On Friday evening (3/1) I decided to spend a little of my hard-earned tax refund on a new bed. My husband and I picked out a lovely mattress set (Serta Meriden Faux Queen Mattress Set) from Sears that fit our needs and our price point. I selected the Serta Meriden Eurotop Queen Mattress (Item 08295679000, Model 543876350) and the Serta SertaPedic II Foundation ONLY Queen Low Profile (Item 08295665000, Model 550499750) and processed the purchase. I used $51.26 from a gift card I had and the balance from my Visa Check Card. My order number is [redacted] and my salescheck number is [redacted].
About 15 minutes after the order was placed I received the confirmation email I noticed the order was for the Serta SertaPedic Foundation ONLY Queen (Item 08295664000, Model 550499550) instead of the Low Profile model. A height different of 3 inches between the regular height and the low profile, but I need the low profile model due to the head-board and foot-board height on the bed frame I picked out at Ikea. I called the Sears Customer Service number I found on the bottom of their website (1-800-549-4505) and go through the phone tree to a human who tells me they can’t help me or see my order in their system and that I need to call 1-800-697-3277 and follow those phone options.
I call that number and get transferred to the delivery department since it’s a delivery order. There I’m told they can’t change any items in an order that’s already been placed but I was welcome to cancel my order and re-place it with the correct items. I tell them that I would be fine with that if they could assure me that I wouldn’t be charged and my gift card would be refunded as well. I was told that the charge hasn’t gone through yet so they would note it as cancelled and I wouldn’t be charged and I would received a gift card in the mail for the $51.26 even though I still have the original card.
Approximately an hour after that call I see the balance show up as a hold on my check card. I call back and I’m told that the hold is automatically placed for new orders and the first representative must have been mistaken when I was told I wouldn’t be charged. I was told that they’ll process an immediate refund and I’ll see it come up on my bank statement on Monday 3/4 and I would receive a cancellation email within 1-3 hours of hanging up with this rep. The night came and went and no cancellation email ever showed up.
I called my credit union on Saturday (3/2) and was told the hold was scheduled to fall off on Monday evening around 6:30pm and as long as my order was cancelled they shouldn’t post it and it will just disappear.
Sunday evening I get a notice from my credit union that the charge has indeed posted to the account. I call Sears back at 1-800-732-7747 as instructed by the previous day’s rep and was told that my order is noted as cancelled but they aren’t sure why I haven’t received my refund yet. The representative then tells me that I should have the cancellation email already and they will have the back office re-send it. I ask about the refund and the gift card balance and I’m told they’ll make a note that I have the original card so that the amount can be refunded directly to that (rather than mailing me a new gift card) and I should see the balance back on my check card by Monday morning.
Monday morning (3/4) comes and no refund and still no cancellation email. I check and the gift card balance is still $0.00. I call Sears again. I get [A] who tells me that the order isn’t cancelled, it’s still showing delivery for 3/15, and only after I point out that I requested several times over the course of a bunch of phone calls that it was to be cancelled and I was told I would be refunded did she say “oh I see down in the notes here that it was supposed to be cancelled, I’m not sure why that is”. I explain to her my conversations with the previous reps who were supposed to have been noting my account each time I called. She said that a refund can take 3-5 business days from the date of cancellation and since it was cancelled Friday I should see my refund in the account on Wednesday morning but my gift card would be reloaded ASAP and I would get that cancellation email I still haven’t received. I tell her that I’m very dissatisfied with Sears for their inability to change an online order minutes after it’s made and a full hour before funds were ever held, not to mention I wanted to change one item with an item of equal value that’s part of the set anyway. She apologizes and said that their system is just too old to take changes after it’s made and I should have ordered in the store if I didn’t want to be hassled.
About 45 minutes after i hang up with that rep I get an email from Sears – nope, not my cancellation notice… sadly… It’s an email thanking me for my order and telling me all about mattress-related items that are on sale. Great…
Today (3/5) I call my credit union and explain the problem. They said that they’d be happy to open a dispute but I’d have to wait until the order’s delivery date (3/15) has come and gone. That way if Sears didn’t refund me and they still delivered the bedding I would have to deal with exchanging an item with Sears. I said at this point I’m so frustrated I’ll take the regular size box spring, I just want my damn bed. I’ll pick a different frame if I have to I just don’t want to deal with Sears anymore. Every one of their reps has given me a different answer about how long it takes to get a refund, when I would receive it, even the status of my order. The credit union rep suggests I call Sears back one last time and verify again the status of the order and the status of the refund.
I call again, to 1-800-349-4358 thinking that since that’s the number for issues with online orders I might have better luck. Nope, same phone tree that ends me with press 3 for items that will be delivered. I get yet another rep whom I can’t understand, she mumbles her name, she can’t understand anything I’m saying, and she tells that she can’t even find my order in the system. I give her all my info, multiple times; name, order number, phone number, alternate phone number, delivery address, zip code, what items are in the order, etc… She finally says “Oh I see it’s for a mattress set” – I’m not sure what that means but suddenly she could find my order. She says that yes it’s cancelled as far as her computer is telling her but my refund will take 7-10 business days from the date of cancellation, which she’s showing as 3/1. I explain the previous reps said immediate credit refund and 3-5 business days, asking for a clarification of which one is it. She says no, that it’s 7-10 business days or longer for the check card refund and she isn’t sure if I’ll ever receive the gift card balance of $51.26 back. I ask about the cancellation email, she said I should have already received it when the order was cancelled. I tell her I never received it, she said she’ll have the back office send me another one. Where have I heard that empty promise before…
So here I sit, Tuesday morning. I’m not sure if I’ll be receiving a bed set on 3/15 or if I’ll be receiving a refund between now and the end of next week. I’m so frustrated I’m tempted to never do business with Sears ever again. Which upsets me since my grandfather worked at the local Sears for many years and all of the appliances in my parents house came from Sears (including my mother’s shiny new very expensive wall oven she bought within the last 6 months). Please Consumerist, can you help a girl out?
Update: we got Heather in touch with a Sears higher-up who was able to set things in motion to get this situation fixed long before the 15th. We’ll keep you posted!