I know I rant about various businesses and their lame attempts at customer service but if I don’t squeal then who will watch out for other consumers? My latest commerce disaster was with Sears. They have officially moved into the number one position on the “do not patron” list. Not only will I NEVER shop there again, I will go out of my way to tell whoever will listen how bad they are. I am what the experts call a “detractor.” I contribute to the lower overall net promoter score of this backward, lame company. If you think I’m overreacting, just know that when I Googled “Sears sucks” I got 477,000 results. Hmmm.

They are a perfect example of what is undeniably happening in our society—creative destruction—which in extreme layman’s terms is the crumbling of an economic system and the rebuilding of a new one. What happens is old behemoths like Sears get stuck in processes and policies and can’t adapt fast enough to the changing market. They spiral downward as entrepreneurs who can and do adapt, take market share away. Unfortunately this usually means job losses until the innovative entrepreneurs start hiring. So Sears—when a customer calls you and is at their last straw because of your incompetence, don’t tell them you can’t help because it’s been “processed.”

Here is some advice (free of charge this one and only time) for the senior management team of Sears. Get your entire staff to learn the concept of taking the initiative, teach them proper communications skills, train them on how to do their jobs with competence, and empower them to help your customers. Or, go by the way of the 8-track tape—dead and no one cares. So with that said, goodbye and good riddance Sears.

On a positive note, a friend I used to work with referred me to an excellent contractor who was an absolute joy to work with. He came on a Saturday (on time) to fix my roof and went above and beyond what I asked him to. He was kind, polite, and extremely competent. I would be happy to refer him to any of you if you have work on your house that needs to be done!

Consumers unite! Tell your stories, good and bad, so the good get our business and the bad don’t get rewarded.

Sears: Tombstones Sears Catalogue