Sears Offer To Mail Customer Missing Key To Floor Model Snowblower

Aaron visited Sears to pick up a new Craftsman snowblower he bought for 10% off on, but the store only had one floor model in stock. Aaron agreed to take the unit after staff assured him that it came with a warranty, manuals, and all the things normally bundled with new snowblowers. Of course, Sears couldn’t find either the manual or the keys. A salesman promised that “Ray from Lawn & Garden” would mail the key whenever he returned, an offer Aaron refused. The salesman then offered a key from another snowblower, promising “the keys are basically universal.” That key didn’t work because, as a different associate later discovered, the unit was missing its electric start socket.

Aaron writes:

Dear Consumerist,
I recently purchased a Craftsman snow thrower from during an online 12-hour 10% off sale. I selected the store pickup option as the website stated that my local Waterford, CT Sears had this model in stock. Well, later in the morning the local department clerk called to inform me that the only available unit of that model snow thrower was a floor model. The clerk told me that this was last years model that had been reduced and he could possibly get me a bigger discount if I agreed to continue with the purchase & take the floor model. Now the clerk tries to apply a larger discount on top of the ten percent I’ve already received but can’t, the computer is telling him that I’ve already reached my limit on discounts on this sale. Ok, I’ve received the 10% from the 12-hour sale then another $5 discount for signing up for emails. Fine, I decide to take the unit anyway as long as the unit is complete, manual, keys, etc…

Cut to later the next morning, Waterford, CT Sears. During my lunch break I leave the office to drive to the store to pick up the machine. I first stop by the Lawn & Garden dept to confirm that the snow thrower does in fact carry all the relevant warranties and is not an ‘as-is’ purchase. The clerk, different from the one I talked with the previous day, confirmed that the unit is not an ‘as-is’ sale and the unit carries all associated warranties. Fine, I head up to merchandise pickup. He further confirms that the unit was assembled two weeks ago and everything is upstairs waiting for pickup.

Upstairs, merchandise pickup:
Two associates very promptly bring out the machine, just the machine, and no user manual. I tell the associates that I will not accept the unit without all relevant accessories. They go back into their area and leave me for about ten minutes. This time one associate returns with user manual but he tells me that he can’t find the key to start the machine. I am left waiting for another ten minutes, at least. He comes back with a plan that Ray from Lawn & Garden will “mail me the key” when he gets back from his day off. I tell the associate that this is unacceptable. I will not accept the unit unless it is complete. Take it off the truck and do what you will with it, just refund my money. The associate tells me that it will get “complicated” if I refuse the unit and he heads back to further search for the key; further leaving me hanging for another ten minutes and making me late for an appointment. After another ten minutes he returns with the key from another model Craftsman snow thrower and tells me that the keys are basically universal. He leaves and I take the key & go to the truck to try it in my model. It doesn’t fit.

As it turns out there were two other merchandise pick up associates walking by as I was on the truck trying out the key. They walk over ask if it’s working. I explain that it isn’t. They both look at the machine & notice that the unit is missing a critical piece of equipment that fits onto the electric start socket. The machine will not start with out this piece. I thank them & tell them to remove the snow thrower from my truck. The associate processes the order as a return & I leave extremely unsatisfied.

Now, there’s a sign hanging up at merchandise pickup that states if the associates don’t have your order out in five minutes then you’re entitled to a $5 coupon good on a future purchase. I take this into account when I email about my experience. The following day the operation manager from Waterford Sears contacts me and apologizes for my inconvenience. She offers me a new in box unit (apparently they found one sitting around) for $499, discounting it $90. I tell her this is untrue, as I paid $526. She puts me on hold & comes back with her final offer of $489. So it’s not $90 off, it’s $37 off.

$37 off, for my trouble. Thirty-seven dollars. I was lied to by the lawn & garden clerk, waited at merchandise pickup for upwards of forty minutes, drove forty five minutes round trip to borrow a pickup truck to haul the snow thrower, took over an hour off of work. Oh, and my eight month pregnant wife was with me the whole time waiting. I decline her offer & email national customer service to have a regional manager contact me. Nothing, not even a reply.

Thanks for nothing. So long Sears.

(Photo: Getty)