Gregg wants us to know that Sears has just hung up on one of the last people in America who hasn’t totally given up on them. He’s spent quite a lot of time lately trying to give them $1500 for a lawn tractor, but they just couldn’t figure out how to complete the transaction. Yes, Sears has finally gotten to the point that they can’t take your money even if you want to give it to them.
My recent problems with Sears have driven me so crazy I checked to see if you had EECB contact info. When I saw all the stuff you had on Sears, I thought you’d love this story. I’ll try to be short.
As background, I have an irrational loyalty to Sears. In the last 5 years I have spent probably over $20,000 on appliances, mattresses, and power tools there. I drive by 3 Home Depots to get to Sears; I want them to succeed for some bizarre reason. I don’t even get it, haven’t really even had great experiences, but nonetheless keep on going back. In May I tried to buy a lawn tractor, which is where the problem began.
ROUND ONE: The day after ordering the tractor online, I went back to check the order status and saw nothing. So I called Sears and they said the order had been declined by AMEX. I asked, “Was anyone going to call and tell me?” and she said, “No, we don’t do that.” So I called AMEX, told them to take the charge (which they denied declining), and called back to place the order live. She then told me that it would take 3 WEEKS for delivery. (Do you know how much it costs to pay someone to mow 3 acres?) Reluctantly, and accepting the situation in good humor, I agreed.
ROUND TWO: 3 WEEKS later: nothing. No call, no delivery, nothing. I call Sears, and they again blame AMEX. I explained that AMEX cannot possibly be the problem since I spoke to them live. I also noted that in the intervening three weeks, I charged a $15,500 set of airline tickets and $18,100 for a new roof, both of which zipped through without a problem. Nonetheless, I told him I’d replace the order if they didn’t make me wait 3 more weeks. He put me on hold for an eternity and then agreed. I had bought the tractor on sale so I actually think he was doing some work to recreate the original terms of the sale. I told him I would not hang up until he confirmed that the charge went through so there would be no more opportunity to blame AMEX. He laughed and agreed, and we hung up friends. I suggested that they call customers when a sale doesn’t go through, because that’s a way to GET MORE MONEY, and he said he’d pass that along. Which he clearly didn’t.
ROUND THREE: My tractor, now ordered twice, was scheduled for delivery today, so I called last night to confirm. What a shocker, same story. Now, normally I would just say screw it and order somewhere else, but (1) it takes a long time to research tractors, and I didn’t want to go through that process again, and (2) I had gotten a really good price or $1299 for a $1799 tractor and I wanted them to honor the price. ALso, the sales for tractors all happened around fathers day and now I would be stuck at full price somewhere else. I should also note that one bizarre thing about Sears tractors is they have identical models where one model is on sale and one isn’t. I don’t get it, but the picture on the site does show them in different colors, but when you click “compare,” they are exactly the same – every word, every spec. So when the woman said, I’m sorry, it’s out of stock, I laughed (as did she) and suggested that they give me one of the identical ones at the sale price. She said that a supervisor could do that and told me to call back today.
ROUND FOUR: So I called this morning, asked to go to a supervisor. I explained what happened, that I’ve been waiting 6 weeks now for a tractor, and can’t belevee that no one at Sears actually seems to want to take my $1500.
Me: I just want to know, can you get me the same or similar tractor at the same price, delivered this week. (She put me on hold and in the meantime I went to sears.com, found an identical tractor at the same SALE price, in case she was too incompetent to do so).
Manager: That’s not possible, I can give you the same tractor for $1800.
Me: Why would I pay more for the same tractor? Can’t you honor the same sale price you originally gave me?
Manager: Because it’s not our fault the card was declined.
Me: But it is your fault, because the customer service guy told me it was not declined, and promised me the sale went through. We went through a big exercise to make sure it wouldn’t be declined.
Manager: I can let you talk to someone else.
Me: No, just do what the last guy (who wasn’t a supervisor) did, and give me the original sales price. You have a record of that transaction, right?
Manager: I’m not going to do that. I can let you talk to someone else.
Me: NO, LET”S JUST ORDER THIS OTHER ONE (the identical one I found on sears.com), fully ready to put myself through another round of wholesale incompetence…..sound of silence….the bitch hung up on me!
I got transferred to some other customer service line, and the first thing the woman said to me was, We don’t do Sears.com problems. I asked who I could talk to, and she said, there’s an email on sears.com. I asked if she wanted my $1500 or wanted to lose a loyal customer, and she said, you’ll need to go to sears.com.
Please note, and I swear on this — I have always been polite, never rude, just insistent and clear in what I want. And I’ve asked each person why a company which loses a sale due to an (alleged) credit card decline doesn’t call the customer to let them know about it, and they all say, We just don’t do that. I’ve had $10 orders not go through other companies for one reason or another, and the company at least emails me to let me know. It’s like Sears doesn’t want to succeed or make the sale, or secretly delights in knowing that I’m sitting around waiting for my non-existent delivery to show up.
And to hang up on one of the last people in America who haven’t totally given up on this piece of shit company? Is just plain stupid. Whatever, I guess I’ll have to go to Lowes.
Really, Gregg. We’d love to tell you to write an EECB or something to Sears, but let’s be honest with ourselves. They just don’t care.
(Photo: So Cal Metro )