Monday, March 3, 2014

How one digit cost Sears a customer

Last Saturday, I bought a new clothes dryer at my local Sears and scheduled delivery for this past Friday. I even paid an extra $10 to narrow the delivery window from eight hours to four. As one would expect, Sears sent me an email during the week to confirm my request.

After prepping my basement, unhooking the old dryer and clearing a path for the delivery guys, they didn't show up.


It turns out the sales clerk wrote my phone number down wrong. Instead of 467-2166, they had 469-2166. So when they called to confirm delivery, they didn't reach me.

While a quick search of any of the white pages web sites would have immediately revealed my correct number – remember, they had my name and address – they couldn't bother to take that extra step. So rather than do that or just put the appliance on the truck and at least attempt to deliver it as promised, they decided to leave my dryer in the warehouse and wait for me to contact them.

So there I sat, waiting for four hours Friday morning for my dryer. There was no email saying, "Hey, something's wrong..." just silence. So at 11:45 when there was no sign of the delivery guys, I decided to call the 800 number in the email.

When the customer service rep relayed my correct phone number to the delivery guy, he finally called back about 1 PM and essentially blamed me for the delivery since the phone number was incorrect, telling me I had to call customer service again to reschedule.

Sears spent around $500 million in marketing last year. A pittance compared to Walmart's $2.6 billion, yet still a sizable amount. It doesn't matter how much they spend, however, if they can't change the culture.

When it comes to brand building, everything matters. The in-store experience, the web presence, the customer service, the delivery experience. Sears wasn't exceptional on any dimension and failed miserably at the last. After the dryer actually was delivered a day late, they added insult to injury by leaving trash at the end of my driveway.

So who won't be shopping for new appliances at Sears when they remodel their kitchen next year?

Yep, you guessed it, the Briggs family.

1 comment:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with your recent dryer delivery. My name is David with our Sears Social Media Support Team. I can see that this situation was frustrating for you and wanted to reach out to you. If you would like, we would be happy to contact you directly to discuss this experience and assist in addressing any concerns you may have. At your convenience, please contact my office via email at In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number the dryer was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide the screen name (HARVEY BRIGGS) you used to post, for reference to your issue. We look forward to talking to you soon.
    David W.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support