Sears, This Is Why No One Likes You

In-Store pickup for online orders from Sears is such a promising concept. You order something, pick it up a short time later at your local Sears store, bring it home, and enjoy your new and properly functioning appliance, tool, or gadget. Seasoned Sears shoppers and faithful Consumerist readers know that things often don’t work that way. Today’s exhibit: David, and his fight to get Sears to sell him a functioning toaster oven.

He sent this letter to executive customer relations (that’s ECR@searshc.com), the CEO, and some other contacts. Of course, he also copied Consumerist. Let’s listen in.

I am writing to you to relay my horrible experience today purchasing a Sears Kenmore Elite Toaster oven (see order below) and requesting immediate assistance in remedying this situation. I ordered this toaster over this morning for In-Store pickup at the [redacted] store. I brought the oven home, plugged it in, and, in reading the manual noticed that it was not operating correctly. The power light was not lit, and the display only showed a colon, and then went blank.

The instructions for the product state that the power light is supposed to remain lit, as is the display while it is plugged in. I called Tech support, and after being switched among 4 different departments in 2 different countries, I was told nobody knew how the Oven is supposed to work, so I should return or exchange it. I called the store’s local number to see if they had any more of these Ovens in stock and, of course, got switched to the National number. The woman there checked and told me that none of my local stores had any more available. I packed up the oven and took it to the store to return it.

Of course, when I got there, I found TWO more of the ovens on the sales floor. I brought one to the counter to make the exchange and asked if I could plug it in to test it, to make sure it worked properly. The clerk told me that I could not.

I brought the oven home, and opening that box immediately discovered that this one was obviously a customer return. All the accessories were unwrapped and inside the oven (the original had each accessory individually wrapped and outside the oven.) The interior packing was also in poor shape. Of course, when I plugged in this oven, it too had the same problem as the first one.

I have now reached the end of my patience with Sears, and am not going to waste any more time on your failure here. I expect Sears to take care of this problem by either shipping me a WORKING replacement oven and arranging for the defective one to be returned at YOUR expense, or arranging for the return at no further cost or waste of time to me. I will thank you for your prompt attention to this matter and look forward to your reply.

We’ll update this post when that reply–or a new toaster oven–comes.

Update: Well, David heard back from executive customer relations. Here’s his update:

ECR called me on Monday and offered a $25 giftcard and suggested I order another one from their site for delivery and return the original to the store. That was upped to $50 when I mentioned that the Toaster was no longer on sale and that the offer for double Shop Your Way Rewards had ended. The Store’s GM called Tuesday and left a message. When I called him back, he actually first answered “Radio Shack” lol. Turns out he apparently used to work there. One sinking ship to another. He seemed clueless, and his only suggestion was to see if I could find one at another store and test it first. He knew nothing about the item