Follow-Up: Citibank Steps In, Forces Sears To Remove The $1070 Charge

Tom just sent us a follow-up to yesterday’s post, and it’s good news:

Score another one for The Consumerist!
This morning I contacted Sears’ Executive Customer Service Department. They attempted to contact the store manager on my behalf. I stress “attempted” because they were hung up on too.

Nothing is more satisfying than witnessing Executive Customer Service being treated as crappy (crappily?) as the rest of the world. From what I could gather, they were forced to submit a company e-mail to the manager…you know, the manager that doesn’t have voicemail.
Just a few minutes ago I was contacted by gentleman from CitiBank (which runs Sears Card). His name was Mark Ennis. He informed me that he called the store and was blown off just like everyone else. It wasn’t until he told them that he was with the Presidential Offices for CitiBank that people started jumping through hoops.
Mark saw the story on Consumerist (he mentioned it by name). Since he saw the article on your site, he didn’t know my last name or address. So he had the store pull every TV purchase on Black Friday that was made by anyone named Tom. (This is like “Law & Order” for retail.) From there he was able to find my contact info and, more importantly, figure out what happened.
Apparently after they refunded my first TV, they immediately re-rang it. The prevailing theory is that when I called the store to complain they looked up the transaction, saw the initial refund and stopped looking thereby missing the fact that it was re-rang moments later. Once they saw the refund, they assumed everything was ok and stopped looking.
Mark also noticed that in CitiBank’s notes it showed that they had asked me to prove that I didn’t receive the TV. He seemed genuinely shocked by that because, as those of us that are NOT Tier 1 support can tell you, it’s pretty much impossible to prove a negative.
I also informed him about the fact that their Dispute Department doesn’t have a hold queue. He seemed pretty embarrassed about that fact. So, either Mark was an awesome actor or he was actually “taking this matter seriously”.
The store has contacted me and it seems that they’re actually refunding me the money this time. They were asking me questions that they hadn’t before (like my address). So I think I’m finally getting this matter rectified.
Oh, and it sounds like Juan and Tanaka might have an awkward conversation with the Presidential Offices of CitiBank in their not to distant futures.
Thanks to Mark, Sears customer service and especially The Consumerist. You guys are better than the BBB when it comes to getting stuff like this fixed.
Oh, and thanks to the Sears in Chesterfield. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you treated the big wigs at Sears and CitiBank in the same shitty manner that you’ve been treating me for the last 4 1/2 months. I was afraid that these people would think I was crackpot. But thanks to your consistent substandard job performance you quickly established my legitimacy.
Thanks again,

“Sears Refuses To Refund $1070 For TV They Never Delivered”
(Ridiculous cartoon dog: Getty)