BBB says Sears has dramatically improved complaint handling

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Better Business Bureau said Sears has dramatically improved how it handles complaints.

The retail giant has also solved problems for people who called the I-Team, including one woman who now has a new dishwasher.

Sandra Killion said goodbye to scrubbing dishes in the sink and hello to her new replacement dishwasher.

"This is the new dishwasher. It's black, it's shiny like I asked and you open it up its all silver inside and it looks nice and pretty," she said.

But she waited eight months for it because she couldn't get Sears to replace her broken dishwasher under warranty.

In February the I-Team found the retailer had an NR, or "no rating" with the BB for a spike in open, unresolved complaints. Shortly before the story aired the grade was back up to its longstanding A. Now it's a B+. As of this week, the BBB said that Sears had no unanswered or unsettled complaints in file.

Sears said it was resolving open complaints all along and blamed "an administrative issue that created a delay in reporting case status back to the BBB." The said it never affected "our level of customer service."

"Well I think that's good on their part and Sears has been around a long time. When I was a child I remember my parents buying Sears appliances; that's all we knew," Killion said.

Four other customers mentioned in the previous I-Team report said they've received replacement products as well.

For those other customers, Sears said some of their resolutions were exceptions or courtesies because the customers did not follow the "clearly stated" policies.

When buying any high price item make sure you know a store's return policy.

The BBB said since the I-Team's story aired they have seen a "significant improvement" on how fast Sears resolves complaints.
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