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  • Sears...

    Went to Sears today to exchange a Craftsman 8" mill file. I was told by an employee that Craftsman only warrants "hand tools"... I politely asked the associate what she thought the file I was holding in my hand was. She said a file is not a hand tool. I told her that if it is not a hand tool, then it must be a power tool...but funny thing is, I couldn't find where to plug it in. I calmly walked over to the aisle where the files were, picked up a Craftsman file EXACTLY like mine, walked over to her, and read out loud the warranty on the back of the package. She said she would have to call a manager over to make sure they could exchange it. By now, I didn't know wether to be irritated or to laugh. I mean, how much more plainly could I have explained it? The manager told me that they would only exchange hand tools. Once again, I showed her the package and read the warranty on the back of it. "Oh..." she said. "Well, I guess it is a hand tool". They exchanged it for me, of course. During all of this, I was never once offered an apology for their lack of competence. Where do all of these large retailers find these people to employ? Does ANYONE spend ANY TIME training them????

  • #2
    Re: Sears...

    funny thing happened to me too with a pick/ awl.

    i did the same thing with going to the aisle and picking up a new one in the package. showed them the same writing on the label and walked off with the new one.

    i guess if they read it, it must be true.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sears...LONG STORY ABOUT SEARS

      Hello.

      My first post, so I'm a nooooobie.

      I'll get to the above points in the end.....

      Anyway, just retired from the Marines a little while back. Got a job as a Sears store Manager (they baited me with a 75k starting salary with bonus).

      After working there for a while, I noticed some SEVERE issues in leadership and management. First, the poor leadership is a direct reflection of Allwyn Lewis all the way down to the DOS...(right above the store manager). They don't get the simple, basic elements of leadership. They are so bogged down with trying to FORCE credit card sales and "improvement" that they forget about the meat of what makes the store run. Finding quality people, training those people, getting to know those people, and giving those people a sense of ownership. Now, granted, doing that and only paying someone only 7 bucks an hour, is tough....if not impossible. I believe right after I left,

      However, I had a guy in our hardware department that was **** HOT, and knew his stuff, the customers loved him, he was articulate, well groomed, and had nothing but compliments every time I turned around. Well the ASM that was in charge of that department repeatedly cut his hours, passed him over for promotions, and had only a marginal interaction with the guy. The ASM was a treat too....always unkempt, wore dirty and ripped clothes, was morbidly obese, and had his boyfriend hanging out at the store regularly. The guy was a dipshi- but somehow had the ear of the manager because he could recite stats for the store. He couldn't lead a platoon of 4 year olds out of a room with 80 doors. His office was full of merchandise, papers and junk, as in trash that had accumulated for years. It was almost comical.

      I wrote an Email to the store manager and the DOS that were training me, and told them about this gross oversight in hardware/tools and my letter was ignored. The ASM later hired a woman that knew NOTHING about tools....and I mean NOTHING...she couldn't even show me what a tablesaw was...no kidding. She was the ASM over the guy who had never missed a day of work, never had a complaint, knew tools like tim the toolman, completely re-did the back room on his own initiative etc etc. I couldn't believe what happened. Funny part, 4 months later the woman quit. (nothing against women, just that in this case, she didn't know anything about the job she was given). She couldn't handle the job. I was amazed. I was recently in the store and the good guy was like "I think I'm going to quit"....I said..."you should."

      I could easily give you 4 more stories like this...all from one store. When I started looking at the "CAC Lead" who is the cashier lead, to see what she was accomplishing, I was not surpised. It was very little. Rather than get to know her folks, and make them feel vested, she chided them, and demanded credit apps. She was nice to me, but to the cashiers, she was hitler. She had been with SEARS for 15 years or something and ruled with an IRON FIST. The girls that worked at our hardware counter were not the least bit interested or knowledgeable about tools or credit apps. They paged managers every 5 minutes it seemed like. The turnaround with those cashiers was about 90%..I think. I repeatedly tried to arrange training, but was given reasons why we couldn't do it. (territorial issues I think)

      The DOS was a micromanaging individual that didn't let the guy that was training me do his job. He was down his throat and threatening him weekly due to low credit apps and other misc bullcrap that had nothing to do with creating a good foundation of employees that would eventually fix the other internal issues at that store.

      The store I was at was horribly negligent with documenting employees that came in late, had behavioral problems, etc. It was pretty much a zoo, with no accountability. The electronics lead had been stealing from the store over a period of time, yet nobody would take action. She had been caught by loss prevention numerous times, but everyone was too afraid of red tape to take aciton. The loss prevention guy had friends in electronics and other places, so he let **** go that he should have stopped. He would cover up **** that his friends did. He would stick up for them in meetings. It was sad.

      You can guess how those folks responded when I came in, straight from the Marines. Oh yeah, it was UGLY. I had complaints, accusations all sorts of stuff. They didn't like me telling them to wear clean clothes to work, or telling them to tuck in their shirts, or not wear un-laced high tops to work...The electronics ASM couldn't understand why she had to pay for merchandise before putting it in her bag in her office. The automotive lead didn't know why it was a bad idea to party with his folks at home, and use words like "nigger" in front of all of his employees.


      I couldn't take it anymore, so I quit. I didn't want to be part of such a broken company.

      Bottom line was this. Having visited over 10 stores during my training I feel I can make these comments: There are folks at Sears that are part of the "old school" and have been severely brainwashed by the sears corporate higher ups. They do not have the new ideas that the company needs to turn around their industry leading turn-around in employees. They refuse to give raises across the board, yet they give the corporate types HUGE bonuses etc. (not a surprise right?)

      Sears needs to close down for 6 months to clean house, re-organize, and start over. They need to get rid of the old institutionalized folks, and put some fresh ideas in the company. (our ASM that worked in the main office had been there over 20 years and had an office stacked with papers from 10 years earlier, despite repeated attempts to get her to clean her office) They need to quit depending SO MUCH on the credit apps. They need to re-design their consumer survey. (the only acceptable scores for managers are 100%, even a 98% gets a verbal tongue lashing from higher ups. They need to focus on making entry level folks feel part of a team. Aside from simple shallow terminology on their pamphlets.

      They need to identify the good folks, move them up, and get rid of the dead weight.

      That my friend is why you got bad service.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sears...

        Wow.. thats an impressive first post Bono. Welcome to the forum. I have heard that Sears does have some management and organization issues like you talk about. I guess its like depot though. Sometimes you get people who really know their stuff. And then you find people that know less than a 3 year old.

        Josh

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sears...

          This last spring I needed a few automotive tools, and Sears seem to have the better price, and we went to the front range and I had not been in a Sears store in about 15 years, (there are none in my area), but it was the same lay out and same "stuff" that it was 15 years ago, (yes new models), but I thought it was odd that there had been no apparent changes in the store lay out or way of presenting there merchandise,

          After sears dropped the mail order, and then destroyed there "catalog" stores. many, many, out in my area, wrote them off.

          at one time they did have some good quality merchandise. I do not think there quality is what it once was,
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sears...

            Bono, first of all thank you for your many years of service to our country. Your post was very well written and a sad comment on our society. Sears and your experience is not unique but rather common place. When I get good service and a friendly, knowledgable salesperson I'm shocked. We have a choice between those who cannot speak our language very well and don't know the merchandise and job, and those who were born here,and spoiled into ignorance and a lack of manners and motivation. I take pride in whatever I do and I always tell my daughters " anything worth doing is worth doing well". Now that almost everything is made outside our country we have lost quality control and the skill to make what we use. All we have left is self respect, pride in what we do, work ethics and good manners, that's still plenty to keep us busy. Teach your children well, not just song lyrics!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sears...

              Wow, Bono! Great first post. Welcome to the forums!

              In the retail industry where customer service is what makes or breaks the deal, I have to say that I've already decided that Sears in NOT the place I'll buy tools, appliances, etc. Too many times I've seen Sears employees make promises and deals for customers that end up being pure fabrication and lies. When the customer tries to return the product, they're faced with the fact that the sales person flat-out lied to them and they're stuck with something that won't work. Now I understand why Sears is failing to meet my standards of customer service. Even if the employees are fair, honest, hard-working, and capable, they are punished for being "different"!! At least I can probably buy clothes there once in a while....then again....there's a JCPenny and a Belk's in the same mall!!! I'll trust Costco over Sears for tires, even.

              It'll be a shame to see Sears end up on the list of no-longer-existing stores. But that's what'll happen if they don't fix these problems.
              I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sears...

                Welcome Bono, great post.
                I have had many year experience in dealing with Sears on several levels.
                I have many older power and hand tools from them but quit buying there around the mid 80's when there quality took a huge dive.
                They have always had decent lawn and snow equipment and IMO they still do. There appliances are rebadged from other manufacturer but have better features for less $ when on sale (once every couple of months).
                I know of a lawn and garden manager that was selling new equipment (tractors, snow blowers etc) for 1/4 list as scratch and dent as long as you gave him a few hundred on the side, he got fired and was hired at HD, not sure what happened at HD as I moved out of the neighbourhood.
                Currently they have good service techs but that will be short lived. Up here they gave them all GPS tracking units in hand held computers (do time and parts orders as well). Now they question any idle time they spend with customers ensuring the repair is correct. Sears expanded their territories and expects them to travel home from the last call on the techs own time. There is to be no overtime without approval. The service truck inventory (controlled by the handheld) is out of the hands of the tech who knows what he needs and totally controlled by head office. Tech showed me a front door skin from a dishwasher that was from the 80's (none on MA still) and a bunch of parts that need to be replaced as pairs but they only have one in the truck. Techs have told me they are pushing all the good guys out and hiring cheep labour or outsourcing to other service companies.
                Sears is trying to cut costs to stay in the black but they are focusing in the wrong areas, the cuts they are making will directly impact customer sat which is just another huge nail in the coffin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sears...

                  My late father-in-law was the hardware manager for the Binghamton, NY Sears store. This was from the mid-50's through the early 90's. His dept, and the people that worked in it became one of the best selling stores in the region during this time and he received quite a few recognitions.

                  I think the problem with Sears hit in the mid to late 80's when the store adopted a "21st Century" approach to in-store marketing. At that point, they did away with "six percenters" (those that get paid, based on what they sell). Following that, they began to package the products in a manner where most of the information whould be printed on the package. They figured that customers already knew what they wanted and those that didn't could simply get an education from the package. After that, they started laying off many of those knowledgeable people.

                  Up until that time, sales staff were there before the store opened. They'd get a review of the new products, the daily sales, feature promotions, etc. My FIL attended product advancement meeting in Chicago and elsewhere and knew first hand how to use every tool in his inventory. So too did most of the sales staff... especially the six percenters.

                  Once the "21st Century" policy was in place, everything started to fall off. My FIL figured it was time to retire. (He was 62.) Funny, but it wasn't too long before he couldn't stand to even go into the store.

                  Today, I go into the store and run into the same stuff. It simply isn't a good experience and the there's a lot of sales people standing around doing nothing. They are not knowledgeable, and certainly they are rarely helpful. Not only don't they know the products, but they don't understand their own policies.

                  Isn't it funny how top management of these chains, start these issues and then bow out with their "golden parachutes"... leaving in their wake a downward spiral that never seems to pull-out.

                  CWS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sears...

                    When it comes to Sears and I need something, I'm on my own.
                    As plumbers, we don't use the steriotypical homeowners tools, we usually need things that don't sell as much.
                    Asking the guy at the plumbing aisle for something often means you go for a walk with him for 15 minutes to the other side of the store to discover they don't have it...then he tries to get you to go for a walk with the guy from hardware as you say "Oh, no...thats ok...I didn't really need it that much...no, please...let me go."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sears...

                      Bono,

                      Welcome to the forum, and welcome home.

                      "They didn't like me telling them to wear clean clothes to work, or telling them to tuck in their shirts, or not wear un-laced high tops to work..."

                      That makes me smile. When I transitioned to civilian life I remember someone saying to me, "Ern, their not soldiers you can't treat them that way." After I rode some kid for saying "What?" to me with and attitude. I could go on for days.

                      At my local Sears I only deal with "Old" Tony. The rest of them are somewhat polite talking heads that read you the box when you ask him about a display item then return to their friends to talk about video games. Old Tony is always good to me, greets me by name, and takes notes on his note pad where he keeps track of things for his "good" customers. I guess he's been there for a long time as he still gets commissions. If I have time to plan on a purchase, I call and find out if he is working.

                      I remember the old days when my Dad and I would go to Sears to buy something and the salesman would teach us how to use and maintain it. Not to date myself, but one time my Dad and I were treated to a demonstration of the safe operation of an AR-15. Now those were the days!

                      Ern

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sears...

                        Most former military members know the saying,

                        "You manage inventory and you lead people"

                        Most colleges and businesses do not have leadership courses, so this is why our businesses are not truly "people oriented".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sears...

                          I'll just toss in my 2 cents here.The only tools I have bought from sears in a long time was a set of Tee handle metric allen wrenches and 1 of their workbenches.I stopped buying their electric tools maybe 20 years ago because I felt the quality verses price just wasn't there.The workbench I knew wasn't very good quality but it fit my needs.Most of my wrenches, sockets are craftsman that are old.
                          The local sears,I guess like most now,I just don't like shopping in service is terrible in all but the appliance department.Personally I think sears really blew it when they stopped doing their own service work and hired outside contractors to do it.A HS friend used to manage the auto service section here locally and he finally gave up and quit.
                          Unfortunately I think you see the exact things in most stores now and with many lines of tools.This country has become a service type economy yet real old fashioned types of service in retail and manufacturers responsiiblity to back up what they sell keeps getting worse.Just read other threads here or on other message boards.It all boils down to management and companies paying more attention to stock holder profits then a long term outlook for survival of the company.Besides when a person no longer buys from company/store xxx they move to company/store yyy and vice versa.
                          Really it doesn't much matter who you buy from as sooner or later,in general here, you'll have a bad experience and move on.In my experience product education in big box retailers of the employees is barely exists and the wages aren't high enough to retain sales people that do know something.Just go in an ace hardware store it seems the biggest thing on their mind is do you have an ace club card.
                          Personally I seem to get better service and prices ordering stuff on line and lots of times actually getting the product in hand faster as in the local stores its out of stock anyway.Besides many on line places ship for free saving me a 40 mile round trip to town.
                          I just chalk it all up to a sign of the times hopefully someday the companies will learn to do better again.Good service brings customers back bad service is the sure way to kill off your business.
                          Sam

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sears...

                            This isn't just with Sears but applies to far too many retail stores.


                            THE CUSTOMER

                            The customer is the most foul beast to ever walk into our store. How dare he/she ask a sales person chatting away with other staff members to actually bother to ring up a sale. How dare that customer bring in a tiny bit of dirt from outside and dirty up the carpet which the staff is just too lazy to ever run a vacuum cleaner over anymore. How dare a customer ask any of the staff any manor of question about items for sale or anything else for that matter. The bottom line is that to the upper management and the store managers and the sales staff are constantly being preached to that all customers should be sent straight to hell for ever thinking of attempting to conduct business with this store.

                            It's sad that anymore this is what's hammered into everyone working in any position at the XYZ Store.

                            If the store ends up going bankrupt it really doesn't bother the senior executive board members as they have far too much money already to know what to do with it and they can use the lack of profits as a tax write off. They couldn't give a rat's *** about the little people working in the store. With them gone it's less paper work and money to pay out.

                            We need to remember that CEOs and CFOs sat on their brain so all the do anymore is wonder why it no longer functions.

                            Last edited by Woussko; 10-11-2007, 11:23 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sears...

                              Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                              This isn't just with Sears but applies to far too many retail stores.


                              THE CUSTOMER


                              The customer is the most foul beast to ever walk into our store. How dare he/she ask a sales person chatting away with other staff members to actually bother to ring up a sale. How dare that customer bring in a tiny bit of dirt from outside and dirty up the carpet which the staff is just too lazy to ever run a vacuum cleaner over anymore. How dare a customer ask any of the staff any manor of question about items for sale or anything else for that matter. The bottom line is that to the upper management and the store managers and the sales staff are constantly being preached to that all customers should be sent straight to hell for ever thinking of attempting to conduct business with this store.



                              It's sad that anymore this is what's hammered into everyone working in any position at the XYZ Store.



                              If the store ends up going bankrupt it really doesn't bother the senior executive board members as they have far too much money already to know what to do with it and they can use the lack of profits as a tax write off. They couldn't give a rat's *** about the little people working in the store. With them gone it's less paper work and money to pay out.



                              We need to remember that CEOs and CFOs sat on their brain so all the do anymore is wonder why it no longer functions.


                              I could not have said it any better myself. BRAVO!!!!
                              Nick

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