One of my tires has a slow leak in it and after months of putting air in the sucker I decided to replace it. I searched all the tire places in my area and SEARS had the best prices. I bought a phone from them a few months ago and cancelled the shipment the same day, but they sent it anyway. When I was a teen I worked there, about 7-8 years ago, so some nostalgia kicked in. Against my better judgment I placed the order on Thursday 11/08/2012. Immediately I received an email confirming my order but a stern message not to go to SEARS and have the 2 tires installed until I received another email. My service reservation was for Saturday so I wasn’t worried. I call SEARS in [redacted] MA and confirm they got plenty of my tires.
On Friday 11/09/2012 I receive another email telling me not to go to the store without a confirmation of the tires being in stock.
I scratch my head, they are in stock. I call SEARS customer service and talk to 3 people and finally get transferred to the automotive section or whatever. The agent puts me on hold for 10 mins, calls the store and confirms they got the tires. She then tells me that I can’t have the 2 tires I ordered. I ask why. She tells me due a computer being down somewhere prevents just me for procuring these already paid for tires. She tells me I wasn’t charged for the tires, I rebut with, “Yes, you put a hold on my bank account, so you kind of did.”
I ask her why I can’t go to SEARS with my valid receipt and just, you know, pick my tires. She says that’s not possible because they won’t know I ordered them. Confused at the point, I retort with but I have receipt. She comes back but you don’t have a work order and I say well make one then. She claims that they can’t but if I order two more tires ( a total of 4) I can have 2 tires. She explains the other two would be refunded in 3-5 business days.
I ask why I can’t I have an even exchange and why do I have to give them an interest free-loan for tires I’ve already paid for. Her advice is to wait until Saturday and see if those tires come back in stock for me, because for everyone else they already are in stock.
On Monday still Tireless, I get an email from SEARS saying the tires are out of stock and they have to cancel my order. Are they out of stock for real, no again just for me. The email says since they didn’t charge me I’m not owed a refund. Check bank account, yup still a pending charge from SEARS. Call SEARS, they call my bluff, saying a pending charge isn’t a charge…. yet. OK, well still no tires and hold on my account for nothing. Not one to sit around I call the BBB, I explain my situation and they file a [complaint].
On Tuesday I receive an email from SEARS customer service, SEARSCARES.COM which at first glance looked like SEARS SCARES and that seemed apropos. They explain to me again, that they didn’t charge me and I’m not owed a refund but if I want to contest this I need to send them proof and a contact at my bank. So I fire off a statement and a contact # with the quickness. My bank tells me that since SEARS didn’t obtain proper authorization in a reasonable amount of time so I can’t contest this charge…yet. SEARS sends them a fax telling them to remove the charge once it becomes a charge because they shouldn’t have charged me in the first place.
Hopefully this pending charge will emerge from it’s cocoon and become a real charge so I can have an actual refund. I can then replace my leaky tire, but don’t worry, SEARS won’t be in the picture.
It’s easy to say this when I’m not the person who needs new tires, but situations like this are when a credit card comes in handy, provided that the limit is high enough to pay for four tires instead of two.