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This Time I’m Not the Asshole (other times I absolutely was)

If you look at my twitter ID today (and probably for the next week or two) you’ll see this.

jessica gottlieb sears


If you read Francisco Dao’s latest diatribe you’ll be tempted to identify me as one of the assholes he’s calling out. One of those useless social media people who just attack brands. Well, that’s not quite the case here and I want to clear it up and address some other things too.

In October of 2011 I bought a vacuum.

kenmore vacuum receipt


I love a clean house and if you have pets or stairs a canister vacuum is the way to go. I bought the Kenmore because my friend Ciaran recommended it. Unfortunately the first Kenmore lasted just shy of four months and there were some issues with the warranty. I was days out of the replacement period and having worked with Sears before (though I’m guessing never again) I contacted the folks I knew and asked if I could please get a replacement vacuum. They were very nice about it and the email even said:

Regarding your vacuum, we have several options here – or perhaps a combination of them. First off, I will forward your email to our support team, because you should have that vacuum replaced either way, as it has failed you.

That said, we have a new vacuum on market this month, and I would be happy to send you one if you’d be willing to review it. Just let me know. This will be a much better vacuum than the one we could get you otherwise.

I declined because I really just wanted customer service and I didn’t feel like working for an upgrade. I also felt conflicted about sending folks to buy from a brand that didn’t work out well for me. Incidentally my washer and dryer are still magnificent so I’m happy I sent people to buy those.

So I got a replacement vacuum in March of 2012 and I was happy with it until two weeks ago when it fell apart. I did what every consumer does. I called my local store to arrange for warranty work. They kept me on the phone for half an hour explaining to me that it was over a year old (October 2011?) and they couldn’t help me. A supervisor was put on the phone and told me that I needed to speak to the internet team. The internet team kept me on the phone for half an hour and explained to me that my vacuum was out of warranty as it was over a year old.

I’m not seriously annoyed.

Last friday I had this exchange.


And then this one

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.24.27 AM

Which was weird and insulting. A phone call can’t be made at 4 in the afternoon? I’d have to wait until Tuesday? Okay…

A week later I’m still getting the same thing from Sears and please keep in mind that I’ve spent $500 on a vacuum. I’ve used no discounts. I’ve asked for absolutely nothing special. I’ve declined their offers for free stuff because I don’t want to be beholden. All I want is a warranty honored.

After a twitter twantrum today I was actually able to get a phone call from Sears and they directed me to the repair office in Burbank. Which is awesome and will only take a little over an hour of my day.


I get to drop off my broken vacuum and wait for them to fix it. This would have been a fine resolution last week but since it’s a week later it’s an insulting one and I’ve decided that for as long as it takes to get my vacuum back I’ll leave it as my bio picture. Since there was zero urgency for Sears to respond to me I feel zero urgency to go back to my smiling picture.

And I guess I feel defensive about this because of Francisco’s bizarre rant. He uses Pando Daily to show the world he is a professional. Some excerpts from his Super Dee Duper Smart Post:

it’s time we called a spade a spade and declare the entire world of social media, and so called influencers, as little more than a giant douchebag scam

And if you think it does, you’re a colossal piece of shit. [that’s actually the whole sentence]

Why the fuck would she bring a full sized dog to a car dealership and assume it’s okay? Not everybody loves dogs. Apparently, she has service animal papers that she forgot to bring so she started accusing the dealership of not welcoming the disabled. I’ve known this person for several years and she is neither blind, deaf, nor has any visible disabilities that would require a dog. So why is it the dealership’s fault that she forgot her papers? [oh hi world! I’m Francisco Dao and I’ve been to Medical School]

You are an arrogant, entitled scumbag.

In that wake of that incredible piece of journalism I felt like I had to explain just why it is that I’m using twitter to get my $500 vacuum working… again.

11 thoughts on “This Time I’m Not the Asshole (other times I absolutely was)”

  1. Oh yes, I caught this article and boy did it annoy me. So did another one I read of his on Pando. I rarely read that site (only when a friend sends a link), but I’ve caught his articles two or three times while there and…oy. In this particular one, I had the feeling you were one of the people he referenced, and even if you weren’t (how could I know for sure?), I still felt like the article was over the top. And I’m not even an animal person :-)

    1. he wasn’t referencing me. It doesn’t even matter who he’s referencing because it’s a rant rather than an article.

      But I do see that if someone looked at my twitter page without any background they’d see me as an entitled asshat so I wanted to clear that up before it began.

      1. Ok, I saw dog and thought “Jessica has a dog…it’s a really small one though…and I’m pretty sure it isn’t a service animal.” Sorry, I can’t remember if your dog is male or female!

    2. You guys did see the tweets he is referring to, right? If not, I’ll share them with you. You might feel differently after you read how this SM expert when bananas on Ford because SHE FORGOT HER PAPERWORK. How can a company change rules based on the health department policies to accomodate one person who didn’t do the work she had to do?

      1. No – are they posted somewhere? I mean, aside from Twitter? I didn’t see them on the article, I clearly don’t know the person he’s referencing, and even though I’ve been following him on Twitter for years, I never seem to see FD’s tweets in my feed.

        So, if this particular lady and a few other people are awful, that’s one thing. It’s bad, but I think it is a huge leap to calling *social media* a scam. People on social media slammed that Reviewer Card thing so fast and hard and that definitely seems like a scam. Not everyone uses social media to “get stuff” and I’d say the vast majority of people out there just use it to keep in touch with friends and family…

  2. I haven’t read Francisco’s article, but in general I agree that there are some influencers who misuse their perceived Twitter power to coerce or shame brands into special consideration. I don’t think getting your vacuum fixed falls under that category, but I can imagine several people this might have happened to who’d be demanding a free vacuum and one to spare, along with a public apology and someone’s head.

  3. It’s interesting that we just had a guest post on my site today about Social Care, and then I found your post through EAve demonstrating a particularly awful case of non-Care. As many have stated, customer service through social media is becoming the norm, and businesses that fail to realize that risk not only alienating their clients, but facing public backlash via Twitter and other mediums.

    Thanks for sharing, and definitely keep us posted!!

  4. Honestly, I have no issue with the channels you went through. The only thing I think is silly is the “I can’t get a call at 4 pm” thing, and mainly because I work in an industry that deals with that sort of “I am the most important person in the world” entitled attitude all day long. The question is reasonable, why can’t you get a call back at 4 pm? I will give the reasonable answer. This social media person the company hired cannot fix your issue, only route it to the people that can. No one person on the customer service level has that kind of godlike power to fix every issue. They have to send it to someone who can do something.

    Now, this may come as a shocker, but that person has not sat around bored all day waiting for you. They have been helping people all day. They have an inbox full of other issues, from other people, who I am sure all feel important enough that their issue should be pushed to the front of the line. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Your issue has to get in line behind all of the other beautiful individual snowflakes. Those people made contact a day or more ago, and you just have to suck it up and get in line behind them. Same with the repair. Other people were ahead of you, and you have to wait. Just because you can’t see the line doesn’t mean you should be able to jump to the front of it. Do you deserve decent customer service? Of course you do. But no more than the people ahead of you in line.

    And a tip to everyone, contacting over and over after being asked for patience does not speed things up. If anything it slows the process as you jam up everyone’s inbox with repeats of the same thing.

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