Sears Calls The Cops On 76-Year-Old Trying To Get Someone To Pick Up Her Faulty Lawn Mower

What’s a 76-year-old woman to do when Sears sends her a faulty lawnmower, schedules a time to pick it up and then doesn’t, and then refuses to refund her money until it gets around to taking back said mower, which will then be outside the 30-day-refund window? She marches in to have a strong word with store employees, who then call the cops.

The Akron Beacon Journal Online lays out the scenario, in which the woman’s mower didn’t work after three mows, and from then on, Sears’ customer service falls fantastically apart.

First, she called the store that sold her the mower, and the person who answers hangs up on her. So she drives into the city of Medina to a Sears there, and explains the problem for the bajillionth time.

In short — it stopped working three weeks ago, no one picked it up and never called about it. Sears employees pull the records to discover the delivery people gave her the wrong mower in the first place, and that they’d schedule another time to deliver the correct one and take the wrong one back.

But by then, she was sick of Sears and just wanted her money back. Too bad, said Sear you can’t have your money back until we get the bad mower back. And the kicker? Sears says it can’t come pick it up until a week from Wednesday, a time that is then outside the 30-day window for a refund.

That’s when three police officers arrive to “restore the peace.”

Says the Beacon Journal:

Did we mention that this 76-year-old grandmother stands 5-foot-2 and weighs 130 pounds?

Things get even more entertaining once the officers arrive.

A woman behind the counter, whom [the woman] describes as being north of 200 pounds, says to her, “Somebody your age better watch out or you’ll have a heart attack!”

The diminutive grandmother immediately shoots back, “You’ll have one before I do, Fatso!”

The police reports describes the situation as “irate customer being unruly.” We’d be unruly at that point, too.

Cops say three officers is a usual response to that kind of call, and that the woman was “shouting” and had caused one of the clerks to cry.

In the end, no one was charged with anything, and the woman had a handyman friend drop off the mower so she could get her refund. Then, she bought a John Deere.

*Thanks for the tip, Michael!

Bob Dyer: How many police officers does it take to calm grandmother? []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Marlin says:

    “The diminutive grandmother immediately shoots back, “You’ll have one before I do, Fatso!””

    Haha… my grandmother passed about a year ago but I can so see her saying this in the most nicest way you can think.

    • BennieHannah says:

      You mean something like — “Honey, you’re asking a lot of that fabric.”

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        My late mother in law would have pointed and said, in her loudest 90 year old voice, “is my ass that wide?”

        As she got older, and she developed dementia, her social filter just went away. It was interesting taking her to doctor’s visits and out in public, I gotta say.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Grandma is probably right. She is 76 but fatso won’t live to be 40.

      • Slader says:

        Why don’t you include the M.D. after your name Clyde? Probably because you aren’t a doctor and do not know what you are talking about.

        • Rexy on a rampage says:

          Why don’t you fix your sarcasm meter?

        • alana0j says:

          Hmmm clyde sounded a bit sarcastic to me…but it is also a very well known medical fact that obesity greatly increases one’s sick of cardiovascular disease.

          If at 76 the woman was feisty enough to handle business, the odds are incredible that she’s rather healthy.

        • David in Brasil says:

          You sound fat.

  2. Phildogger says:

    I hope Sears fired the employee who made the Heart Attack crack.

  3. shepd says:

    “Cops say three officers is a usual response to that kind of call, and that the woman was “shouting” and had caused one of the clerks to cry.”


    • regis-s says:

      She’s lucky it wasn’t the RCMP. They’d have tasered her.

      • shepd says:

        This lady sounds like she’d have gone all Jason Statham and beat the RCMP on their asses, stealing the taser gun and emptying the batteries on herself!


  4. Cat says:

    I’d blame grandma for buying at Sears, but she probably thought she was shopping at the store she remembers from her youth.

    • vivalakellye says:

      Eh, don’t blame her age. I’m in my 20s and if I didn’t read Consumerist, I’d assume Sears still made products as good as my c. 1950s washer, dryer, and clothing iron.

  5. RandomLetters says:

    I like Granny. Anytime you make a store clerk cry you’re doing a great job of expressing yourself. +1,000 for her.

  6. Gorbachev says:

    How many police officers does it take to resolve Sears customer service issues?

    • Rachacha says:

      After three officers, the wise old woman bites off the head of an employee, so sadly the world may never know How many police officers it takes to resolve Sears customer service issues.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Well, I would guess the first officers who arrived were men, so they needed to call in a female officer to handle the lady. They also probably called in a superior officer to determine how they should handle the situation. Three officers sounds about right.

  7. crispyduck13 says:

    In the end, no one was charged with anything, and the woman had a handyman friend drop off the mower so she could get her refund. Then, she bought a John Deere.

    Best ending to one of these I’ve read in a long time. Good for grandma!!

  8. Invader Zim says:

    Glad grandma was able to get someone to bring it in for her. Toodles for the guy that helped her.

  9. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    Buy a Honda lawnmower. My father still has his and it’s about 19 years old and still starts on the first pull. You’ll pay a few hundred bucks more but it’s worth it in the long run.

    • RandomLetters says:

      She paid more in the short term for her Deere but IMO she got a quality product that with just basic maintence will last for decades. I know people still using John Deere tractors from the 40s & 50s.

      • Southern says:

        Yeah, but nobody makes hardly anything that’ll do that anymore. There’s no money in it.

      • bsh0544 says:

        JD really doesn’t make good consumer products these days. Honda is where it’s at for reliability and quality as far as I can tell.

      • icerabbit says:

        I agree with the sentiment that John Deere isn’t what it used to be.

        In my opinion many mowers and riding mowers (just like power tools) are farmed out to one of two, maybe three factories; that push these things out with a few different specs and colors for different brands.

        Two riding mowers in the same price category ($1500+) purchased a few months apart in the same year. A John Deere riding mower for my mother-in-law and Craftsman riding mower for us.

        The John Deere has needed a new battery after two years. (ours is still going)
        The John Deere frame in the front is rusting because of how the exhaust system is directly attached to the frame. (no such issue with ours, suspended and heat shield)
        The rear of the frame behind the seat is a sharp metal edge and is somewhat flimsy. The paint is peeling of on the inside of that molded frame. (ours has a rounded, rolled over edge that is several times as thick as the JD and the whole thing is strong enough to lift the mower up)

        Note that I am not saying that Craftsman is better, but for the same price category, and John Deere being the supreme brand it supposedly is(was?) I was very surprised to observe these issues on the JD in use with my family last year.

    • Dave B. says:

      You actually thing that a Honda mower (or any for that matter) bought today is of the same quality as one from 20 years ago?

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        No, but they’re the best quality consumer level mowers out there right now, and they have a 4 year warranty (3 year + 1 additional free when you register your purchase).

  10. Scrutinizer says:

    Sears, you just can’t buy advertising like this. Bet in the long run it would be cheaper to mow this woman’s lawn than deal with the bad press.

  11. Extended-Warranty says:

    So anyone want to wager what the real story was?

    I’ll wager that the lawn mower works just fine

    • cmdr.sass says:

      It probably ran out of gas, right?

    • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

      Based on some of your previous comments about how women can’t run businesses, or have an intelligent thought in their heads, I’d be willing to bet against you.

      • Extended-Warranty says:

        I don’t believe I have said women can’t have intelligent thoughts. However, I do believe that most large companies that do not directly cater to women have been more successful with male CEOs.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Right, of course the 76 year old woman is off her rocker, which is where she should keep her decrepit ass anyway. What is she doing buying lawn mowers and such, being a functioning member of society?

      It’s wrong to assume Sears screwed up here, even though we’ve read about their inclination to absolutely suck numerous times. We should therefore assume this woman, whom none of us know, just couldn’t work her lawn mowerhoojamabub.

    • RandomLetters says:

      As it stands even if the lawnmower does work just fine its still not the one she paid for. And selling someone product A and delivering product B is against the law. For an honest mistake you’d think Sears would get off thier asses and take care of the problem before someone got hit with a lawsuit for bait & switch.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I would wager they delivered a mower that was in for repairs, and that’s why it didn’t work properly. They probably delivered the working mower to the owner of the one that was in for repairs, and were waiting for a new unit to arrive before they went to swap out the mowers.

  12. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    And when Sears shuts down for good a few years from now, they’ll place all the blame on on-line retailers, not their own lousy customer service.

  13. samonela says:

    “You’ll have one before I do, Fatso!”


  14. Here to ruin your groove says:

    Old people can be just as obnoxious and loud as anyone else. They should also be treated the same as anyone else when they get to that point.

    “A woman behind the counter, whom [the woman] describes as being north of 200 pounds, says to her, “Somebody your age better watch out or you’ll have a heart attack!””

    Considering the source, I am guessing there was some additional wordage to make it seem more heinous than it actually was. I’ve had elderly women scream, curse, and everything else at me and every time I’ve had to escalate it to the police the whole story changes to “Old Woman VS Young Asshole.” Thank God we record everything.

    Random story time: Elderly woman who stayed at the hotel once every few weeks pops in to rent a room. She asks about a senior citizen discount and I happily apply it for her. Suddenly she makes comments about not receiving it in the past and I apologize and tell her I can increase the discount this one time to make up for it.

    Rather than thank me, she begins to accuse me of stealing her discount previous times. I hand her back her money and tell her to find a room elsewhere. She starts screaming at me and I call the police. She calls the police too and claims a laundry list of every crime she can think of to ensure I would be the one arrested when they arrive. When age didn’t help her situation she turned it into a race issue.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      It sounds like she may have some dementia related issues starting up. That was one of the things that changed first with my mother in law – she became convinced that people were stealing from her, that things were taken in the past, and all sorts of nonsense that didn’t happen. You could even show her the object she was convinced someone took, and she would accuse you of putting it back just in time just to make her seem crazy.

      • frodolives35 says:

        My grandmother at 88 called a store clerk a douche bag then said”I’m so sorry I have never spoken to anyone like that before I don’t know what came over me” The clerk actually softened his attitude and told her its ok mam. She turned and winked at me. I about died laughing. He was being a condescending douche bag and I think he realized it when she spoke up . She made it to 1 week before her 100 th birthday and was still with it untill the last 2 years.

  15. KrispyKrink says:

    “caused one of the clerks to cry”

    Oh boo fracking hoo! Let me guess, it was Fatso?

  16. Power Imbalance says:

    Pussies. If I shopped at Sears I wouldn’t anymore but…

  17. Bionic Data Drop says:

    Age, size, and gender have nothing to do with having the cops called on you. If you’re being unruly, stores have the right to ask you to leave and then call the police if you refuse. This story is pretty much implying they shouldn’t have called the cops because she was an elderly, short, 130lb lady. Should Sears have physically forced her to leave instead? Even the police described her as “irate customer being unruly”.

    She has a right to be angry and I know I would be too, but if a store asks you to leave or threatens to call the cops, it’s time to act like an adult and leave. Pursue other legal channels to resolve your problem.

    • dks64 says:

      ^^ This.

    • Northern Lights says:

      Agreed. I’m glad nobody was arrested and things got resolved peacefully, but being physically small doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you can be loud, disruptive to customers, and refuse to leave. Her feelings were understandable, but so was calling police.

  18. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Why is her age important to this story? To garner sympathy for her? It sounds like she was being rude, obnoxious, and verbally abusive and the clerks gave it right back to her. An obnoxious belligerent customer is an obnoxious belligerent customer no matter their age. They shouldn’t get special treatment because they are older. Screaming customers should get the cops called no matter their age, size, or grandmother status. Screaming and acting like a fool is no way to behave or get what you want .Sears stinks either way as does crazy grandma.

    • dks64 says:

      Thank YOU. Exactly this!!!!

    • Ilovegnomes says:

      I’m guessing age was relevant to her inability to return the mower to the store herself. My mom is the same age and would need help lifting something that heavy/large.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        What inability? They said they would pick it up, but she perceived that to violate the refund policy because it was past the 30 days. With something that requires delivery/pick up, most stores will allow it to come in after the time if you contact them before the time, because both parties are at the mercy of the delivery vehicles/department. If I buy something on the Sunday a sale stops, and it doesn’t get delivered until Wednesday, does that mean they charge me full price, as I am physically getting it AFTER the sale ended? If I do a return with a company that sends you a return label and I call on the 28th day, and it doesn’t get to them until day 36, does that make the return invalid?

  19. Pagan wants a +1 button says:

    If my own grandmother hadn’t already passed away, I would think the story was about her!

  20. Shmoodog says:

    Store manager should f’ing fire some people for this. Otherwise what is the point of paying the manager’s salary? This is the worst PR a company could get. News for retailers – aging baby boomers are going to be the majority in this country soon, better start learning how to deal with them.

    • dks64 says:

      The workers were screamed at and THEY should be fired? No, the woman should have kept her s*it together and stayed calm. You don’t get the cops called on you when you act like a grown ass person.

  21. mister_roboto says:

    100 years ago, you could have ordered a kit to build a HOUSE, via mail.

    Today- they just call the cops on you.

  22. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I suspect the “woman behind the counter” may have had next to no customer service training. In the past 20 or so years, I’ve been sent to several seminars about customer service…and I’ve learned a lot about how to deal with people, even though it was a small part of my job.

    I suspect this escalation was a combination of the customer being exasperated with Sears, as it seems many of their customers are these days, and the counter person not knowing how to diffuse or handle the situation properly.

  23. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    First, she called the store that sold her the mower, and the person who answers hangs up on her. So she drives into the city of Medina to a Sears there, and explains the problem for the bajillionth time. “

    How is it the “bajillionth” time if this happened after her first step?

  24. TheBear says:

    Keeping It Classy Sears, Fatso..

  25. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    “…caused one of the clerks to cry” when she realized she was working at Sear’s!!!

  26. Clyde Barrow says:

    The diminutive grandmother immediately shoots back, “You’ll have one before I do, Fatso!”


    I love grandma’s.

  27. physics2010 says:

    If it was in the 30 day window for taking it back, it was within the window of having your credit card company perform a charge back. Once Sears Loss Prevention gets involved they’ll be more than happy to send someone for the lawnmower. Another example of why major purchases should be put on the credit card.

    • Fooferall says:

      No. Chargebacks are not magical get-out-of-jail-free cards. You cannot perform a chargeback if you bought merchandise and did not return it. You can’t have both the merchandise and the money. A chargeback like that would instantly be thrown out.

  28. SearsCares says:

    Good morning all,

    I saw this post today and wanted to address this matter. My name is Mike and I am a member of the Sears Social Media Support team. I am very sorry to see the situation that Mrs. Crawford has endured. While mistakes can sometimes happen, it is most regrettable that our customer was inconvenienced so much in this process. We strive to make every customer interaction both a positive and memorable one and that was not the case in this matter. While we would love the opportunity to contact Mrs. Crawford and discuss this matter in greater detail to ensure that the return of her mower has been resolved, I cannot find any contact information for her in this post or in the link to the newspaper article provided. Should anyone make contact with Mrs. Crawford, please provide our e-mail address,, to her so that we can contact her and do everything in our power to make things right. We are doing our best to improve every day and every bit of feedback we receive, positive or negative, enables us to do just that. I want to assure all of you that this is not the type of customer service that we want to provide to our customers and I thank all of you for taking the time to provide your feedback in this matter.

    Thank you,

    Mike D.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support