The Ooma Telo is a voice over IP device that looks like a spaceship and lets you connect up your home broadband connection, your existing landline handsets, and the Ooma service. Francesca ordered one of these devices last week from Sears.com while visiting family, and used in-store pickup to fetch it from a Sears store near where she was staying. She didn’t open or use the Telo, and decided not to keep it. But that’s the point of visiting large chain retailers, right? You can buy an item from one place, or online, and return it anywhere. That’s true in theory, but not at Sears.
She wrote to Sears:
I recently purchased an Ooma Telo on June 22nd (order # [redacted]). I ordered the item online for in-store pick up. I picked up the item as planned that night while visiting family in [redacted]. I decided to return this unused, unopen item to my local store ([redacted]) on July 4th. The sales associate in the electronics department was not able to process my return because I was not given a receipt that contained a return code when I picked up the item. However, I was able to call Sears customer service and get the code.
Unfortunately, that did not solve my problem. The customer service person ultimately called over a manager, who I believe was named [A]. She also tried to process the return, but eventually told me that I could not return the item because it was a “marketplace” item (even though my receipt says sold by Sears). I told her that I did not see anything in their return policy (which was taped up on the back of the register) that prevents customers from returning marketplace items in store. She then became rude and told me there was nothing I could do except return it to the store where I purchased it. The store where I purchased it is 3 HOURS AWAY!! I told her it was practical to return it to that store, but she did not care. After one hour of them attempting to return my item, I was rudely told that I was out of luck.
I decided to call Sears customer service again to explain my situation. They told me that my item was NOT a marketplace item, and that there was no reason why they should not be able to process the return. With this new information, I headed back into the store and asked to speak with a manager.
This time I spoke with [R], who is the Assistant Store Manager. She told me that whenever a person orders from Sears.com, there is a good chance the the item will not be returnable because the system is old and it just won’t allow it.
At this point, I was upset, angry and shocked. Are you really telling me that a very large national store can basically pick and choose what they will accept back, even if the customer falls within all of the guidelines? Are you telling me that I take a chance of getting no return on any item I purchase from Sears.com just because? Is “the system is too old” really an acceptable excuse for not accepting my return? This is absolutely ludicrous.
Mrs. [R] did tell me that I could mail the product back to Sears.com, and even offered to pay for the shipping costs. That is a nice offer, however, why should I have to go out of my way again to go to the post office, then go back to Sears to see if this person will refund the costs.
Now I just spent another hour on the phone with customer service, who patched me through to [my local] store. The man at the local store suggested I drive to another Sears and try again. Really! I have to drive all over town wasting my gas and time in hopes of finding someone who might possibly help me! This is crazy!
I shopped at Sears.com for the convenience, and I all got out of it was a product I don’t want and can’t return, and a huge hassle. Ironically, [my local] store has “Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back” printed over the door I entered (see attached photo). I wish that was true! I’m desperate to get my money back! Now that you have heard my story, can you PLEASE provide me with a way to return this product!
She’s right: the Telo is available from Sears Marketplace sellers, but for a higher price, and not for in-store pickup. Marketplace items ship from outside vendors.