Good Luck Actually Getting The Vacuum You Ordered From Sears

Reader Kimberley writes to tell us that in the course of trying to find out why the vacuum she ordered had not been shipped… she was ignored, hung up on or transfered to the phone directory six (6!) times. 6.

She managed to get $11.50 deducted from her shipping total by complaining to the BBB, but the vacuum still hasn’t shipped, and the Sears CSR keeps cheerfully ignoring the fact that her actual complaint is that she was hung up on 6 times.

A friend of mine recommended that I alert you to an ongoing issue I’m having with customer service.

Here is the text of what’s happened so far, including the report made to the BBB

I ordered the Kenmore vacuum on 12/29/2007 with a promised delivery date of 1/3/2008. On 1/2/2008 I accessed the website to track the item. I discovered that the item had not yet shipped. I called customer service at 8:30pm EST and was put on hold for a manager. I was on hold (on my cell) till I hung up at 11pm EST.

At 9:45pm EST I called customer service from my house line, while still on hold on my cell phone. Over the next hour and 15 minutes the following occurred:

Customer service rep #1 said she was getting a manager and hung up on me. I called back.

Customer service rep #2 said she was getting a manager, and transferred me back to the phone directory. I pressed the buttons to get me back to a CSR.

Customer service rep #3 said she was transferring me to a manager, and I was transferred to home delivery.

Home delivery CSR (#4) said she had to get online sales on the call and put me on hold. I was transferred to the phone directory without another word.

Customer service rep #5 explained that the managers had all left at 10pm. She said she would get a supervisor to take a report. Instead I was transferred back to the pone directory.

Customer service rep #6 told me no one could help me and I’d have to call back in the morning. I hung up.

This type of customer service is unacceptable. I want to know when my merchandise will arrive, why I was quoted an inaccurate delivery date with my order, a refund of my shipping costs and a partial refund of my purchase cost. Or a full refund if my merchandise can not be delivered in a timely manner. Mostly, I want an apology for being lied to, hung up on, transferred repeatedly, left on hold for 3 hours and provided no customer service.

I’ve complained via web to: Better Business Bureau Sears community relations Sears customer service email

On 1/3 I receive the following email:

Please include the following line in all replies. Tracking number: XX

Dear Kimberley [redacted],

Thank you for contacting Sears regarding your order number XX.

Kimberley, according to our records your vacuum is getting ready to ship via UPS. The tracking number is XX. We apologize for the delay, and have deducted your 11.50 from your total that you paid for shipping. Thank you for your patience.

We apologize for the difficulties that you have experienced with the order referenced above.

At Sears we value you as a customer and we value your business. If you have additional questions or comments, please contact us. Thank you again for choosing Sears.

Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore, NordicTrack, Craftsman and Reebok.

Ted M.
Sears Customer Care

To which I respond: Ted M- Actually Ted M, I’m not satisfied due to the absolutely terrible customer service I received last night. Here is the email I sent to the BBB and Alan Lacy last night: (pasted message above).

Then I receive this email:

Please include the following line in all replies. Tracking number: XXX

Dear Kimberley [redacted],

Thank you for your recent correspondence. We are always interested in hearing from our customers, but regret it was this type of situation that prompted you to contact us.

Our records indicate that your order has been shipped and is expected to arrive at your desired location on January 3, 2008. Sears Customers that place online orders that are delivered in a standard shipping method is expected to arrive within 7-9 business days. Please accept our apology for any inconvenience you may have encountered.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We appreciate your business and value you as a Sears Holdings customer. We certainly hope you will continue to make Sears Holdings your choice for quality and value.


Anthony F. Sears Holdings Corporation

And I respond:

Anthony F- Today is January 3, 2008 and according to the UPS tracking number provided, the item has not left the warehouse.

Your customer service is unacceptable. As I’ve stated several times, the major complaint that I have is the customer service I received on 1/2 and I would like that addressed. I want a manager to contact me today cell at XXXX.

Thank you

So, that’s it.

Kimberley M

Well, Sears. We’re just not sure what to tell people anymore.

Meg: So
Meg: Let me ask you…
Ben: yes?
Meg: Sears
Meg: Has anyone ever had any luck doing anything we’ve suggested?
Ben: I think I was IMing with one guy who on one issue was able to reach the executive offices but they also told him to go shove it.
Meg: So basically, we have no advice.
Ben: I don’t think people have been using the more hardcore tactics though.
Ben: like fax ’em to death.
Ben: or post negative stuff in their stock forums
Meg: But for your basic, “People were rude to me and I want it addressed” complaint…
Ben: SOL
Meg: Right. Shop somewhere else.
Ben: yeah
Meg: Maybe I can post this IM conversation in lieu of advice.
Ben: The only other thing that seems to work is to get your local news station to do a report
Meg: Yes, they do seem to watch TV.
Ben: Sears will respond by improving customer service in the immediate vicinity.
Meg: And continue to ignore everyone else.


Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.