Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Caveat Emptor

At the end of November, way back in 2010, I spent what seemed like a week installing a dishwasher at my mother-in-law's home. It was a category six mess, with missing pieces and an instruction manual written for super-intelligent apes who will eventually take over our planet because of our inability to perform simple tasks like installing dishwashers. This struggle, that continued for several more days and into weeks for my mother-in-law, culminated in a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
The complaint process took nearly as long as the initial flurry of installation and positioning and finding lost pieces and finally getting the major appliance properly seated and part of the kitchen. Meaning: it took months. This past week, we received the response from Chicago, home base for the Sears company from whence the offending machine originated. They wanted to point out that every machine they ship out comes with the pieces that are needed to make the installation possible. This wasn't the case for us. They wanted to point out that the manual was included to make the installation a breeze. This wasn't the case for us. They wanted to point out that they even sent an installer over to my mother-in-law's home to correct the faulty installation that had been so lovingly done by her son-in-law on the fourth of January 2011. I added in that part about the lovingly, not that I didn't do it with love, but Sears didn't mention it. The fact that it took Sears more than a month to send someone over to look at the mess they helped create seems ridiculous unless they were sent from the home office in Illinois and they made the trip on horseback. Or they could have sent someone over from their local outlet, which happens to be less than a mile from my mother-in-law's town home.
It should be pointed out that the helpful Sears employee corrected an installation that worked just fine with the parts I was able to find and purchase through numerous trips to a hardware store and another Sears location some fifteen miles away. Subsequent calls to the customer service center, located somewhere in the ether of customer service, generated little effective response, hence the complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
And that's where the story comes to an end. There was no triumphant appearance of blue-clad avengers at the offices of Sears. No costumed crusaders holding a Sears executive by the scruff of the neck as he signed an official letter of apology right after the generous check to compensate my mother-in-law and her dishwasher installing super-chimp for their pain and suffering. The Better Business Bureau sent her an e-mail with Sears' lame response and asked if she wanted to pursue the matter. Her dishwasher works. She has spend months working to resolve this lack of customer service, and now she would like it to be done. I'm sure that's what Sears wants as well. I know that I am done with Sears.

1 comment:

Matt Jones said...

Oh, jes, I have gone around with Sears as well. I needed a new carpet head for my vacuum cleaner, and after several calls and looks online, I found that I could by each of the individual parts of the carpet cleaner, but not the whole head. When a customer service rep found the same problem, she ordered a $200 head, which turned out to be from a vacuum to be made in the future. Shortly after using my new credit card to make this purchase, several flights to Italy and Africa, as well as $5000 in charges at "Regalos de Bebe" in Bogota appeared on my card. Love, love, love, that's what it's all about. Matt J