Theresa is a regular Consumerist reader, and was aware of the complaints our readers frequently share about the retailer. Still, complaints like that are outliers, right? Satisfied customers don’t write to Consumerist. Neither do people who have extremely minor, easily resolved problems. (Usually.) She didn’t think that ordering luggage sets for her nieces would lead to any kind of problems, until her run-in with the very, very stressed out verification department.
It was probably a bad idea to make the call to Sears from her car (while using a handsfree device, right, Theresa?) and not while in front of a computer with her order at hand. For all she knew, though, “verification” just consisted of saying, “Yes, this is Theresa, I placed the order, yay!”
I keep reading about poor customer service from Sears. I didn’t think much about it and decided to order from them anyway. On Friday, I placed an order for two luggage sets for my nieces for Christmas. They are 16 years old and are going to France with their school in April.
Later that day, I received an email from Sears saying that they needed to send my order to their “verification” department. Not understanding why, or what this was about, I called them. The very nice lady who answered the phone said she needed to transfer me to verification. OK, fine. The woman who I was connected with was extremely rude. The conversation went like this:
Sears: Verification department. What is your order number?
Me: I don’t have it. I am driving right now.
Sears: Hold on a sec.
(Five minutes pass.)
Me: Hello, are you still there?
Sears: YES, I SAID hold on a sec.
Sears: OK, what is your name?
Me: I say my name.
Sears: What’s your phone number?
Me: I give her my phone number.
Sears: What’s the order number?
Me: I am driving. I told you I don’t have it with me.
Sears: I WASN’T TALKING TO YOU!
Me: (a bit frustrated by now) What’s this verification process about anyway?
Sears: IF YOU GIVE ME A MINUTE, I WILL LET YOU KNOW. (Very rudely.)
Me: I’ve had enough. Please cancel my order. I refuse to do business with a company that is treating me as rudely as you are.
I then hung up and later received an email confirming that my order was canceled. This woman did not express any interest in salvaging a $200 order. The moral of the story here, at least for me, is to take the experiences that others share on Consumerist into account when I am considering a purchase.