Monday, August 03, 2009

Customer Service: Alive and Well at Sears!!!

800#s and voice mail loops. HATE them. Yes, occasionally there's a happy ending.

My garage door opener decided to go whacko last month. It thought there was something in the way so the safety sensors wouldn't let it close. I ended up disconnecting the door from the motor so I could close it. The maintenance contract was long expired, I dreaded every minute of thinking how much it would cost me to get it fixed. I kept hearing the conceptual cha-ching of SEARS' cash register -- I think it's like $129 for them to get in the truck, then there's parts and labor... So for two weeks or so, I'd drive home, get out of the car, manually lift the garage door, prop it open (too heavy to stay up by itself), pull the car in, go put the door down, etc... Tedious and annoying.

So I finally broke down and called Sears and their automated menu system that asked me technical type questions -- does the door stop and the lights flash 10 times...? -- so it could put me in the right menu. THEN, when I got a LONG recording that gave me troubleshooting tips for all those symptoms. "I've done all that!"

I was annoyed until I realized they were actually trying to save me money by checking things I'd be paying the technician to check on site. But alas, I'd done all they suggested was finally grant phone audience with a REAL person. I wish I remember the man's name at the Craftsman Garage Door Opener Center (honest) in Tucson! Let's call him Dave.

Dave asked for my phone number & verified I was in fact a SEARS customer, then asked what the problem was. I told him. I ALSO told him I'd already done that long list of stuff the recording said to do. He laughed, then sent me into my garage with phone in hand to go through that same checklist, and tell him what I was seeing. Things still weren't making sense. Dave ascertained that I was a pretty technical guy (ha!), WAITED on the phone for me to move my car out of the garage, so I could do some other tests (part of which involved wire cutters and screwdrivers and by-passing circuits to verify where the problem was.) He waited patiently for me to fumble through all of that -- no huffs, no muffled comments -- then figured out where the problem was. Then he told ME how to fix it, and wished me a good day.

No "can I have your credit card number?," no "We'll need to send a technician out, Mr. Ringold." Nothing. NO charge, no ads, no up-sell to another maintenance contract; just pleasant, patient technical assistance, and sent me on my merry way, with my $200 (or more) still in my bank account. THANKS, Dave!

It's been a while since I experienced that kind of service -- especially from a large company. I just thought it was worth mentioning. Maybe I'll go ahead and renew that maintenance contract on my grill -- it's cheaper than the cost of replacing the burners ;-) and I might not get Dave to talk me through that one :-) Yeah!

Have an awesome day.



RONI Klosiewski said...

Glad someone had a good experience with a call for help. I hate the automated voice that says "Let me see if I can help you" and if you don't stick to their script it throws them all off. Have a wonderful day.

Sue said...

It's funny, I had not seen this "lite" until just now and had written a facebook blog earlier today going off on calling an 800 number, being disconnected twice while on hold forever, etc, etc, but when I finally reached someone, he was so nice and helpful, I forgot I was so annoyed!