Wednesday, September 08, 2004

TOPIC: SEARS - Independent Dealers
If you *think* going to your local Sears store gets you the backing of a multi-national corporation bent on serving the customer, you had better think again. Many small town "Sears stores" are NOT Sears stores at all. They are basically franchises, owned and operated by small town yocals. I witnessed this first hand last week. As I was waiting for the untrained, know-nothing clerk in the Loris, SC Sears store to assist me with an exchange, a middle-aged man entered the store. He was visibly upset, but spoke calmly as he explained his situation to a manager.
It seems that he had purchased a brand new refridgerator from this store four days earlier. The fridge had died already -- and the man's entire stock of cold foods and frozen foods was spoiled. The manager told him there was little she could do about the situation, but happily offered to give him a service depot number to call. She also offered for him to bring the fridge back to the store for someone to check out.
I have to give credit to the man because he remained calm instead of smacking this moron into next week. Instead, he again calmly explained this his brand new, four day old fridge was dead and that he had lost all his cold food because of it. Furthermore, he reminded her that he had already paid this same store $40.00 to deliver a fridge he had bought from them. The franchise manager seemed to care less. Again, she told him all she could do was to call someone who might be able to provide service within 2-3 days.
All the while, I'm dealing with the know-nothing clerk who can't even take two items back and exchange them for one item of the same value. She had to interrupt the manager four times before she could handle the return and new purchase. I apologized to the man whose Sears fridge had died. He smiled and nodded. As I left the store shaking my head, I heard him start to explain again...
A *real* Sears store manager would have handled the situation. These yocal franchisees could care less about service. They just want the sales. I think I'll drive the extra miles the next time I want something from Sears. I hate to bypass the local business, but a lack of professionalism and service is inexcusable -- from any company. Buyer beware! Ask before you make a purchase -- Is this a Sears franchise or the real deal?

No comments: