Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-10-2014
Tags: Carrington High School Band, Sears
We have all had some version of poor customer service whether on the phone or in person yet it seems to have taken on a new persona thanks to our friend, the computer. Perhaps it is easier to tell a customer nothing can be done when the words are typed and not spoken, or when you think you are speaking to someone in America who can help you when in reality, you are speaking to an 18 year old in Bangladesh who is probably texting as they are handling your case.
Here is a reality: we live in the sticks of North Dakota and by that I mean one can’t just jump in the car and ten minutes later be at a mall. Many of us live on a farm where the nearest small town is twenty or so minutes away and the nearest large city is two hours away. This is why we chose Carrington-Minot, Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks are all two hours away which is as central as one can get. I do not want to hear, “You chose to live there” because news flash, people: many farmers and ranchers ‘chose’ to live where they are living to provide food for the world and without us living where we do, you would be awfully hungry right now. To get around this geographical snafu, many order online and it’s been a wonderful tool up until yesterday. Amazon, ebay, Kohl’s-I do a lot of online shopping for my business and our family and am thankful the products get out here in a reasonable time.
Last Friday, with a fall concert on the horizon, my son and I went to Jamestown, an hour away, to get his required white shirt, black tie and pants; I do not mind doing this because those students look sharp up there in the various forms of black and white; my son outgrew last year’s pants and needed another anyways for the winter church season. While finding the shirt and tie were no problem, finding pants became an issue; no store carried them and so we went home, jumped on the internet, and found Sears had a decent pair for sale. I paid extra for Wednesday delivery and hit the button; I got the customary email order confirmation with an order number and didn’t worry about it until Wednesday when the UPS driver didn’t show up. That night, I went on the Sears’ site and had a live chat; first lesson learned-copy/paste any and all live chats. The person found my order and said the pants were at the store in Devils Lake (which by the way, we NEVER go in that direction so why are they there?) but he/she (who knows, the name was ambiguous) assured me the pants would be on the UPS truck in the morning and by 9 am would be at our door. Many apologies but no real customer satisfaction…there were a ton of grammatical/syntax errors which made me think the transaction was not on American soil, but if the pants were here, that would be a fight for a different day. 9 am came and went, 10 am too and so despite having a full plate of things to do, I got on the computer and did another live chat. This person tells me the pants are at the store and will get them on the UPS truck but no guarantees as to when we would see them; what little I know of UPS I am certain they have a schedule/route to follow and a farm an hour away is not going to be easy to fit into the route. The important thing to notice here is both of these reps stated the pants were in Devils Lake as this will come into play in a minute. Back and forth we go, and I keep asking to speak to a manager because this person will not guarantee the pants will be here in time and for my inconvenience, offers a 5% refund…that covers the extra shipping I paid for in my mind. Then $5 is offered and finally $10. The person agrees to have a manager from Sears call me and the phone rings, but it acts as if I made the call to Sears and sure enough, another customer representative is on the line with an accent letting me know this call is not local. I bluntly (because at this point my blood pressure is on the rise, folks) ask if she’s a manager and tell her to get one on the phone NOW…meanwhile I’m still on the live chat with that Helpful Hal and wants to know if someone called; when I told the person it wasn’t a manager, the first thing typed is ‘don’t ask for one’. What?! I never was a good listener…at this point I copied and pasted the live chat message for future reference. A ’manager’ did come on the line and it is now 11 am-I spent the next hour and a half either on hold or trying to convince this person to call the Devils Lake store and get those pants out here or my son was going to go to a concert without them. At first he tries to tell me the order was for pick up from the store and when I ask him why I paid extra shipping for it to come to my door and the invoice CLEARLY shows my address as the ship to address, he doesn’t have an answer. Folks, this is why you never delete any correspondence with a company regarding your order; it’s pretty hard to dispute the fact when it’s written. He told me that extra money paid for the shipping to the store, not my house. These pants are for sale at the store-why would a person pay shipping to the store when the item is already there? It’s like going to the grocery store, ordering something already on the shelf and paying extra for it. Dumb. At he end of all this waiting, he comes on the line and tells me the order was never received because the Devils Lake Sears was having computer issues. This is the best story they can come up with for me?! Never mind that two different agents saw the order and it was at the store…However, as an apology for this glitch, they were offering me 20% off my next order. What next order?! Anyone can get that deal on the internet. He stated PayPal had never been charged and not to worry. I started to laugh-a crazy, homicidal laugh I’m certain, and I had to hang up before I completely lost it. I did what any angry customer would do-go to Facebook. I went on their webpage and stated my dissatisfaction with how I was treated and got a response back pretty fast. They promised a rep would call me but I’m still waiting for that. Then I went on my page and asked for help and once again, this is why one lives in a small town-one lady offered to drive to Devils Lake to get the pants, then went to the thrift store to look for me, and another had a pair and dropped them off at the school. Love small town life. I had wasted so much time yesterday I had to drop the issue for a day, but this morning went on PayPal to see if indeed, it had not been charged. Guess what is on there from Oct. 17? A charge from Sears. Of course…
My son brought the pants home and thought the mail delivered them to the school. Funny. The concert was amazing and both choirs and bands sounded fantastic. The school needs to protect the band time better; the junior high is large but the senior high is not and it’s because of a scheduling issue. Folks, the band director is GOOD and the kids want to play. Figure out a way to make it happen; it is sad when the students have to choose because the arts always lose. When the band program was lousy no one seemed to care, but the district has a talented director and they need to protect this program better. The elementary band instructor does a fabulous job of teaching the 5th and 6th graders the fundamentals and the students flourish in junior high. Then suddenly, they hit high school and are forced to make a choice…help them, administration. Time to be creative…
It’s baking day and with that, it’s time to hit the oven…speaking of, yesterday I used the self-clean feature for the very first time EVER on an oven. I turned it on and five minutes later, smoke is curling out of it; the door is locked so it can’t be opened to see what the heck is going on in there, but three hours later, it was a lot cleaner. I need to vacuum out the ashes, but that is a small price to pay for a clean oven. I think it takes a ridiculous amount of electricity with the element on at such a high temperature so next time I will opt for a shorter cycle. I will leave you with a picture of our dog, Daisy, enjoying the warm fall sunshine next to the pumpkin display. That blanket is supposed to be on them to protect from the frost, but she keeps trying to lay on it so I gave up the ghost and let her enjoy it. It’s Friday-enjoy this beautiful weather!