- Staten Island, NY
Terrible customer service is why Sears is losing money
On September 12, 2013 I brought my car to the Staten Island Sears Automotive center for repair. My car was having trouble starting and the check engine light was on. It also needed to be inspected. It was late in the day, so I left the car for what I thought would be “overnight.” I thought I would get the car back sometime on Friday. When I called on Friday I was told that they had not had a chance to look at it. Since I could arrange other transportation, I said that was fine and I would pick it up the following week. On Monday I received a call bright and early from Annie who told the cost would be $871.62 – I needed a new CPM. I agreed to have the work done. When I called on Tuesday afternoon, Annie told me the wrong part had come for my car and they had re-ordered the correct one for the following day. Although disappointed, I said fine. My car also needed to be inspected, but I was told that the inspection could not be completed until the monitors had reset. I needed to drive about 50 miles for the monitors to reset. On Tuesday September 17 I paid $871 and happily drove home (about 5 miles). I didn’t use the car on Wednesday. On Thursday, I again had trouble starting the car, and the check engine light came on. I immediately called Sears and said I was going to bring it back the next day. “Jennifer” said she would pull my paperwork so it would be there when I brought the car in. Friday my car started right away and there was no check engine light. I drove another 5 miles with no problem. I called Sears and said I would drive it around for the 50 miles to see if the problem was gone, and then I would bring it back for inspection. Friday afternoon, the check engine light came back on. Saturday the car had trouble starting and the light came on intermittently. Unfortunately I was not able to bring the car to Sears that day.
On Sunday the 29th I brought the car back with the same problem. I was told the diagnostics guy was not there, but someone would look at it Monday and call me in the morning. I didn’t hear from anyone, so I called around noon, and was rudely told they were very busy with other cars and would get to it soon. I called back around 3 and was told they had just started working on it, and would call me back shortly. No call. I called back around 4:45 and was told they were finishing up and would call within 45 minutes. No call. I called at 5:45 and was told that they had not had a chance to look at it on Monday ( so someone lied), but would get to it on Tuesday, and that someone would call me in the morning. I was angry at being lied to, but said fine. Tuesday morning – no call.
I called about 1:40pm. Casey answered the phone. I identified my self and he asked me to hold. A few minutes later, Brian picked up. He checked with Andrew for me and said that the problem was now with my crank shaft. He said it was a fast job and would cost around $165 dollars. I pointed out that I had already paid almost $900 and and my car had not been fixed. I said I didn’t think I should have to pay anymore, and that if they were unable to fix my car they should return the money I had already paid. Brian said he would need to speak to his manager, but that he would call me right back. At 2:30 I called and the service manager (I believe his name is Tony) came to the phone said that they identified the problem as the crankshaft – but this is a new and separate problem than the original problem I had brought the car in for. I asked why they hadn’t discovered it the first time. He condescendingly explained that the diagnostics were very complex and different codes popped up for different things. I said I didn’t understand why it was not identified earlier and he said none of these codes are guaranteed. I asked if that meant I could have the crankshaft fixed and then be told it was something else. He said that was possible. I pointed out that I had paid to have my car fixed, and that Sears had not fixed it. He basically said they had tried to fix it, but this is something new. I asked why I should believe him now, and he said consmers had to have faith in the companies they dealt with. I asked again how much it would cost and he said around $80. When I said that isn’t the amount the last guy told me, he said he wasn’t a mechanic, but would put me on hold and get a firm price. He came back on a few minutes later and said based on the price of the part they needed it would be $110. Beyond frustrated at this point, I asked for his supervisors name. He said “Gary” but they didn’t give the district managers information out.
I told him to park the car and I would pick it up tonight. I did learn something though – that the only time Sears is responsive is when they telling you the price.
(I think the dates I’ve used are correct, but I might have some of them mixed up. I didn’t realize I needed to keep a paper trail.)
Why am I writing to you? Because I want you to know why your sales are down. Because I want you to know that your staff is rude and doesn’t stand by their work. Because I am deeply disappointed that a store my family has shopped at for more than 20 years has such poor quality service and such rotten customer service.
The manager of this automotive shop has indeed saved Sears the $80 – $165 it would have cost to actually repair my car fo free. Sears has, however, lost the approximately $5000 a year my tool-happy husband and I spend at Sears. I intend to tell my entire family and all my friend about Sears automotive.
Staten Island is a small community. Luckily there is a new Target coming to Staten Island, so I can get the things I need there.
I am extremely disappointed with Sears and the way it is destroying its own reputation. You have lost a family of customers.