Monday, April 11, 2011

SEARS great service but well hidden

I don't know about you but a great number of appliances in my house are from SEARS. In fact after moving to the US 14 years ao I bought my first TV from Sears which to this day is working very well. Recently I had a great ecommerce experience that even if I returned the item made my opinion of Sears even greater.

I was looking for a mini refrigrator for my daughter's room at the University of Maryland. The dorm room refrigrators start from $75 and after visiting Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy I narrowed my choice to a 2.4 cu. ft. Compact Refrigerator and went to SEARS to see it.

A search of Amazon on my T-Mobile Nexus One phone told similar refrigrators were more expensive. The net step was to see if I could some Sears coupon and I found one that  $5 dollars off. I ordered the refrigrator online and then went to the pickup area where there was a console and put my order number in and in a few minutes the refrigrator was delivered.

Now this story should have ended here but after two weeks of usage the refrigrator stoppd working. Now a college student learns to adopt and my daughter did not have time to call service. When we insisted she called Sears and then had to abandon the call as the card used was mine.

A few weeks passed then I forced myself to drive over to pick up the refrigrator and decide how to fix it. Then a light bulb went off in my head. This was a online order so I had the order in my email. I used Google to look for Sears repair and was so encouraged to see a chat box that I could use instead of using the phone. ( I like using chat and hate calling by phone) On closer examination of my original order confirmation I saw two things that impressed me:
  1. The email was signed by the Sr. VP of eCommerce himself
  2. The email had a esay button for returns
I gave them the reason for return , went to Sears and used the console and returned the refrigrator. Got a return receipt . The appliance counter credited the account to my card and I left a happy customer.

The one lesson is that I wish somehow I had seen the convenient way SEARS has to make sure the customer is satisfied even if they love using online tools

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