More Adventures In Advanced Anti-Capitalism With Sears

Sears doesn’t want Nat’s business. They don’t want my business. They don’t want anyone’s business. They may continue to exist as a commercial entity, but that’s because they’re one of two things: an advanced anti-capitalist prank, or a massive real estate holding company that continues running stores out of a sense of nostalgia while they wait for the market to pick back up. But they don’t want to actually sell anyone anything, as Nat learned when he tried to order a camera that only appeared to be in stock. Anywhere.

My recent experience shopping from Sears has been shown me why they have been struggling. Their customer service is lacking and they have no real-time inventory tracking.

I purchased a DSLR camera on 5/6/2012 from Sears.com. I requested in-store pickup since it showed it was available at my local Sears. I completed the transaction and received an email immediately stating to wait for confirmation email that item is ready to be picked up. About 15 minutes later, I received an email that the item is no longer available for pickup and has been canceled. I reordered from Sears.com and this time requested the item to be shipped. I received an email confirming the purchase with an expected delivery date of 5/16/2012.

I noticed on 5/9/2012 that my credit card had been charged but I did not receive any type of shipping confirmation from Sears. I did not receive the camera so I called customer service on 5/15 for shipping information. I was informed that the order was in process but that she would have someone contact me with the details. I received an email the next day that stated they have confirmed the expected delivery date as 5/17. You know what I received on 5/17? That’s right. Nothing.

I contacted customer service again but no one was able to give me any additional information other than the order is in process. They said it would take 7 business days to research. They must have to walk up and down each aisle of the warehouse to locate it.

I then contacted Sears Social Media customer service with my issue and was informed a case manager (CM) would be assigned to help me get this resolved. A CM called me on 5/18 stating that he would be assisting me and would be “escalating” the request. He called me back a few hours later and stated that he had not heard from the warehouse manager but would call me on 5/21 with an update. I am not sure why they could not just place another order. I guess they just carry one of every item.

Anyway, I received no update on 5/21 and wrote a follow up email to the CM on 5/22. I did not receive a response so I called him on 5/23. He told me that Sears.com is still researching and if they can not find it by the 5/25, they will cancel my order and refund my credit card. I called the CM on 5/25 and asked him if he had any updates. He told me he has not received any type of reply and does not know if it shipped or was canceled. It will probably take another three weeks to cancel the order.

He then asks me if I want to cancel and reorder or cancel the order entirely. Normally I would be fine with with just purchasing it elsewhere. However, I bought it on sale at the time and there was also a cash back promotion on my credit card, both which are no longer available. The credit card bill just showed up too and is due soon for an item I never received. In addition, I sold my other DSLR camera thinking one was being shipped to me; this caused me to miss various events with a camera. Not to mention all the wasted time spent with their various customer service departments (Sears Blue Ribbon, Sears Social Media Customer Service, SearsCares, etc.). The CM has assured me that he will make things right but based on what has happened so far, I highly doubt it.

There is so much red tape there that I am not surprised they are not doing well. This experience has reaffirmed why I have not shopped at Sears often and will likely avoid shopping there in the future.

Comments

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  1. GOInsanity says:

    I’m going to have to start blaming the OP in these stories. It’s widely known how much Sears sucks. Stop buying there already.

    • StarKillerX says:

      I don’t blame the OP for shoping at Sears, if they listen to every complaint they saw on the net they shouldn’t be able to shop anywhere.

      Although I do blame then for one part:

      “, I sold my other DSLR camera thinking one was being shipped to me; this caused me to miss various events with a camera. “

      If you sold your old camera before waiting until you had a new one in hand that’s your own fault and obviously making sure you had a camera for the events wasn’t a priority for them.

      • GOInsanity says:

        There aren’t that many shops that seem to get bashed as consistently as Sears does. Especially not here. Seems like Amazon or New Egg would have been better choices.

        • FatLynn says:

          People in some rural areas don’t necessarily have a wide selection of stores.

          • crispyduck13 says:

            That’s what the internet is for.

            • Charmander says:

              Works for some, not for all.

              Some people don’t like to buy things online. I for one, like to go in to a store and shop. I very rarely buy anything online, because shopping that way doesn’t interest me.

              • Here to ruin your groove says:

                With Sears circling the drain and Best Buy soon after, I don’t think you’ll have much of a choice in the future.

      • MeowMaximus says:

        Sorry, I do blame the OP, only a fool shops at Sears any more. I am sure they could have gotten a better deal at Amazon. Worse yet, by continuing to try to shop at Sears, they are delaying the day that they go out of business. Stop shopping at Sears or K-Mart!!

    • bdgbill says:

      The last two times i tried to make a major purchase (a TV and a lawn mower), I had very similar experiences to the OP. Sears has major internal problems and is almost certainly circling the drain. Personaly, I don’t even look at their circulars anymore or consider them when researching where to make a major purchase. My only interaction with Sears over the last two years, is to pass through when entering a mall because they have fewer cars parked around their entrance than any of the other stores (try to avoid eye contact with the Ron Burgandy appliance salesmen on your way through).

  2. philpm says:

    I’m assuming the OP sold his other DSLR to finance this one. If not, then that was just dumb.

  3. az123 says:

    So why would the OP sell their camera prior to getting the new one and verifying it worked? I could see this same complaint coming across because they got a bad camera, though would they blame sears or the manufacture of the product?

    And Consumerist has it wrong, sears has it going right, they get your money hold it in an interest bearing account for a couple weeks then give it back to you. They keep making lots of money off interest you cannot…

    • Rhinoguy says:

      While I like your thinking I don’t think that even Sears can make enough to live on just from interest. Know anybody paying over one percent? Rhetorical question, no way are you going to get one percent. Maybe they made a few dollars shorting the Farcebook IPO….

  4. Marlin says:

    I smell a merger…

    Best Sears or Sears Buy?

  5. El_Fez says:

    In addition, I sold my other DSLR camera thinking one was being shipped to me; this caused me to miss various events with a camera.

    Only having one camera is just baffling to me. In this day and age,. how does one only have a single camera? At the very least, go get yourself a cheap disposable film camera for 5 bucks from any drug store in the land and use that in the meantime, if you wind up in a pinch.

    • That guy. says:

      Or, just use your phone.

      The digital camera on my “free” smart phone is 5MP with a flash…which is far better than my first digital camera, which was 640 x 480 without a flash. My second, which cost condiserably more, was only 1MP (and used compact flash).

      Point is, most of us are walking around with fairly capable cameras.

      • That guy. says:

        I don’t know why I mentioned that it used Compact Flash memory cards when talking about the actual flash…but I know the difference. I’m not that confused.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Meanwhile I’m baffled there are people walking around that think owning multiple cameras is a baseline for normal.

      • Bsamm09 says:

        I agree but I’m not really a picture person. I have a digital camera…somewhere and really only use my iPhone camera to take pictures on the rare occasion that I take a picture.

        As a side note…I had some of the best duck I have ever had this past weekend. Not crispy duck though.

      • vivalakellye says:

        It is for a photographer.

  6. jrs45 says:

    The whining by the OP is just incredible.

    Sometimes stock snafus happen, or they mispriced it. Deal with it. They’ll refund your money, or if they give you trouble, just do a chargeback, and go buy it elsewhere. This is not a major problem that demands broadcasting your outrage publicly.

    • D007H says:

      Except that I’ve experienced first hand similar issues with Sears. The last time, it took me 3 months to get my money back. That’s why I stopped shopping there. It’s not an isolated mistake. Trying to get them to resolve things is always more difficult than the steps you described.

    • vastrightwing says:

      It’s noteworthy because it’s just amusing to see Best Buy and Sears self-destruct (or at least I find it amusing), It’s also fun to blame the OP for thinking you can actually buy something at Sears without at least some hassle and also it may make others think before attempting to order something from Sears expecting them to follow through. Sure, any store can have issues once in a while and when they do, they’re easy to resolve. Just not at Sears. At Sears, you have Laurel and Hardy making a Comedy of Errors you just won’t find anywhere else. Admit it, you find it amusing too. Come on!

  7. GenXCub says:

    I love that it is called SearsCares. I imagine it’s like LOLSearsCares.

  8. NotATool says:

    Seems to me that OP’s choice is to:
    a) stick it out in order to take advantage of a great sale price, and run a high risk of never actually receiving merchandise, or
    b) cancel this order, pay a little more somewhere else, get an actual product in hand in exchange for the money spent, and move on with life.

    Given Sears’s inability to deliver or even know what the heck is going on, and given the OP’s urgent need for a camera, I would recommend:
    1) Do NOT pay your credit card for merchandise not received.
    2) Take Sears’ offer to cancel the order and go buy elsewhere
    3) If canceling order fails, chargeback

  9. losergeek says:

    Often I think these posts about ‘a horrible company that ruined my life’ are unfairly picking on the regular snafus that are bound to happen when a company has millions of interactions each year, however every visit I’ve made to sears in the last 5 years has really demonstrated that the company could care less about customer service. It’s pretty surprising actually that they are still around (although they are closing their flagship store here). I still shop there because it’s the only place to get levis at a decent price, but I know now that I shouldn’t expect any service – I find the jeans I want, I go to the unmanned dressing room and let myself in to try them on, and then find one of the few service desks that are actually manned (sometimes on a completely different floor). Actually the stores here are starting to look more and more like ghost towns – good luck trying to find anyone if you need any kind of help.

  10. ronbo97 says:

    Sears still does have a few strengths. Their Craftsman tools are still a quality buy. Can’t beat that lifetime warranty.

    They also own Land’s End clothing, which I will still purchase since they fit well.

    • portwineboy says:

      I just wonder how long that “lifetime” will turn out to be. Not that the tools will fail, I have my grandfather’s Craftsman hammer, but how much long Sears will be alive.

    • Sunrisecarole says:

      The Craftman’s tools aren’t very good anymore. Sorry…..

      • Meano says:

        To be fair, I also wouldn’t expect much from an Orlex watch, a Portia sportscar or a Dear John lawn tractor.

        Having said that, Lambert is pretty clearly trying to buy time for Sears’ real estate to turn by intensive cost-cutting. That cost-cutting appears to have hit the sourcing for Craftsman tools, and – while they don’t yet suck across the board – I don’t trust the brand the way I have for decades.

  11. dush says:

    The Internet age has accustomed us to near-instant gratification.

    • DerangedKitsune says:

      Do you know what’s more instant than ordering something online and waiting days to have it shipped?

      Going to a B&M store, and *gasp* getting your hands on it that same day!

      Seriously, this isn’t instant gratification, this is a case of a company having a dysfunctional inventory system and not being able to coordinate worth a damn between any of its departments, which in this day and age is just an overall failure as a retail company.

  12. oldwiz65 says:

    Why in the world would anyone buy a fancy camera at Sears? And given that Sears isn’t doing anything, why not file a dispute with the CC company for failure to deliver merchandise?

    • DerangedKitsune says:

      With the exception of product returns, all furture interactions involving the camera and a company would be with the original manufacturer. The retailer, beyond POS, plays no factor in it.

      And since it’s a non-propritary model, one that can be bought anyway, it makes economic sense on an individual level to purchase it at the lowest price possible. If I can get an item (key work being GET) at a lower price at one retailer vs another, it behoves me to deal with that first retailer unless other factors (shittastic service, a la Sears, as seen here) would mitigate it.

      • DerangedKitsune says:

        *rereads post* Wow.. lots of spelling mistakes there. What I get for posting early in the morning before all the synapses are properly firing, I guess. Since Consumerist is too thrifty to install an edit button, let me fix that second paragraph:

        “And since it’s a non-propritary model, one that can be bought anyWHERE, it makes economic sense on an individual level to purchase it at the lowest price possible. If I can get an item (key WORD being GET)..”

  13. BigDragon says:

    Sorry, OP, you got too good a deal and they don’t want to honor it. I had this same problem with Sony Style and Sony Card years ago when trying to buy a Metal Gear Solid 4 PS3 bundle. I went weeks without any sort of answer to what was going on, any indication of progress, and just kept looking at the website that showed it as in stock and shipping within 24 hours. I finally gave up after 3 weeks and had the order cancelled since they just wouldn’t honor it. I cancelled the card and have not bought a Sony product since — that’s how irritated it made me. This was 5 years ago.

    It’s likely this Sears order is in the same sort of purgatory. It’s in progress but will never ship. It can’t be cancelled easily but creating a new order at the higher price will go smoothly. I don’t get it. Companies are deliberately making their customers mad with these sort of shenanigans. The OP should do to Sears what I did to Sony — never do business with them again, period.

  14. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I bought an outfit at Sears at the mall, but I didn’t have any problems because it was on the rack and I was able to pick it up, walk to the register, and purchase the product. I think if you stick to those steps with Sears, you might be OK. Might be. I won’t guarantee it.

    Everyone knows that ordering online, scheduling delivery, etc. with this company seems to be a problem. So why do people keep trying?

  15. trencherman says:

    Poor Sears. The one near me has a nack for remodeling, and making everything look even more cutre. And the people working there don’t help. The exception is the automotive department, where they have people who know what they are doing, and have helped me several times.

  16. LastError says:

    This is not news. Years ago, the IT magazine Baseline did a piece on how Walmart beat Kmart simply by doing one thing better: thanks to technology, Walmart knew what was actually on the shelves and in stock and actually selling. And that was back in the 80s. Until recently (or perhaps still), Kmart had NO idea what was actually in stock. If you went to a physical Kmart store, you might find a place on a shelf where the item should be but no item to buy. And nobody with any idea where it was or how to find it. You can’t SELL what you don’t have. Walmart figured this out early. Kmart never bothered to learn, didn’t care, never changed. Now, Kmart/Sears still suffer from the same problems.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      Well unfortunately it appears Walmart forgot that lesson somewhere along the line judging by the out-of-stocks I’ve seen recently.

      Doesn’t excuse K/Sears ineptness but Walmart doesn’t smell like roses either.

  17. mbz32190 says:

    OT, but I stopped by a Kmart today and picked up a few things and the store was somehow busy, they even had to open a 3rd register (sort- of /s). But really, found many things I needed for the same price, or less than Walmart, and Kmart is closer to my house. Looks like that Rewards program they offer now has really boosted business.

  18. frodolives35 says:

    I love Sears and yard sales. At lest 3 times a year I buy broken craftsman tools for a song and walk out of sears with a brand new tool. Latest find $1 for a pair of stripped out Robo grip locking pliers 2 weeks ago. Yesterday they were replaced with a brand new pair of Robo grip adjustable pliers that my son will get for Christmas. The clerk who helped me said”I know these don’t lock but they are the only replacement for this product we have” He seemed shocked when I said that will do fine with a smile. I have those locking pliers and I paid a lot more for them then the cheaper and poorer quality product that they were using as a replacement. I bet he has got a lot of bitching from those who were replacing a better discontinued tool with a lower end substitute and I would have been one of the ones bitching if I had paid full price. The best one happened about 4 years ago when I scored a worn out torque wrench for $2 and got a brand new item for it that was over $50. I have spent a lot of money of my OWN at Sears over the years for new tools so I am not just an opportunist.

  19. frodolives35 says:

    I love Sears and yard sales. At least 3 times a year I buy broken craftsman tools for a song and walk out of sears with a brand new tool. Latest find $1 for a pair of stripped out Robo grip locking pliers 2 weeks ago. Yesterday they were replaced with a brand new pair of Robo grip adjustable pliers that my son will get for Christmas. The clerk who helped me said”I know these don’t lock but they are the only replacement for this product we have” He seemed shocked when I said that will do fine with a smile. I have those locking pliers and I paid a lot more for them then the cheaper and poorer quality product that they were using as a replacement. I bet he has got a lot of bitching from those who were replacing a better discontinued tool with a lower end substitute and I would have been one of the ones bitching if I had paid full price. The best one happened about 4 years ago when I scored a worn out torque wrench for $2 and got a brand new item for it that was over $50. I have spent a lot of money of my OWN at Sears over the years for new tools so I am not just an opportunist.

  20. incident_man says:

    With all the Sears horror stories, it’s frankly AMAZING why anyone even wants to do business with them anymore.

    Wal-Mart my have a bad reputation all the way around, but at least if you pay them for something, you’re more than likely to actually get what you pay for.

  21. drdom says:

    I tried to buy a snowblower from them last winter. They had a bunch of them on display. I already knew which model I wanted. The sales person, who seemed unusually knowledgeable and helpful went out of his way to spend 20 minutes or so talking me into a different unit which was comparably priced but supposedly was better.

    After all the time he spent on selling me a different product, they didn’t have one in stock, except for the floor model, which they wouldn’t sell, because then they wouldn’t have one to show other customers. My question is, why would you spend the time selling a customer something you don’t have available to sell them and, why do you need a floor model if you don’t have product to sell if someone decides to buy one anyway.

    I went back to my original product choice. Bought at a local mom and pop dealer. Spent a few bucks more, but they service what they sell and delivered it for free.

    I agree with many of the posts here. Why would anyone even look at Sears anymore? They’re hopelessly lost. I blame the K-Mart takeover

  22. dvshrt says:

    I had almost the exact same issue with Sears about 4 years ago. I ordered a Craftsman multimeter online with pick up in store option. I never received the ready to pick up email. After several weeks and many phone calls and emails Sears claimed demand was too great and item was no longer available. No biggie. They cancelled the order and refunded my money. 3 months later (I’m serious – 3 months) it showed up in the mail at my house. I was never billed for it or given any explanation. Sears on-line shopping is horrendous.

  23. dvshrt says:

    I had almost the exact same issue with Sears about 4 years ago. I ordered a Craftsman multimeter online with pick up in store option. I never received the ready to pick up email. After several weeks and many phone calls and emails Sears claimed demand was too great and item was no longer available. No biggie. They cancelled the order and refunded my money. 3 months later (I’m serious – 3 months) it showed up in the mail at my house. I was never billed for it or given any explanation. Sears on-line shopping is horrendous.

  24. soj4life says:

    My experience with sears and their inventory system involved the simple purchase of batteries. Their website said that they had a certain brand of rechargables in stock, said batteries were not in the aisle. I had the person in hardware, where the battery aisle was, run a inventory check. Said batteries were not in his inventory. When I was walking to the exit, I saw some batteries in their electronics department, low and behold they has them there. If you don’t have a storewide inventory system, you should not be in business.

  25. IraAntelope says:

    we went to sears to buy a vacuum, as ours quit and they are the only store in the area that carries that brand…except they did not have one. 2 weeks to order one in. I went on Amazon and bought a better model for less money, and it arrived in 2 days. rugs are clean!

  26. IraAntelope says:

    we were pricing curtains recently, and sears had the exact same item as kmart, but 25% higher priced. doesnt have to do with this problem, but just saying…