How Sears Drove Me Away To GameStop To Get Kinect

Bryan wanted to get his hands on the Kinect motion-sensor controller for the Xbox 360, and ordered it on Sears.com, expecting it to come well before Christmas. That was a week ago, and Bryan has a Kinect now, but no thanks to Sears, on which he gave up due to broken promises and poor customer service.

He writes:

I wanted to share my story about my recent order at Sears.com.

On 12/14 I placed an order with Sears.com for an Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect/Kinect Adventures Game. I ordered it with expedited shipping to ensure that it would come by Christmas. The Sears.com website showed there were 5 ‘in stock and available’. Shortly after my order, I received and order confirmation stating I should receive my order on 12/17. As the week progressed I saw no update in my email or on sears.com. Keep in mind, my credit card was charged on 12/14.

When 12/17 came and I had no update, I decided to call Sears.com customer service to see what was going on, I spoke with them on the morning of 12/17 and spoke with a lady in Mississippi who told me that Sears’s system was down and she could check my order on sears.com and just like myself she said it had an expected arrival of 12/17 but no shipping information that asked that I call back in 2-3 hours to check on my order.

Later that afternoon I called sears back (after multiple busy signals) and was greeted by a man of Indian decent and not nearly as easy to understand. In speaking with this man, he never asked for my order number, told me that my order might be getting packed for shipping and could go out anytime, told me that it could be delayed and just gave me random excuses as to why I didn’t have my order. At one point he told me that he wished he could get my package from the factory himself and hand deliver it to me! How appreciative (sarcasm). After I finally was able to find out from him that he had absolutely no idea where my order was and that their system was still down, I abruptly decided to end that worthless call.

Finally, on 12/18 I called back again and spoke to another nice American lady who was able to look up my order in the system and said she saw my expected delivery date but no shopping information, she told me my options were to cancel my order and my credit card would be refunded in 3-5 days or she could put an inquiry in to see where my order was. I opted for option 2 since I had no alternative at this point.

The same day, I filled out an email contact form asking where my order was, which brings us to today (12/20) I receive this reply from sears.com:

“Bryan, after further research on your order, I found that your order for Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect/Kinect Adventures game is still under processing. At this point of time, I am sorry to inform you that the tracking number has not been updated. However, from the date of placing an order, it takes 12-19 business days for your order to get delivered your shipping address. Please allow the required time frame to process your order. We appreciate your patience.”

How generous of Sears! It could take almost a full month for my order to reach me. No offer to refund my expedited shipping, no apologizing for the failure in the system in multiple places, just asking me to wait 12-19 days.

Between 12/18 and 12/20 I went to GameStop and was able to pick up the same item from the store in and out in 10 minutes.

My next call to sears will be to cancel my order and demand my credit card is refunded immediately, I am sure they will tell me that is impossible.

Bryan’s experience is proof that often easier to back away from the computer and hit a retail store to pick up what you’re looking for. If you’ve ever canceled a long-delayed online order to pick up the item at a brick-and-mortar store, share your story in the comments.

Comments

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  1. georgi55 says:

    “Bryan’s experience is proof that often easier to back away from the computer and hit a retail store to pick up what you’re looking for.”

    Often? Just order from reputable stores like Amazon or Newegg.

    • IphtashuFitz says:

      Exactly. I’ve never had a problem ordering from either of those websites, just like I’ve never had a problem going to upscale brick & mortar stores. But go to a dodgy store or a dodgy website and you’re much more likely to encounter problems. It has nothing to do with the fact that one is online and one is a brick & mortar store. It has everything to do with the quality & reputation of the company.

    • full.tang.halo says:

      Agreed.

      Going to Game Stop is never the solution, ever.
      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6wnow_zero-originality-episode-1_videogames

    • GMFish says:

      Newegg is awesome. I bought a PS3 from them two years ago. I had it all set up the night before but on Christmas morning it was dead.

      The next day I called Newegg for a favor. I asked if I could simply return it (not exchange it/not RMA it) and buy it locally, so my kids could play with it as soon as possible. Newegg let me. So my kids had a PS3 to play with the day after Christmas. I returned the borked PS3 without any problem.

      I love you Newegg! If you were a woman I’d marry you. If you were a guy I’d switch sides.

    • TasteyCat says:

      While I buy a lot on Amazon because of the sheer variety of products they offer, it’s not without its flaws, although I certainly wouldn’t consider my occasional issues with them to be often. One time, I ordered a product that I assume was out of stock, although their product page indicated otherwise. They gave me an estimated delivery date time span up to 10 days or 2 weeks later. Not until that time frame had passed did they reschedule the delivery date until a month later. Since I didn’t want to risk that they simply would not have access to it in yet another month, I made my purchase from Vitacost instead and cancelled the Amazon order.

    • benbell says:

      If they had that item in stock, I would have, they didn’t though.

      I am an Amazon prime member and build all of my computers on newegg.

      • benbell says:

        And to rebut my own reply, looks like Gamestop.com and others have the 360′s with Kinect back in stock now.

    • jefeloco says:

      Unless Amazon themselves are out of what you want and you’re left to the mercy of their stupid marketplace sellers. I was looking at getting 250GB 360 a week ago, Amazon only had marketplace sellers available and all of them were starting at $400 for the holiday bundle. This is the same bundle that lists for $300.

      Amazon has them in stock now but they still have marketplace chumps asking upwards of $500 for the same thing. Vultures.

    • Jerkamie says:

      newegg rocks at shipping. I got free ground shipping, ordered monday, at my door wednesday

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Why is there Consumerist information provided for Skype?

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    OP’s a liar. There’s no way a person of Indian descent is harder to understand than a native Mississippian.

    On a serious note, though, I totally get the OP’s frustration, but statements like “he wished he could get my package from the factory himself and hand deliver it to me” are quite common when it comes to customer service reps in India. There’s no need to take out your frustration on them. It’s a mix of how they’re trained and their cultural attitude toward call center jobs. They don’t mean any harm by it, and to suggest that the other two American people are somehow better than the India-based customer rep simply because their accents are different is strange.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      It’s all about the level of integration and authority you give your call center, not where it is. If all an Indian call center staffmember can do is regurgitate information off a computer, then he is useless. But a call center staffmember can make other call, inquire about information, or (gasp!) make decisions on behalf of the company, then everyone wins.

  4. iggy21 says:

    I usually check shipping time before ordering under a tight timeline.

    • jimmyhl says:

      It doesn’t look as if the OP checked before placing the order, but upon placing his order, Sears said to expect delivery on Dec 17. So, checking before clicking wouldn’t have done him much good.

    • Pax says:

      RTFA, please: “I ordered it with expedited shipping to ensure that it would come by Christmas.”

      If that doesn’t indicate “checking shipping time”, I don’t know what is.

    • Difdi says:

      Reading is HARD!

  5. Kevin says:

    You must choose carefully in which retailers you do business with. Sure, Froogle might find something on crazybobswidgets.com a few dollars cheaper than Amazon but dealing with a reputable company might just be worth the price difference.

    • Starrion says:

      Yeah, that shady sears.com might disappear at any time.

      How badly broken is Sears that it can’t do even a halfway competent job in E-commerce?

      They invented the concept of catalog shopping. They have some experience with this kind of thing.

    • zegota says:

      It’s pretty hilarious that Sears is now considered a shady vendor. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

  6. ouijabored says:

    Not really a delayed online order, but my mom had a very similar issue with Sears once.

    My older brother and I were pretty young, and the Ghostbusters fire station had come out recently (http://www.inthe80s.com/toys/image.php?image=http://www.inthe80s.com/toys/images/user-image-1248815621.jpg, not ours but the only pic I could find.) As we loved the movie and cartoon, my mom thought it would be the perfect Christmas gift. They were pretty popular, so she had to order one in-store. She did this in November, with many assurances that yes, it would be in by Christmas, it will be in on #date actually!

    Fast forward to #date. It’s backordered. But it will be here by Christmas, don’t worry, it’ll come on #nextdate! Backordered again. This kept happening, and my mom frantically scoured other stores to find it, but there weren’t any. Finally, the news she’s been dreading (though also sort of expecting): it won’t be in by Christmas. In fact, they’re so backed up it probably won’t be in until February!

    It eventually arrived (mid January, I think she said), but to this day, 20 some odd years later, my mom still refuses to shop at Sears because they “ruined Christmas.”

    • Sanspants says:

      I loved that firehouse. Not to brag, I got it for Christmas too.

    • kujospam says:

      Those are the types of stories that people remember for a long time and do effect people actually shopping there. Not just your mom, but yourself as well I bet. My mom had some similar experiences with kmart, and I barely ever shop there because of that, and a few other reasons.

  7. groveysgirl says:

    I just had nearly the same experience with them! Lucky, I’m not under the Christmas crunch like he is. I went to the Sears in Altoona, PA and asked about a pair of boots there. They were out of them in my size in store, but offered to ship them to my house free of charge after ordering them online for me. Here it is the 21st (10 days later), and I still have nothing.

    I called sears’ customer service like he did, and got a woman who sounded by her very heavy accent that she was of Indian decent. I had nearly the same experience where first she told me it was waiting for UPS to pick up. Then she told me it would be at my house tomorrow. Then she told me it would be shipped tomorrow. The conversation basically ended with her not telling me anything about my boots other then she didn’t know where they were, when they were shipping, and when they’d be to my house.

    I get the feeling that I’ll be making another call to them very soon.

  8. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Lest weekend I was going to buy from RadioShack online and saw the “Need help deciding? Give us a call! 800-843-7422″ graphic on their website. I called but the recorded message said to call back during business hours Monday to Friday. Are they serious? The weekend before Christmas and no operators are standing by?

  9. dangermike says:

    Thanks for the heads up. May I recommend that future purchases of a similar nature go through a retailer with a more reputable name in web commerce? Particularly, I have found Newegg and Amazon to offer the best combinations of price and service, but there are others, as well. It’s a truly a shame, seeing as how Sears is the original mail order catalog, but these days they really don’t seem to have their act together.

  10. cigsm says:

    I didn’t know Sears still existed? People still buy stuff there?

  11. Brunette Bookworm says:

    I keep waiting for the day Sears closes because their service gets worse and worse. It seems crazy they can’t give you dates for when to order by for Christmas delivery or tell you when something is shipping/

    Also, it’s descent, not decent.

    • groveysgirl says:

      Sorry I didn’t have my proofreading cap on, I was just trying to relay the issue.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        Ha! Someone replied. I thought it was a bit funny the same mistake was made in the post and by you in your comment. One person making the mistake I’ll let it go as a typo, two in the same thread/article isn’t a coincidence.

  12. daemonaquila says:

    I’ve had the same experience, but with Apple. They had a slightly nicer configuration available online than they had in the local store at the time, so I ordered the machine. It was listed as being available, shipping within 24 hrs. The next day, I got an email saying that it would be “about 2 weeks” before I got my machine. Naturally, I got on the phone to find out what was going on. After several inquiries, I finally got someone who told me that 2 weeks was minimum, and that my machine has not yet been built by their plant overseas, and that when it was done it would be shipped. However, shipping from that country would take at least 2 weeks…

    Yeah, I cancelled it and got the slightly less nice model in person.

  13. samonela says:

    OP had me until these statements:

    I called sears back and was greeted by a man of Indian decent and not nearly as easy to understand…

    I called back again and spoke to another nice American lady…

    Useless CSRs abound regardless of their perceived “decent”. Who’s to say that the call center you reached each time wasn’t the same building/department and the three people you talked to were all sitting next to one another and all three were American citizens?

    OR what if you called an Indian call center each time but the two women lacked the native accent?

    Just saying…

    • Kibit says:

      Thank you for saying this.

    • benbell says:

      The first lady I spoke to asked me how the weather was and was very friendly and told me she was in Mississippi. I never actually said the call center was in India, I work with many Indians and know an Indian accent very well.

      I never asked the third lady where she was from, but she certainly lacked an accent.

  14. mopman64 says:

    I worked for Sears years ago, I really don’t know how they have stayed in business all these years.

  15. hoi-polloi says:

    My wife did the majority of our Christmas shopping online, but did so well before December. I’d be wary of placing an online order through most retailers so soon before Christmas. If your order hits a snag anywhere in the process it’s unlikely you’ll get it in time.

    I don’t know if the Kinect is particularly hard to find in most areas, but it seems like a non-issue around here. I’ve seen a number of them on the shelves at a few retailers lately.

  16. mopman64 says:

    The problem I had with them when I worked for them was they were more interested in selling the service agreements(MA’s) as we called them and the product replacement. Everything in my dept (computers) was forever out of stock so all had to be ordered. Some customers would do it because of the Sears card and some would walk.

  17. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    To Sears defense….and going by what the OP wrote…. Sears didn’t exactly tell the OP what year to expect to receive it.

  18. davidsco says:

    Kmart did the same thing to me on another item a month ago. It’s why Sears and Slaymart are no longer “where America shops” and haven’t been for years. Why those two dinosaurs are still in business, I have NO idea

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Kmart messed up my online order too. I ordered a coat that I liked in their store but that was sold out in my size. The projected delivery date came and went, then 3 days later I got an email saying they couldn’t fill my order and if I wanted to discuss it I could call an 800 number. My size was sold out on their site by that point. What was there to discuss?

      So I turned around and ordered a similar coat from Old Navy. Took 3 weeks to come, kept saying “processing” on their site. Finally it came via UPS to the USPS, and it was the wrong size. Again, went to their site, my size was sold out. I entered a long email chain with Old Navy where they refused to refund me, eat the $6 restocking fee or my return shipping costs.

      I finally gave the coat as a gift to my sister, whose size it was.

  19. thelion says:

    It is, actually, impossible to “immediately” refund a credit card as the refund has to go through Central Processing and then your bank has to be notified and receive funds and then post funds. Even though you see funds removed immediately, Sears does not receive them for several days. The same is true for refunds, Sears will (should) process it the same day, but your bank will not credit your card until they receive funds back which can take 3-5 business days.

  20. marillion says:

    Reminds me of my Black Friday experience at Sears. I stood in line (granted, only a half hour) outside and then inside once again to get in the electronics department, only to be told that they never even had any Xboxes in stock in the first place. So I shuffled down the walkway at the mall to Gamestop and got what ended up being a better deal.

  21. Hungry Dog says:

    This is why you shop at Amazon.

    • ShadowFalls says:

      Sears is pretty much fail. They are even worse now than they were before Kmart acquired them. They used to have products they stood behind and good prices as well. Now everything is overpriced and mediocre.

  22. amuro98 says:

    I’m a bit confused why the OP wanted to buy this from Sears.com – or any .com for that matter. Did he have a Sears(.com) coupon or something?

    For things like video game hardware, the price is going to be nearly the same at every store – online or not. Also this isn’t a rare or hard to find item – as evidenced by him getting it from Gamestop.

    Honestly, I would tell the OP to not even bother with another call to Sears – their system seems to be down permanently. Just call the credit card and have them do a chargeback.

    • benbell says:

      Hey,

      I am the OP, the reason I went with sears.com is because the 4GB Kinect bundle was actually fairly hard to source without also ordering other games. It was being sold at a premium on Amazon.com, I found it on sears.com so I decided to order it. The website said that it would be delivered by Christmas.

      Finally when I was at the mall with my wife, I was surprised to find gamestop had them in stock and the transaction went very quickly.

  23. dush says:

    Sears…just stop.

  24. stock2mal says:

    Sears is a horrible company for a variety of reasons, I only buy stuff there when I know they are losing money on it.

  25. PLATTWORX says:

    My next call to sears will be to cancel my order and demand my credit card is refunded immediately, I am sure they will tell me that is impossible.”

    Sears is a mess, but I would have preferred to hear AFTER he asked for a refund professionally. They may very well issue a full refund right away…. I have had it happen. This story is not yet finished.

  26. jblather says:

    Exactly – I’m not surprised at this. Sears has been going down the tubes. I’m surprised they haven’t gone into bankruptcy by now. They don’t even have decent warranties on their tools anymore. They used to have lifetime warranties, now they offer only 1-year or 90-day warranties on their tools.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Ha! You comment makes me laugh because years ago, my sister and I both worked at Sears. It was a running joke with us that every day, at least one older customer would come in, want something we didn’t have, and say “Sears is slipping! Sears is really going downhill!”

      It was the absolute truth then, and it is now. It’s just funny because we heard it so often, even 15 years ago.

  27. kujospam says:

    To be fair, it’s not the faster shipping fought, he should of paid for faster processing.

    (sarcasm)

  28. scoobydoo says:

    Each year, I read these stories and wonder just how the hell the company is still in business.

    If your logistics systems are so bad, that you can not provide basic order information, then you need to either go out of business, or replace your IT people.

    While companies like Walmart have implemented near perfect ordering systems, firms like Sears continue to scare customers away into the arms of the competitor. We can only hope they’ll run out of customers sooner or later.

  29. lilspooky says:

    Who shops at sears? are you 90 years old? DONT SHOP AT SEARS! let them die!

  30. gman863 says:

    This sounds like the type of shitty service you get at Kmart.

    Oh wait…Sears is now owned by Kmart.

    Never mind.

    • PupJet says:

      I was going to say, Kmart piggybacks Sears so that way Sears can stay alive while sucking Kmart down…didn’t that happen to another company a long time ago that Sears enveloped?

      • gman863 says:

        The actual sequence of this was that Kmart (as a stand alone company) filed bankruptcy. Somehow, when they emerged from it, they had deep enough pockets and smart enough lawyers to buy Sears out.

        The only other Sears entity I can think of is The Great Indoors – an overpriced train wreck that attempts to sell Lowe’s type products (sans lumber) at insanely inflated prices.

        I think they’re down to 9 or 10 locations nationwide including one here in Houston. Given the parking lot is always empty, I predict it will bite the dust very soon.

  31. common_sense84 says:

    Well why did you buy this from sears.com? Every B&M store has them and you could have chosen any number of online stores that would not charge you sales tax.

    The OP must be blamed in this situation.

  32. KlueBat says:

    I know everyone trashes Best Buy and Game Stop on this site, not without cause mind you, but I was wondering where Consumerist readers go when they want to buy a game in the store? Usually I go to Amazon for my games but sometimes I want a game the same day so I choose Best Buy or Meijer. What about the rest of you?

  33. homehome says:

    Wat I don’t understand is if he was n such a rush 2 get it why didn’t he just go 2 a store n buy it anyway. Expedited shipping is really never promised. Yea sears should give a refund. A person takes the longest way to get from a to b then is surprised when it takes so long. Sometimes instead o blaming ppl u gotta look at urself.

  34. homehome says:

    Wat I don’t understand is if he was n such a rush 2 get it why didn’t he just go 2 a store n buy it anyway. Expedited shipping is really never promised. Yea sears should give a refund. A person takes the longest way to get from a to b then is surprised when it takes so long. Sometimes instead o blaming ppl u gotta look at urself.

  35. homehome says:

    Wat I don’t understand is if he was n such a rush 2 get it why didn’t he just go 2 a store n buy it anyway. Expedited shipping is really never promised. Yea sears should give a refund. A person takes the longest way to get from a to b then is surprised when it takes so long. Sometimes instead o blaming ppl u gotta look at urself.

  36. homehome says:

    Wat I don’t understand is if he was n such a rush 2 get it why didn’t he just go 2 a store n buy it anyway. Expedited shipping is really never promised. Yea sears should give a refund. A person takes the longest way to get from a to b then is surprised when it takes so long. Sometimes instead o blaming ppl u gotta look at urself.

  37. homehome says:

    Wat I don’t understand is if he was n such a rush 2 get it why didn’t he just go 2 a store n buy it anyway. Expedited shipping is really never promised. Yea sears should give a refund. A person takes the longest way to get from a to b then is surprised when it takes so long. Sometimes instead o blaming ppl u gotta look at urself.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Were you in a rush to post this comment? You left off a few letters.

      Up higher in the comments, the OP posted and said he ordered it online because Sears.com had a package that wasn’t bundled with games he didn’t want, and he couldn’t find that package anywhere else. He was later surprised to find it in Gamestop after the whole ordeal.

  38. homehome says:

    Wat I don’t understand is if he was n such a rush 2 get it why didn’t he just go 2 a store n buy it anyway. Expedited shipping is really never promised. Yea sears should give a refund. A person takes the longest way to get from a to b then is surprised when it takes so long. Sometimes instead o blaming ppl u gotta look at urself.

  39. Godzrocker says:

    We ordered some Christmas photos from the walmart photo center on 12/5. After not receiving them for a week and a half, we finally reordered through the one hour photo. The order is still being shipped to this day. Oh, and we also sent some pics through first, to see how they turned out, and half our order was someone else’s photos, which means some creep has pictures of my kids. Thanks Wal-Mart :-)

  40. RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

    I made a ThinkGeek order on 12/14, and felt that was plenty of time to get the items here by Christmas. Yesterday I was excited because tracking showed it in the UPS facility in my hometown. But today, it shows “delivered to local post office”. Last time Old Navy did that to me, it took another week for the post office to deliver it.

    Now I have to try to buy replacement presents for my coworkers, since our Christmas exchange is Friday. Grrr…

  41. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Wow. All of the Sears horror stories lately. They are going on my stay away at all costs lists along with Best Buy and Walmart.

  42. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Why are companies allow to charge s CC before the merchandise is at least prepared for shipment, unless it is a custom order piece? Why should a company get to have a customers’ money if the product isn’t in stock, ready to leave, or on its way? That seems really fishy to me.

  43. nybiker says:

    On a Kinect note, my former employer finally explained to me yesterday how she broke her wrist around Thanksgiving. It seems she was playing the Long Jump game on Kinect with her niece & nephew and was ‘running’ on the carpet but only with socks. When she ‘jumped’ she slipped and fell and the next thing she knew she had a broken wrist. She’s got a plate and 10 screws inserted now.
    The moral of the story: Wear sneakers when running on carpet (or bare floors I’d imagine too).