When we decided to buy the new dishwasher this afternoon, I did a little research and told bbwoof that it could cost anywhere from $200 to $2000 plus installation charges -- what was the maximum he wanted to spend?
Two thousand, he said. He'd trust my judgment.
Did he have any preferences at all?
Yes. He did. Only one. It could not be bought from Sears.
I nodded in grim agreement.
See, earlier this week I started unloading the dishwasher and ewwwwwww, the dishes were still dirty and greasy. In fact, it wasn't working at all.
The one household chore I absolutely loathe is doing dishes by hand. I would rather scrub the bathroom on my knees. I would rather weed the garden at noon in August. I would even rather pay bills.
Sears promised to send a repairman out between 8 AM and noon on Saturday, December 16. But when bbwoof called them at noon today to ask where the repairman was, well, gee, the "system" says we're scheduled for a service call on Monday.
The hell we are. If we'd been scheduled for a service call on Monday, Woof would have gone in to work this morning to get a head-start on the pile of email that he'd otherwise be tackling on Monday morning. If we'd been scheduled for a service call on Monday, we wouldn't have dragged our aching rhinovirus-ridden heads out of bed before eight o'clock on a Saturday morning.
Call center droid's response? She can't do anything about it, the earliest we can get a repairman is Monday. But we have pre-paid for this service on this day, can't she do anything about it? Oh no, no, no, it's in the system for Monday and that's that.
Of course we ask to speak with a supervisor, and of course we get put on hold for 15 minutes of CALYPSO CHRISTMAS MUSIC omigodhelpmeIaminhell.
The supervisor unblinkingly tells us that "it's in the system", he can't do anything about it, and he sends us into another long wait so we can make a complaint (cue the Little Steeldrummer Boy).
All the complaints department will do is offer to refund what we paid "if you are not completely satisfied". No, says Woof, it's not that I'm not "completely" satisfied -- I am not satisfied at all.
This confuses Complaints. She knows she can offer us a refund if we're "not completely satisfied". She's not sure what to do with someone who is "not satisfied at all".
Woof explains it to her: "Just refund my money. All of it. I will use it to purchase a new dishwasher. From. Your. Competitor."
Woof and I talked it over later. If any of the Sears people had sounded sympathetic, had acknowledged that a mistake had been made on their part, had apologized that they couldn't get a repairman out today and had offered a small concession for waiting until Monday, we would have felt good about Sears. If they'd offered us an extra year on the warranty, or maybe a 10% discount, we would have accepted the reschedule to Monday as one of those mistakes that happens, and we would have been satisfied that Sears had handled it well.
In other words, if they had blown 18 frigging dollars on a 10% discount, they would have gained a couple of satisfied customers who would be blogging this evening about how great Sears is.
But now? Let me tell you how great a local store called Hub Furniture and Appliance is!
I called them with the make, model and color of dishwasher that I wanted (one of Consumer Report's Best Buy picks, a mid-range Whirlpool that uses less water and electricity than average). A friendly, intelligent young woman named Debra took all my order information. They'll special order it on Monday, install it on Wednesday. With sales tax, delivery, installation, and a five-year warranty, it comes to $714.92 -- and the technician will call before he heads out, so Woof doesn't have to hang around the house all day.
If we are happy with the delivery and installation service, we'll probably go back to Hub again for a sofa bed and recliner for the library, and the eventual new range in the kitchen. Because good customer service is that important.
Sears? Forget about it. Life is too short for calypso Christmas music.