would also have expected some sort of compensation for the time I had to spend trying to get my installation completed (Seven hours), not to mention the concern that this has caused my wife when someone basically threatens the safety of our new home if we did not give him a high service rating.
We just moved into our home and were so happy yet now my wife is concerned that someone has made the above mentioned threat. It kind of takes the thrill out of the experience of owning a new home.
My family has always liked Sears in the past. It is a shame if this level of customer service continues because I will be sad to see Sears forced out of the market place by other companies who will make service their differentiator.
The pictures would not display here :(
Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Installation.