This is a simple story of a bad customer experience turning into a worse one by the day.
My truck battery was on its last legs. I managed to get it charged so I drove it to the closest Sears Auto in Cupertino. I was able to be checked in fairly quickly about 11 am, and told my car would be done a little after noon – or within the hour. This sounded great.
The mall in Cupertino isn’t that great, so I called Farrah who, with the kids, picked me up at Sears. We decided to have lunch at the local park and let the kids play. This provided a couple of hours of fun, more than enough time to get the battery changed in the truck. It was strange, though, no one called from Sears Auto during the time we were at the park. As we started driving back I began to wonder if they even started work on my truck.
It was a little after 1:30 when I got back to Sears Auto. I saw my truck in the same spot which concerned me a little. But then I thought, well all they need to do is pop the hood, disconnect the old battery and put in the new one. They shouldn’t need to move it far. In any event, I stood in line to talk to one of the customer representatives. I stood in line for about 30 minutes, a line only 3 people deep, before I got to talk to what apparently was the one working representative. This was strange because earlier in the day, just a few hours ago, there were at least three representatives working. The representative told me that they hadn’t gotten to my truck just yet but it should be done soon. He would make sure.
I was a bit peeved but was able to occupy my time with Farrah and the kids by going across the street to do some grocery shopping. This ate about an hour of time. I asked Farrah to drop me off and just head home with the kids, thinking the truck would be done. Boy was I wrong.
All I could do vent through Twitter:
Unfortunately, according to Sears I was sending my tweets to the wrong account. Instead of @Sears I should be sending tweets to @SearsAuto. Silly me. I thought that a service with the name Sears would be concerned about the bad customer experience several people were experiencing.
Hoping to get some resolution, I sent tweets to @SearsAuto. They responded the next day:
But they have been silent ever since.
I don’t believe I will be hearing from them. Even if I did I suppose I would only get some half-hearted apology with no rational explanation for the problems experienced by the many people that day.
Thinking back on what could have been done differently by anyone at Sears Auto that day I could only come to this conclusion: they should have set expectations appropriately. If they couldn’t do the work in a timely manner, then they shouldn’t have promised it could be done. They should have stopped taking new work in. Continually building up the workload for a number of workers they had only frustrated the customers.
I am guessing this trend will continue at Sears, uh I mean, Sears Auto. In any event, Sears, as a whole entity has lost me as a customer.