You Will Never Stop These Shipments Of Kenmore Filters

Automatic re-ordering of items you use a lot of can be a wonderful and convenient thing. But if you don’t want the thing anymore, ending that perpetual re-order can be a colossal pain in the butt. Dave had the water filters for his Kenmore fridge set for annual re-orders from Sears PartsDirect, but discovered a cheaper source. He tried to cancel the re-order, but wasn’t able to, so he removed all credit cards from his Sears account. They sent the filters anyway.

A couple of years ago, I needed to order replacement water filters for a Kenmore refrigerator. Sears PartsDirect had what I needed, and offered an extra discount if I agreed to automatic annual re-orders (six-month filter life, two filters per order, one order per year). I took the discount, received the order, and then received my first re-order last year.

After looking around, I realized that the filters weren’t particular to Sears and could be ordered more cheaply from another source–so I decided to avoid this year’s auto-renewal. A couple of weeks ago, I got an email indicating that the automatic re-order was scheduled for May 1. I went to the Sears PartsDirect website to try to cancel the re-order, but found nothing listed on the “Automatic reorders” page of my profile.

So I initiated a web chat with a customer service representative, who took my information and told me the re-order would be canceled. Just in case, I also went to the “Payment methods” tab of my profile and deleted the saved credit card information, under the assumption that they wouldn’t ship me something without some form of payment.

This morning, I am surprised to receive an email indicating that the automatic re-order was processed and that my credit card had been charged–even though I had removed it from my account. The email is correct, as the credit card site shows the charge from Sears as currently pending.

I spoke to a customer service rep on the phone this morning; she was apologetic, but said there was no way to cancel the order at this point and that I would have to get an RMA and shipping label to return the parts for credit.

While I intend to do that, I also will dispute the charge on my credit card–as I specifically requested that the order be canceled and as my removal of the payment method from my Sears PartsDirect profile should have prevented any additional charges to the card.

So–beware of Sears PartsDirect. The savings for the initial order are not worth it when the auto-renewal can’t actually be canceled.

Comments

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  1. Costner says:

    I refuse to do automatic re-orders for anything, and this is one reason why. I might pay a few bucks more for buying something when I actually need it, but I always feel automatic orders are a waste because they assume you need something more often than you might actually need it.

    For instance if you order razor cartridges on a reorder program they think you need them ever month, but I like to shave with an electric most days and only use a regular razor about once a week. A reorder process would leave me with way more product than I would need, and I suspect some people use more product than they otherwise would simply because it keeps coming.

    Just like those people who get automatic shipments of coffee. If they get a new shipment but still have half a bag of the old stuff, they brew a few extra pots that week to “burn it up”. That is wasteful IMO, and I’d rather just buy what I need rather than getting stuck with extra.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Solid, logical thinking.

      Who are you and what are you doing on Consumerist?

    • Cat says:

      Except for Amazon subscribe and save, I agree. But that’s only because you can “game” the system by subscribing then canceling, or adjusting the delivery dates.

      • Golfer Bob says:

        I was coming here to say the same thing…If you have an expired credit up there for payment, they hold the shipment and send you quadrizzillion emails about it, but you don’t loose your subscribe and save item subscription like you would if you just cancelled it and tried to get again later.

        I had an old cat, 21 years old when she passed last November, who would only eat Fancy Feast Flaked Trout canned cat food. Not Ocean Fish. Not Tuna. Not mixed grill. Only TROUT. Try finding that on a regular basis in my small, opressed southern town. Amazon subscribe and save to the rescue. Two cases every month, no hassles, no worries.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      I’m wish ya on this. With auto renewal, what incentive does a merchant have to lower pricing? And even if there’s a fixed product price, shipping and handling can be manipulated.

      If you’ve ordered (one time only) the merchant has you in their database and is quite likely to continue to email you offers with better and better terms till you re-order.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    Sears is in a desperate financial condition so this doesn’t surprise me. With that said, I would wait until the part is returned and see if the credit card charge is refunded. Give about a week after you send it and if the charge is still there then call customer service, if that doesn’t help then contact your credit card company.

  3. deathbecomesme says:

    Same thing happened with my Xbox live auto renewal account yesterday. I disabled the auto renewal and removed my cc from my account file. Yesterday I get a charge *ON My NEW WF CC*. I called xbox live and they said I had cancelled it too late. I tried to dispute the charge with WF but they said that it came down to “unauthorized charges/fraudulent activity” and I would have to get a whole new CC again. I just got this one two months ago.

  4. Cat says:

    My old Kenmore – made by Whirlpool – washer (you know, the ones that USED to be well built) stopped agitating last week. It needs 4 new agitator dogs, and Sears PartsDirect will sell me 4 for $20 + $10 Shipping + Tax. They can have them to me in about, um, about 20 days.

    So a call to a repair place turned up a price of $20. A quick search of Amazon turned up the set of four for $3.35 – with prime shipping. I ordered yesterday – the 3rd – at noon. Tracking says they are out for delivery right now. We’ll be washing clothes tonight.

    Why deal with Sears anymore?

    AMAZON.

    • foofish says:

      Don’t support puppy mills. Get your agitator dogs from the pound.

      • racermd says:

        I SUPPORT my local puppy mills. I like fresh-ground product. And I order BY the pound, not AT the pound.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Aren’t we all still boycotting Amazon because of the one-click thing? Geez I think I’m the only one left from the old internet. I need to get down off this stupid high horse.

  5. Dave B. says:

    Get a replacement card with a new number from your CC company, problem solved.

    • oldwiz65 says:

      CC people have been known to give merchants the NEW CC number as a “convenience” on the assumption that you forgot to give the merchant the new number. You will still have to try to dispute the charge, unfortunately, and the bank is unlikely to care.

  6. longfeltwant says:

    His mistake was doing business with Sears*, but he is making up for the mistake by challenging the charge. I would challenge the charge, and (if successful with that) then put the filter back on my porch and invite Sears to come get it. No, sorry, I can’t be bothered to box it up and ship it back to you, but it’s right here on my porch for you whenever you want it.

    * Sears fired me in 1998 because I refused to work on Superbowl Sunday; that’s a fair reason to fire me, but it’s also fair for me to hold a grudge.

  7. Galium says:

    So—beware of Sears PartsDirect. The savings for the initial order are not worth it when the auto-renewal can’t actually be canceled.

    I would be more worried that Sears used my credit card after I had deleted it from my sears account.

  8. kleinfelter says:

    Single use credit card numbers are great. (Most of them also support single payer, multiple charges.) You simply cancel that merchant’s credit card number, and they can’t charge you a penny because Visa/Mastercard rejects the charge.

  9. 2 Replies says:

    Don’t waste your time sending the part back.
    You went out of your way to tell them you didn’t want them anymore, but they still sent them.
    Their charge is fraudulent since you didn’t (re)order them (explicitly telling them to CANCEL), so you can contact your CC company and have them perform a charge-back.

    Legally you can just keep the merchandise they sent you.
    It’s considered a gift when you don’t order something and a company sends it to you anyways.

  10. SearsCares says:

    Dear Consumer,

    Hello my name is Zenaida and I am part of the Sears Social Media Escalation team. I came across your post and wanted to reach out. I am very sorry for any miscommunication that caused the automatic renewal order of your filters to continue instead of stopping altogether. We can understand how frustrating this has been for you and can assure you we will be able to help. Once we have received your information we will assign a dedicated case manager to work directly with you until this issue is resolved.
    At your convenience, please contact our office via email at smsupport@searshc.com so we can get to the bottom of this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number your filters were ordered (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide this link (http://consumerist.com/2012/05/you-will-never-stop-these-shipments-of-kenmore-filters.html) for reference to your issue. We truly value your business and look forward to talking to you soon.

    Thank you,

    Zenaida M.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

    • iesika says:

      Once again, Complaining On The Internet / To The Press proves to be the correct strategy for dealing with a big company that won’t listen to you any other way.

    • Cooneymike says:

      Ms. M,

      If you dealt with the people who called to complain in the first place you wouldn’t have to be monitoring sites like this except to bask in the warm praise for your customer service. You also wouldn’t miss the 7 or 8 disgruntled customers who took their business elsewhere and didn’t care enough to post about it.

  11. Difdi says:

    Don’t bother with an RMA. Sue them. You removed your payment information and canceled the order, and they fraudulently charged the card anyway.

  12. sveyden says:

    Hey Consumers Report if you don’t like the automatic renewal system, then why do you do it too?

    http://www.mouseprint.org/2012/04/30/the-catch-in-consumer-reports-12-subscription-offer/

  13. loggg says:

    Automatic renewal is why I stopped the local paper. They would not sell a subscription plan that didn’t have automatic renewal. Tried to get me to agree to automatic renewal by claiming it was “normal” and “standard”, that’s it’s for my convenience, and that every paper does it. I canceled.

  14. rcarlton says:

    if you’re gonna sign up for something with automatic renewal – try generating a one-time use credit card number via your card’s website.

    set the expiration date of the card to the shortest possible date, and make the credit limit on that one time use card the price of the subscription plus shipping plus a couple of dollars just in case.

    when it comes time to renew, the card should fail – and they’ll notify you.

  15. Press1forDialTone says:

    Don’t ever have anything done -for you- automatically by technology.
    Get off your ass and get organized and do it yourself.
    Anyone who gives their bank’s routing code and your account number
    to any online entity is an idiot.
    Give them the debit card number that is linked (by your bank not by the
    merchant your are dealing with) to your bank account.
    Get educated. Didn’t I hear this site was linked to Consumer Reports, how
    about everybody subscribe like I did and read their voluminous library of
    tips and techniques for not getting screwed. Oh, I forgot, $25 a year is too
    much to keep from getting a new one reamed.

  16. kbsparky says:

    I also use virtual credit cards for any purchases online. Each card is assigned to a specific merchant, and you can set the expiration date and limit the available amount of charges when you set it up.

    You can also cancel any of them at any time, thus cutting off any aggressive merchant from unauthorized charges. They might squawk and complain about it, but it usually puts an end to any subsequent “automatic” shipments they want to make, and you don’t have to call them and wade through hours of trying to get a real person to cancel it for you!.

  17. SearsCares says:

    Dear Consumer,

    We are very concerned as we have not yet received your contact information. We know weekends can be pretty hectic, and perhaps you were unable to get back to us. In your post I read that you were told the automatic renewal had been cancelled and you had removed your credit card information from your profile. I would be just as alarmed as you when you found you were once again charged for more filters. Once we received your contact information we will assign a case manager to do all the leg work involved with getting this resolved. Your case manager is your only point of contact and will check in with you to provide you with updates on the status of your case until it is completely resolved. We understand how upsetting this can be and look forward to hearing from you.
    Again our email is smsupport@searshc.com. We want to get to the bottom of this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number your filter order was processed (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide this link (http://consumerist.com/2012/05/you-will-never-stop-these-shipments-of-kenmore-filters.html) for reference to your issue. We truly value your business and look forward to talking to you soon.

    Thank you,

    Zenaida M.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support