- Report: #1002906
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: SEARS
SEARSHeritage Mall Albany, Oregon United States of America
SEARS SEARS Chases Customers out of the Store! Albany, Oregon
Believe it or not, that's what happened to me on September 28, 2012 when I went to the Sears store in Albany Oregon intent on purchasing a replacement washing machine for the business I managed. I specifically told the sales associate: I need a machine today.
With his help, I made a selection and told him that I just needed to call my regional manager to get a credit card number. But when I turned around after only about one minute talking to my manager, the sales associate had disappeared. I looked around and saw no one at all in the appliance department, but there were three Sears employees nearby in the Automotive departmentleaning on boxes, talking and laughing while ignoring me and several other customers in the area.
Frustrated, I used my cell phone to snap a photo of them to perhaps show to their manager at a later time in order to document their poor work habits.
When they saw me take their photo, one of them asked in a sarcastic tone of voice if they could help me, I responded that it didn't look like they could. When I asked for a manager, they told me there wasn't oneto which I said that explained why they were goofing offto which they replied that they weren't goofing off, they were waiting for customers. As we exchanged comments and their attitude worsened, I decided I wasn't willing to argue with them or support such poor service, and would instead buy the washer from a retailer who valued me as a customer. As I turned and began to walk away, a woman from
the group yelled that she had better not see the photo on the Internet. I ignored her and kept walking but she followed me,
repeatedly commanding me to stop and tell her my name. I kept walking but felt as if I would be violently seized at any momentas if I were a shoplifter! Just before I reached the exit, she yelled after me that if she saw the photo on the Internet she would sue me!
I was quite humiliated and upset by the encounter and couldn't believe that I had been literally chased out of the store and threatened with a lawsuit when I had gone there intent on purchasing a major appliance.
After I gained my composure, I decided to find a manager to report the incident. The manager was cordial but defended the actions of her employees. When she scolded me for taking the photo, I responded that there was no signage stating that photos were not allowed and that other shoppers often take photos in order to comparison shop, or to show a product that they're considering to a family member or friendso that the only problem with me taking the photo was what it revealed. She later apologized (for the incidentbut not for the actions of her employees), and offered a 5% discount on the washing
machine. I responded that I had reported the incident to my manager, and he instructed me to go to Home Depot instead.
When I told the manager that this had not been the first time I've been ignored when attempting to shop in her store, she responded that I should have reported those prior incidents to her. But why should the customer need to tell the store manager what the employees are doing (or NOT doing)? A good manager would know what her employees are doing. Moreover, the fact that the employees felt free to openly stand around and ignore customers indicates that the manager either didn't stress the importance of customer service or actually condoned the bad behavior of her employees.
Before leaving her office, I asked the manager for the phone number of her regional manager, and she wrote a toll free number on the back of her business card. I later called the number, which turned out to be a call center. I spoke to a very cordial and sympathetic man who listened intently and promised to have the district manager contact mebut not surprisingly, no one ever called.
Incidentally, when I first met with the Sear's manager, I introduced myself as the Account Manager for the mall's housekeeping contractor. As a result, she later reported me to the mall's general manageras if I did something wrong-- and apparently to cause trouble for me.
Therefore, I not only bought the washing machine at Home Depot, but I will never again enter a Sear's store! So that's why I believe (and hope) Sears will soon be out of businessnot because of economic conditions, and not because they can't attract customers to their stores, but because their arrogant, lazy associates ignore, insult, threaten, and literally chase customers out with the full support and encouragement
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/24/2013 07:11 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/SEARS/Albany-Oregon-97322/SEARS-SEARS-Chases-Customers-out-of-the-Store-Albany-Oregon-1002906. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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