Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Letter to Sears Canada President

Update April 8, 2012:

My mother got to speak with Julie from the Executive Offices last week, after I successfully campaigned on Twitter. Up until that point, neither one of us had had any success through other avenues.

Julie was surprisingly patronizing to my mother, asking her if she had ever considered hanging her sheets to dry, and telling her she would make an exception "just this once." I was stunned that Julie had looked at both my mother's history with Sears and mine, as if to see if we were "troublemakers" (well, we are now).

When told she would be refunded only half the money, my mother's response was "keep it." She eventually received a full refund, but her determination to never use Sears again was cemented by her treatment by Julie.

Oh, and that Sears wedding registry I created? Cancelled.

This is a letter I sent today to the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sears Canada, Mr. Calvin McDonald.

Dear Mr. McDonald,

I am writing to you because all other avenues have been exhausted. My request is a simple one: that Sears be reasonable in this request.

My mother purchased sheets from the Sears catalogue, an order that was one of hundreds she has made over fifty years. When she received them, she first checked that they fit the bed and then washed them in cold water before their first use.

Much to her surprise and chagrin, the sheets didn't fit. She immediately took them to the catalogue pick up store where she was told they couldn't be returned. She drove to the nearest Sears store where was told the same thing. She called Sears. I then e-mailed Sears and even tweeted. The response was always the same: "we do not accept returns on used items. You used the sheets."

In a reasonable world, one should expect to purchase, use and wash sheets without them shrinking, let along shrinking from the first wash.

I think what is most bewildering and frustrating (and yes, maddening) is that we are being given the same pat response. There is no thinking, no decision making, no thought given to what is reasonable in this situation.

We have grown up on Sears. As a child, one of the best days of the year was the day the Wish Book arrived. My mother, who is now 70, pores over the catalogues and makes frequent purchases because she believes Sears merchandise to be high caliber.

My mother's home is a show home. It's not a mansion, but it's immaculate with beautiful furnishings. At the slightest sign of wear and tear, out comes the Sears catalogue.

My mother has always prided herself on being able to get results with anyone in Customer Service. This experience has been a blow to her ego, her confidence, and her faith in Sears. She swears she will never shop at Sears again. She has thrown out her catalogues.

Customer service in so many companies has been outsourced and reponses mechanised to the point where we might as well be dealing with robots. Your mission statement says "Build customer relationships", "Make more money" and "Improve every day." I know you're doing one of the three because you still have my mother's money. Please tell me you stand behind the other two.

Here is the purchase information: [withheld in blog post]

Best Regards,

Michelle Peer
[contact info withheld in blog post]