Four Months Later, The Fridge You Paid Sears To Remove Is Still Sitting There

As with many of the real life stories on your site, ours is filled with astonishment, confusion and anger. It began in August of this year and continues until today. I write to you mainly so that other avid readers of your site may consider whether or not they should ever make a major purchase from Sears, and of course with the small hope that of the two or three staff at Sears who care about customer service would respond and end this saga for us.

What follows are the exact text excerpts, other than our phone number being removed from the first post, from the Better Business Bureau complaint that we have made, Case# 1168481. The background on our situation in the first post. I’m sure at least of your readers would find this amusing (as would we if we were not actually being screwed over by these fine folk). I have also attached two pictures as I think they’re pretty funny(or sad, you choose). The first is of the fridge door and innerds (in the box) which have been on our front step since they missed their first visit. The second is of the fridge in the basement. We had defrosted the fridge and removed what we could to reduce the weight for the movers before the first visit. When they didn’t show up we were concerned with mold so we moved the door outside and ripped off some of the plastic shielding to allow the water to evaporate.

Nathan [redacted]

BBB CASE#: 1168481

Initial complaint filed by us on Nov 8, 2007

We purchased a new Whirlpool fridge from the Chinook Sears store on August 29, 2008. As part of the purchase we paid an extra $20 to have our old fridge removed.

When our fridge was dropped off 2 weeks later on Sept 8, the delivery personnel said they couldn’t remove our old fridge as it was old and too heavy and required a 4 man crew. They indicated that the salesman should have asked us the age and location of the fridge which he didn’t.

We then scheduled the fridge to be removed on Sept 22 from 12-6pm. At just after 6 we contacted Sears corporate customer service to ask them what the issue was and they said that they would still arrive. They never did. A number of calls to customer service never resulted in an explanation as to why no one came and we were not called. They showed up on Sept 24 at 5pm even though no one called us to notify us, and of course we weren’t at home. We then rescheduled the appt. for Oct 6. The same event repeated whereby we called customer service at 6pm and were told that to the best of their knowledge someone would come but no one did. The same event repeated two more times, on Oct 10 and Oct 27. We had even contacted a manager, Marylne, but that proved to be no more useful. Four appointments, four no shows and not a single call at any time to tell use that they were not coming.

A letter was also sent on October 8 to Ethel J. Taylor, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Store Sales on to which we have not received a response. The majority of this has been documented on Sear’s customer service system under our home phone number, xxx-xxx-xxxx, though some CSR agents have not recorded the events.

Response from Sears Nov 30, 2007

upon investigation, customer had already accepted a gift card for this inconveniences, received a credit for the pickups. Sears delivery had tried to pick up the units, calling customer, knocking on door, ringing door bell, each no answer, we apologize for any inconvenience.

Our Response Dec 4, 2007

I find this response yet a further insult. Has the person responding even read the complaint or the notes on my file?

First, each of the two gift cards was provided as an inconvenience for two of the missed visits. We never received gift cards for the other two missed visits. I assume that the additional $100 is on the way? And that’s just for the inconvenience of waiting around for several hours and have no phone call, no notice that anyone was not going to show up.

Second, the only time that Sears showed up, as recorded on my file, is on the Tuesday Sept 24, for which we were never even contacted to tell us that they were going to show up. We were told by the CSR agent that there was of course a mistake on their end. If we were contacted, we would have informed them that we would be at work and not available on that day.

If Sears is not interested in providing us with enough cash to pay for a reliable and professional company to remove our old fridge, they can come back and take the fridge we purchased from them and provide us with a full refund on that fridge.

I would ask that at the very minimum that who ever responds to this read the full complaint and our long history which has both been recorded on our account file as well as in a letter sent to Ethel J. Taylor, SVP Corporate Sales. Please quit further cementing in out minds that Sears is a company that no one should ever expect decent (never mind even good) customer service from.

Nathan

Their “Final” Response Dec 12, 2007

sorry to hear that had not received the gift cards that were issued. as per the policy of sears, the gift card sent will be cancelled and will request to have the cards re-issued.

Our “Final” response Dec 14, 2007

Are you kidding me? Did you even read what I said? No where did I say I did not receive the cards. What I said is that you offered $100 for only two of the four missed visits. Thus, simply for missing the other two visits you should provide $100 ADDITIONAL!

Come on, is enraging your customers really what you’re trying to do because you’re being very successful at that. You still haven’t even offered a solution to the fridge which is still in our basement now 3 months after we paid you to remove it. What kind of customer service is this? Is this a joke to you?

Nathan

PS Please take the time to at least use capital letters. It shows that you’ve spent more than 6 seconds responding to a message.

Yuck. Since you live in Canada, we’ll toss this one out to our many fine Canadian readers. Any advice for Nathan, aside from the usual EECB?

searswillnotpickmeup2.jpg

Comments

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  1. keainansen says:

    Sears has the worst customer service and doesn’t care about its customers. Get in the know, join the world and stop shopping there.

  2. warf0x0r says:

    Wasn’t there just a post for Sears’ earnings being down around 100%? I can’t say that I’m surprised. They’ve always been, in my mind, the company that never gets it right.

  3. princess_peach says:

    i actually had a similar experience with Sears this year. We had a refridgerator with a water dispenser on it. The dispenser broke causing a flood that leaked through the ceiling into the basement causing tremendous damage. Called Sears, and for $60 they sent a technician out to fix it. The technician shows up, I tell him what the problem is as he walks in the door, and he just says sorry, I can’t fix that and leaves. I was like, don’t you want to take a look and make sure you can’t fix it???

    I spent the next two days on the phone with Sears being passed from department to department and nobody could tell me what the technicians problem was or if someone was going to come out to fix my friend. We finally gave up and had to call an appliance repair company.

    Bottom line – don’t buy appliances from Sears. They will not stand by their products.

  4. savvy999 says:

    It’s a standard refrigerator with the door taken off, not a mountain. What fridge requires a 4-person crew? One man with a dolly and a strap should be able to lug that thing anywhere.

    Sad story of incompetence all around, hope it works out for ya.

    for some reason I have the Mackenzie brothers theme in my head now… ka-rooka-koo-ka-rooka-kooooooooo!

  5. UCLAJason says:

    I like your solution of rescinding the entire deal. If they do not want to pick up the fridge then they can have your old one back. In most American states I would say you would have a claim but it would probably be more trouble than it is worth.

  6. Saboth says:

    Yeah, I can’t imagine it taking more than 1-2 men to remove this fridge. Strap it to a dolly, and out the door you go…roll it up a ramp into a truck and zoom…off to be disposed of. Time required? Perhaps 10-15 minutes.

  7. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Hire some goons to drop it off in front of Sears’ front doors. Then send their corporate office the bill.

  8. fredtal says:

    Had the same problem a washing machine. I finally took it too them and got my money back.

  9. Catperson says:

    @savvy999: Yeah, it sounds like the original crew just didn’t feel like hauling the old fridge so they made up a lame excuse about requiring four men, which has resulted in a major headache to the OP. To the OP: good luck getting this resolved. I used to work in customer service and sometimes I would get customers who had really been mistreated by prior agents who didn’t even listen to/read their complaints, and I would always go out of my way to make things right for them. I hope you get lucky and find someone at Sears who is willing to patiently listen and take care of this.

  10. hn333 says:

    Just remove it yourself, lazy yuppy.

  11. scoosdad says:

    Two suggestions:

    1. Stop talking to Sears on the phone. Go to the store and hash it out with the sales personnnel on the sales floor. Loud enough for other customers to overhear, preferably on a busy Saturday.

    2. Stop talking about the gift cards. You mention the cards first in any interaction with their reps as if that’s what’s bugging you most. That leaves the CS reps fixated on your not receiving all the gift cards you have coming to you, rather than getting rid of the old fridge. Focus on the fridge, forget about the cards for now.

  12. num1skeptic says:

    @hn333: can he throw it away in your yard? just askin on his behalf.

  13. Munsoned says:

    My county has (trash) bulk pick up service for applicance and other “bulky” items. If you call and ask them, they usually come the NEXT DAY, and pickups are free. They just ask that you remove any doors from the applicance before leaving it on the curb in front of your house (I guess so neighborhood kits/pets/etc. don’t get stuck or hurt). Fridges are not usually too heavy (the one in the picture certainly dosen’t look too bad), OP and a friend could probably get it curbside with no problem. Of course, I have no idea if OP’s area actually has something like this, but if it does, it’s an easy solution (yes you lose that $20, but at least you can move on with your life).

  14. ChristopherDavis says:

    We purchased a new Whirlpool fridge from the Chinook Sears store on August 29, 2008.

    There’s your problem right there. You will have to wait for a bit over 8 months.

  15. RottNDude says:

    San Diego Gas & Electric will pick up an old refrigerator and give you a $35 rebate.


    This program will provide rebates to customers permanently removing operating, inefficient refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners. For more information regarding this specific program, please contact Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. (ARCA) * at 1-800-599-5792 or enroll online.

  16. RulesLawyer says:

    Do a chargeback. Tell them to come pick up your new fridge. Spend your money somewhere else.

  17. Woofer00 says:

    @ErnieMcCracken: Typically, appliances with hazardous chemicals like Freon or Freon equivalents (Refrigerators and air conditioners) have to be recycled rather than left for bulk pickup. Or, alternatively, a licensed professional can dispose of the chems and permit bulk disposal of the unit.

  18. dirty foreigner says:

    Sell your Sears gift cards on ebay and use the money to rent a truck. Load the fridge on the truck and drop it off at the front door of Sears and drive away. You may have used your gift cards, but you’re not going to shop there again anyway, and you’ll feel good about it. Then have a cocktail party, tell people about your funny story and be the life of the party.

  19. jtheletter says:

    @HN333
    Brilliant strategy and evaluation of the problem! Bravo sir. Oh wait, what’s that? Nowhere in this writeup does it indicate the age, health, inclinations, or financial well being of Nathan? Hmm guess that would be a problem for your snarky comment if Nathan is disabled or elderly and thus incapable of moving the fridge himself. Maybe next time take the few seconds you were going use to post and THINK.

  20. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    I have one thing to say (as RULESLAWYER said): CHARGEBACK. When you have done everything you can and a company is STILL screwing you, screw them back the only (and best!) way you can: take your money away from them. They get lax because – hey – we already have the guy’s money, why the hell should we do anything? Well, take your money away from them, and see how their attitude changes.

  21. jerros says:

    The fridge was so heavy it required 4 people to move it? Was it a solid block of lead or what? Tools of the delivery trade include Dolly’s, and straps which are used to lift up and move heavy appliances without a lot of man power.

    It sounds to me like the guys sears paid to deliver your refrigerator & pick up the old one simply didn’t feel like doing their job. Honestly you probably shouldn’t have signed the delivery papers until they’d removed the old refrigerator. But now that it’s said & done….

    I see one of 3 options:

    1) You have sears refund your $20.00 go rent a UHaul for $19.99 and take it to the dump yourself.

    2) You keep escelating your problem to sears until it gets resolved.

    or
    3) Get a couple of friends, then toss the old fridge into a truck and drop it out in front of the sears store with a nice note requesting that they remove it from their sidewalk.

  22. Munsoned says:

    @Woofer00: My county does it all, baby! [www.montgomerycountymd.gov]

    So THAT’S where my tax $$ is going!!!

  23. IrisMR says:

    4 people to move a fridge? I remember the gigantic old one we had. I’m a 5’1″ tiny girl and I could move it easily with the help of someone.

    Sears are awful. I never shop there and neither should you.

  24. Razzler says:

    I agree with Scoosdad. Stop bringing up the gift cards, they’re not the issue here. And start dealing with Sears directly, not through the BBB. The BBB is a joke.

  25. mcquetm says:

    I agree with SCOOSDAD, and would go further to say that in any situation involving a large company with which you have contracted, don’t accept anything free until you are satisfied that you have received the product or service that you wanted. If you accept a gift, then in the mind of the manager or customer service rep you have been compensated and they are off the hook. In the words of SEARS, “upon investigation, customer had already accepted a gift card for this inconveniences, received a credit for the pickups.” If you want this to be over, I would call your local SEARS store, ask for a meeting with the General Manager, meet with him or her, BE ON TIME, and bring the gift cards. Hand back the gift cards and say, “All I want is for the fridge to be removed.” Be polite, be courteous, but be firm.

  26. JayXJ says:

    @hn333: Shouldn’t he expect the service he had PAID for? I’m sure it is the principal of the thing at this point.

  27. AD8BC says:

    You could always just take a sawzall to it and cut it into little itty bitty bits and put it in your regular trash. I had a cousin do that.

    A neighbor of my mother-in-law had a fridge out in her driveway waiting for pickup for over a year. The trash company said they could only pick it up if the refrigerant had been removed. This lady apparantly couldn’t afford it so, late one night, me and a pair of linesmans pliers went out and snipped the coils and emptied it for her. It was gone the next week.

  28. madanthony says:

    While Sears obviously dropped the ball on getting the dude’s fridge picked up, it seems a little silly to me that he’s demanding an additional $100 in gift cards for the screwup. While he may feel entitled to them, Sears doesn’t owe him them, and demanding them makes him sound greedy.

  29. cosby says:

    @madanthony:

    Yea I have to agree with this. Hell the already gave him 100 bucks in gift cards for a 20 dollar service.

    I’d personaly demand a refund on the pickup service and just have do it my self with a friend.

    Wanting to return the new fridge is a waste of time. Sometimes you just have to take your loss and move on.

  30. HOP says:

    don’t worry about us making any major purchases from sears……we stopped buying sears….their customer service is the pitts…….

  31. Life_Sandwich says:

    I remember applying for a job with the electronics department at Sears when I was desperate for a job, and the manager telling me that “when people want better prices, they’ll go to Best Buy. When they have questions, they come to Sears.” I have a hard time believing that considering that all of the employees avoid customers and each other, but hey, whatever.

    Nobody I know has ever had so much as a sufficient experience at Sears. I know that we bought a washer from Sears, and they delivered a lesser model ad fully insisted that it was the one that we purchased.

  32. WyomingCowhand says:

    Sears. OMG. That word sends shudders through this house. Always thought well of Sears until I purchased a refrigerator, washer and dryer at Sears, on their credit card. What they did to us popped up a couple of years later when we applied for a bank loan to purchase ranch property. On the very day we were approved for the store credit card and our purchase, Sears dinged our credit record. This was back in the days when you were not allowed to see your own credit records. We asked the bank what entity had put a black mark on us, and he wouldn’t say. Just that there was a record of being a bad risk from a credit issuer. The loan went through because we’re solid, always on time people, but that one black mark irritated me. Ten years later and when credit laws eased so I could see a copy of our report for myself I was outraged Sears had put a negative on our credit report the very day we loaded up the flat bed with our new appliances. And we paid for them in total the very next month.

    It may seem petty, but I will never ever buy anything from Sears again, even if I need a hose to put out a flaming Sears executive.

    And btw – from our last banker who put together the paperwork on our last loan for the new ranch, comes this comment about Sears; ‘We see more bad credit negatives originating from Sears than from any other issuer, so many in fact that we disregard them in the loan process because it’s clear they’re either incompetent or up to something. And we don’t care which.’

    Only by lawyering up were we able to get that single negative removed. And no word from Sears, even to our attorney, why it was there to begin with.

  33. MYarms says:

    If I lived closer to Canada I’d bring my appliance dolly over and do it myself for free. Sorry you’ve been having trouble, I guess its been a very educational experience for you.

  34. hills says:

    I vote that you get some big dudes from craigslist to move the fridge – and leave it right in front of sears – then put it on youtube for us!

  35. shor0814 says:

    @madanthony:
    He didn’t bring up the gift cards first. The person responding to the BBB complaint did. Their wording makes it sound like they are giving him the gift cards for missed appointments.

    From my reading, Sears is making amends for missing appointments by giving him gift cards each time. Only they forgot to read the whole complaint and only compensated him for 2 missed appointments, not 4. It was Sears who chose to give him the cards. I think at the end of the day he just wants the fridge gone, and I can’t blame him.

    On the bright side, he can give the gift cards to someone he doesn’t like.

  36. shor0814 says:

    @Life_Sandwich:
    Sure, people go to Sears when they have questions. Store employees do all the work in answering the questions, and the corporate drones drive said customer to Best Buy for the purchase.

  37. swalve says:

    Just drag the fucking thing to the curb and get on with your life….

    @RulesLawyer: You can’t do a chargeback because they gave him a refrigerator.

  38. Parting says:

    BBB? Isn’t this USA based? You should me contacting local media, like Marketplace and newspapers. Should help. (Contacting Consumerist is a start :)

  39. MustyBuckets says:

    I know I’m repeating myself over and over, but problems like this are much less likely to happen when you shop at local independent retailers.

  40. RottNDude says:

    What consumerist reader buys anything in an B&M store these days?

  41. StevieD says:

    Don’t buy from Sears because they are XXXX. Don’t buy from Best Buy because they are XXXX. Don’t buy from Home Depot because they are XXXX. Don’t buy from Lowes because they are XXXX. Don’t buy from the local mom and pop because XXXX or YYYY or ZZZZ.

    I need a refrigerator.

    Is there any place that is safe to buy a frig?

  42. StevieD says:

    @RottNDude:

    Please tell me where to get a frig?

  43. jbohanon says:

    I don’t mean to get off-topic, but at least the gift cards he got are enough to actually buy something useful. I once got a $25 credit from Gateway (for having to wait two months for a replacement CD-ROM drive) and the cheapest thing in their store was more than that. It was a 128 Mb USB drive that is literally twice the size of a 1 Gb stick, and too bulky to fit in most USB drives, given that they are usually located next to other cables.

  44. jenl1625 says:

    @StevieD: Anybody had bad experiences with HHGregg? So far, they’ve been pretty knowledgeable/dependable/courteous for us . . . .

  45. StevieD says:

    @jenl1625:

    I, like 3/4 of the USA, are outside of their service area.

  46. jenl1625 says:

    @StevieD: Ah, sorry, they’re everywhere around here . . . . Wasn’t thinking.

  47. rodeo40 says:

    I would borrow a truck from someone and (after hours of course) kindly deliver the fridge right in front of the entrance of the closest Sears, blocking the doors if possible.

  48. accessmemorex says:

    This has gone on way to long, The time you have spent talking to sears far exceed the amount of money if would have cost you to hire neighborhood kids to hall it out and have it taken to the dump, (1)Sears has decided they are not going to pick up your fridge, It is in you account and there is nothing you can do about it. (2)Have the fridge hauled out on your own accord and get a truck to transport it, (3)sears sent you the gift cards as compensation for not taking the fridge that they have decided they are not going to take, (4)However, legally they are required to provide a service as you have paid them and have NOT received other compensation for, You have two options.
    Haul the fridge out yourself and except that sears is not going to move, saving yourself time and money. Move on with you life.
    Sue them for not providing a service you paid for, It’s called stealing, And as ling as your going this far, bill them for the time you have wasted both on the phone and at the house waiting,