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Sears Social Media is Worthless

Sears Social Media is completely worthless but, as I discovered, it probably doesn’t matter since Sears is so dysfunctional and mismanaged they’re about out of business anyway.

In February of 2011 I wrote this post after being hammered on by Sears after buying some appliances from them. Sears Social Media, a group in Austin, TX, had a “case manager” followup and I suspect did so only because I was CC’ing the current head of marketing for Sears Holdings, Dave Friedman (who is now gone).

My wife and I made the mistake of buying a garage door opener from Sears a few weeks ago. Having forgotten to make certain I did NOT receive marketing/customer service phone call followups (like last time) I received a call Sunday afternoon from a robocalling service in Chicago, wanting me to partake in an automated survey, and I was under a desk assembling it for my sister-in-law. Exasperated I hung up and, after I finished assembling the desk, sent a tweet to @SearsCares (the social media group) and @Sears (some other Twitter feed). A “case manager” named Brian indicated he needed my contact info so I DM’ed him my email address.

Never received an email followup from anyone.

Next day (Monday afternoon) while in a business meeting my mobile phone rings. It’s another robocall coming in for the survey I never took. “Seriously?”, I thought. So after the meeting I started tweeting to their social media group in the hope I could get someone to intervene and stop the damn calls. Now “Diane”, someone who said twice, “Sorry for the delay in speaking to a case manager.We appreciate your patience. Thanks, Dianne cc:@Sears

I’ve heard nothing and it’s now been 20 hours since their last message stating that they’d help out.

So I went to Sears Holdings in an attempt to find out who runs Sears Social Media and discovered a few things:

  • Their Q3, 2012 results are so horrible that it’s no wonder the financial management of the company — obviously sucking the company dry — is clueless and probably milking the company as it dies
  • Their marketing and social media efforts are led by a revolving door of senior managers. After Dave Friedman left Sears brings in a high profile ecommerce strategist, Monica Woo, who stays just five months. It’s no wonder the ship is sailing all over the place since it’s without leadership and the rudder is broken.

Did I give up? Mostly. Especially since I had an “Aha!” and remembered that the phone number I’d given Sears after the LAST fiasco was my Google Voice number (which is set to ring my mobile) so I logged in and blocked the robocall number.

But isn’t that fixing the wrong problem Sears? Hopefully the next time I shop at Sears (um…that’ll be never) I’ll remember to give you a number I can block.


UPDATE: After nearly THREE DAYS of Sears social media “interactions” I received this email (I had sent two others to “smsupport@searshc.com” and also filled out a form on Sears website) and called ‘Gabriel A.” as requested. Turns out there is not much he can do — he certainly can’t affect Sears robocalling or other marketing — but he offered to “close the case” since I’d already blocked the phone number (and, of course, he gets scored or paid on how many “cases” he resolves):

Sears Social Media Customer Service <smsupport@searshc.com>
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 3:27 PM

Dear Mr. Steve Borsch,

My name is Gabriel A; I work for Sears Executive office we are an escalated complaint and resolution team. Please contact me at your earliest convenience so that we may discuss your issue in depth. Please contact me at your earliest convenience on my direct phone number that has been provided below along with my business hours. I look forward to speaking with you soon. We have also created a case number in which we reference when you call which is ____________.

Gabriel A.

Social Media Support – Case Manager
Sears Holdings Corporation
Phone: 888-266-4043 extension 92
Email: smsupport@searshc.com
Schedule: Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (CST)

About Steve Borsch

I'm CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you're already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.

Comments

  1. It’s shocking that a company, especially one that is in trouble, pays a team to manage its social media yet can’t handle concerns rapidly via Twitter. On top of that, can’t even fully resolve a case when finally being contacted. Any company who is trying to engage with its customers via social media has to understand customers are looking for rapid resolution when communicating through these channels. I agree with your discoveries on Sears’ poor Q3, 2012 results and lack of leadership within its social media team being a direct result of the poor service you are receiving. It’s all part of Sears slow death.

  2. Anyone having problems with Sears, Kmart or any other company, that can’t be resolved in a reasonable amount of time, may contact the Consumer Division of the Attorney General’s office in their state for help in solving their problem. I have done this twice in my state with very satisfactory results. Perhaps many folks do not know about this option, and I hope this comment will help many of you.

  3. kevin maxwell says:

    I got the same message over a complaint I filed,howeer no one answered when I returned the call,or or returned my voicemail.I called customer support and they said they were sendind an email to Social Medie since they didnt have a phone number and guarenteed a call bt the end of the day.Still waiting……………..

  4. I purchased a Kenmore Water Heater on January 8, 2013.

    It broke down February 11, 2013. That night.

    I called Service support on February 12, 2013. Told them what happened, told them I was without hot water. They scheduled me for three days later, February 14th.

    I was not happy about having to wait an additional 3 days for someone to come out, tried to get a sooner date, was told there was no other date available.

    I contacted a local Sears Home Appliance store and they were able to get me in one day soon, February 13th.

    They came out and told me my brand new water heater needed a new thermocouple and they had to order it. It would be expedited, but could take an additional 5 days, and once I got it, I’d have to call back to have someone come out.

    I called the customer service 800 number hoping that maybe they could call around and see if a local store had the part. I was transferred several times to agents that were rude, inconsiderate and unhelpful. I finally got someone to transfer me to the escalation dept where I spoke to another rude unhelpful person, who after having me on hold for 18 minutes, the call was disconnected for some reason; this person never even bothered to call me back.

    I tired again to get a hold of the escalation dept and was transferred 12 times to various people who were rude and couldn’t help me.

    Today is my 4th day without hot water, I have small children at home; we can’t shower, clean ourselves properly or our dishes and hands. This is a huge burden and inconvenience and after spending that much money on a brand new appliance, it should be in tip top working order. The supplies and parts should be readily available locally, especially in a situation like this, where we have no hot water. It is inhumane to do this to anyone. This is an emergency- yet its not being treated as such.

    On Feb 13th I browsed the internet and came across several upset people on various sites who have also express anger and have complained against Sears. Rather than post anything at that time, I decided to contact smsupport@searshc.com and tell them what’s been going on. I got a replay back from Nuray S. giving me a contact number to reach them. I called Feb 13th, 14th and 15th, only to get a voicemail. I sent them an email and no return anything. Today is FEB. 15th.

    My part got delivered Feb 15th. As directed, I called to set an appt for install. I was told I have to wait another 5 days, Feb 20th was soonest I could get in. That’s going to be 9 days without hot water in my house- at fault of Sears.

    Its amazing to me a company that has been around for so long has such horrible customer service and not enough technicians to see to it that emergency situations like mine aren’t resolved immediately. Its crazy I have to go 9 days without water. Unbelievable and inhumane.

    I want justice to be served. I want to be compensated for the huge inconvenience this has caused me and my family. I want someone to show some compassion for what I’m going through and get this fixed today. I want a brand new water heater. I want Sears to take responsibility for the terrible position they have put me and my family in.

  5. Steve Borsch says:

    Wow…what a tale. Have you tried the @Sears and @SearsCares Twitter accounts? That’s one way I got *some* action.

    On your behalf I just tweeted this:


    Hope it helps.

  6. To R.R, You can contact the Attorney General’s office in your state, and ask for a complaint form through their Consumer Division or you can also fill out that form on their website, if the company will not solve your problem. Just google the name of your state, and attorney general’s office. I have done this twice and problems were solved immediately. Good luck. hope this helps!

  7. I just received a response to my Sears complaint from a Kurt, a Social Media Moderator. I used the phone number from the letter you received from them that you shared, however the operator said the Moderators do not speak to customers.

  8. Janet Kelley says:

    Sears social media is clueless and lack the expertise as executive leaders. I was contacted by Alessa A. #90, who repeatedly lied and had me sitting waiting days on a washer that was never order. She call my house an was shouting, talking over me because I posted on fb about the HORRIBLE customer service. I complained to the Blue Ribbon team and the young lady was very professional trying to correct the problem that Alessa A, #90 was incompetent to handle. She dropped the ball and made matters worst. Sears should get rid of the poor leadership. I would never ever shop at Sears or recommend anyone to deal with the madness.

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