Reader “M” tells Consumerist that employees feel bullied by senior management, and that there is “little if any discussion of the day-to-day effect of corporate policies. Dissent is met with threats and intimidation.”
According to M., more and more authority for customer service issues is being ceded to Sears’ call centers.
“Go to the store to remedy a problem and the store management risks an internal fine for fixing the issue for you,” he explains. Making matters worse, says M., is that these call centers are located overseas, and that calls are “routinely dropped” when trying to transfer the customer.
As for all the installation problems we hear about, M. says that it’s because a lot of it is handed off to a subcontractor, who then sources the local installers. He says this lack of direct communication and accountability is “causing all sorts of customer irritation.”
The same goes with deliveries, says M.
“Deliveries are sub-contracted and when the delivery team decides it does not want to do something, there is little if any recourse,” he claims.
Then there are infrastructure issues at the company.
“Corporate computer systems that have a habit of crashing on weekends,” he tells Consumerist. “The computer systems do not communicate with each other effectively. There are layers of access that slow the customer response.”
He says there are buyers who can’t be reached and “inventory specialists who are unable to track orders on a daily basis.” M. believes this creates chronic shortages of products at distribution centers.
We took M.’s list of complaints directly to Sears HQ, which issued the following response to Consumerist:
“In a company our size, while a majority of our associates are motivated and engaged there are some who don’t feel the same way. Much, if not all, of what is described by this associate just isn’t true. That said, we have a culture that is all about being open and transparent and we are always willing to accept constructive feedback from our associates and take the appropriate actions as necessary. To encourage feedback, we have a toll-free hotline where associates can call and remain anonymous and an interactive internal social media platform that allows associates to provide real-time suggestions and solutions.”
Obviously, we also have a way for any retail employee — not just a Sears staffer — to reach out without fear of being fired. You can write us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will never share your identity with the public or with your employer.