Sears Doesn’t Handle Rejection Well, Incessantly Robocalls After You Refuse Fridge Delivery

Based on previous Consumerist stories about Sears, it might surprise you to learn that the refrigerator that Ginger and her husband purchased was brought to their home in one piece, on the correct day, and actually existed. Only they had discovered after placing the order that it was too wide for their kitchen, and they had ordered a new one instead. They were instructed to refuse the delivery, and then they would receive a correctly-sized fridge on a different day, and a refund. Yay! Only instead, they’ve received a barrage of robocalls from Sears, despite four separate attempts to cancel the order for the larger refrigerator.

So, my husband and I bought our first home and moved in last week. We were really excited to make the home ours, and pick out some new furniture and appliances for our dream home. We have all of the appliances, but instead of getting to enjoy them, we’ve spent the past week in customer service hell. It all started with a visit to Sears.

On May 13th, we purchased a washer, dryer and refrigerator at Sears. All of the appliances at the condo we were renting were from Sears, so we wanted to keep shopping there. We picked a delivery date of June 2.

Now, the new house only had room for a very small fridge, and we wanted a normal one, so we paid a contractor to move the wall. He asked for the dimensions of the new fridge. We looked them up on Sears.com, and found out the new fridge – a Kenmore – was 33 inches wide. He went ahead and built a new wall based on those specifications. But, I am a worrier, so June 1 we went back to Sears to check the dimensions in person. The fridge, despite the claims of the website, was 36 inches wide.

We talked to the same sales associate, and she said there was only one fridge – a more expensive one, of course – that was 33 inches wide. She said we could order that one. The only problem was we would have to wait till June 4 for the narrower fridge. She said we could order it, just refuse the 36 inch fridge, and our money would be refunded, with no problem. Well, not so much.

June 2, the delivery crew arrived with the washer and dryer, and the fridge. We refused the fridge, just as the sales associated instructed us to. Later that day, we got a call from Sears saying that our delivery date had been delayed, and gave us a number to call back. I called, and after 15 minutes enjoying their hold music, I spoke to a customer service rep to check and see what was up. We were already living in a new home with no fridge, and I wasn’t looking forwarded to them delaying the delivery of the new fridge. She said that the call was about the old fridge. I told her we didn’t want it because the dimensions on the website were not accurate, and to please cancel the order. She said she would let the warehouse know.

However, every day since, including the day the new fridge arrived, we’ve gotten a robo call (sometimes as early as 8 AM – not fun when on vacation), advising us that the delivery of our fridge was delayed and asking us to call. I called, was put on hold and cancelled the 36 inch fridge 3 more times – a total of 4. However, Sears just kept robo-calling. After the 2nd and 3rd cancellations, I asked to speak to a supervisor and both times, the customer service rep hung up on me. The 4th time, I spoke with a supervisor, and got a cancellation number and her ID number, but only after over an hour on hold. She told me, as they had on the first three calls, that I would get a refund in 7-10 business days. Only, this is 7-10 business days from today… almost a week after I first refused the fridge. I can’t really believe it takes them this long to process a refund, especially considering that when you buy something, it only takes seconds for them to take your money.

Bottom line, if you refuse an order at Sears, expect daily robo-calls, and hours on hold.

If I don’t get the refund in 7-10 business days, I am just contacting the credit card company. I am sure that when I call again about my refund, Sears will just say they need to cancel the order again and tell me to wait another 7-10 business days. No matter how it works out, we spent thousands at Sears, but that is the last of our money they will ever see.

Heads up, Ginger and Mr. Ginger: even if you swear off buying from Sears forever, it’s only going to get worse from here.

Comments

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  1. MutantMonkey says:

    *psssst* Laura, I don’t think it’s polite to call them Gingers.

    /:-)

  2. ferozadh says:

    I feel like I should be buying a fridge now. Is this some kind of new viral marketing for fridges?

  3. NotATool says:

    “…we’ve spent the past week in customer service hell. It all started with a visit to Sears.”

    Common theme here for sure. This is why I didn’t even consider buying from Sears when I recently needed a new refrigerator and dishwasher. Maybe I’ve been reading this site too long and am biased, or maybe it’s because I used to work there, but I do not ever plan to shop there again if I can help it.

    • nishioka says:

      > maybe it’s because I used to work there

      That’ll do it. Probably the only thing I ever learned from working retail earlier in life was where not to shop.

      • iesika says:

        Retail taught me that, and three other important things:

        1. How to be polite to people I despise for the few minutes it takes to escape their presence and/or get what I want out of them. It works much better than rudeness.

        2. That being nice to the person behind the register will reap bountiful benefits in both customer service and good bargains. If you’re a regular and friendly customer, most retail workers will clue you in about upcoming deals (“Come back on Tuesday – we’re going to mark that down 25% when the new stickers are printed”, etc) if they can, or even hold merchandise for you.

        3. That problems you have with customer service are often not directly the fault of the person you see on the floor. If management has understaffed the floor, if store policy is bad, if four coworkers have done a no-show today, then it’s going to be very hard for even the world’s most competent and professional salesperson to provide excellent service to the customer.

        • Holden Caufield says I'm a phonie says:

          I agree totally with #3. You can try your best to deliver the best service you can in retail, but if the systems that are in place to support you are bad, you can only do so much.

    • fla2001 says:

      Something doesn’t add up here. The OP doesn’t mention she had any bad service at the store. It sounds like they didn’t even go into the store until the day before her delivery, otherwise they would have known the first time they were in the store that the fridge was too large and the associate would have been able to show her the correct unit that fits a 33″ width.

  4. TuxMan says:

    I bought a new fridge from Sears and paid for them to deliver it. It was damaged upon arrival but I pointed this out before I signed for it. Damage was done by the dolly straps being overly tightened. (they take it out of the box out side) Delivery driver made one phone call and I spoke to a Sears CSR who gave me two options.

    1) Take $100 off the price of the fridge, and keep it.
    2) We will send you another fridge.

    I took the $100 bucks and ten years later the fridge still works.

    • TuxMan says:

      Oh wait, I forgot to blame the OP. Don’t order a fridge then refuse delivery because you ordered the wrong one.

      • kc2idf says:

        The fridge was ordered according to published specifications that later proved to be incorrect.

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

    If the OP ordered the washer, dryer, and fridge on one credit card transaction I doubt they can do a partial charge back. AFAIK charge backs can’t be done for partial or prorated amounts.

    • NotATool says:

      Actually, you most certainly can do a partial chargeback. Frequently people buy multiple items on a single receipt. If you have trouble with one of the items on a receipt and the merchant won’t provide satisfaction, you can dispute the charge for that one item. I’ve done it before, so I can speak from experience.

      • BBBB says:

        “Actually, you most certainly can do a partial chargeback. Frequently people buy multiple items on a single receipt.”

        I did this on a hotel bill after they refused to remove the undisclosed non-optional add-on fees. [I also subtracted the disputed amount from the total on the receipt, wrote a short note in the signature box, and signed below it – I got the chargeback and also filed a complaint with the chain about the independently owned hotel.]

    • abberz3589 says:

      Absolutely you can. I used to work at a large photography company and we would refund just shipping charges or parts of orders all of the time. All it took was entering the amount in.

  6. CrazyEyed says:

    While I don’t blame the OP as the specifications were incorrect on the webiste, why do I always sense a common theme of the OP’s screwing up first before many companies do. Almost every article I come across, I look for the part where the OP screwed up first before the domino effect ensues.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      I’m sorta of the sameway. The Sears.com seems to be the cause but the op is the customer who cancelled an order.

      BUT there seems to be a disconnect between the Sears stores, Sears.com & suppliers and Sears delivery service and/or their contractors.

  7. Moniker Preferred says:

    …um… When the complainant gave the dimensions to contractor, did they use the dimensions given in the INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS, which are available for all appliances?

    I’ve been through the installation recently for a semi-built in refrigerator and dishwasher and you do NOT use the general numbers shown on a website. You use the specific dimensions shown in the >>installation instructions

    Also, a quick look at the Sears website shows there are a boatload of refrigerators that are even less than 33 inches wide. Perhaps not in the preferred style, but …once you screwed up and incorrectly repositioned a wall, you should probably be a little less picky.

    The FIRST problem in this story is that the complainant f*cked up. It MAY be that the situation is a problem now, but it is the complainant who firmly put themselves there.

    There’s never enough information in these Consumerist “stories” to allow anyone to actually make an evaluation of what really went on. I volunteer to do “research” on behalf of Consumerist, before “stories” are posted, so that readers have a better shot of understanding whether a “story” is accurate and factual, or whether it is just some yahoo taking a cheap shot.

    • Dr. Shrinker says:

      Wow, must be nice to be practically perfect in every way.

      So, the “f–king up” the OP did was to believe the refrigerator dimensions posted on Sears’ own website, and not look for “official dimensions” of some sort? You’re right, what a moron! And then to follow the directions given to them to change the order? Idiots! Totally OP’s fault.

      They should, of course, have found the “installation instructions” online, which (as everyone knows) have the TRUE measurements. I mean, who doesn’t know to believe that source and disregard all others, am I right?

      • Moniker Preferred says:

        Not perfect, “doctor”, but experienced enough to double check important stuff before they get screwed up. Measure twice, cut once.

        Keep in mind that two weeks AFTER they purchased the fridge, some kind of delayed light bulb went on over Mr. Ginger’s head. AFTER they had repositioned the wall, and the DAY BEFORE THE SCHEDULED DELIVERY, he takes the trouble to double check. Personally, I think they looked up “width” and stopped there, neglecting to notice (as shown on the Sears website, that there is “width with door closed”, and “width with door open 90 degrees”.

        In addition, on the MAIN refrigerator page at sears.com, there is a fridge installation measurement guide. The Ginger’s don’t mention this, and I got $10 that says they screwed it up.

        I specifically said that the return issue is a problem, and I did not blame the complainant for how things transpired since they learned they screwed up, but it is indeed the complainant who put themselves behind the 8-ball.

        If you’re gonna be your own contractor, you had better know what you’re doing.

  8. iesika says:

    I’m not normally an OP blamer, but… measure before buying large appliances.

    That said, they shouldn’t be having this much trouble returning the thing, but having worked there once, I’m not surprised. Oh, Sears.

  9. fla2001 says:

    So when you asked a sales associate the day before your scheduled delivery they were able to point you to the ONE unit that would fit in a 33″ space but not the first time you spoke with that “same associate?” Sounds a little fishy. Did you originally place the order through sears.com? If the order was processed at the store they could have issued a refund and/or processed an exchange for you on the spot. You spent hours on hold when you could’ve called or visited the store and have it processed immediately.

  10. SearsCares says:

    Good morning,

    My name is Mike and I am a member of the Sears Social Media Support team. I saw this post today and wanted to address this matter. I am sorry to see that Ginger has had so much trouble in exchanging her original refrigerator with a smaller model. We strive to make our deliveries and exchanges as easy as possible for our customers and I apologize as that does not appear to be the case in this instance. Furthermore, I know firsthand how annoying automated calls can be, especially when they are received on a daily basis. We are happy to help Ginger resolve this matter and look forward to doing so. However, I do not see any contact information in this post. Should anyone contact Ginger, please advise her to e-mail smadvisor@searshc.com with her contact information so that we can connect her with a dedicated case manager to resolve this issue once and for all. Thank you all for your time and feedback.

    Mike D.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support