Maura has figured out what the “cares” in “Sears cares” actually stands for: “customers are reliable suckers.” That was the subject line of the e-mail she sent us about the experience she’s had trying to get her Kenmore washing machine fixed. Her washing machine that is what we once would have called “new,” is broken at only a year and a half old.
Kristi’s garage door opener is from Sears’ venerable Craftsman brand. When the chain assembly broke, logically she contacted Sears to come fix it for her. The repair-scheduling website was slick and easy to use, perhaps lulling her into a false sense that she was in for a professional and logical commercial transaction. Then, it was time for the garage door repair person to actually show up.
In a perfect consumer world, perhaps brick-and-mortar stores would price-match their own websites. Perhaps front-line employees would be permitted to use their own judgment once in a while. In this perfect world, it definitely would not be cheaper and easier to purchase an item for in-store pickup on your smartphone while standing in the store.
This week, the temperature in many parts of the country has been cranked up to “broil.” We all know what that means: air conditioner breakdowns on a massive scale. Veronica’s sick, elderly parents purchased their central A/C from Sears four years ago. When she called up Sears, they told her that they could send someone to look at it at the end of the week. That wasn’t acceptable to Veronica: it was 103 damn degrees out there.
Remember Eric, Fleur, and their epic air conditioner ordeal? When we last spoke to them, they were AC-less, hot, cranky, and reaching out to the Internets for help. Now they have their air conditioners, but only after a stunning show of disorganized solicitousness on the part of Sears.