Sears Is Now Officially Too Incompetent To Even Take Your Money

Gregg wants us to know that Sears has just hung up on one of the last people in America who hasn’t totally given up on them. He’s spent quite a lot of time lately trying to give them $1500 for a lawn tractor, but they just couldn’t figure out how to complete the transaction. Yes, Sears has finally gotten to the point that they can’t take your money even if you want to give it to them.

My recent problems with Sears have driven me so crazy I checked to see if you had EECB contact info. When I saw all the stuff you had on Sears, I thought you’d love this story. I’ll try to be short.

As background, I have an irrational loyalty to Sears. In the last 5 years I have spent probably over $20,000 on appliances, mattresses, and power tools there. I drive by 3 Home Depots to get to Sears; I want them to succeed for some bizarre reason. I don’t even get it, haven’t really even had great experiences, but nonetheless keep on going back. In May I tried to buy a lawn tractor, which is where the problem began.

ROUND ONE: The day after ordering the tractor online, I went back to check the order status and saw nothing. So I called Sears and they said the order had been declined by AMEX. I asked, “Was anyone going to call and tell me?” and she said, “No, we don’t do that.” So I called AMEX, told them to take the charge (which they denied declining), and called back to place the order live. She then told me that it would take 3 WEEKS for delivery. (Do you know how much it costs to pay someone to mow 3 acres?) Reluctantly, and accepting the situation in good humor, I agreed.

ROUND TWO: 3 WEEKS later: nothing. No call, no delivery, nothing. I call Sears, and they again blame AMEX. I explained that AMEX cannot possibly be the problem since I spoke to them live. I also noted that in the intervening three weeks, I charged a $15,500 set of airline tickets and $18,100 for a new roof, both of which zipped through without a problem. Nonetheless, I told him I’d replace the order if they didn’t make me wait 3 more weeks. He put me on hold for an eternity and then agreed. I had bought the tractor on sale so I actually think he was doing some work to recreate the original terms of the sale. I told him I would not hang up until he confirmed that the charge went through so there would be no more opportunity to blame AMEX. He laughed and agreed, and we hung up friends. I suggested that they call customers when a sale doesn’t go through, because that’s a way to GET MORE MONEY, and he said he’d pass that along. Which he clearly didn’t.

ROUND THREE: My tractor, now ordered twice, was scheduled for delivery today, so I called last night to confirm. What a shocker, same story. Now, normally I would just say screw it and order somewhere else, but (1) it takes a long time to research tractors, and I didn’t want to go through that process again, and (2) I had gotten a really good price or $1299 for a $1799 tractor and I wanted them to honor the price. ALso, the sales for tractors all happened around fathers day and now I would be stuck at full price somewhere else. I should also note that one bizarre thing about Sears tractors is they have identical models where one model is on sale and one isn’t. I don’t get it, but the picture on the site does show them in different colors, but when you click “compare,” they are exactly the same – every word, every spec. So when the woman said, I’m sorry, it’s out of stock, I laughed (as did she) and suggested that they give me one of the identical ones at the sale price. She said that a supervisor could do that and told me to call back today.

ROUND FOUR: So I called this morning, asked to go to a supervisor. I explained what happened, that I’ve been waiting 6 weeks now for a tractor, and can’t belevee that no one at Sears actually seems to want to take my $1500.

Me: I just want to know, can you get me the same or similar tractor at the same price, delivered this week. (She put me on hold and in the meantime I went to sears.com, found an identical tractor at the same SALE price, in case she was too incompetent to do so).
Manager: That’s not possible, I can give you the same tractor for $1800.
Me: Why would I pay more for the same tractor? Can’t you honor the same sale price you originally gave me?
Manager: Because it’s not our fault the card was declined.
Me: But it is your fault, because the customer service guy told me it was not declined, and promised me the sale went through. We went through a big exercise to make sure it wouldn’t be declined.
Manager: I can let you talk to someone else.
Me: No, just do what the last guy (who wasn’t a supervisor) did, and give me the original sales price. You have a record of that transaction, right?
Manager: I’m not going to do that. I can let you talk to someone else.
Me: NO, LET”S JUST ORDER THIS OTHER ONE (the identical one I found on sears.com), fully ready to put myself through another round of wholesale incompetence…..sound of silence….the bitch hung up on me!

I got transferred to some other customer service line, and the first thing the woman said to me was, We don’t do Sears.com problems. I asked who I could talk to, and she said, there’s an email on sears.com. I asked if she wanted my $1500 or wanted to lose a loyal customer, and she said, you’ll need to go to sears.com.

Please note, and I swear on this — I have always been polite, never rude, just insistent and clear in what I want. And I’ve asked each person why a company which loses a sale due to an (alleged) credit card decline doesn’t call the customer to let them know about it, and they all say, We just don’t do that. I’ve had $10 orders not go through other companies for one reason or another, and the company at least emails me to let me know. It’s like Sears doesn’t want to succeed or make the sale, or secretly delights in knowing that I’m sitting around waiting for my non-existent delivery to show up.

And to hang up on one of the last people in America who haven’t totally given up on this piece of shit company? Is just plain stupid. Whatever, I guess I’ll have to go to Lowes.

Really, Gregg. We’d love to tell you to write an EECB or something to Sears, but let’s be honest with ourselves. They just don’t care.

(Photo: So Cal Metro )

Comments

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  1. SkokieGuy says:

    Yes, Gregg, you ARE the last person in American to give up on Sears.

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Reading this reminds me of those stories where the guy says, “So, I caught her in bed with another man again, and I said ‘that’s strike two!’…then she turns around and cheats on me again! Well, that was strike three, so I had to put my foot down.”

  3. Gregg, if you give me $1500, I’ll mow your 3 acres.

  4. sashazur says:

    This guy’s fixation on Sears borders on the insane! I would have taken my business elsewhere as soon as I found out that they were lying about my amex card being declined.

  5. ThinkerTDM says:

    Hey, if it wasn’t his department, it wasn’t his department. Don’t blame him, he only works there.

  6. Letsgohokies says:

    As background, I have an irrational loyalty to Sears

    there’s your problem

  7. stager says:

    Yeah you are hard core. My girlfriends parents shop at the Sears warehouse all the time, I don’t know if they have had any trouble making purchases tho.

  8. jhaysee says:

    It is amazing how blind corporations become when they get so big. You would think that since they are looking down their noses at us, their customers, they would see their feet stepping on the very people who keep them alive!

  9. CRNewsom says:

    …and the sailors refused to bail water to save the sinking ship…

    Do these people realize that if Sears dies, they become unemployed?

  10. Bagels says:

    I’d like to know where he’s flying for $15,500

    The moon?

  11. Asvetic says:

    I wonder which tractor he was trying so desperately to buy, there are a lot of tractors in the $1300-$1800 range.

  12. evslin says:

    As background, I have an irrational loyalty to Sears.

    And that’s where I stopped.

  13. Mudpuddle says:

    I used to work at Sears. They dont even pay their employees they make them work for a commission 1 to 3 percent of a sale (electronis, appliances). Then they put five people on the floor and in three days two customers come in and buy 230 dollars worth of stuff. Not worth it! Then sears gives the employees a check paying the employee 6 bucks an hour and when/if they are able to sell anything they take it back. The standing joke is that at the end of the day “you owe Sears.” The employees are forever changing as the have a turn over rate that mimics that of sand on the beach.
    Sears is almost void of customers its like desert town. The management lies to new hires and tell them that by earning commission they can make 15 dollars an hour. Not. There is currently a class action lawsuit against Sears for this. Sears needs to close down if it cant/wont pay its employees.

  14. thelushie says:

    Why do we not call customers when a transaction is declined? Because there are alot of customers and it take too much time to try and get a hold of you.

    There are bad stores and bad employees no matter where you go. Try coming to my store. We are a good store and will take care of you.

    @CRNewsom: Ummm, yes that is realized. That is why alot of us do a very good job.

    And, Meg, actually alot of us do care. But, just like with every other business on the planet, there are bad employees. I am sorry that this individual got a bad one.

  15. humphrmi says:

    @Bagels: And an $18,000 roof? Holy moley, that would have to be like a 6500 SQ foot house.

    So this guy can afford to fly to Sydney Australia and re-roof his 6500 SF house but he still shops at Sears?

  16. Greeper says:

    @Asvetic: It’s Gregg here…it was a 21HP 46″ deck tractor, which anywhere else would be over 2000. But really, I had spent so much time figuring out what is important in a tractor, etc, that I didn’t want to go through it again with John Deere, etc. AND, I try not to buy Chinese made machinery, so it’s John Deere or Sears Craftsman. And, it’s a disease, I have (or had) this sick loyalty to Sears. THe first step is acceptance, now I’m on to anger…..

    @Bagels: I had bought round the world tickets for a trip of a lifetime, that’s why the charge was so much.

  17. thelushie says:

    @Mudpuddle: I make well over minimum wage. And I don’t work on commission. From what I understand from the commissioned employees, they do well. Of course, it comes and goes but so it is in retail. Void of customers? Yeah right! And we are actually a smaller store.

    And when I interviewed, I was told that commissioned employees could make “up to X amount”. And it was not a sure thing. Never lied to.

  18. Bourque77 says:

    If it weren’t for craftsman tool i would say sears can go to hell. I just hope they sell off craftsman first.

  19. lalaland13 says:

    With the credit line you must be carrying around, I’d like to suggest that Gregg just buy Sears. He could probably get a pretty good deal.

  20. midwestkel says:

    The call center is probaly a contractor that got stuck in a contract to be Sears customer care and they are trying to get out of it. :p

  21. guilliam says:

    My dad had a situation with Sears where he was willing to pay cash at the store for a $2000 tractor which they had sent him a 10% off coupon good on any in stock tractor, then they wouldn’t honor it because they said that brand wasn’t included (coupon did NOT state any exceptions. said any tractor on it) After several phone calls to management, he bought a John Deere instead. We no longer shop at Sears. If they don’t care about their customers, we’ll shop elsewhere.

  22. dakotad555 says:

    This is a microcosm of the typical problems associated with underpaid/undertrained support and sales representatives. They quickly develop a Not-My-Problem attitude. Supervisors fall into the same category. Honestly, companies lose themselves more money trying to save money by under training and underpaying employees.

    Any business needs to have a strong ‘sales culture’ where taking care of the client is most important. Bottom line will follow. Places like Whole Foods, NewEgg.com, most luxury car dealerships, and even Amazon.com understand this. Treat the customer well = life long customer. (I have had very positive experiences many times with all the merchants mentioned, in case anyone is wondering).

  23. IphtashuFitz says:

    @Bagels: One pair of first class tickets from New York to Australia & back would likely cost around that much.

  24. sleze69 says:

    Was it this one?

    [www.sears.com]

    As of right now it is being offered for $1299. If you pursue it, I also have a bridge you can buy for cheap.

  25. DojiStar says:

    I have 2 words for you:

    LOWES

  26. marsneedsrabbits says:

    One of my fondest memories from when I was in high school was going to Sears with my dad occasionally to buy Craftsman tools to outfit trucks for his company. I got to spend time with my dad, which was rare and cool. He’d outfit the trucks from top to bottom, dropping thousands inside of an hour. Eventually, I’d get bored and go look at clothes. We’d meet back at the candy counter, he’d buy us candy corn or haystacks, and we’d go home.

    The stores were clean, stocked, bright, and had employees who knew what they were doing. They knew my dad by name. They seemed genuinely interesting in helping their customers. The first piece of clothing I ever bought with my own money was from Sears – a really cute dark green, wide-wale corduroy skirt.

    By the time my dad retired, though, he had completely stopped buying tools from Sears as even the Craftsman warranty wasn’t worth the hassle.

    The employees were rude and simply did not care if you received help or not. They really couldn’t be bothered to do large orders for thousands of dollars anymore.

    I have never taken my own kids there for clothes, because at some point I realized that they regularly don’t have what their ads say they will. No one seems to care and no one there seems to be able or willing to do anything about problems you may encounter.

    So, even if you get your tractor at this point, look at the type of service you can expect if it breaks or needs repairs. No one will help you online or in the stores. You would be buying trouble at this point.

    The Sears we all remember is gone and apparently will not be returning. Please do not reward their terrible behavior with any more of your hard-earned money.

  27. GMFish says:

    “I have an irrational loyalty to Sears”

    Is there any other kind of loyalty to Sears?

    “I wanted them to honor the price.”

    And now we get to the root of the problem. Sears is giving you the run-a-round because they do not want to honor the price.

  28. Mudpuddle says:

    @Asvetic Your a smaller store than ???? the store I was in for two months was void of customers…nuff said. Since you dont work in one the commissioned areas perhaps your doing better. No one was doing “better” in the store I was working in. Employees were worried about feeding their kids, and paying the bills. Everyday was owing Sears at the end of the day. I have since moved on and so have 80 percent of those I worked with, of course, only to be replaced by other “new employees” that are being fed the same line. Check out the class action lawsuit yourself and then wonder who all those past employees are? Sears needs to close. Google sears class action lawsuit

  29. GMFish says:

    “The employees were rude and simply did not care if you received help or not.”

    Agreed, I can’t help but think that at some point Sears started hiring former DMV employees. You can’t find a surlier and lazier bunch anywhere else.

  30. Bagels says:

    @DojiStar: What’s the other word?

  31. Meg Marco says:

    @Greeper: Hey, that’s great! Have fun.

  32. wiggatron says:

    @CRNewsom: It’s more of a “when” question rather than an “if”. But yes, I do think that the employees know this. And yes, they will give you crappy service. It’s likely because they know this too, and what incentive is there for doing a good job when tomorrow you may not have that job. I gotta say I’d be pretty hard pressed to give a damn if I worked at Sears.

  33. rdm says:

    Tried to use sears.com to purchase some $5 tool yesterday, we have had a dozen or more orders just totally canceled (no notice, nothing) from them in the past and just hate them with a passion, but it was a good deal.

    Had to use the reset password tool to reset password. It sent me a temp password, which did not work (yes I was using the right email address). I did it again, same problem. Neither the real password nor the temp ones worked. Sounds like business as usual there.

  34. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    I still shop at sears… only because I morally cannot shop at wal-mart.

  35. MrEvil says:

    All you need to know really when researching garden tractors is the engine it has in it. My dad and I have found Kohler to be the VERY best. There’s a reason a tractor with a Kohler engine costs more than those with a B&S or Honda or Kawasaki.

    Also, Craftsman’s lawn tractors I beleive are built for Sears Holdings by MTD. With the Exception of Husqvarna and John Deere, nearly every other piece of lawn equipment you find at the big chain stores is made by MTD. So the Cub Cadet at Tractor supply isn’t much different than the Craftsman at Sears. I wouldn’t be surprised if in fact some of John Deere’s stuff was made by MTD.

    Also, if you want a good used tractor a John Deere 110 is hard to beat. My dad bought one for $600 that runs like a top.

  36. Starfury says:

    I’ve read all the horror stories about Sears and I’ve never had a problem with them. Mostly we buy clothing there and some tools.

    In December last year we ordered appliances, Fridge, Dishwasher, and a range. Total w/ tax was almost $4000 (less 20% rebate).

    1. Purchase process was smooth. My wife got a Sears card and they gave us free shipping, no interest for 12 months.
    2. Initial delivery date was 3 months out. We ended up re-scheduling multiple times and they arrived last weekend; almost 6 months after we’d ordered. Each time we’d call the CSR was polite and handled our request quickly.
    3. Delivery day: 4pm – 6pm window. The delivery guys arrive at 4:05pm. They help remove the gate and door (we didn’t expect them to be on time) unload the stuff, help put the door/gate back AND gave me the parts (for free) to hook up the dishwasher.

    Overall I’m happy with Sears and hope they get a clue to stop this kind of thing from happening. I’d rather shop Sears than Wal Mart.

  37. Snarkysnake says:

    @Mudpuddle: @thelushie:

    The underlying problem here,guys ,is that no one below a certain level of the company can share in any upside from giving knockout service.Sears has quite simply lost the ability to reward employees through a piece of the action.You guys look at them as a paycheck (and a skimpy one at that) and not much more. That’s why the company is crumbling all around you. Get your heads out of the sand and stop blaming “a few bad apples”. The time for that has gone.If those bad apples are not thrown away soon,there won’t be a barrel to fight over.

    The OP is not too tightly wrapped to expect a call about the AMEX thing-No argument there.But when he came to you guys again and again trying do business,a sharp manager somewhere should have spotted an easy sale and quota making orde and jumped on it. Apparently,those types are gone from Sears…

  38. winstonthorne says:

    This is proof that God exists. This man’s desire to give Sears $1500 flew in the face of all reason and divine law, and (reading from the Book of Sears):

    Lo, the Lord spake and unto the man: “Yea, rejoice thou fool for thou hast a role in mine divine plans, and will therefore, not complete of thine transaction evermore.” And there was much rejoicing.

  39. Asvetic says:

    @Greeper: Comparible is the John Deere LA145 sold at both Lowes and Home Depot. It’s more powerful than the Craftsman YS4500 with a 22HP and 48″ deck, but it has the Briggs&Stratton engine for $1999… Not the price you were looking for, but not bad for the size of the tractor… The other JD tractors were 19-21HP with 42″ decks, no 46″ decks on the JDs. You’ll easily kill 3 acres with this beast, and it’s American Made.

    [www.lowes.com]

    [www.homedepot.com]

  40. EdnaLegume says:

    We only have an acre and I bought a 6000 dollar dixie chopper. Takes my husband about an hour to mow the lawn, including trimming.

    sure as shit didn’t buy that baby at Sears!

  41. consumersaur says:

    @ThinkerTDM: sigh.

  42. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    @thelushie: But fear/hatemongering doesn’t work when you make specifications. It only works when you can make broad, sweeping “them” generalizations. Plus, saying “the Sears in Lubbock Texas” doesn’t generate as much traffic as a generalization about Sears does.

  43. Xerloq says:

    The first question I ask myself when dealing with a tough situation is, “why would a reasonable, rational person do this?” I know there’s an assumption that all people are reasonable and rational. I can’t find a reason on Sears’ side or the OP’s side.

    The last issue I has with Sears (aside from their hand-tools guarantee which goes flawlessly each time) was our microwave, which broke under warranty, but the manager wouldn’t exchange it because we got it on sale! I asked myself the same question, and figured it was because he didn’t want to comp us a $300 microwave (the only comparable model) when we payed $80. Luckily, he refunded us our original purchase price and we left, happily knowing we’d never go back.

    I used to work there during high school. It didn’t suck then.

  44. Gopher bond says:

    Sears is weird, sometimes I do in there for car batteries, that’s about it. It’s like a ghosttown in there. I don’t know much about cars but I outshine the guys at Sears. I think the requirement to work in the auto section there now is that you own a drivers license.

  45. Mudpuddle says:

    @Snarkysnake I’ll quote you “You guys look at them as a paycheck (and a skimpy one at that) and not much more. That’s why the company is crumbling all around you.”

    Your trying to say that you work for free? Where I wanna know? The down fall of Sears is it unpaid employees fault, huh!

    I guess employees who have no food in the refrigerator and barely enough gas to go to work should be to blame for a companies demise….I forget how much money do CEO’s get nowadays? What do they do?

  46. drdom says:

    I still don’t understand something. K Mart went bankrupt, and then bought Sears who wasn’t bankrupt. Now K Mart is running Sears into the ground. How does this process work. Sears used to be a pretty good store. Here in the midwest, Sears really sucks, to the point of driving people away. How can a poorly managed company who went broke go out and buy a moderately good company, and drive it (and the resurrected K Mart) into the ground? You would think that at least the stockholders might care. Apparently not.

  47. jenl1625 says:

    @DojiStar: Ah, yes, Lowes. Dad bought his tractor from them. They delivered it without taking off the “take this off before delivery” lock/tag under the hood, without the manual, and without the KEY.

    So dad calls them up and they say they’ll get a key to us whenever a truck comes out our way . . . oh, and couldn’t he just print the manual off the web? (I went into town and got the key that afternoon, but it took a couple of weeks of nagging them to get them to get us a manual.)

    Still, Lowes *did* manage to at least accept his money. . .

  48. design_chick says:

    @IphtashuFitz:
    I just went to Australia on my honeymoon. Just one round trip ticket to Australia costs $17K First Class….

    so we flew coach and 20 hours in coach is not so much fun, but still worth it. But the tickets are probably only $5K/pair… so we splurged on luxury accomodations instead.

  49. mzs says:

    Sears made a recent purchase incredibly hard for me as well. I finally got those DTV tuner rebate cards in the mail but every place that had cheap ones was sold out except Sears, so I went there. First one fellow could not figure out how to do the card thing. Then another got farther along but got stumped when it seemed that their system would not sell them to me with a credit card. I did not have much cash and we had a terminal there where the rebate card info was already entered and so we were afraid the cards were basically voided at that point. There was crowd of Sears employees at that point. The whole appliance, electronic, and even a lady from Sears optical had congregated. I really think my daughter and I were the only customers on that half of the lower level.

    Finally a Russian lady employee had an idea and explained we could buy two gift cards and use them as cash and that should work. So we walked to another terminal, this one did not work, so on to another, bought two gift cards for exactly how much my portion was and then walked back to the terminal where the rebate was being processed. When that worked there was really a noticeable sense of excitement, like, “Wow, it actually worked!” And slowly all the employees sort of meandered off.

    Sometimes Sears surprises me like that. A long time back I bought a dryer but got the wrong vent. I went back and explained it to the salesman that sold it to me, and he just did not want to deal with the crap told me to go wait outside. A few minutes later he showed-up with a stolen vent of the right size and I left and we were both happy.

  50. Gopher bond says:

    @design_chick: worth $17K?!?! I could rent Crocodile Dundee for $1.99 through On-Demand and have plenty left over for something more fun.

  51. LUV2CattleCall says:

    “I’d like to know where he’s flying for $15,500

    The moon? “

    @Bagels:

    Nope…AA, from ORD-DSM, after all the fees and crap are accounted for!

    @IphtashuFitz:

    That would be a steal! Putting in random dates in Orbitz (non-peak, more than 21 days out) turns up a range of $11,900 (Malaysian) to $30,000 (AA or Cathay) – and that’s for ONE person!

    I can assure you that 99.9% of people out there would be more than willing to sleep for 20 hours in an economy seat if you told them you’d give them a free car or $25,000!

  52. Mudpuddle says:

    The guy (real estate tycoon) bought kmarts then bought Sears. Kmart didnt by Sears in the literal sense. The tycoon just bought them for the property thats why they are are doing as well as they are doing. Not well at all.

  53. chiggers says:

    On occasion, I will visit Sears to buy some crapwear. Just peruse the clearance racks of any Sears and you’ll find a plethora of clothing that has been marked down since Fall of last year. That’s what I call value!

  54. bcsus83 says:

    next thing you know, poor guy’s gonna have his transaction go through all 3 times at once, and still not have a tractor.

    That’d be Sears and AmEx for you.

  55. gnubian says:

    My sears mower (walk behind with front wheel drive) died a couple months ago. It lasted 7 years. I didn’t even bother to look for a new mower at sears, I went straight to lowes.

    on a side note, I spent the weekend re-organizing my tools .. most are craftsman (15+ years old) .. I hope I never have to use the “lifetime replacement” guarantee .. I don’t think they’re made in the USA anymore .

  56. darksunfox says:

    The only good thing about Sears nowadays is that the one by my house has a DMV nobody uses so I can usually be in and out in less than 20 minutes.

  57. Kirk Douglas says:

    :( Even Crafstman aren’t “Made in the USA and guaranteed forever”

    I broke my Johnson bar off at the 1/2″ adapter and they gave me a Korean-made one (admittedly nicer looking [chromed])

    It makes me sad because they used to make and market all kinds of quality items and now they’re craptacular.

    If you ‘Mericans think its rough at Sears there, try dealing with Sears Canada.

  58. failurate says:

    If you want to be loyal to the makers of Craftsman (American made) stuff, buy a Snapper mower. This will also give you a chance to support a local small business.

  59. battra92 says:

    @KirkDouglas: Homeless Depot sells Husky Tools which have a similar guarantee.

    Snap-On makes a lot of their super expensive but high quality tools here in the States still.

  60. AlexTheSane says:

    Reminds me of my Sears.com experience in April for my father’s birthday. He wanted a 15amp circular saw with a laser. The only one I was able to find with those specs was a Craftsman model only available at Sears. I ordered it online and two hours after receiving the “Your order is ready to be picked up” e-mail, I left for the store.

    I arrived at customer pick-up at 8pm. They took my information and my name popped up on the monitor. Two minutes later the monitor showed my order as completed. Ten minutes later, my “completed” order was still not completed. So much for the 5 minute guarantee. I asked about my order and they said it was being brought up. I got some sob story about there being only one person in the tool department. Apparently two hours isn’t enough time to bring a tool up an escalator and 50 feet across a floor.

    During my 45 minutes there I watched people walk in, their names come up on the monitor, the status go to completed then receiving their items 10 minutes later. I don’t know about anyone else, but completed to me means the item is in my hand and I’m walking out of the store. I then noticed the “5 Minute Guarantee” board. This thing made me angry and made me laugh at the same time. “Last month: 99%, Today:100%.”

    At 8:45 I got to speak to a supervisor who told me the item was out of stock and was listed as available online because of a floor model. So I agreed to have the item shipped to me (missing my dad’s birthday.) But at least my time was well compensated with the $5 coupon.

    I sent an infuriated e-mail explaining what happened and that I just bought a house. I was planning on buying about $8,000 in appliances from Sears because that’s where I’ve been buying appliances for years. I received a call the next day with nothing more than “Sorry about what happened, please buy your apliances from us.”

    That’s the end of my buying from Sears and K-mart, and after pricing the applianaces I want, they end up being cheaper from Home Depot and Lowe’s. Here’s to hoping my experiences with them will be better.

  61. nayR says:

    I’ve worked at sears for quite some time, yes I do dislike it like the majority of others here, but I try and provide the best customer service I can to my customers. I can tell you straight up that the majority of this story simply doesn’t make sense. Anytime a credit card is declined you immediately get a “call credit line” error on the P.O.S. The sale will not go through until you receive authorization from the credit center itself. Granted I’ve never delt with AMEX so I’m not entirely sure how that works, but whatever the problem is here, it lies entirely with the customer. If the sale shows that it goes through on Sears end yet AMEX is denying the sale, then the error is no longer with sears, but with AMEX. Not denying the fact that Sears is quickly going downhill, just saying this problem is not their fault but the customers.

  62. Kirk Douglas says:

    @battra92:

    Yeah when I bought the tools from Craftsman, Homie De-pot didn’t exist, and they were quality!

    Remember, they used to advertise on Hometime and This Old House, that meant that they were 800% better!

  63. I thought it said “mistresses” instead of “mattresses”

  64. berne21 says:

    As a current sears employee the OP’s first problem is that he tried to purchase a large ticket item on sears.com with a AMEX card. For some reason AMEX and sears.com do not work well together. I have personally seen this happen with other online retailers also. Something with the additional 4 numbers on the front of the card causes problems. In the store no problem. Also when problems like this happen and the ones from black friday with the sharp TV’s for 999 sears.com is powerless. In our store we had 30 of the TV’s in the store and they were gone in less then an hour. Our systems in our store crashed and we were doing merchandise on order sales and took care of the customers once we were back up. In all we sold 50 of the units without problems…. Anyways back to the tractor… If the customer took the time to research in the store he should of bought it in the store. There is more leeway although not much in the stores on subsitution and other things that can be done to satisfy a customer. Our store will never let a customer walk due to availablity problems. It is our fault not the customers and we will take a markdown on something else to make them happy. Of course it has to be within reason. Usually one model up or manual transmission to an auto transmission…. The products are not made by MTD they are made by HOP. Husquvarna Outdoor Products. They make all of our tractors except the rear engine rider and all of the mower except the snappers all of our tillers most of our chainsaws, blowers, and weed wackers. The only non HOP units in the company are the Incredipull or P2 as it is called merchandise. If you look at your model number on something and it starts with 917. it is made by HOP. Eventhough sears.com screwed up originally the ultimate mistake is buying a large item through a computer. (I know people do it on amazon etc all the time) When you have a problem the first time to try it again is your own damn fault.

  65. WakefulD says:

    @consumedchick: But would you really want a prossie from Sears? IMAGINE the STDs!

    OK, so I zoned out at “irrational loyalty” and lost interest at “$15,500 plane tickets.” Rich man is rich, let him deal with his richy mcricherson problems.

    Rich.

  66. hmk says:

    I still shop at Sears, but really it’s only because of convenience. It’s about a mile from my house. Mostly we just buy clothing for my boyfriend, because he likes the Structure line. And… actually, we got my engagement ring there on quite a clearance. And our HDTV. So Sears is great on the sales items, especially with a Sears card.

    But if it is a really important purchase, I shop around like crazy. I know I can never rely on good service from Sears, so the only thing keeping me going is the distance from my house and the low prices that (occasionally) lure me in.

  67. Alger says:

    @DojiStar:

    I have two words for you:

    Remedial math.

    :-)

    [www.amazon.com]

  68. mythago says:

    I am dreading the day when Sears actually starts to infect Lands End. That’s the only reason I set foot in a Sears anymore.

    (It’s not recent, either; my stepdad once sent me to a Sears service station to get a car fixed, not realizing they’d turned into sleazeballs. They lied to me about my ‘tie rods being loose’ and got angry when I called them on it.)

  69. Snarkysnake says:

    @Mudpuddle:

    Nope. Don’t work for free. Wouldn’t hear of it. I don’t want you to,either. But…

    I DO work in a business with sharp elbows. It’s dog eat dog. You know what my secret competitive advantage is ? (I should charge you,but here goes)

    I TREAT CUSTOMERS THE WAY I WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED. Are soem of them asshats ? You betcha. Do some of them want more than you can provide ? Absolutely. (Are these questions asked in the third person silly ? Probably)
    But I have the highest customer satisfaction rating and repeat business book in my area. I will move heaven and earth to make ‘em happy and keep ‘em happy. No phone trees here.I LIKE the vast majority of my customers,because they have put my kids through some pretty good schools.

    I won’t argue that you and maybe some co-workers are having trouble making ends meet. No quibble there at all. But you will have a hell of a lot tougher go of it if you see that Sears is going Tango Uniform on tomorrow mornings front page.That means that maybe not you personally,but the dimwits that ran off the OP made your job a little shakier.
    You can hate me all you want for putting it to words,but that is kinda like being pissed off at the TV weather man because he tells you it’s raining.Better get on the stick and make your little corner of Sears a better place.

  70. elwoodxrl says:

    @Greeper: “t was a 21HP 46″ deck tractor, which anywhere else would be over 2000.”
    I bought that same (or similar) tractor last summer at that same price. It is a ROUGH ride. Sears did you a favor.

  71. pigeonpenelope says:

    I worked for Sears during the holiday season in 1999. Right after I left, they changed the way they did business–going from sales reps in different departments who gave personal service to sales kiosks where the reps didn’t move. The quality of service and the employee happiness have drastically declined. I’m glad I quit.

    I’m sad to see Sears walk down this dreary path. I had fond memories of Sears even when I worked for them. I understand this guy’s loyalty to the place. I can’t walk into a Sears any more as it depresses me. Perhaps Sears should consider canning its CEO as I don’t think the person makes wise decisions.

  72. pigeonpenelope says:

    @Mudpuddle: I worked at Disney World for 6 dollars an hour when I had been making 9-10 after tips at Starbucks all because I was duped into joining their stupid WDW College Program. Regardless as to how miserable I was, I never ever ever let the guests know I was not happy. I made it seem as though I was incredibly lucky for that opportunity and I was happy to be there. I worked really hard and received many complements. You work for what you want to earn, not what you do earn. That is the proper work ethic.

    When I am in Canada, I get impressed by the folks who work in fast food. They are so friendly and competent, it makes the US look lazy. You know they don’t get paid well but they want to so they work to earn it.

    If you’re so miserable, find another place to work. I bet you can’t though if you have the attitude you’ve got. Its harsh but someone needs to give you reality.

  73. Lambasted says:

    I feel sorry for Gregg. Poor fella. My father has the same irrational loyalty to Sears. I think it’s an older person thing. They started shopping at Sears back when it was “the” store to purchase tools and appliances. Now they cannot let go of thinking that Sears is the end all, be all.

    When my father was updating his kitchen last year, Sears was the only place he would buy new appliances from. I was willing to look at other places for him but he said he has always gotten his appliances from Sears and wouldn’t feel comfortable buying them anywhere else.

    Unless Sears does some serious identity and service revamping, its days are numbered. My father’s generation is the last generation that still holds onto the concept of store loyalty. People will buy from a completely unknown store on the internet if the brand and price is right.

  74. planet2334 says:

    Amazing. Hope it works out for you, wherever you go.

  75. JollyJumjuck says:

    Sounds like they just didn’t want to give you the sale price to begin with. They would have been happy charging you full price, after all! Of course I’m sure the Sears executives will get shiny golden parachutes when the company *does* go under.

  76. baristabrawl says:

    We bought tires from Sears and they called to tell me my car was done before I even left the parking lot. It hadn’t even been moved. I was rude to them, told them they were the K-Mart of Mall Anchors.

    Anyway, I now have tires from Firestone and they’re stupid, too.

  77. SybilDisobedience says:

    @baristabrawl: If it’s any comfort, Walmart Tire and Battery is worse (as if that’s news). I took my car there to get my tires changed, and somehow they CUT MY BRAKE LINE. At least they owned up and told me before I tried to drive off. I made the Walmart mechanic drive it to the nearby repair shop while I WALKED behind, because I wasn’t getting in that thing for a variety of reasons. Yes, they did pay for the repairs, but I sure never went back to Walmart again.

  78. APowerCosmic says:

    I have made more angry posts about Sears than anyone probably, and there is no doubt there is serious problems with this company. But reading through these comments, something struck me. It is amazing how many $X,000 sales are lost because a customer didn’t get their new toy in 10 minutes. I used to work at Sears, hearing this comment often from customers.

    Customer: Oh, you don’t have any bargain bin DVD players in stock for $20? Well that’s a shame, I was going to buy $4,000 LCD TV!

    Me: Really? You can afford a $4k LCD TV, but you are going to buy a GPX DVD player that I guarantee you’ll be bringing back in a week? Tell me, what color is the sky in your world?

  79. lakecountrydave says:

    At least Greg did one thing right!

    “I drive by 3 Home Depots to get to Sears”

    I bet it would be difficult to show a receipt for something they refused to sell you;)

  80. jackspat2 says:

    Good bye sears!

  81. intellivised says:

    @baristabrawl: Don’t even get me started on Sears Auto. I’ve heard a horror story from a close friend who is a Lexus mechanic. They had to undo the damage that a bad battery replacement did to a poor Lexus SC400. Fried EVERYTHING. Sears ended up having to pay the Lexu$ labor/parts costs to undo the damage they did – and it was extensive since Lexus seems to rival the space shuttle in electrical complexity.

    Also: I inherited a vehicle that had Sears tires w/ road hazard on them way back when. Hit a pothole, road hazard kicked in. I got a whole free set of tires because the guy behind the counter either didn’t know how the computer worked or couldn’t be bothered to look it up. Sears auto is almost comically bad.

  82. battra92 says:

    @AlexTheSane: Honestly, in my experience you are best buying appliances from locally owned Appliance stores. Some are crooks of course but if you can find a good one, you’re all set.

    It’s too bad as Kennmore are still quality appliances. :-/

  83. Erwos says:

    My favorite Sears story is when I bought my HDTV from them.

    Sony got out of making rear-projection TVs about half a year ago. However, for reasons no one really understands, Sears got a big shipment of them in May, and they are dirt cheap for what you get. So, lucky me, I went to my local Sears, and they had a floor model in stock. I looked it over, and it seemed cosmetically perfect. However, you’re an idiot if you don’t actually check to make sure it works, so I called a sales associate over.

    He had trainee written on his tag, so I was immediately apprehensive. He promptly confirmed my suspicions by asking me whether I did a lot of gaming. Well, yes, I do. “You don’t want that TV, it’s a plasma.” I replied that, not only is this not a plasma, it doesn’t even LOOK like a plasma. It’s an SXRD / LCoS HDTV. He makes noises as if _I_ don’t know what I’m talking about, looks at the tag for a few minutes, and realizes he’s an idiot.

    I then tell him to hook the TV up to power and a video source. He manages to get power to it, but steadfastly refuses to get out a DVD player, as though they won’t spend $40 to make a sale of $1100. Geniuses! I eventually have to round up his manager and make them haul it halfway across the store over to an unused coax video distribution jack. All is well, albeit it’s not terribly easy to tell if the screen is in great shape when you’re looking at it from 2′ away.

    So, I pay for it (no, I don’t want your worthless warranty), and schedule delivery for Thursday (this is on Tuesday). Time passes, and it’s Thursday. No call, no nothing. I call them, and am promptly told “well, we don’t deliver on Thursdays”. I tell them that my receipt says otherwise. “Well, we can refund your delivery cost and have it delivered on Friday.” Thanks, guys – I really needed to waste another vacation day!

    So, honestly, my advice for Sears purchases is this: unless you’re carrying it out of a store with you, EXPECT THE WORST. They’re digging their own grave with gusto, as far as I can tell.

  84. Saboth says:

    I will never, ever shop at Sears for anything. Expect to see them going out of business in the next few years.

  85. Jbball says:

    I feel bad for you. You… the one that can spend $15k on plane tickets…

    richer…

  86. Greeper says:

    It’s me…update => An email supervisor, very competent, nice, concerned, called me this morning. He was not aware of the consumerist story but was replying to my email to them. (I had no reaction from Sears as a result of this story, which had 15,000+ hits….kind of strange but whatever).

    According to the email supervisor, the order was NOT cancelled and he doesn’t know why they (two people this week) told me it was….delivery was delayed another week due to stocking issues, the customer service people wrote down the wrong phone number (missed by a digit) and did (allegedly) call me. He gave me the order number and told me it would be delivered on the 30th unless I cancel. He said he was sorry for the long delays, misinformation, and the hang-up but that he hopes I choose to remain a customer. I’m undecided about it and have been researching slightly more expensive John Deeres.

    And I have to say in my “defense” — it’s a trip of a lifetime which we’ve planned for many years, my house is NOT 6500 square feet as some guessed (it’s a small 1200), but the roof was totally replaced with a deck added, hence the 18000 price. THanks to everyone and the consumerist…POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  87. mariospants says:

    “dixie chopper”. Gotta love that.

  88. jswilson64 says:

    “… (1) it takes a long time to research tractors, and I didn’t want to go through that process again, …”

    Honestly, Greg, if you had taken the time to research ‘em in the first place, he would have easily figured out who REALLY made it, and bought one from that company. Sears doesn’t make any of their products (with maybe the exception of some hand tools), they’re just re-badged, up-priced versions of other companies’ wares.

    Drop the Sears loyalty and start comparison shopping with other places, and use their sales prices to get a better deal someplace else.

  89. jinnrice says:

    ahhh yes the good old sears…i loved working there in the auto department…it was the best!!!….never buy tires from them people…there auto dept techs are useless and you wonder why it takes 4 hours for tires and a oil change

  90. *cough*lost leader*cough*

  91. Mazda Eric says:

    “I also noted that in the intervening three weeks, I charged a $15,500 set of airline tickets and $18,100 for a new roof, both of which zipped through without a problem.”

    …can I borrow your credit line? Add those two prices up and you get my yearly salary :-

  92. Mazda Eric says:

    And Sears does have some sort of strange appeal to me still. Where I live it isn’t easy for me to get to Sears, but if I need any tools/clothing/DVD’s/electronics I end up going over there, or Kohls. I think it is partially a working class loyalty I come from – I mean Macy is right down the street, but that place is like shopping at Tiffany’s from my perspective.

  93. kcquestor says:

    @AlexTheSane: I had the EXACT same experience, Alex, with a freezer. Received an e-mail AND a phone message saying my freezer was in. Arrived at the store and entered my info in the terminal. It shows up on the screen as “Completed” 30 minutes later and still no freezer. I ask what’s the hold up and they tell me they don’t have one for me but the warehouse guy went to appliances to get me the floor model. I declined and asked to have another shipped.

    The woman at the counter told me they couldn’t do that. She said she would have to cancel the order, and then I’d have to call the toll-free number for Sears.com. So I did that and went home. The person I talked to at Sears.com told me that was BS and the woman at the store could have handled it but was just “too lazy” (exact words). I screwed myself by canceling the order since it was already charged. I’d have to wait 6 weeks for a refund, and if I still wanted a freezer I’d have to re-order. I spoke with a supervisor who agreed to ship it to me and waive the cost ($65).

    All-in-all a silly, stupid experience. And I won’t be going back to Sears.

  94. talkingmonkey53 says:

    I signed up for 2 reasons; first, I’m really enjoying this particular blog and want to participate, and second, I feel compelled to comment on the Sears Death Watch story.

    I’m former customer service manager for a Sears rival (think of the color orange) and also a former associate of that company’s chief competitor.

    There are some things going on here that you may suspect but perhaps aren’t consciously aware of. Not the least of which involves the staff; there are not enough of them to meet the demands placed on them not only by customers, but moreso by managerial staff. The equation reads something like this:

    too few people – decent pay and benefits + high customer expectations that have been artificially inflated by dubious advertising + unrealistic performance demands + panic from declining sales performance = crappy customer service.

    It’s entirely likely that none of your orders were submitted to AmEx for payment.

    It’s entirely possible that there was no desire to sell that mower to you for the agreed-upon price; I suspect that Sears was waiting for one of two things: (1) for you to go away quietly after canceling your order, or (2) for you to agree to pay full price (plus delivery charges) in order to get the merchandise.

    Sears isn’t the only one doing such things. That’s why my personal preference is to deal with my LOCAL merchant instead of the Big Box guys. The local guy may cost a little more, but the business belongs to HIM and he cares about it, and by extension, he cares about you. I don’t believe that the same can be said for ANY business whose first loyalty is to the stockholders and board of directors.

    Most of the Big Box outfits really don’t seem to give a fig for their walk-in customers. Your money is as good as anyone else’s, and if they don’t get YOURS, there’s someone else right behind you. The problem with that presumption is that there just ain’t many fish in that pond.

  95. tysonz says:

    The last time I ordered from Sears was Christmas 2004. They promised they would have everything shipped to us two weeks before christmas (so, by Dec. 10th).

    We recieved a call to go and pick up our parcels on the 24th of December, almost two weeks late, but at least they had arrived before Christmas right?

    Wrong.

    When we reached the store there was a small group of people milling around by the front door, all wearing unhappy faces. As we approached one of them said “Ah.. another dissapointed customer”, and gestured to a sign on the door.

    The hand-written sign on the door said “Closed until Dec 29th, Merry Christmas!”

    They’ll never recieve another dollar from me, or my family, again.

  96. talkingmonkey53 says:

    I think it comes down to this: to avoid the frustration of poor customer service, avoid the Big Box outfits except for the things you can carry with you. I say this from experience on the OTHER side of the customer service counter. The current business model seems aimed at separating the shopper from his/her money as cheaply (did you notice that I didn’t say “Inexpensively”?) as possible. Merchandise quality has deteriorated while merchandising is often much more misleading and confusing; most of the locations are short of staff, and what staff remains tend to be over-worked and obligated to work bizarre and ever-changing schedules by an upper management whose only interest is the bottom line of the P&L statement. If you DO get great customer service, count yourself among the very fortunate. Associate turnover tends to be high, virtually encouraged by an attitude that implies “go ahead and quit! There are 10 more just like you, waiting for your job”.

    So my advice, when it comes to Big Stuff, buy local, from a dealer who’s been there forever. He answers to his partners (if any), his family, his employees, and YOU.

  97. bizhistories says:

    It wouldn’t be huge news if Sears pink-slipped its employees…Sears has been through a number of roller coaster rides in the last few decades.
    [www.fundinguniverse.com]

  98. kineticarl says:

    I’ve had good experiences with Sears lately. I purchased a new range, microhood, dishwasher, and countertops. Everything was installed on time or better, and the service was good. After I purchased the appliances, I went back a week later and they pricematched the appliances an additional 10% off the already-reduced original price I got them for. Everything was extremely low hassle. I was quite pleasantly surprised.

  99. BuckyKattNJ says:

    Funny.

    I, too, have a thing for some Sears items… tools and power equipment.

    I ordered a $2000 riding lawnmower from Sears about two years ago. I got it in about 2 weeks, but unfortunately, Sears outsources all their deliveries to guys… who don’t even own their trucks! It was like scheduling the cable guy… and they routinely don’t show. So the truck shows a couple days later, unannounced, in a Rent-a-Wreck owned POS. The mower does not fit on the liftgate, so they abuse the mower right in front of me, nearly dropping it off the back of the vehicle.

    I immediately notice the front of the mower is smashed… they didn’t set the parking brake and drove like idiots, so the mower smashed into something in the truck… I could see the dents in some of the appliances. I tell them I want this returned. They explain they don’t work for Sears and are not going back to the warehouse. Another truck will be dispatched in a couple hours with a new mower and they will take this one.

    Right. A couple hours later, I call Sears… the woman on the phone denies everything. Then they try to talk me into keeping the smashed mower for a cash discount. I bought an extra push bar just to keep the flimsy-looking nose and hood in good shape… I wasn’t going to settle for a smashed one. She tells me it will be three weeks. In the meantime, I have no mower… she tells me I can use it… I explain I have 6 acres of growing grass. She has no idea what an acre is. I cut the grass, careful not to damage the mower further.

    FOUR weeks later (two grass cuttings), the same people show up… I ball them out for lying to me. This time, however, the liftgate doesn’t work… THEY LIFT/DROP the mower from the 5 foot high truck!!! Luckily no damage. While I am pushing the new mower in the back and I’m getting the old mower, they take off. I now have two mowers… and only one parking spot. I can’t put the second one in a secure place.

    I call up Sears. Ball them out because I can’t store this extra lawnmower and I don’t want to be liable. They will get someone out there to pick up the mower. In the meantime, it sits in my yard, unattended, in the weather. I continue to cut the grass with the smashed mower… why wear out my new one? However, I start taking out my frustrations by “testing” the mower on rougher and rougher turf.

    THREE weeks later, my buddies come back with the Rent-A-Wreck truck… and try to deliver a _THIRD_ lawnmower. I tell them to get the $#%$%#$%$%$ out of my #$#%$%#$#$ yard before I beat them silly.

    A couple weeks later (after I had cut the lawn almost all summer with the extra mower… putting 40 odd hours on it… and mowing though 3ft tall grass, brushes, trees and rocks, a Sears person FINALLY picked up the extra lawnmower.

    I later got a couple $50 gift cards… Its been two growing seasons, and I’m mostly happy with the mower. Its a little flimsy… the blades wear fast and miss some of the tougher weeds. Hopefully this will last ten years, because it will take a hell of a deal for me to forget this adventure.

    Sears saved you a lot of hassle by not charging your card.

  100. ocop says:

    I had much shorter, if similarly disastrous experience with Sears recently:

    1. Ordered a weight set off of Sears.com, 1/2 from store price, shows in stock, received email for pickup.
    2. Went to pick up said weight set (2 dumbels, 1 barbell, weights) and they had pulled a full home Gym.
    3. Attempted to explain to the pickup guy that his 3 7′x3′x6″ boxes wouldn’t fit in my Civic… didn’t work, he kept wheeling the first one out. “This is your order”. Ummm, no it’s not.
    4. It all falls into place for him
    5. 30min later Comes back out with a barbell and a fantastically incorrect selection of weights. No dumbbells.
    6. Pickup guy says “this is what the manager gave me”
    7. Demand to see manager
    8. Wait 30 minutes
    9. Eventually walk back into the stocking area to find the damn guy
    10. “We didn’t have your order in stock so I pulled something close to it, had to get some weights off of the sales floor”. <— Wouldn’t you ask me if I even wanted something that was my original order first?
    11. “I think what I pulled for you is actually worth more”.
    12. It was not.
    13. Canceled my ordered
    14. Stopped by the sales floor, lo and behold, full weight set sitting there mocking me.
    15. Will never shop at sears again.

  101. aarond12 says:

    The timing on this story is perfect: I just purchased a new lawn mower, on-line, Sunday morning. About 15 minutes later, I received a phone call from the store. Although their on-line store said they have them in stock, they said they did not. She told me they would order one and call me back.

    About 1 minute after she hung up with me, I received an e-mail saying that my lawnmower is ready for pickup. I called Sears’ toll-free customer service line, who explained that even though the e-mail originated from the store, it was true that they’re out of stock.

    While I was on the phone with customer service, the store called back and said my lawn mower would be ready for pick-up on Thursday, but that they’ll have to cancel the on-line order to do this.

    It’s Tuesday, so stay tuned… I printed the original on-line order information (including the sale price), so we’ll see if they honor it.

  102. dj-anakin says:

    And they wonder why they’re doing so horribly.

  103. Transient77 says:

    I thought I’d share my Sears experience.

    My wife placed an order via their website about a month before Christmas. Everything went smoothly and the order shipped out right away.

    Upon receipt, the contents of the parcel were wholy incorrect. Inside was the receipt for someone else. Clearly the wrong shipping label had been stuck on this box.

    I called Sears and explained the situation. They asked me to drop off the parcel at the local Sears and call back afterwards. My order couldn’t be reshipped until they had verified that I delivered the parcel to the store. Nevermind that we ordered online in order to avoid the store.

    Went down to the store and discovered a HUGE lineup at the customer service desk. Not wanting to wait when I’m doing them a favor, I walk past the line to the counter and tell one of the employees, very briefly, the situation of receiving someone else’s parcel and that I was to drop it off with them. Snotty Sears employee informs me the lineup starts over there (points to lineup). I tell her I’m not waiting in line to return someone else’s parcel and leave her with the parcel.

    I return home and call Sears the next day and am told they have no record of me returning the parcel. I explain the lineup situation and I’m told I’ll have to go back down to the store and sort things out down there. Annoyed, I tell them to just cancel my order, but I’m told that’s not possible because my parcel has been delivered.

    So I go back down to the store, stand in line and after nearly an hour I get to speak to someone. I’m told the return was processed, however I had returned someone else’s order, not my own, so they had refunded the customer who’s order I had received. The employee gets on the phone with Sears website and tells them I had returned the parcel and the contents were someone else’s order. She tells me my order will be resent.

    I go back home and the next day I again call Sears. Again, I’m told I didn’t return my order. After rexplaining the whole situation, the employee confirms that the other customer’s order does show it was returned by me. I ask for my order to just be canceled. I’m told it can’t be cancelled until it is returned by the other customer. I protest to no avail.

    Finally, I ask to speak with a manager. The manager is sympathetic and assures me my order will be cancelled. Also, I’m offered a $100 gift card for the trouble incurred which I of course accept.

    A week later, still no sign of a refund, although now my order has disappeared from the Sears website. I call Sears and there’s no record of anything. Nobody knows what I’m talking about, nor do they know of any manager with the name I wrote down. The phone support person says they’ll call my local Sears to verify my story.

    An hour later, the local Sears calls and asks me to come down in order to receive my refund. They need my card to process it and will handle it themselves. I go down there, the refund is processed and I think this is all behind me finally.

    No such luck. The refund that shows up on my card does not equal that of the original order. I’m shorted about $28.

    Finally on the edge of a nervous breakdown I call Capital One (my credit card) and explain the situation. The agent tells me he’s heard of this before with Sears and says he’ll credit my account $28.

    In the end, I never received the $100 gift card from Sears, never received the full refund and only received some satisfaction from my credit card company who hopefully charged the $28 back to Sears with excessive interests and penalties.

    Moral of the story, don’t shop at Sears unless you find your life a little too dull.

  104. catewiley says:

    After 1 hour on the phone with Sears reps from every corner of the world, I still can’t get my defective stove fixed. I have told them and I will tell everyone else…I WILL NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM SEARS AGAIN!!!!! Every appliance I own came from Sears but as soon as possible I will replace them from somewhere else. I gave up on Lands End when the quality went way down after Sears bought them, poor KMart has very little anyway, I will never buy from Sears again.

  105. flipx says:

    Dixie chopper OMG what a machine could one not turn the neighbors green with envy with one of those out in the driveway. Sears here in Canada are the only ones you can count on to do service on any appliances if you live outside of a city no one else will drive 1 hour. Purchased a Maytag washer from a appliance store one time took them a month to come and service it.

  106. doublecbob says:

    Two years ago my wife and I purchased a refrigerator, washer and dryer & 61″ Samsung dlp TV. We purchased the extended warranty for the TV. 2 years later & the picture went dark. I called Sears. The person I stumbled on was most helpful. She asked me if certain lights were blinking & I said yes. She said I needed a new bulb. I since then have read the owners manual and indeed that is what those lights are all about. This was on a Wednesday. She put me on hold and called their parts dept. and ordered me a bulb and said it would be here by Tuesday at the latest. The 4th of July fell on a Friday of that week and that was the best she could do. I said I understood, and I said goodbye. The next day I started feeling stupid as I was never given an order # or anything. I proceeded to call the same # I had called the day before in hopes of getting a tracking number. I was told that there was no order for me, and after 45 minutes of being passed around and hung up on, not on purpose. I told my wife I was going to go down to Sears and see if I could get some actual help. The nice lady I talked to called someone and 45 min. later we were at the same place that I had been when I got in the car and came to the store. Finally she got through to someone who told her that a tech would have to come to my house and see what was wrong with the TV. I then was given the phone and continued the conversation. I told her that it had already been decided what was wrong with the TV and I did not need a tech. She said they could not order the part until a tech made that assessment. She then told me the soonest a tech could come to my house would be the 17th of July, more then 2 weeks away. At this point I lost control of myself and used a word I am not proud of using. Finally she said I should call this 800 number called one touch and they would be able to move things along quicker then she was able to. I said I was sorry and thanked her. I called one touch and they told me to call rapid response. I did and they ordered the part.
    I have been trying to get a tracking number for this part since Monday. Today is Wednesday 1 week later and today I was told yes it was ordered yesterday and should ship sometime this week. Needless to say this is the worst customer service I have ever received. I will never do business with Sears again in my life and I highly recommend you dear reader take the same action.

  107. adwill says:

    I tried major purchases from Sears – I walked in with purchase orders from my school district amounting to $3,500 for new tools and an air compressor for our High School Ag Ed Shop. The supervisor said they could not order something that big.

    I tried to work with them for several months, but nothing. Finally I said, “Screw this” and went to a local machine shop and bought a much better unit with more features for a better price.

    The company has a death wish.

  108. murf10 says:

    As a current employee of Sears, I am not surprised to read about this. Personally, I try to serve the customer as best as I can and to the best of my knowledge. Unfortunately, Sears has many problems that are really out of my control. First of all, the training is practically useless. I have obtained most of my knowledge for my position through trial and error [involving in many unsatisfied customers, but never once did I use the "not my problem" excuse] and asking A LOT of questions of my superiors.

    Second, there is so much that is needed to know about operating the register, it is easy to make a serious error. For home delivery for example, there are about 4 different ways to do it, not one simple way. What the item is depends on how it should be rung up in the machine. This is one of the biggest problems for employees. The training that is provided to them when they are hired is horrifically outdated and covers the bare minimum.

    Third, Sears REALLY pushes the importance of “Credit Apps” and “extended warranties” on its employees. Product knowledge and customer service come second to these things. In fact, the employee who signs customers up with the most credit cards is considered to give the best customer service. Now I have seen customers get VERY frustrated with pushy employees, and the employees being congratulated by their superiors. I will occasionally ask the customer if they’d like to sign up because it is my job, but I NEVER push the customer. The extended warranties can be a good idea because they do protect the customer if the product needs to be repaired or replaced. BUT, employee knowledge of the manufacturer’s warranty and the extended warranty is usually lacking. I am not even 100% sure of our return policy because I have been told about a million different variations of it, not to mention that it changes often and has a million tiny little details. With the focus on the extremities, it is easy for one to loose focus on the real goal: good customer service. It is usually the old-timers who have worked there for 10 years who give the best service. I try to associate myself with them.

    Forth, there are many stocking issues. I have learned to never rely on the computer, I ALWAYS check in the warehouse to see if something is in stock and most customers are grateful for that. Certain things can be ordered in and it gives us an estimated date that the item will be delivered to the DISTRIBUTION CENTER. It will then be delivered to the store USUALLY that week. Unfortunately we have not control over this, and have had cases where the delivery date kept changing, although not often.

    I want to say that most transactions I have with customers are good and my store generally runs things fairly. I have heard the stories from the old-timers and definitely agree that Sears is on a decline. Most of the employees I have worked with did their best to give true customer service, even with the apparent graying of the definition of “customer service.”