Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sears frustrations

So I told mom that I'd bring in the lawnmower for a tune up and blade sharpening, and need to find out where to take it and when they're open. I go to and despite probably over 500 different clickable thingies on their front page, there's nothing at all related to service or repair. Near the top there's a very small 'customer service' link, so I click that and get another page with about another 100 clickable thingies. Nothing about repairs or depot locators, so I notice the line "Help is always available at 1-800-26-SEARS" and call them. I get a real human immediately, no menus to navigate -- impressive. But then they tell me to call (they don't transfer me, I have to commit this number immediately to my brain without them even prompting me to grab a pencil or something) 1-800-469-4663. I call that number, navigate several voice menu options down to the point where it asks me for my model and serial number... Just to find out where your depot is??? I don't know, it's mom's mower, so I hit the button for an agent which puts me on hold in a long queue, with french speaking information. Oh oh. I get an agent who's English is rough, who transfers me to yet another agent who's English is rougher, who offers to transfer me yet again. He transfer me, wait for it, back to the top of the menu system that wanted my model and serial number! I've got nothing else to try here so I navigate through the damned thing again and drill down to another agent. This one speaks English quite well and is immediately helpful, and gives me the address on Cherry Blossom Road in Cambridge. Hooray! But before I can think to ask what their hours are (will they be open if I can only get there after 5:00?) the call is over. Drat. I go back to my computer and being a little cleverer this time, go straight to and look up Sears in Cambridge. Sweet! There's the repair depot on Cherry Blossom Road, and it's phone number is... 1-800-469-4663. Oh wait.

Seriously, how damned hard is it to set up a web site and 800 number that lets you know where your repair depots are and when the damned things are open? For a company with such a great reputation for product longevity and service, they sure screwed the pooch on this one.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Damn I'd love to do this

A good friend just asked me if I'd like to do this wonderful trip to Ghana, four weeks spent building a school dormitory and setting up a girls scholarship fund, plus two weeks of self-directed tourism/community service work. Man, what a trip of a lifetime! Unfortunately I don't want to be away from Tammy that long, have conflicting plans to attend the Canadian Grand Prix again this year with a friend, and feel weird about arranging to take that much time off of work. I wonder how much of the baggage of being an adult I'll be able to shake off once Tammy is gone... Will I do this next year, the year after? I'd like to. I really think I'd like to.

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