Sears Tells You Your Order Is In Stock, Even If It's Not

Here’s a good way to lose customers. Tell them that their order is in stock and ready to be picked up, even though it is not. Hey, at least they came in, right? Maybe they’ll buy some gum on their way out of the store… forever.

Reader Andrew writes in to tell us of a policy confessed to him by no less than 3 Sears employees. In fact, we’ve received several complaints about this very behavior, and lo and behold: We’ve even written about it.

Here’s how it goes. You go to Sears’ website. You look up an item. You type in your zip code. The Sears website says your item is In Stock (pending email confirmation.) You go ahead with the order. You get an email telling you that your item is ready to be picked up. It’s not. Why?

Sears confirms every order, regardless of whether it’s actually in the store. After the jump read several complaints about this policy, including Sears’ response.

Andrew writes:

I was absolutely shocked to find out about a Sears policy relating to Web sales.

When you buy through Sears.com, as you probably know, you can opt to pick items up at the local store. The Web site will even tell you if it’s in stock there.

The Sears.com system checks the store’s inventory, but to make sure the information is correct (i.e., that it is in stock) the local Sears store sends you its own e-mail telling you it’s ready for pickup.

Here’s the rub: The policy for local stores is “accept every order.” In other words, whether or not it’s actually in stock, say that it is. The idea, I guess, is to at least get people to come to the store.

I was told this by the guys working in the customer pick-up area of my local Sears. I went to pick up a car seat that I was told was in stock and ready. (“Thank you for shopping with sears.com. Your order #015977560 containing the item(s) listed below is now ready to be picked-up.”)

But it wasn’t ready because the store was out of stock. But the Sears policy of “accept every order” meant the e-mail gets sent out regardless, according to not one but three guys in the warehouse.

They were apologetic (and it wasn’t their fault), and one even told me — and this is a quote, “Eighty percent of the Internet orders have problems.”

I can imagine, considering Sears’s policy of ‘bring ‘em in regardless.’

Edward sends this exchange with Sears customer service:

—-Original Message—– From: Sent: Mar 7, 2007 6:03:43 PM CST To: order@customerservice.sears.com

Name: Edward E-Mail Address: Browser/Operating System: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: 1.8.1.2) Gecko/20070219 Firefox/2.0.0.2

Comments: I bought an item online for store pickup today (March 7, 2007).

Sears.com indicated it was in stock.

Then I got an email confirming–yes, it’s ready for pickup, but call first.

I called that store.

First no one answered.

Then I finally got the right department. The clerk said he’d have to go look for the item and call me back.

He never did.

I called back. The person in merchandise pickup told me the item wasn’t in stock. I asked when it would be. He said it wouldn’t. He claimed he couldn’t order it for me to pickup.

He suggested calling every other Sears store in the area to see if anyone had the item.

I thought that’s what Sears.com was for.

Couldn’t he look at the inventory of other Sears stores? No, he couldn’t And he said Sears.com couldn’t either.

Your “service” of ordering for in-store pick-up is no service at all.

You don’t know if the items are available.

No store can tell the customer if any item is available elsewhere.

All the fellow in merchandise pickup could tell me was to order the item from Sears.com < http://sears.com/> for shipping.

I don’t want the item shipped. I want to pick it up.

You present only the illusion of being one unified company. Instead, you are nothing but a web site and a bunch of stores with no sharing of information.

The result is awful customer service.

I was ordering an adapter I need for one of your products. Since I can’t get it, I’ll just return the product.

Total sales for Sears: $ 0.

Congratulations.

Your system has been completely effective in discouraging sales.

It’s almost as if you designed it that way.

Sincerely, Edward

On 3/7/07, order@customerservice.sears.com < order@customerservice.sears.com> wrote:

Please include the following line in all replies. Tracking number: UT20070307_0000003568

Dear Mr.

Thank you for contacting Sears regarding order number 015275280.

We apologize for the difficulties that you have experienced with the order referenced above. It is our goal at Sears to make every shopping experience a great one from start to finish. Obviously we did not meet

that goal in your situation. We again apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you.

If you are still interested in the item we would be more than happy to

have the item sent to your home. Due to your inconvenience, we would be more than happy to refund your shipping for the item, as well as give you 5% off the the price off the item. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please phone in your order at 1-800-349-4358, and refer to your previous order number, 015275280.

At Sears we value you as a customer and we value your business. If you have additional questions or comments please contact us. Sears uses customer feedback in the review and planning of current and future policies, procedures and website enhancements. Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.

Marissa S. Sears Customer Care 1-800-349-4358 webcenter@customerservice.sears.com

-

—–Original Message—– From: “Edward” <> Sent: Mar 8, 2007 12:43:13 AM GMT-06:00 To: ” order@customerservice.sears.com ”

Dear Marissa,

I appreciate the offer of a discount and free shipping.

I do not, however, want to wait for the item to arrive. I think three days is your shortest window for shipping. With in-store pickup, I was hoping simply to get the item the same day.

I can’t understand why the item can’t be sent to the store through your own shipping. Presumably items arrive everyday. Why this item can’t be added I don’t quite understand.

The problem you don’t mention is that in-store pickup is really an illusion–an empty promise.

Ordering something for in-store pickup implies NO guarantee that the item is *available* for in-store pickup.

Hence it’s meaningless.

That makes Sears.com just that much less useful.

Basically, one simply has to call or go to the store to find out if the item is or isn’t available.

Sincerely, Ed

On 3/8/07, order@customerservice.sears.com wrote:

Please include the following line in all replies. Tracking number: UT20070308_0000000041

Dear Mr. ,

Thank you for your recent e-mail correspondence regarding your recent experience with picking up merchandise that was not in the store after being told it was. Please be assured that we understand your frustration, and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

By sharing your concerns, you have enabled us to address the issues and provide feedback to the appropriate person. Truly, your remarks provide forthright feedback that will enable Sears to achieve excellence in everything we do.

We appreciate your business, and value you as a Sears customer. We certainly hope you will continue to make Sears your choice for quality and value.

Again, we thank you for taking the time to contact our office with your concern.

Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore, NordicTrack, Craftsman and Reebok. Sincerely,

Zane B. Sears Customer Care webcenter@customerservice.sears.com 1-800-349-4358

—–Original Message—– From: “Edward Sent: Mar 8, 2007 12:29:38 PM CST To: “order@customerservice.sears.com” < order@customerservice.sears.com>

Dear Zane,

I’ve contacted various consumer-oriented web sites about the inaccurate claims you make regarding your in-store pick-up service.

Below, I’ve quoted the exact passage from the Sears.com email. It includes the words: “Your order…is now ready to be picked up.”

That is blatantly false. The fact is: the customer is not really ordering an item that is available in the store. You merely pretend to know the item’s availability.

The goal of your so-called service is merely to get the customer to call the store to check. That is not a service. You merely transmit a order that may or may not be one the store can fulfill.

Your site and emails make representations otherwise–e.g., “Your order…is now ready to be picked up.”

You should not offer a “service” that does not exist. It is unethical and a waste of consumer time.

To truly improve your service, as you claim you want to do, would involve:

the web site being connected to the individual store inventories; one store being able to look at the inventory of another store to check availability; transferring items from store to store, if need be; shipping items to the stores for pickup rather than insisting (as your San Bruno store clerk did) that special orders and online orders are different and cannot be mixed.

As is, you have a runaround masquerading as a service to cover your company’s inability to know what’s where.

Good grief, man: they’re computers. They can be networked. Why can’t each network access the other databases? The technology exists….

Sincerely, Edward

*Dear Edward,*

Please scan at Merchandise Pick-Up *Thank you for shopping with sears.com. Your order #015275280 containing the item(s) listed below is now ready to be picked up. * IMPORTANT: This store has multiple pick-up locations, based on the type of merchandise you ordered. Before you pick up your order, call the Sears 1178 EL CAMINO REAL store at 650-553-8800 and:

* choose option 2 for Store Information; * At the voice prompt, say “Merchandise Pick Up” * Advise the associate that you have placed a sears.com Store Pick Up order, for the items listed below, and that you are requesting a pick up location.

Please be sure to take this email along with you to the “Merchandise Pick-Up Area” at the store listed below. Also, you must keep this receipt for in-store and mail-in returns. If you purchased by credit card, be sure to bring your purchasing credit card along with you as well. If you purchased by gift card only this email will be sufficient. Please see below for more detailed instructions on how to pick-up your merchandise today.

———- Forwarded message ———- From: order@customerservice.sears.com Date: Mar 8, 2007 2:42 PM Subject: Re: Order Status Request To:

Please include the following line in all replies. Tracking number: UT20070308_0000002032

Dear Mr.

Thank you for your recent e-mail correspondence regarding order number 015275280.

Please be assured that we understand your frustration, and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced with your order.

By sharing your concerns, you have enabled us to address the issues and provide feedback to the appropriate person. Truly, your remarks provide forthright feedback that will enable Sears to achieve excellence in everything we do.

At Sears we value you as a customer and we value your business. Again, we thank you for taking time to contact our office with your concern.

Thank you for choosing Sears and have a great day.

Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore, NordicTrack, Craftsman and Reebok.

Christina V. Sears Customer Care webcenter@customerservice. sears.com 1-800-349-4358

Thanks Sears, for listening to Ed’s “forthright feedback.”

Remember: Just because Sears says your item is available, doesn’t mean it is. —MEGHANN MARCO

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Good grief, man: they’re computers. They can be networked.

    Best line.

    Seriously, how does lying to your customer and wasting their time convince them to spend money in your store? It doesn’t make sense.

  2. polarogak says:

    Same thing happened to me recently with a CompUSA. The associate explained to me that sometimes the computer isn’t always up-to-date. That’s the point of computers, they CAN always be up-to-date. In fact, you can update them more than once a day! Several times, in fact. I would go so far as to imagine that you could make it so that the computers update every time a customer buys an item, thus providing a real time inventory on your web site.

  3. JohnMc says:

    Hmmm, as much as I generally don’t like dealing with lawyers, this is the exact situation where one needs one to file a class action suit. Here’s a case where the inconvenience has some national import. Edward consumed gas needsly to presumably improve Sears bottom line. Considering how many others has also done this and the size of Sears customer base the sum of money is probalby pretty high.

    Edward should file for $6 of loss of property (gas @ $3/gal) and about $15million for all the other Sears customers. Something like this should be stopped as a practice. Sometimes a little financial pain is what is needed to change the Suits minds.

  4. Syd says:

    Ugh, this has happened to me with Best Buy about 80% of the time that I use the In-Store Pickup option. I have no idea why I abuse myself and risk driving out there every time. The Customer Service/In-Store Pickup line is always understaffed and when the item IS actually there they take five to ten minutes to find it in the backroom.

    I’d be better off just ordering it online and getting the free shipping instead of paying sales tax anyway.

  5. chipslave says:

    @Syd:

    You will pay sales tax if BB has a physical store in the state you are having the item shipped to.

  6. joeblevins says:

    Sears has always stunk in all the ways imaginable. But then, what chain store doesn’t now a days. I loved how the CSRs with americanized names always responed with a little blurb, then a huge canned response with an ad thrown in for good measure.

    At no point did they address the issue of correcting their system.

  7. quagmire0 says:

    Pretty sad that a company that has been around as long as Sears is so far behind in the technology game. I think it’s inexcusable these days for a company NOT to have an automated system what has real-time inventory. I can understand if a website puts up a limited quantity of product and demand is so fast and furious that they blow through their stock. But to send a confirmation email FROM THE STORE (where inventory *could* be validated) is just plain wrong.

  8. waffle iron says:

    I work at a Sears and as an electronics employee, most of my big sales have to be picked up from Merchandise Pick Up. There are a bunch problems with the Sears.com stock tracking.

    1. The floor model is always included in inventory, so all electronics items will always indicate one is in stock. They know what we’re supposed to have on display, but sometimes Sears.com doesn’t take that into account. Sometimes we might have multiple on the floor in the case of the of TV stands. Also with small item returns, like cameras, we don’t take the time to take them to the back lockups.

    2. The stock numbers are only sent to Sears.com from the store once, maybe twice a day. This means that the data can be desynchronized.

    But at my store, we don’t do a lot of online sales so that’s not the problem. It’s:

    3. The inventory numbers that are in our computer system can be and often are wrong. If I look up an item and it says we have less than 5 of it, I generally go back into the warehouse and check myself. Yesterday I didn’t check when the computer said we had 4 Kodak Digital Picture frames. I thought that three would be a safe margin (1 floor model), but it turns out we were out. I couldn’t have checked anyway because it takes finding a MPU employee or ASM to escort me into the secure lockup and ASMs don’t like to do it and we’re severely understaffed at Pickup.

    And to add insult to injury:

    4. As the MPU guys said to the customer who didn’t get their picture frame, sometimes online orders mess up our store inventory numbers.

    5. Back to the larger question of why our numbers are messed up. For one, there probably is some retail theft, but we’re a small store so it’s probably not as bad as inventory mismanagement.

    The other thing that is still killing us is Black Friday. During Black Friday, we opened early and there was so much activity in the store and nationally that it brought our computer registers to a crawl. They still processed sales, but in offline mode where they rectify the sales with our server later. While in offline mode, the systems can’t pull up prices or item information and don’t interact with the inventory database. Luckily right now a lot of the stuff we sold during that time is now plain discontinued.

    So those are the big reasons why whenever you want to order online, I would recommend calling the store and asking the employee to check with their eyes, not the computer.

  9. VA_White says:

    I hate Wal-Mart but they can tell, in real time, exactly how many pop-tarts are in any store in the country. Their POS system is a wonder of technology from the vendor side. We could see, hour by hour, how our items were selling by store.

  10. quantum-shaman says:

    @VA_White: We should dump the TSA/FBI/INS and hire Wal-Mart.

  11. mantari says:

    I think the original poster pretty muched summed up the problem. People at the stores are not actually verifying inventory and getting them items together before they claim to be able to fufill an order.

    The original poster says they’ve got it backwards. They accept an order, telling the buyer that everything is ready to pick up, then they go looking for the items. And then, if the items can’t be found, the buyer isn’t even notified of that.

  12. Buran says:

    @waffle-iron: I’m hearing-impaired. I’ve gotten the “website doesn’t work, call us” BS before. My response to THAT is to send an explanation of the above — and a copy of the order confirmation from amazon.com which is happy to not only tell me accurately if my order is in stock, and ship it to me for free while charging a better price than most stores, including Sears — and do it without assuming everyone can hear.

    I’ve even got the “call us” crap from stores AFTER I’ve already emailed explaining why I can’t use the phone. That’s not just rude, it’s downright unacceptable — and it usually leads to me writing a complaint letter about the idiotic employee who can’t read and discriminates against the disabled.

  13. mantari says:

    @Buran: “Call us” is code for, “We don’t know what we’re doing. The system is messed up. You need to get in touch with someone who is close to what you want done, in order to make sure it is done right.”

  14. eeebee says:

    This is not new behavior on Sears’ part. When I was in college (I graduated in ’83) my dad sent my brother to Sears to get one of those big red toolboxes with drawers. He paid for the toolbox in the store, went over to the warehouse to pick it up and sure enough, not in stock. My brother was in high school at the time so no one would listen to him back at the store. I don’t know what the resolution was with the toolbox but my dad, who was pretty much Mr. Craftsman Tools, stopped shopping at Sears.

  15. acambras says:

    @polarogak:
    Funny, you would think that a store called CompUSA could manage its inventory on — um — computers.

    Sears has gone to shit over the years, both in merchandise quality and the quality of “customer service.”

  16. crnk says:

    “Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore, NordicTrack, Craftsman and Reebok.”

    So that is how they end the second response about his displeasure with business with them….reminds me of canceling AOL, they told me i didn’t have an account and were billing me, and when i told them to cancel the account they couldn’t find, they told me I didn’t need to stop service with them and they had other great products so I could UPGRADE instead.
    I’m giving a big thumbs down on scammy and underhanded marketing, along with no business to sears for doing that.

  17. What’s totally aggravating is most of those non-responsive responses are just canned corporate e-mails that DO NOT RELATE IN ANY WAY to the quesiton asked. That drives me BATSHIT. When you respond to their first response and say “Um, no, that wasn’t what I asked” it should get kicked to a real person who answers real questions with real answers. Not just another copy/paste stock response.

  18. coss3n says:

    It’s too bad they didn’t try to upsell you at the bricks-and-mortar store, or you’d probably have a good bait and switch case on your hands. Instead, all you have is a good reason not to shop at Sears.

    So if Sears is going to lie to me, Wal*Mart is going to joyride in my car, and BestBuy is going to look at all my (roommate’s) porn, where exactly should I go shopping?

  19. orlong says:

    I never understood the whole buy online and pick it up at the store thing. Youre going to the store ANYWAY so why bother with the online part. If your going to their website why not just order it and have it delivered. Store inventories are rarely correct in the computer as I found out from working at multiple stores. Computers cannot account for theft, items lost in transit, items that are in the store but not available to be sold due to damage etc…Which is why it is unreliable. Sure Sears is definitely wrong by telling you to come in if they KNOW they dont have it but its a dumb service to begin with. People are too lazy thee days. They always call to shop by phone, often asking how much a TV or PC is when the store carries 150 different ones. If people would just get off their lazy asses and go to the store they could find out for themselves.

  20. GirlGoneRiled says:

    @orlong: I never understood the whole buy online and pick it up at the store thing. Youre going to the store ANYWAY so why bother with the online part.

    If the system actually worked it would be great for reducing the amount of time wandering around stores looking for stuff, especially in the increasing number of places where floor staff are non-existent. I was in a department store the other day looking for a plain denim skirt and when I asked the one employee I could find if the store carried such an item she waved an arm toward the woman’s clothes (which take up most of the floor) and said, “If we do, it’s out there somewhere.” If I could’ve found the skirt online and been able to pick it up, it would’ve saved everyone involved a tremendous amount of frustration.

    Then again, wasn’t Service Merchandise based on just this kind of concept but crashed and burned anyway? Maybe frustration and anger is just a part of shopping and there’s not much we can do about it.

  21. redrobot5050 says:

    Yeah, I’ve shopped at Sears for Craftsmen tools. My friend highly recommended them to me, and he’s a lot handier, so I’m going to trust his advice. I also like a life time warranty on a product. If they break, they can be replaced. That’s why there’s such a high premium.

    Anyway, I was in the tools section and couldn’t find what I was looking for (which was a ratchet set with both english and metric units) and there were three sales clerks standing around, joking with each other, blatantly ignoring the customer that’s wandering around looking lost.

    Sears needs to stop hiring high school jokes, or if they’re going to continue hiring them, supervise them and make sure they actually care about making sales and having customers leave satisfied.

  22. Nytmare says:

    orlong: So they can find out whether or not it’s in stock before wasting their time driving to the store and back.

  23. quail says:

    The buy online and pick up at the store concept was to compete with their lost sales to the internet. Unless they ran their stores like online warehouses, then there’s always going to be problems.

    Ever since K-Mart bought Sears another generation of corporate history disappeared. One of the first crazy schemes they came up with to control costs was to raise their A/C settings in all of their stores. Places like Houston and elsewhere in the South would follow these guidelines as well.

    A corporate friend said that they planned on having the thermostat set at 78* during the day. As she talked to me on the phone packing her desk we had a good laugh over that one. I don’t think any of those corporate suits ever spent a hot, humid day in the south. Wonder how long that policy stayed in place before they changed it. Wonder too how many customers they lost over that decision.

  24. higginsrj says:

    @coss3n: Start by avoiding these kind of stores. The 10% you might wave upfront is going to cost you in these kinds of hassles, or when you need service, or need to return it. It’s just not worth it, man.

    Check prices at your local audio-video store, or a smaller regional chain. They do still exist in most places.

    If you prefer a larger store and there’s a Costco in your area, go there.

    Let’s stop supporting the big-box giants that don’t give a damn about the consumer.

  25. Lordstrom says:

    This isn’t related to the website, but I’ve received a call from Sears that something I ordered was ready to be picked up. When I arrived, the guy there said it was “still on the truck, come back tomorrow”.

    When I did go back, I asked for the $5 coupon they guarantee when the item isn’t ready in 5 minutes and instead they gave me some bullshit about the computer not being able to print it.

    I have no reason to shop at Sears again for a long, long time.

  26. legerdemain says:

    I’ve worked at Sears and Circuit City. In Sears, if you have fewer than twenty in inventory, you go put your hand on it. If it’s busy, and you found only one item, you ask around to see if anyone else is currently ringing it. I was bit multiple times, both ways.

    At Circuit City, if an item is in stock, sell it. If someone else was selling it, it would show in a different status. If it was broken, it would show in a different status. If it was on a truck, it would show in a different status. If it was open box, it would show in a different status. If it was a display item, it would show in a different status. There is a column for items that are ready to be sold as new, and if there is a quantity there, then you can sell that quantity.

    In my three years at Circuit City, I came up short an item twice. In Sears, even with my checking, there would be some issue three to five times a month. What’s more, I had to waste an extra five to ten minutes per sale making sure items were available. On top of that, the loss prevention team would call me from time to time asking me why I was in the warehouse.

    Loss prevention. Pfft. Circuit would fire maybe two people a year for loss prevention issues. Sears would fire four a month for reasons like improper markdowns. Of course, management didn’t document the markdowns they’d approved. At Circuit, all markdowns required a comment from management right then and there.

    If you start thinking about working or shopping at Sears, think twice. They have great products, but they just don’t have a good enough culture to provide service. The only shining light is their return policy and their tool and Land’s End in store exchange policies. While the return policy was tightened up (from “appropriate time” to 90 days) it’s still more liberally applied than most retailers.

  27. acambras says:

    @quail:
    A corporate friend said that they planned on having the thermostat set at 78* during the day. As she talked to me on the phone packing her desk we had a good laugh over that one. I don’t think any of those corporate suits ever spent a hot, humid day in the south. Wonder how long that policy stayed in place before they changed it. Wonder too how many customers they lost over that decision.

    Yeah, last time I went into a Sears store, the ladies’ room was absolutely filthy. We’re talking really disgusting here — peeing in a New Orleans alley on Mardi Gras weekend would have been more hygienic. Not only was the room very unclean (I’ll leave you the details to your imagination), but there were no paper towels and there was only half a roll of toilet paper for 3-4 stalls. Since a sign in the bathroom said, “If this restroom needs attention, please notify one of our friendly sales associates,” I attempted to do so. Guess what? She wasn’t so friendly. After she blew me off, I looked for a manager, but could never find one. I cut short my shopping expedition and found a bathroom elsewhere in the mall.

    F*** Sears. If they dropped off the face of the planet, I wouldn’t miss them.

  28. chipslave says:

    @acambras:

    If it makes you feel any better, I used to work at Kmart and I had to clean up feces from the ceiling of the ladies room. The celing… How do you get it up there anyway?

  29. stuffedcrust says:

    I work in merchandise pick-up at Sears. So when I tell you that Sears sucks you know I am telling you from a well informed perspective.

    The store is understaffed. The employees are underpaid and overworked (I make $6.30/hr). The software is dated. The Sears.com confirmation email contains a barcode the customer is supposed to scan at the pick-up kiosk. That barcode doesn’t scan at the pick-up kiosk. But the worst thing about Sears is they block the Consumerist on their computers.

  30. unthink says:

    I had the same experience with SportsAuthority.com twice, once was for a pair of rollerblades and the other was for a paintball gun. Both times i made sure the Online store had it in stock, then completed the order, a few hours later i get an email stating that this item is not available.

    with the rollerblads i canceled the order as it stated as being on backorder, so i waited a week and a half before calling and asking. They said they could not give me a date on when it would be available, so i canceled my order.

    To their credit when i called a CSR about the paintball gun they let me order a different color gun and arranged it so i would not be paying the additional shipping costs with shipping me a different gun as they notified me AFTER i placed the whole order.

    Coming from an IT perspective, this issue should not be happening if they would integrate their webservers with the proper databases. Unless it is their intention to trick the customer into ordering and waiting for them to order the product from someone else. I’d rather see it’s not available and order somewhere else.

  31. Buran says:

    @mantari: Which is what I do — I’ve never had a problem with amazon.com.

    If the person replying to me can’t help me by answering my question, why can’t they use that shiny “forward” button and send it to someone who can?

    Lazy gits.

  32. Nekoincardine says:

    I’d just like to note that Sears’ lack of computer networking is not alone in that industry; most retailers are that shitty with their handling of these things. In fact, those that aren’t are kind of minority, I’ve found.

    All the online order ‘convienience’ in the world won’t help when the companies are rutted so deep (100+ years deep in Sears’ case isn’t it?) that they can’t seriously imagine breaking from it too significantly. If you’re ordering online, you may as well hit dedicated sites – ones that are rutted into THAT model ought to handle it much more effectively. Or just, I dunno, shop local independent retailers. Not only should you feel warm and fuzzy supporting guys who REALLY need it, but if you get screwed THERE, bitch-slapping the manager is on the table of options. (Unless it’s a mafia joint.) Knowing this really makes you feel better, trust me. (My mother has done this before, and it worked.)

  33. loudguitars says:

    Wow, sounds like I lucked out. I bought a new window a/c unit from them online for in-store pickup last month and had no problems whatsoever.

    Maybe the customer service is just better at the store I went to (3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica, CA). Weird, I usually end up amongst the multitudes with horrific problems.

  34. krunk4ever says:

    that’s interesting. the last time i made an order for in-store pickup at Sears, they called and told me the item was out of stock.

    maybe it’s just some particular sears policy to get customers to come in.

  35. mantari says:

    @acambras: “F*** Sears. If they dropped off the face of the planet, I wouldn’t miss them.”

    When the aging baby boomers start dying off, if Sears hasn’t reinvented itself by then, it should be soon to follow.

  36. FromThisSoil says:

    They’re doing this to people online, too?

    I wanted to get a digital camera as an Xmas gift for someone. After doing my research, I saw that Sears had a sale on the model I wanted to get.

    I went into their electronics department and bought it. Of course they don’t have them in the actual department, I had to get it from customer pickup. When I got down there I was told that they didn’t have any in stock. How can they sell me a product they don’t have in stock?

    I head back for a refund and they tell me I won’t see the money back on my debit card for 5-7 business days or I can wait a week for it to come back in stock. As Xmas was closing in, I decided to wait (either wait a week and have the camera or wait a week and have nothing). A week went by, still no camera. I ended up having to drive 15 miles to another Sears to pick it up.

    I vowed never to buy electronics from Sears ever again.

  37. homeslicer says:

    sounds like a best buy story i just had. drove 30 miles to a best buy only to wait there for an hour while they find my tv stand that doesnt ever showup. i dont understand how i got the order is ready email. normaly bust buy is good like that. and i get a email saying not available for instore before i take the drive. but not this time…….i hate best buy!!!!!!!!!!!!!i was mellow till the manager said he wouldnt do anything for me. and then came my yelling and screaming and all i got was a $15 gift card. and said if i dont leave he callin the cops.should of let him but i didnt want to waste anymore of my time. already phuckin wasted 2 hours sitting in traffic goin to the damn store. i aint givin them no more money.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Hey guys, so yes i do work in a local sears mall store in the Merchandise Pickup department. the policy is antiquated as are our systems yes. though i must say the stores that you people dealt with are missing a crucial part of the process, the way it works at my store is if you cant find the item you give the customer’s information to a manager or salesmen and they call you to redo the order correctly so as to either A) reorder the item to be sent to the store or B) find a local store that does have the item or C) get some form of a replacement item of greater value for the price you paid. still the “just say yes” policy is quite backwards, why even give us the option of hitting no?