On outsourcing customer service (yet again)

This time, it’s Sears Canada that is redirecting customers overseas when they call for information or help.

Last month, Sears closed its call centre in Regina, eliminating 250 jobs, and sending those jobs to the Philippines. Meanwhile, it’s keeping the call centres it runs in Belleville and Montreal.

I’ve heard from a few long-time customers who feel betrayed by this move. You can read their laments below.

I also want to mention Bloomex, an online florist that often delivers orders late or sends something that doesn’t match the client’s specifications. You can find complaints here, as well as here .

Remember if you see positive comments about Bloomex, they’re probably planted. The company tries to manipulate online discussion forums, but isn’t very skilled at doing so.

Instead of dealing with my readers’ complaints, Bloomex now sends puff my way, such as this comment from Brian on Aug. 27, 2009:

Everything was fine with the order and flowers were beautiful. Very good timing as she was just walking in the door! I have a very happy friend indeed!

Author: Ellen Roseman

Consumer advocate and personal finance author and instructor.

24 thoughts on “On outsourcing customer service (yet again)”

  1. We need to stop frequenting businesses that are shipping more of our jobs offshore. I realize people need jobs in other countries, but let’s worry about Canada first.

    These corporations had no problem using us to build up their businesses but now, since they’ve become multinational, they turn their backs on us and ship all the jobs out.

  2. James: moving support offshore is practical and cheap. That’s why companies continue to do so. All they need on the other end of the line is someone with a pulse.

    The fact that this person is absolutely useless is of little concern, as long as money is saved, shareholders are happy, and executives stay on the job.

  3. Lior: Your last sentence hits the nail right on the head.

    Everyone (including our beloved politicians) thinks short term and counts on being long gone with their bonuses, comprehensive benefit packages, fully indexed pensions and accumulated wealth before any dues have to be paid.

    But over a period of time, too many “good” jobs are lost at the (apologies to Jean Chretien) “little guy” level and our overall standard of living plummets.

    We no longer can afford to buy plasma TVs in mass quantities. While it does us no good, hopefully the working folk in India, the Philippines, etc. will then have sufficient resources to take our places and know what a Chinese-made garden tractor is!

    As for us?? If the average Canadian doesn’t wake up soon and start demanding better from our business leaders and politicians, world economic history has shown that this will inevitably be our fate.

  4. The worst part about outsourcing is that while companies do it to save money, they are losing clients because of the bad service the receive from client customer services based in India.

    Here’s an interesting story relating Bell’s ability to satisfy a client’s request through their so efficient and cheap (not to mentioned outsourced) customer service department.


  5. Canadian CC: Nothing new there, been there done that. The only way to get issues resolved at Bell is strictly through the Executive Office. It’s a shame, really, but that’s what it comes down to. Once you escalate things down to them, things get resolved very quickly (most of the time) and the impossible becomes possible.

    Bell has great products, it’s just a shame they have a bunch of dimwits working in support and customer service.

  6. Hi Ellen, would have liked a link to any article proving that Bloomex plants positive comments online.

    Social Media experts are forever telling us that power is moving away from advertisers to consumers because of their ability to complain to peers on the internet.

    If a company can launch a false information offensive online to counter-negative comments, that’s a major issue.

  7. Lior: I have decided to quit Bell for similar reasons. I prefer Rogers and Videotron.

    Then again, they are far from being perfect in terms of customer service. The problem is that each company seems to aim for the “industry standards” 🙁

  8. Recruiting Animal, I have so many negative comments about Bloomex at my website that a few positive ones wouldn’t make a dent. I haven’t seen the company plant any compliments for quite a while.

    But another blogger, Anna at Bargain Moose, reported seeing it happen at her website.

    She posted this comment here a few months ago, http://blog.ellenroseman.com/?p=403

    May 28 2009

    Some dubious practices from Bloomex.

    Some people posting from the Ukraine in Europe have been posting on my blog, “bigging up” Bloomex.

    Could this be some sort of paid attempt at PR from Bloomex?

    Quite disappointed with that sort of behaviour!


  9. Lior, I too quit them many moons ago. It’s kinda funny because of smart, value, spreadsheet-based executive decisions, the ivory tower is nothing more than a call centre now. Funny how karma works.

    I can count three different stages in my life where the decision to fire them was just staring at me:

    * during my university years, I had to jump through hoops and circles over 3 months to get my phone hooked up correctly. The executive office at the time couldn’t have cared less.

    * getting my phone hooked up in my first condo was a nightmare, as the first technician got my line crossed with the neighbours. I was getting their bills and Bell refused to look into to it, correct it and adjust my bills. At the time I bit the bullet and went with Rogers home phone. Problem solved.

    * the start of my first web based business. Their SMB group proved useless, as all of their suggestions pointed to more expensive options which weren’t needed. And the call centre failed to resolve any of the technical problems I had.

    I had to hire a very expensive IT contractor to help me out with that. And yes, the SMB group got an earful and got fired.

    Now I’m just chugging along, Bell-free for everything, and loving it with oodles of spare time.

  10. Ellen, I found this while searching for Sears complaints online and thought I’d share my story.

    Over $4,500 in merchandise was delivered to my house on Tuesday, Oct. 13th. The delivery went smoothly for the most part, except for a missing box. The delivery man told me the box was missing and I signed a paper saying as much. He promised he would be back the next day with the box.

    My first mistake was believing that. I didn’t receive delivery on Wednesday or on Thursday, despite assurances the delivery “would definitely be there.”

    As it turns out, which I only discovered after going back to the store, the original delivery man said all boxes had been delivered, so my orphan box of bed rails had been “misplaced.” The warehouse eventually found it, but only after the store intervened on my behalf. The customer service rep actually made it sound like they had done me a favour by searching for the box at all.

    Long story short, I was supposed to receive delivery today, but “missed” them. Delivery claims to have called my home number and an alternative number and neither had voicemail. Surprising, of course, considering Sears has one number for me (my cellphone – with voicemail).

    My bedroom set remains unusable in my new condo and customer service tells me they might be able to deliver next week, if I can be home from 7 am until 6 pm. Since I can’t and won’t, I’m not sure when I’ll finally have a bed to sleep in.

    My fiance and I just purchased a very large new condo and will be furnishing the condo from scratch – everything from a new washer/dryer, television and furniture for about four rooms. But Sears won’t be getting a cent of our money and they’ve lost the business of our friends and colleagues who will hear this story.

    The saddest part is that no one, from store level to the contact centre, are surprised by this story. Apparently it is the norm for Sears.

  11. I’m wondering if anyone has an e-mail address for Mr. Dene Rogers. I too am dealing with and very frustrated with Sears.

    I have had a broken washing machine for a month now and can’t seem to get any kind of reponse from Sears, except for a lot of people passing the buck. I’ve spent over 3 hours of my time on hold, talking to people and writing e-mails with no results. Not to mention the fact of having to drive to friends and family to do laundry for our family of 4.

    I have sat on hold, I have left a message due to high call volumes, and I have emailed with still no reponse. I’ve talked to people in Belleville, Ont., Barrie, Ont., & Montreal.

    It’s nice how Sears can give millions of dollars worth of furniture to the “Extreme Home Makeover” show, but can’t seem to help their loyal (well, not so loyal any more) customers.

    Hoping someone can help me with an email address to the CEO as I’m fed up with this and just want my washer fixed or replaced.

  12. We need to resolve a service issue with Sears that has come to an impasse. We have been very patient and reasonable, although this has burned up an inordinate amount of our time. Patience has run out.

    It appears that no one at Sears is interested in dealing with this, despite the company’s web site proclaiming that it wants to “build lifetime relationships with customers.”

    In summary, an incompetent Sears technician damaged our washer and rendered it inoperable. After 46 days, several service call no-shows and postponements, two service attempts by another Sears technician, many calls to the Sears call centre and their Toronto depot, and many trips to the coin laundry, we are still without a functioning washer.

    Sears now says the part damaged by the technician is out of stock, so the machine cannot be repaired. They do not know when the part might arrive from the factory, if ever, and have not offered any financial assistance with purchasing a replacement.

  13. After reading all the problems others have had, mine seems so miniscule. I am just totally frustrated with customer service reps that I can’t understand, and this is after hitting 1 for English.

    Yes, I do speak and understand English. Unfortunately, they don’t.

    I ordered 3 items for Christmas on Dec. 7, 2009. Two of the items were backordered, but received on Dec. 10. The third item was in stock, but has still not been received.

    Have tried calling and emailing to see if my item will be received in time for Christmas, just to be told I have to wait 10 days from the original promise date, which was the 15th.

    It seems odd to me that the backordered items were received, but the item that was in stock has still not arrived.

    The online order status also does not function, therefore, I have no choice but to call. During one of my calls, I even asked to speak to a supervisor, just to be told they are too busy to speak with me.

    One representative told me it was delayed due to the bad weather. (Didn’t realize we had bad weather over the past week.)

    I had another customer service rep explain to me that they are the only company where you can place a catalogue order online. Unfortunately, I am not a huge online shopper, but I did purchase items online from Costco. Received an email stating when they expected the items to be shipped, and when the item was shipped, I received a tracking number. All the items were received well before the promised delivery date.

    Not sure what has happened to Sears over the years. It used to be that you could place an order, and if it was in stock, it would be received two days later. Now I have to wait 10 days from the 15th before they will even look into it. That would be the 25th (Christmas Day).

    As far as I am concerned, this is my last purchase from Sears. Their customer service has deteriorated beyond an acceptable level.

  14. Dec 16/09
    Sears Canada Inc.
    290 Yonge Street, Suite 700
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5B 2C3

    Mr. Dene L. Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer
    Mr. William C. Crowley, Chairman of the Board, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

    Dears Sirs:

    A brief outline of experience with Sears Parts & Service, Customer Service

    Nov 30/09

    1. Called 1800-469-4663 to inquire about a pump for my Kenmore washer

    It took 15 minutes to get a person on the phone who then would not give me any information WITHOUT MY CREDIT CARD NUMBER. I gave it and then asked about part, price, delivery method and maker of part. I was told the TOTAL PRICE was $ 78.99 including UPS delivery and all taxes. I indicated that this was too much and to forget it.

    Dec 2/09

    2. Called 1800-469-4663 to confirm that no order was processed; don’t trust Sears at the best of times! Took 30 minutes to speak with someone who stated NO ORDER WAS PROCESSED! Again my credit card number was asked for first!

    Dec 14/09

    After looking at my MasterCard statement and discovering that Sears has charged my account Nov 30 and Dec 2 for $97.12 I made about 45 calls to various Sears numbers over 14 hours trying to get Sears to correct their error! My experience was a nightmare:

    3. Numbers called: 1 800 469-4663, 1 866 301 6114, 1 866 712 5008, 1 866 719 5008 also email home@sears.ca

    Some of the problems encountered:
    – many calls took between 10-30 minutes to be answered
    -about 5 calls; I was just hung up on
    -many people I spoke with did not comprehend simple basic English
    -I was unable to understand many people because of their heavy accent or poor diction
    -most representatives could not care less about my problem with Sears
    – other than common first name
    -representatives blamed another area of Sears and refused to deal with me: “can’t do anything for call…”
    -dealing with several levels of complaint departments which were “fake’ departments
    -unable to locate senior direct response contact

    After getting nowhere, I cancelled my MasterCard account and informed them that Sears is charging my account un-authorized by me; a drastic measure for sure!

    Dec 15/09

    4. Canada Post delivered a package from Sears; I assume a pump which by the way was poorly packaged and I am sure damaged. I refused the package and had the Postmaster at XXX return the package to the sender.


    Sears provides the best ” NO CUSTOMER SERVICE”

    Sears operates on a fraudulent basis

    Sears lies about information it gives you over the phone

  15. I just finished a similar incident, speaking to a customer service agent who could not speak English and getting the runaround for some three weeks.

    I finally phoned a relative in Alberta, who works for Sears, and asked them where the customer service department was located. My relative laughed, saying you may get someone in Manila or depending on how mad you are, you may get someone in Canada.

    I then got an earful for buying a dishwasher at Sears and was asked why I didn’t do some research before doing so. Point taken.

    Apparently, Sears stresses “Integrity” – they do not tolerate dishonest behaviour. Sears focuses on “Building Customer Relationships”. Oh yeah! I can tell they do well at that by reading this thread.

    My cousin has been admonished for telling a customer the truth; my cousin has been asked to lie because the so-called department manager doesn’t know what the word “Integrity” means. It’s all about sales and God forbid if your sales of protection agreements are not up to expectations.

    Apparently, Sears has devised a new way of borrowing money at the expense of consumers. Pretty hard to sell the obvious, I would say, particularly to the educated. And, interesting enough, management does not want to get involved with customer complaints – tell them to phone customer service.

    After two hours of chitchat, I asked my cousin why did you join Sears? Answer – I did not do my research. How long will you stay, I asked. Until I am fired then everything will hit the fan!

  16. Email to Sears@home.ca

    To Whom it May Concern,

    In November 2008, we received our new fridge, oven and dishwasher that we purchased from Sears. They were delivered on 08 Nov.

    The oven that we purchased is a Kitchenaid Model # YKERS807SS01 (Smooth Top, Convention Oven with Self Clean). One of the reasons we bought the stove was for the self cleaning feature.

    On Dec. 26th, 2009, we went to self clean our oven for the first time. The oven broke. The self clean only went part way through the self clean process and an error appeared rendering our oven unable to work. Apparently the high heat during the self clean process blows out some sensor. The error code is ”F3E3 Meat Probe Sensor” ).

    On Dec. 28th, my husband called the Sears repair department to get someone it to fix our stove. We were told the soonest a technician could come in to repair it was Jan. 11, 2010. We requested a sooner date but none was available.

    We found another appliance repair person in town who would be able to come in on Dec. 29th but Sears informed us that any other repair person, other than Sears, that repaired our oven would void any other warranties on our stove.

    On Dec. 28th, my husband spent most of his day off trying to get some answers. When we search online, we find out that the problem we have is a KNOWN ISSUE and neither Sears nor Kitchenaid are willing to do anything about it. Apparently it is not uncommon for the self clean feature to cause this problem and break the stove.

    He first visited Sears where we purchased our appliances (where our salesperson told us she could do “absolutely nothing” for us). So he started making phone calls, to Sears and to Kitchenaid. Initially Sears told us it was a Kitchenaid problem. Next, Kitchenaid told us it was Sears problem. Back and forth we went.

    We tried to get numbers and names of people to talk to and got nothing but a runaround, both from Sears and from Kitchenaid. Kitchenaid finally told us that because they sold their product to Sears, that it was now completely a Sears issue. So we wait for the SEARS repair person – 2 weeks.

    Jan. 11th, 2010, a repair person comes to our house. My husband has taken a day off work (unpaid) to be here at the house. The repair person looks at our stove, agrees it is broken, and tells us he needs to order parts to repair it and that he will be back on Jan. 20th. We were told that the repair person would order all the parts but only charge us for the ones needed to fix the stove, and of course his labour.

    Jan. 20th, my husband takes another unpaid day off of work. He is waiting for the repair person. At about 1 pm on the 20th, my husband gets a phone call from the Repair Dept/ repair person stating they do not have the parts. Apparently the parts are still in Burnaby BC (we live in Victoria BC) and he won’t be coming to the house. He will come the following week on Jan. 28th.

    We have now been without a working oven for 1 month.

    Jan. 27, 2010: My husband called the Service & Parts number that we had been provided (they are located in Burnaby BC) requesting that we need to have the service person who is due to come to our house on Jan. 28th, to please complete the work by 3 pm on Jan. 28th. We need to have the repair completed as we HAVE to leave the house at 3 pm.

    Jan. 28, 2010: (yet again my husband takes his 3rd day of unpaid leave from his job to be here for the repair person). The Service and Parts department calls back this morning and tells us that the she was having a hard time finding someone and didn’t know if someone would even be able to come to our house today!

    Finally, she called back again to tell us that yes, someone was coming but she did not know when. At 2 pm, a different repair person arrives and they do not even know what the problem is. He did, however, have some parts that had been ordered (temperature sensor, door lock assembly and a control board).

    He ends up replacing the Latch Assembly and then “wiggles” the meat probe receptacle, reset the display board and then told my husband the stove was fixed. He cannot sign off on the stove being fixed, he still needs to replace the Meat probe receptacle and needs to order that part. The repair person was scheduled to come back AGAIN for the first week of February to replace the Meat Probe so that he can sign off on the repair.

    We pay him $283.76 for his visit/parts/repair on Visa. The repair person leaves by 3 pm. At 4:30 when my husband returns to the house, he goes to heat the oven for dinner and IT DOES NOT WORK: Error code” F3E3 Meat Probe Sensor” again.

    I am sure, by now, you can imagine our frustration.

    One would think if the error says “Meat Probe Sensor” that the problem might have something to do with the meat probe and that would be a part to bring when repairing the stove. I have attached a picture of the error that has been on our stove since Dec. 26th, 2009.

    We contacted the Service and Parts department immediately and they said they could not do anything until tomorrow (Jan. 29th morning). We were told we should expect a call tomorrow morning (Jan. 29th). No guarantees of a repair person, but a phone call.

    I then stepped in and made anther phone call to the Repair Department. Karim (the Representative) has logged my complaint and ASSURED me that the $283.76 on our VISA will be reversed. When I demanded a contact person to complain to and who could actually do something, this email address (home@sears.ca) was provided and the name “Mr. Dene.” I was told to call back tomorrow and they would put me through to another department to talk about my issue.

    I want a working stove. We purchased from Sears thinking they would back their products and provide good service but this has been a most frustrating experience and beyond reasonable.

    This whole scenario is not acceptable. We have been patient up until now. I have a family to feed. My husband and I have jobs that we need to be at. He has lost 3 days of work to be here for repair people and to date it is still not fixed. How many more days are we expected to take off work to repair our oven?!

    The stove is just over 13 months old and was expensive ($2,000) AND IT IS STILL NOT WORKING! I want this fixed now or I want a replacement oven now. We have paid $283.76 for repairs and it is still broken. The stove does not work. It has now been ONE MONTH and sadly no one seems to care.

    I had no idea when purchasing our appliances that we were bound to using ONLY Sears Repair department which, although courteous, has been disorganized and beyond reasonable in terms of time frames for fixing the problem.

    I have provided you some links with similar complaints about this same issue. If this is known as a faulty issue with the stove, why has there not been a recall or offer to fix it? Does legal action need to start to address this issue?


    I would appreciate a response within 2 working days as I am tired of being given a runaround. I need a name, phone number, email address and mailing address of someone who can actually do something to rectify this. Please help demonstrate that Sears does care about its customers and customer service.

  17. I have been retired from Sears now for 10 years. However, this company was very good to me over my 25 year career there and nothing irks me more than ridiculous complaints from unreasonable people.

    I shop at Sears weekly and every time I am there, I listen to customers complain about prices and argue for discounts. The Wal-Mart parking lot is always full because Canada has decided to sell their souls for a discount.

    Sears cannot continue to operate profitably and still maintain the low prices that consumers demand. If a customer would stop begging for discounts, Sears could keep employment in Canada and Sears could afford to have more staff in the stores to help you.

    THE HIGH COST OF LOW COST is outsourcing. Canadian consumers have done this to themselves. I am sure that many of the laid off working in Regina were frequent Wal-Mart shoppers.

  18. My brand new KEBC107SSS kitchenaid architect has the same error code. F3E3. This code came up as soon as power was first turned on to the unit without ever having even heated it up. If I unplug it for a long time I can quickly get every function to work, but if I depress ‘off’ and leave it for more than about 10 seconds it will tell me to enter temperature for the meat probe. If I don’t enter a temperature (Which will only allow 2 digits and won’t actually enter.) the F3E3 error comes back.

  19. It’s my first time ordering with Sears, and I’m not very impressed with the service. I was told I was scheduled for a Jan 3rd pickup…from a nearby location. When I called to find if it was in, I was told there isn’t a drop off at that location until the next day. When I went in on the 4th, it hadn’t arrived, and they couldn’t find me in the computer system. I then returned home and called customer service at Sears. After being passed to 3 phone agents, (some only deal with appliances over 200lbs. or so) I was then informed that there is a 10 day grace period for delivery (in case of bad weather). I wasn’t informed of when I ordered the product. If you can pick up the item yourself, I would recommend it. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy.

  20. I’ve read with interest the comments re: Sears and thought I’d add some perspective as a Sears contractor.

    Sears has fewer of its own repair staff to service appliances, power equipment, etc., due to retirement and lack of training facilities. So it’s developing relationships with independent service companies to provide repair service.

    Customers have to keep some things in mind. (a) Sears is doing what it can to provide installation and service to customers. (b) These calls are dispatched through an independent arm of Sears, usually called Sears Installations. (c)Salespeople have NO say as to when a serviceman or installation person will be at your house.

    So don’t place any faith in a scheduled date/time if the salesperson gives you one. Service personnel are dispatched through a department totally at arms-length from the retail store.

    Example: your Ford salesman isn’t allowed to provide you with an appointment for your oil to be changed in the garage. That’s done through the Service dept.

    When we receive notice a Sears customer needs something installed or serviced, we call the customer and make arrangements.

    As an aside, you can appreciate we hear all kinds of stories from customers…things like, “I work during the day. Can you come in the evening or on Sunday?” No ma’am, our employees have families too and they work from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

    As in all industries, we encounter lousy repair people and great ones. We do our best to fix the carnage left by the bad ones.

    With appliances being outsourced to offshore manufacturing facilities, there is no way a repair person can be expected to carry all the necessary parts in his truck. Those days are long gone.

    Most repairs we do require 2 visits at minimum, the first to diagnose, the second to install the parts when they arrive from Sears.

    During this process, numerous things can happen. The warehouse may be out of stock, the truck may be delayed, or the parts may have gone to the wrong warehouse, etc.

    Sears is not perfect. I think if customers knew what was involved behind the scenes, they would appreciate the logistics involved in getting a repair person to your house, on time, with the right part.

    The public has demanded more features at the lowest possible prices and they are reaping the results today, with a multitude of suppliers making appliances, a dizzying selection of models that change every year, all with differing components inside.

    Then a repair person is expected to magically pull the right part out of his truck and install it and successfully repair the machine.

    Yes, I hear the argument, “but I paid good money for this. I should have it up and running.” And I sympathize.

    The next time you hiccup because you think something costs too much and walk out the door to Wal-Mart, think about the repair guy spending money on gas to drive his truck carrying approx $5,000-$10,000 worth of parts around, 20% of which might be used on the first visit.

    He then comes to your house to see your broken appliance and goes away to order the needed parts, tracks the paperwork, picks up the parts when they arrive, matches that part to your service ticket and comes to your house a second time to install the part…..all for $55….and we haven’t begun to factor in the cost of education and training that is ongoing.

    No, reader, there is a reason Costco doesn’t return anything to the supplier for repair when you return it. The cost of servicing far exceeds the financial return.

    All returned items at Costco are either sold at a freight-damage warehouse or crushed in the back of the store. They simply cannot afford to send things back “upstream” to the supplier. It’s a simple fact of business.

    Here’s a piece of trivia for all you shoppers. There are thousands of customers in Canada and the U.S. that aren’t willing to pay the higher cost for a bicycle made in the U.S.

    Instead they buy one from Costco and know they can ride it for a week or a year and then return it for a full refund. Do you know what happens to those bikes? They are put in the crusher. This is done for “liability reasons”.

    I’m amused at the hypocrisy of people who claim they are “concerned about the environment”, but have no compunction about returning things to Costco to take advantage of the system and their generous return policies.

    Please remember this the next time you buy a modern appliance and put down your money for something built offshore that has an expected service life of 5 years in your home.

    It is a past era when you owned a new fridge and it ran for 20 years before needing a new door seal.

    Between appliances made as cheaply as possible, and unreasonable customers that expect their microwave to be repaired by Sears because it was hit by lightning (see previous postings), it’s high time John Q Public realized we are being flooded with disposable appliances because we asked for it.

    Thanks for reading.

  21. STAY AWAY FROM SEARS HOME SERVICES if you need home renovations of any kind!!

    In fact, stay away from Sears altogether.

    Formerly Sears Home Central. The same crowd who botched my roof job, with the same lousy attitude. Don’t be fooled by a name change. It’s still SEARS! Sears Home Services, Sears Home Central, Sears Sucks.

    See what Sears did to me:


    June 20, 2002, 25-year roof shingles and attic vents installed by Sears Home Central. They installed the ventilation improperly, causing premature deterioration of shingles, also water infiltration as a result of ice dams. I had requested that they make sure there was proper ventilation at the time of contract.

    I called Sears rep the next day to express concern about the placement of Maxi Vent. It is half way down the roof. The rep looked from the ground, from one side, never went up on the roof, never checked for blocked soffits or other vents interfering with the Maxi vent. Still he said it was good enough. Against my better judgment, all I could do was hope for the best.

    That summer, I noticed excessive falling off of granules from shingles, a sign of trouble.

    July 11, 2009, I noticed shingles becoming bare, curling and breaking. I called Sears Home Central to report this. It took several calls before someone got back to me.

    July 31, Sears sends an inspector to have a look. Without hesitation, he informs me that the ventilation was not properly installed, that this was causing excessive heat buildup in the attic and it was Sears’ fault. He told me that Sears would fix the ventilation and replace the shingles at no cost to me.

    Meanwhile, I visit Maxi Vent website and found, according to their very clear instructions, that indeed the ventilation was all wrong.

    Since that time, Sears has flatly refused to fix anything. All I get from Corporate Customer Service and the local manager in Ottawa is excuses, untruths and gobbledygook.

    This is the most deplorable and shameful performance I have seen in my life. STAY AWAY FROM SEARS !!!

  22. I previously worked at Sears in the catalogue ordering area. I was really disappointed in Sears when they outsourced the catalogue ordering and then the parts and service.

    For the first time, I had to deal with them since then. What a nightmare.

    On Jan. 25, 2015, I called parts and service using the local Sears Home store number, which sent me to someone in the Philippines. The lady seemed to understand my call and we proceeded to order the part I needed (an exterior oven door).

    To ensure I was ordering the right part, she sent a diagram to my email. I put the order on my Visa card and was told the order wouldn’t arrive until Feb. 23, since the part wasn’t at the nearest warehouse.

    On Feb. 23, no part arrived. I thought it’s been awhile since I’ve spoken to anyone at Sears and I better call in to check.

    After I gave him my phone number, a man told me there were no orders with that phone number.

    I was really upset and told him I was concerned as I had given my Visa number. He got snarky and said let’s not worry about worst case scenarios. He kept putting me on hold and repeating he’d done all he can.

    On one of my times on hold, I checked my bank and sure enough, on Feb. 17, I was charged on my Visa for the part and delivery.

    When he came back, he went into a fast speaking rant, saying he had no info on that order. I had to rudely interrupt and tell him to stop. I had looked and I was charged.

    He seemed to be a little taken aback and then asked me for my Visa number. I gave it to him and he put me on hold. When he came back, he said he could see a charge was made to that Visa but he still had no answer about my order.

    He told me he’d contact the warehouse and get tracking info on the part and call me back. He never called back.

    The following day, I called again and got a woman who was much friendlier but made me go through the whole scenario. When I told her I was charged, she got the Visa card number and went through the same things.

    This time, she added that in addition to getting the tracking number, they’d be listening to that order for more information on what happened and she’d be in touch. Still nothing.

    Today, I called for the third time. A man said they must have a note on file as I didn’t have to give my Visa number. I’m supposed to get a call when they get tracking info on the part.

    All three times, I asked for a supervisor and was denied. They speak in broken English, so it’s hard to understand what they are saying. If my part isn’t here by Monday, I’ll have to call my credit card company and get the charge reversed.

    When I worked for Sears, customer service was a top priority, but it really seems like that has changed. I feel like no one will listen and I don’t know where to turn. I’ve used any email I can find to contact Sears, but still nothing.

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