Tuesday, November 15, 2005

UPDATE: I got another phone call after I wrote this post. So if you have read it already, scroll to the bottom for details!!! If you haven't read it yet, what are you waitiing for?!

So anyway, about Sears Portrait Studio. I wanted to wait to tell you about this until I found out the end result.

I had made an appointment for Saturday at 6:30. They called me 2 times to verify my appointment and make sure I would be there on time. As you know, Monkeyville is in the middle of nowhere so this is the closest place to go, and it's an hour and 15 minutes or so away. I had timed the appointment according to the wildmonkey mood-ometer. I started getting the girls psyched up and prepared the day before. They were dressed so cute and in a wonderful mood. Bob and Sue went with us as monkey wranglers.

We got to Sears at 6:15 and there were 3 other groups waiting to get their pictures taken, not to mention that it was hot as blue blazes in up in there. There was ONE count her ONE girl working and she was running around like the proverbial chicken with no head and sweating like a pig. (I love barnyard similes, don't you?) She told me they were running a "little"behind schedule and there were 2 people in front of me.

"Give it to me straight," I said, "How long???" "An hour." she says. Dude. I was agitated. But okay, I came all this way, I would wait. She took my cell phone number so if it was less than an hour she would call and we walked the monkeys out into the mall. They had this playground thingy there so that was good and they burnt some energy climbing and running while their perfect clothes and hairdo starting lookin' wild and wooly, but hey, I was still okay.

We got no phone call and returned in an hour. There were MORE PEOPLE WAITING. Another girl was working then and she had a mega attitude issue. I explained what was going on and she told us there were now 2 DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN FRONT OF US. What?! Yet, I remained calm. The other first chick came out and was calling last names for appointments and most hadn't even shown up. They had booked like 12 people for a 2 hour period of time.
monkey camera2
That was 7:30. We decided to walk around Sears for a while and we of course ended up purchasing some irresistible outfits on a 50% off sale. I went back up to the counter at 8:15 and asked again what was happening. This girl doesn't even look up and says to k8 "Siddown, we'll call you." (Oh no you dittent honey, you done gone and made k8 real real mad now)

I tried to explain to her politely that I had driven 1.5 hours, my kids were getting tired not to mention hungry, and I needed my daggon pictures taken. Alas, no dice. They couldn't do anything else and they couldn't call the store manager bc they're not owned by Sears, they're owned by another company who uses the Sears name. I left extremely agitated, and with the Customer Service number, which of course was on voicemail til Monday.

Fast forward to yesterday. First I called the 1-888 Customer Service hotline. I really tried not to sound like a ranting maniac and explained what had happened. She took my name and address and told me she forward my complaint to "Upper Level Management" which we all know means the Upper Level of the Trashcan. "Is that all????" I asked. They would send a coupon for one free portrait sheet with my next appointment. You must be kidding me. No, that was all she could do. She had no info about any regional or any other management to call bc "she is just an operator with no clue about that." Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllrighty then. By the time I hung up I bound and determined to find out what was up with these people.

I called back directly to the scene of the crime to get another number and they wanted to offer me a coupon. A COUPON????? For one free 8X10. Because they couldn't help it- they were busy that day and for my information they were busy Sunday all day too so I'm not the only one who had to wait. (switch in k8's brain clicks on to maniac- on-a- mission mode)

I went on their website. On the last page in little letters was the name of the corporation who owns them. I went on a search and found the name address and phone number of their HQ in St Louis, Missouri as well as the name of their CEO. I found out they made like 245 million last year. I called and of course they have it set up so you can't get through to a real live human bean unless you know an extension number. I did however, have their fax number.

I typed up a nice, non aggressive complaint letter to Paul Rasmussen, the CEO of CPI Corp, and faxed it straight to him. My one friend was like "You're freakin nutso" and my other friend was like "They ain't never gonna do that." (I requested a personal call from the District Manager after she had spoken to the 2 employees involved, as well as a voucher for 100.00 worth of products. She told me if I got anything it would be like 25.00.) I requested a reply within 2 weeks.

Last night after I got the monks out of the tub the phone rang. It was my special new best friend, Tracy something, the regional supervisor, offering her profuse and heartfelt apologies on behalf of Sears Portrait Studios and begging my forgiveness. I did not make her grovel but I was impressed with her kissingup abilities nonetheless. She told me my 100.00 certificate was being mailed out tomorrow and she would like to reschedule me for any day any time with the promise that I would never have to wait there again and as soon as I got there I would be taken straight back to the studio.

Of course as soon as I got off the phone I had to call up my doubting friends and inform them- ha! But I really wasn't expecting any action that fast, to be truthful. It was a beautiful moment regardless. THE LITTLE MAN WINS! (crowd goes wild)

To sum it all up: 1. please don't tick me off 2. Sears has cute clothes for kids.

UPDATE: After I wrote this I got another phone call. Actually it was a voice mail on my cell phone. Guess who? Yep. Paul Rasmussen, the CEO man himself. He was calling to make sure I had been contacted and that everything had been resolved according to my wishes. He wants me to use Sears again and he guarantees I will have no problems. He also wanted to make sure I enjoy using my 100 buck voucher. Yesiree buddy...supersize enlargements... here I come!!

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Who's the Monkey Mama?

Location: Planet Twinstar, Monkeyville, United States

I'm a real live human person...the slightly wacky mom of 6 year old identical twin primate princesses and one 2year old monkeyboy. I'm divorced from a crazy baboon and remarried to a big snuggly gorilla. I thank God daily for my wonderful family and friends, without whom I would go berserk. My chirren are the cutest kids ever born (besides yours) and if you don't believe that you obviously need to see a shrink.

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