Everything About This Sears Order Is Wrong

Ryan writes:
This one really left me scratching my head. Not only did [Sears] send me the wrong item, they charged the wrong prices on everything I ordered. I ordered an air blow gun and got a jigsaw instead. I submitted this order during the 20% off/free shipping promotion. The total in my cart at checkout was $26 less than my card was charged, and I was charged for shipping as well.

Half an hour of arguing on the phone with a Sears rep and I was able to get the discount credited back to my card, but no free shipping, and it could take 10-14 days for them to “trace” my $20 blow gun. I am filing a claim with my credit card issuer just to be safe. This is the same company that sends me a free ratchet in the mail every time I exchange one in the store, so I can’t complain too much.

This order is tragic. Just another reason customers avoid Sears like bird flu and the company can’t turn a profit. If Sears further bungles the response or fails to send a free ratchet, share the failure with Sears’ executive office—but don’t ask for Mr. Lewis. He was fired for gross incompetence.


Edit Your Comment

  1. loueloui says:

    You could really mess with them and send them the single from Radiohead in return.

    Man I don’t knwo what’s wrong with Sears lately. Instead of them bringing Kmart up they brought Sears down.

  2. DojiStar says:

    I remember the day when I ordered a replacement part for my grill and received a maroon house shutter instead.

    It didn’t even match my house.

  3. IphtashuFitz says:

    Give up on Sears. It’s become painfully aware that Sears has given up on themselves.

  4. Aladdyn says:

    Well what do you expect? You made them take down the website where you can see what people had ordered, now they have to guess.

  5. AD8BC says:

    As much as I hate hearing people on here yell “Chargeback! Chargeback! Chargeback! *” to every OP, you have a good case here.

    #1, Sears charged you incorrect amounts.
    #2, Sears charged you for shipping when you should not have been charged.
    #3, You ordered something that you were not shipped, you should not have to pay. You were shipped something that you did not order and are entitled to keep it without being required to pay for it, under the “Unordered Merchandise” law ([www.ftc.gov]). There is kind of a fine line in this case, as Sears did ship you something (but not the right something) but since you reported the error to Sears, and Sears is not interested in shipping you the correct item in a timely manner, you have a good case.
    #4, Sears does not seem interested in your customer satisfaction.

    Your credit card company will be more than happy to charge Sears back for your purchase since they violated your order on multiple levels. Make sure that you have copies of your original order and all documents that were shipped to you.

    * Note, I am not saying that the advice from others in most cases when they shout out “Chargeback!” is incorrect…. but in most cases a chargeback requires documentation and a strong sense that you have been wronged in a method that violates the credit card agreement.

    For a chargeback to be successful, it has to be approved by the card-issuing bank, and then the merchant’s card-processing bank, and then the merchant has to not be able to prove that the transaction was valid. So before doing a chargeback make sure all your ducks are in a row.

    I have been trying to research if a merchant can sue a customer if they initiate a successful chargeback and the merchant feels they were wronged. I cannot find anything to back up that claim.

  6. pragakhan says:

    No, I figured it out. We tried to order a Fridge and Gas Grill from Sears last year. We got charged 3 times for the Grill and the Fridge was set to never show up.

    30 calls between my bank and Sears and we found out why. They do that $1 charge for verification of funds or something and then the preauth of the purchase price. For whatever reason, however this works it made my bank think someone stole my card.

    So in dealing with Sears about this, it was a very huge cluster and I came to only one conclusion.

    Sears setup their online ordering to work as well as a vending machine that only accepts dimes. Why you ask? So you get so frustrated next time, you go into the store and are able to browse all their wonderful products.

  7. NoWin says:

    Our local sears (Auburn, Mass) ain’t half bad in some departments. The Tool section is usually well “overstaffed” and well stocked, while others are “understaffed.”

    However, online ordering, is the pits. Often the online prices can be beat in-store, even with the online discount sales they e-mail me.

  8. Buran says:

    @AD8BC: You should let the DirecTV guy from yesterday know what you find.

  9. ekthesy says:

    That sucks. Blowguns are tons of fun, I would be pretty excited and watching the mail for mine…with some practice and the right darts you should be able to be accurate to within 6-10″ in a week or so. But please don’t shoot living things with it (trees excepted, they can handle it).

  10. SuperJdynamite says:

    @ekthesy: “Blowguns are tons of fun”

    I’m 51% sure he’s referring to the type of dust off blower you attach to an air compressor.

  11. robdew2 says:

    I am no sears fan, but what’s with the “gross incompetence”? The original article isn’t available, but the linked consumerist post doesn’t mention incompetence, gross or otherwise.

    He was asked to step down. He was probably doing a bad job.

    Google isn’t defending this mysterious exaggeration either.

  12. AD8BC says:

    @Buran: I went back to the post and read it (I only skimmed it before). This could get interesting, it appears that although AmEx decided that DirectTV is in the wrong, DirectTV still thinks that the OP is contractually obligated to continue paying.

    In his case I would take them to court if he is 100% sure that he is not contractually obligated to pay.

  13. bonzombiekitty says:

    I’ve had bad luck with Sears. I ordered (in store) a table and set of stools from them, the process went something like this:

    1. Spend over an hour trying to pay for the thing because I wanted it on my new credit account along with my new vacuum (0% interest for a year). But the girl messed it up and I was only given enough credit for the vacuum. Finally decide to just pay for it with my regular credit card.

    2. Order arrives, I go to pick it up. Hmmm… box looks odd for a table and set of stools. Guy assures me the order is correct. He packs it into my car.

    3. Get home, take box out of car. Hmmm… very light for a table and set of stools. Open it up — completely wrong order.

    4. Go back to Sears, argue with the guy. The item number on the box matches what is on my slip. True, but the item description is not what is in the box. He calls someone, comes back confused — the item number is correct, am I sure I ordered a table and set of stools? I point to the item description again that says “Pub table and bar stools” then again show him the box containing two chairs.

    5. Guy agrees it’s not right but doesn’t want to re-order since the item numbers match, I might end up getting the same thing. Cancel order, refund the money. Await call back from Sears as they investigate what happened.

    6. Few hours later, I get a call back. Warehouse messed up big time. Will get order with free shipping at the current, lower price. Agree to use same credit card info.

    7. Twenty minutes later get another call, my credit card won’t process says card has security hold on it. Call credit card, clear the hold. Call back and tell them to try again. Verify card info. still failing. I figure that the hold takes a while to lift so I agree to just put it on my debit card.

    8. NExt day, find out my card has new security hold on it whilst trying to get gas. Call up CC to clear the hold, and find out Sears had been using the wrong expiration date the whole time, even after I verified the info they said they were using was correct, and that’s what triggered the holds

  14. thesuperpet says:

    I used to work at Sears, in the tools department, and we had more problems from people who had problems ordering online then we did from problems in store.

    Then they told me I couldnt work in the tools department because I was 17 and you have to be 18.
    After I’d been working there three months.

  15. mac-phisto says:

    hmm…i ordered a blow gun & received a jig saw. interesting.

    perhaps we could make an arrangement: send me the jig saw & i’ll ship out the blow gun*

    *don’t really have a blow gun, but i could really use a jig saw.

  16. legwork says:

    I’m all for the current “worst company” contest, but shouldn’t we also have a Consumerist dead-pool for companies like Sears who from all appearances are drunk, blindfolded, and stumbling back & forth next to a cliff?

    Q1 2009?

  17. KenSPT says:

    Ummmmmm … how often do you find yourself exchanging rachets in the store?

  18. carterbeauford says:

    I’m the OP in this story.


    correct, it was the compressed air type, for dusting workbenches, tools, etc.


    I have about 20 of them, so figure that out.

  19. mr.dandy says:

    Sometimes you get a real head-scratcher. One time I ordered a few packs of nuts-and-bolts from a hardware supplier, and instead received a big box full of real-estate brochures. Between the CSR and I, we deduced that someone in the shipping room was using the company’s account to get free mailing for their side business, and made a mistake with the labels. They sent me my bolts again, no questions asked… but bizarre!

  20. timmus says:

    I have been trying to research if a merchant can sue a customer if they initiate a successful chargeback and the merchant feels they were wronged. I cannot find anything to back up that claim.

    I am a merchant. Darn right we can. But it’s not worth suing to get $80 when it’s cost prohibitive to bring it to court (unless you live in the local area and stick with small claims).

  21. AD8BC says:

    @timmus: That’s what I thought, I had just never seen anything like that brought up.

    Another thing to think of when those people scream “Chargeback! Chargeback! Chargeback” on here/

  22. @timmus: I don’t doubt that you can. But in some cases, like yesterday’s DirectTV story, it would seem to put in the class of shady debt collectors who threaten people after they’ve already been absolved of a debt (e.g. goods not received or not as described) or shown that they should never have been responsible in the first place (e.g., fraudulent use of the card).

    What would you say in court (if the amount were large enough)? I suppose it depends on the reason for the chargeback. You know the customer’s going to bring up that it was successful. I’m curious how you counter that.

    (Just to be sure we’re on the same page, here’s what I’m imagining. Maybe I’m just looking for a instance where suing seems justified, unlike this one:
    Customer: “We never got the goods.”
    Timmus: “Yes you did. I have proof.”
    C: “No we didn’t. Where’s the proof?”
    T: “I’m getting it. Hold on.”
    C: “I’ve waited long enough. I’m doing a chargeback.”
    Visa: “Where’s the proof, Timmus?”
    C: “I’m getting it. Hold on.”
    V: “The deadline is up, Timmus. We’re taking the amount from your account.”
    T: “Fuck that. I have a lawyer. Prepare to be sued, Customer.”)

  23. @AD8BC: With some exceptions, people scream chargeback when the customer has been totally unable to get their issue resolved by dealing with the merchant.

    Ryan’s in good shape here. A fix seems to be in the works. He’s not upset. And he’s one step ahead of you: “I am filing a claim with my credit card issuer just to be safe.”

  24. elpendulo07 says:

    I currently work for Sears in the .com department. For some reason, sometimes when there is a free shipping promotion (not free delivery), the confirmation e-mail will display a shipping charge and a different item price. This is simply a an error in the confirmation e-mail. Our system will show the correct price and free shipping. If for some reason a customer was really charged for shipping, of course, we will refund the shipping charge. I find it funny that some people think that Sears does things on purpose. You have to understand that all this is done automatically. A human does not ring the transaction unless it is an installation order or an order that has to be processed manually because of delivery.

  25. vermontwriter says:

    The last time I went into a store to buy something from Sears, a mitre saw for my husband, I had $150 to spend, there was a Craftsman model on sale for $100. The salesman refused to sell me the sales model. When he used the words, “Trust me, I’m a man and men understand tools better than a woman ever could,” I called for a manager who backed him up. So I walked out and no longer shop at Sears. My dad was a carpenter and has taught me plenty so their attitude really ticked me off. I complained to headquarters who basically said while he was wrong, they can’t control their management and clerk’s opinions.

    Oddly enough, I went to Home Depot (another store I’m not horribly fond of.) They had a Ryobi for $200, but a customer had returned one because it wasn’t cutting through 8 inch boards and he’d never read the specs before his purchase. They offered me 60% off this opened one, so I opened it up to make sure nothing was missing and the blade wasn’t damaged. All was fine, so I took it home. That was the one time Home Depot really worked in my favor.

  26. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    If a chargeback was successful, why would a merchant be able to sue the customer? Credit card rules are very clear as to what a retailer must do to refute a chargeback. If he cant’ do it then why should he be able to sue the customer? @AD8BC:

  27. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    Sears was purchased a few years ago by a hedge fund guy who has proven capable of doing all sorts of simple and complex financial deals designed to squeeze as much cash and value out of Sears and its holdings. The one thing he’s proven he can’t do is actually be a retailer. So he’ll walk away with his billions and in a couple years Sears will lie next to Montgomery Ward in the cemetery. It’s dead.

  28. carterbeauford says:

    if Sears sues me over $26 + $7.50 shipping, then it might very well be their death knell considering I am about the last person left alive who still shops there.

    Hate to be “that guy” bitching about the quality of Craftsman tools and how much money I spend there to the $8 an hour sales associate, but I have spent over $10,000 at my local Sears stores, mostly on tools, and spend on average $50-$100 a week there. If they can afford to lose the business, more power to them.

  29. Rusted says:

    I buy tools now and then at Sears. The priceline is better then at the hardware stores, and I don’t care what name is pasted on the product if it is decent.

    Still, I wouldn’t order anything online. It’s got to be on the shelf.

  30. kbarrett says:

    We don’t think Sears people are doing this deliberately, any more than we think a Tourettes Syndrome sufferer is cursing deliberately.

    Bad decisions have created a policy and order management system that is causing Sears to circle the bowl. You might want to consider a sideways promotion to elsewhere before the handle gets firmly pushed on your outfit.

  31. Bobg says:

    Just a little off subject but you should go into the K-Mart in Elkton, Md. It looks like they stocked the store by dumping the merchandise out of a dump truck. I wonder why Sears/K-Mart can’t make a profit?

  32. bombaxstar says:

    lol as if anyone would buy a Companion sabre saw…

    just kidding. =]

  33. NotATool says:

    @elpendulo07: Sorry, Captain Obvious here. Why not just fix the confirmation e-mail so it matches what “The System” has in it?

    Your explanation, while interesting, is completely useless to the customer.

  34. Rode2008 says:

    Sears is in its final days. Like an extremely old person, Sears is deeply engrossed in dementia – the final hours have set in.

    Is there really anybody out there who still goes there on a regular basis?

    I needed some blank DVDs recently and Sears was the closest store around before all the others hit closing time. Shopping in there was like I was in some sort of a time warp. It looked like something from the mid 1980s
    They had the DVDs but they were dramatically overpriced.

  35. MaleConsumerist says:

    This is another dissatisfaction-with-Sears post. The story: bought some clothes on Sears.com for my child in February. On March 4th, I received an email, letting me know that my order has been shipped. When, more than a week later, I haven’t heard back from Sears, I called and was told that my order was in transit. Since it says, “Worry-free shipping” on their site, I was still worry-free. When I haven’t received it a week later, I called again only to be told by someone who barely spoke English that my order was not actually shipped to me on March 4th-it was shipped to some warehouse from which it was shipped to me two days later, on March 6th. I said that I still should have received the order already, to which the man replied that it takes 5 to 7 business days, even though it was already day 8. A week later, I emailed their customer service. No reply. Called another time on March 20th. Spoke to someone who told me my order was in transit. Again. More than two weeks after it has been shipped. Asked to speak to a manager. After being on hold for about 5 minutes, I was forwarded to a very bitchy woman who proceeded to question me about the details of my order, address, email and name. She made no mention of having any knowledge of what my issue was. Since she didn’t identify herself, I assumed that the system had just forwarded my call to a random CS rep. I asked her if she was the manager. She got pissed off and said in a very “as-if” tone, “I’m sorry if I failed to state my title!” I explained why I asked who she was; she became embarrassed and said, “I thought I said who I was”. I told her, “No, you started the call with, ‘May I have your name and address, please?'” After that, she said that her name was X and she was a supervisor, and proceeded to tell me again that my order was in transit. I told her that I already heard that. Twice. She said that she’ll call the warehouse to see what’s going on. I said that I would prefer to cancel the order and buy the clothes somewhere else since my child needs some sweatshirts right away. She said she cannot cancel it since it is in transit. She suggested that I refuse it when it finally ships. I mentioned to her that I work during the day and am not home to refuse it. She seemed genuinely surprised by that fact. After a prolonged silence on my part, she mentioned that she is willing to give me a 10% “customer satisfaction” (oh, the irony!) discount and said that it will take a while to key it in. I asked her to email me the altered receipt. She promised to do that in a couple of minutes and to let me know the situation with the warehouse. It’s now March 26th and I still haven’t heard from X the supervisor. Checked my receipt online-it is still the same-no 10% discount has been applied. This will be the last time I shop in Sears. Stay away!

  36. AHammer says:

    blowgun as in for an air compressor; to blow debris off of things@ekthesy: