Today was just a day.
Our pretty Samsung refrigerator went on life support and repairs would have been easily more than half of a new refrigerator so we opted to replace it.
We have always done the bulk of our appliance shopping over the past few years from the Sears Outlet online. My husband liked dealing with them…I had no issues until today, either.
Let’s back up to we ordered the new refrigerator. Nothing fancy, a Kenmore side by side with ice and water on the door. We figured we would go with something we thought could get repaired in case of an issue.
Up until a few years ago, when you got a new appliance, they took the old appliance away. Not anymore. So we had to hire our favorite movers (Lite Movers of Wayne, PA and they are awesome) to come move the dying fridge out of the house pending pick up from PECO who does appliance recycling (it has to run when it is plugged in still, which the old one does.)
Fast forward until today. They came to deliver the Sears refrigerator. What they will do now is unbox it and move it into place, the rest is on the customer. It was quite the ordeal to get everything moved and prepped and ready as ours is an older home.
The delivery guys couldn’t have been nicer. They unboxed it and pointed out a scratch in the white door. That was no biggie as it was nothing a little appliance touch up paint couldn’t cover.
The delivery guys plugged it in and were on their way. Then I went to open the refrigerator door. It would not open. The freezer door opened fine, but the refrigerator side? BROKEN. Son of a bitch we just paid to have a dying appliance replaced with a broken appliance. Yes, I am cursing, it has been a very special day.
Immediately we are on the phone to Sears. Only you CANNOT get a person in the US on the phone. All people in offshore call centers reading from scripts that tell you that they “completely understand” how you are feeling. Uhh no, you couldn’t possibly understand. Trust me.
After four frustrating calls where all I get is the Philippines and they can’t help and they want me to talk to the outlet store in Norristown, PA. Norristown isn’t going to help me, I ordered ONLINE. Oh and they keep mispronouncing my name. Which is incredibly offensive after the 6th mispronounce in one conversation.
These helpful offshore call center employees of Sears may be fluent in English to a point, but they are not native speakers. English is a second language and they just aren’t comprehending what is being said, and can’t go off script. They also can’t (or maybe it’s won’t?) transfer your call BACK to the U.S. Every other cheap American company which utilizes offshore labor has the ability to transfer you BACK to a U.S. call center if that is what you want, even Comcast, which I think has some of the absolute worst customer service ever.
I go to trusty Google and Google the corporate offices of Sears. Aha! An actual address and phone number with a recognizable U.S. area code.
But no. You dial and you get…the Philippines. So I keep dialing. ONE time out of about two dozen calls I get someone in Illinois. I think they were related to the Seinfeld Soup Nazi of days gone by they were so rude. “You listen to me,” the operator says. “I am going to talk and then you can speak. You are going to listen to ME. I am not listening to you.”
I try to explain to the operator I would like to speak with someone in the Executive Offices specifically having to do with serious customer service issues. The operator told me that essentially those people would not speak with me. I can’t remember the exact phraseology but it was probably the rudest switchboard operator since they first were handling one ringy dingy. They were so bad I wished I had recorded the conversation. I ended the call and tried calling back to get someone, anyone to help me.
Yeah…. so….. no…. just more Phillipines. (And you know why these call centers are in off shore and third world countries, right? It is so they can pay employees super duper low wages and get away with it. Cheap labor.
So I started looking around for other people to speak with. They say Eddie Lampert is the CEO or President or Chairman of the Board. Only you can’t speak with him or anyone in his office, all you get is a voicemail in Illinois that never calls anyone back. I have to wonder if anyone listens to it. There is also this chick, Leena Munjal
Senior Vice President, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail. She is unable to come to the phone as well. Very busy important people. Me the peon should just know better, right?
So I kept Googling. Apparently Mr. Fast Eddie Lampert is just a hedge fund guy. Yep, just another hedge fund guy picking the carcass of a business clean for their own profits, right?
Here, I looked up Eddie Lampert and found this:
Hedge funds have been failing over the last year at the fastest rate since the financial crisis in 2008. Some crashed and burned after sudden reversals. Others quietly liquidated.
Then there’s Edward S. Lampert’s ESL Investments. It hasn’t failed, but may be setting a benchmark for slow, painful declines thanks to its outsize, long-term bet on two venerable retailers, Sears and Kmart.
Last week, Sears Holdings, the parent company, said what was becoming increasingly obvious to most investors, not to mention anyone who’s been in a Sears store lately: “Substantial doubt exists related to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”….Mr. Lampert was a Wall Street wunderkind, a Goldman Sachs intern whose intellect, ingratiating personality and prodigious work ethic attracted the patronage of some of America’s most prominent and successful investors…founded ESL in 1988 with $28 million in seed money …
Sears’ reclusive CEO explains why he rarely visits the office — and instead lives at his sprawling $38 million estate that’s 1,400 miles away
Business Insider Hayley Peterson Mar. 27, 2018, 10:55 AM
“THEY COULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENT DECISION”: INSIDE THE STRANGE ODYSSEY OF HEDGE-FUND KING EDDIE LAMPERT
In 2003, many were skeptical when Lampert married Sears to Kmart. Now, with hundreds of stores closed and thousands thrown out of work, Lampert defends his strategies in his first in-depth interview in 15 years. The author also tracks down the man who kidnapped Lampert before the Kmart deal went through.
Aug 20, 2018, 03:23pm
Fortune: Eddie Lampert Just Can’t Stop Picking At Sears’ Carcass
There are many, many articles. I am not posting more. They are all variations of the same theme.
So I also decided to call up the ESL hedge fund so I looked them up on Bloomberg.
Yes really, I called. So what?
Did I expect to get anyone to speak with me? No, but it has been the day from hell with Sears so what did I have to lose? I was kind of curious as to what they would say.
Years ago, I worked for a couple of years for a now-defunct hedge fund. So I knew whomever answered the phone would be snotty pants the receptionist. She did not disappoint. She was superior to little old me in every way…on the phone.
Whatevs. I admit I was unpleasant and irritating. But in my own defense, I have a dying refrigerator outside pending pick up for disposal, and a giant white albatross paperweight of a broken yet new refrigerator in my kitchen, which I now have to pay to have moved out of my kitchen so Sears can retrieve it. I cook, I like a neat house and everything looks like hell in a hand basket.
Apparently it is too much to ask to have a WORKING REFRIGERATOR DELIVERED BY SEARS!!!
I now know no more Sears for anything. I understand why so many Sears and Kmart stores have closed. I understand why people said to me we should have called Queen, or D & K, or Gerhard’s or another local appliance store…or even Lowe’s or Home Depot.
Sears sucks. I hope the hedge fund prince of an owner enjoys his lovely estates. I hope someone involves them and Sears in a giant class action lawsuit some day. For the crappy customer service alone and the inability to talk to anyone pleasant in the U.S. they deserve no less.
Don’t buy a paperclip from Sears.
Sign me disgusted by yet another U.S. business that is being killed by a hedge fund.