The Item You Ordered From Sears May Or May Not Have Ever Existed

Michael admits that he probably should have known better than to order something from and…well, to expect it to show up. What he didn’t expect was to spend two suspenseful weeks where the retailer apparently wasn’t sure whether the items had been shipped, would be shipped, were in stock, were ever in stock, or actually existed. At least that’s how it sounds to us. This is impressive even by typical Sears standards.

I ordered two items from using a gift certificate from my realtor after buying a new house. I prefer to go to Sears if I shop there at all, but one item was likely to be to big for my car, so I chose shipping instead. Let’s call them Item A and Item B. This is what happened:

Day 1: Placed the order on Confirmation e-mail that the Items will be shipped separately and should arrive in 7-10 and 12-14 days, respectively.

Day 5: I receive an e-mail indicating that Item A (the large, more expensive item) has shipped, and providing a UPS tracking number. I check UPS on-line, and find that UPS thinks that the order was taken, and then almost immediately cancelled, and that UPS does not (and will not) have possession of the item.

Day 5 (later): I e-mail Sears, asking in detail what happened to my order and to confirm when each Item will be delivered. Sears replies with the typical “we value your business, we’re so sorry” B.S., and then states that they checked with UPS and found the same message (shocking!). Finally, a “Specialized Team” will have to respond to my query, which will take 7-10 days. Now I’m pissed.

Day 6: I write to Sears, asking how it can take 7-10 days to respond to a simple delivery question. The reply (which comes in a couple of hours) states that Item B will be shipped in 7-10 days, and does not mention the problem with Item A. I call Sears, hoping to hear from a human, as I am now pretty sure that the help line is simply a computer responding to key words (i.e. my reference to 7-10 days to hear back on Item A kicked in the auto-response re Item B). The guy on the phone says I have to wait to hear from the “Specialized Team”. Multiple e-mails result, trying to lock down a better answer – most refer to Item B only for some reason.

Day 7: I continue to try to find out the answer to my problem with Item A – and no matter what I say in my e-mails, the responses all refer solely to Item B status. ARG!!! Finally, Sears tells me that Item A is out of stock and that they will issue me a refund (on a gift card). Here’s the kicker – when I got home that night, Item A was sitting on my front porch! Finally, success! (No thanks to Sears).

Day 14: As a final kick in the ass, today I received a shipping e-mail for Item B stating that it would arrive in 2-3 days. When I got home, sitting in the mail was an envelope with a gift card in it for $19.53 – my refund for Item B, which is out of stock. Seriously?

In summary, for over 2 weeks had no idea whether my two items were in stock, if they were being shipped, whether I would be getting the item or a refund, or whether my order could even be fulfilled. In the end, I’ll spend the $19 at my local Sears someday and then be done with them. I know that, if posted, the first comment to this will be “That’s what he gets for shopping at Sears” – well, I’ve always had luck in the stores with tools, and needed two items without going to the store. Lesson learned.

Well, not that going to a brick-and-mortar store and holding the item in your hands guarantees a pleasant shopping experience with Sears. It does mean that you won’t be waiting weeks for it to show up, though.


Edit Your Comment

  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    All things considered, this is a good scenario! Despite Sears’ idiocy, it seems that he actually got the item that wouldn’t fit in his car rather than the smaller item that probably would have fit into his car ($19 for something so big it can’t fit in the car doesn’t make sense).

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      I spent $20 at on some plastic resin shelves at Home Depot and had to open the shrinkwrap and shuffle some shelves around so that everything would fit in my trunk. Granted I drive a two-seater convertible, but maybe Michael does too.

    • aloria says:

      I don’t know, I could probably buy a ladder for $19 that wouldn’t fit in my car.

  2. Youngfrankenstein says:

    I had a similar experience with lately. They had 2 items I had trouble finding elsewhere and no where in the ordering process did it say that the items were not available. After receiving the conformation e-mail, it said it wasn’t available. When I called CS, they said they may have it again soon or they may never carry or sell the item again. She said they won’t take it off the website because they may, at some point, sell it again. She also said it was “very likely” that someone else had just purchased the same items at the exact same time I did.

    • Kate says:

      Have they ever heard of the ‘Out of Stock’ option on web sites?

      • Youngfrankenstein says:

        They had that for the first few items I looked at first. I saw “Out of Stock” on the page so I moved on. I just thought in this day and age you may be able to “block” and out of stock item that you weren’t carrying at the moment and put it up again when you did.

  3. TVGenius says:

    Yeah, but will item B be showing up in a couple days?

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I think any indivdual should be wary ordering anything from “”

    Perhaps they should try “” instead.

  5. blinky says:

    That’s what he gets for shopping at Sears

  6. skapig says:

    The online operation is a complete mess (considerably more so than their b&m operation). As evidenced by scenarios such as this, they sink to some pretty scary depths.

  7. Downfall says:

    “I ordered two items from using a gift certificate from my realtor after buying a new house. “

    Next time, use a different realtor.

    • Reading_Comprehension says:

      They couldve received NO gift certificate. My realtor gave us a certificate to a local hardware store, which was very nice, except they are way overpriced, but free is free.

      • jen says:

        i agree – we received nothing from our realtor, and that was after he split a commission on an $800k+ sale. (we were the purchaser, so he didn’t get the cash from us, but he still got it because of us.) i was a little put off by that. btw, i know that the local hardware stores are a bit overpriced compared with home depot, but i think that’s a good gift from a reltor, supporting local business and all. plus, i often go to the local hardware guy because he’s convenient and also very helpful and knowledgeable, which i definitely can’t find at home depot.

      • nodaybuttoday says:

        Mine gave us a gift certificate to Best Buy. It paid for a standard cordless phone. I can’t believe how much cordless phones are going for these days… it had been about 15 years since I had to buy one.

  8. nodaybuttoday says:

    My experience with has been horrible. In store experience has been fine (except that they sell hammers, drills, screwdrivers, but not nails. WTF?) but I refuse to visit their website. It gives you the wrong prices and availability… it’s a sad excuse for an online store.

    • stormbird says:

      What? The only reason, and it is truly the only reason, to go to Sears is because of their tools. They expect you to go to them to buy a hammer and then go to another store for nails? They can’t have a few boxes of nails in the back? Do they think that nails wilt like celery?

  9. lunasdude says:

    My experience was very similar.
    I ordered a utility trailer December 20th from (I know, I know) because they had an EXCELLENT price on it.
    Just as the OP I received a email confirmation, also as with OP I got an email with a tracking number for UPS a couple of day later and when I clicked on the tracking number to track it, UPS says no such number found?
    WTF? I call Sears CSR number and ask about my order their answer was (and always was in 10 other calls) we will send the Shipper an inquiry and get back to you in 24, 48hrs.
    They NEVER got back to me EVER I called almost everyday.
    After 28 days of waiting and calling, Finally the shipping co. (not UPS) called me and wanted to inform me, a truck would be in “my area” 5 days later!
    After I hung up I stopped and looked at the number and discovered it was local!
    I called and asked if they were local and if the trailer was in the City I work in and they said yes and would I like to pick it up?
    I went that afternoon and had them load a 300LB box in my truck and scurried home feeling ever so lucky I got it at all.
    To this day Sears has never checked to see if I even got the order.

  10. IDK says:

    This lady helped me out a lot when I escalated my problem before.

    Laura S. Online Solutions
    1-800-311-4313, ext. 16474

  11. llsee says:

    When I was a kid, waaayyyyyy back in the 50’s, my family shopped extensively at Sears. Partly because they had the biggest store around, and partly because my dad liked their products, especially appliances and tools. As a young man buying my first house in the 70’s, I too shopped at Sears for appliances and tools. But, over the past 35-40 years, Sears has deteriorated to a very sad state. I recently purchased a gas range from Sears. I wish I could say that the in-store experience was smooth and trouble free, but sadly it was just as bad as the op’s online experience. The promised next day delivery and installation, dragged out into a next-month delivery. The range, a 5 burner model, had a cast-iron griddle for the middle burner that the salesperson assured me could be easily ordered online. Trying to locate a part, on Sears online parts website, is basically impossible, unless you know the part number. After several days of frustration, trying to find the part, I stumbled across a forum on Sears website. There was a whole thread about my range, and the phantom griddle. Turns out that I was not alone in my frustration. Finally, some kind soul, posted the part # on the forum. Taking a chance, I ordered the part number. Sears at first gave me a delivery date, then Emailed that the griddle was out of stock and on back-order. Then, without further communication from Sears, the griddle magically arrived! I do like the range, and the griddle. But good grief, I would have to be a glutton for punishment to put myself through an ordeal like that again. Sorry Sears, but you have lost a customer for life, and I can not recommend that store (or website), to anyone!