As we’ve often discussed on this site, Sears doesn’t seem to want to sell merchandise to customers anymore. They’re apparently more interested in selling the real estate that their stores sit on. We know many talented and dedicated Sears employees, but the big picture remains grim. Want concrete proof that will make you sad? You could visit your local store, or just look at these pictures. [More]
No one with any sense of how capitalism works would expect the profit and loss numbers out of Sears Holdings Corporation this week to be good. It turns out, though, that the company lost even more money in the second quarter of 2013 than experts had anticipated, and needs serious help to get out of its downward slide. [More]
A Michigan couple were shopping at Sears Outlet with their infant last week when they realized that they had been trapped inside the store. Police responding to a tripped alarm last Monday night discovered the would-be customers inside, claiming that employees had closed up and left them inside. [More]
After Alex ordered his laptop from Lenovo, he received an e-mail telling him that, oh yeah, there was a delay and it would ship out within a month. He bought another laptop instead. Because that’s the way the world works, Lenovo shipped out his new computer later that same day. He and Lenovo arranged things so that UPS just “sent the package back,” even though their tracking system said that it had never left the dock at Lenovo. A few days after that, they charged his credit card. Then things really got annoying. [More]
Stuey made a big purchase at Sears and ended up with a huge stack of Sears/Kmart ShopYourWay rewards points to spend. Well, that he could theoretically spend. The problem was that he couldn’t find anything he wanted that was available, didn’t come bundled with things that he didn’t want, and was eligible for purchase with rewards points. What could he do? That’s not very rewarding at all. [More]
Alejandro wants to buy a Lenovo Thinkpad, but Lenovo doesn’t think he should have one. Well, that’s not quite fair: maybe it’s nothing personal about Alejandro. All he knows is that he’s tried to order a computer twice in the last three weeks, and twice the order has been canceled. He contacts Lenovo, and no one will give him a reason for the cancelation. [More]
In theory, Lenovo is a company based in China that sells computers. Most of the time, this seems to be true: they make computers, and customers ship or bring the computers to their homes and are pleased. What happens alarmingly often, though, is that the whole process falls apart. It’s as if some people aren’t worthy of owning a Lenovo machine, and the company makes the process difficult deliberately to stand in their way. That’s what happened to Alex. Lenovo pushed back his computer’s ship date repeatedly: annoying, but it happens. Then they canceled his entire order, but forgot to notify him.
During his recent shopping voyages, reader Matt has noticed a strange trend. In big-box store Best Buy and Office Depot, there was plenty of inventory out on the shelves, but a lot of it wasn’t for sale. Not just a few items here and there: he writes that a dozen laptops at a local Best Buy lacked prices and weren’t for sale.
Ryan wanted to buy a tablet, but he’s in the Northeast and couldn’t expect a delivery to show up reliably while his region is getting smacked by a massive Frankenstorm. He took the opportunity to try to buy the tablet he desired in person. Where he lives, the main place to buy electronics is Best Buy, which had the Asus Transformer Infinity in stock. Should be simple enough: go to the store, buy the tablet, then come home and play with the tablet. Right? [More]
Lenovo’s marketing for the last few years has been built on the slogan “For those who do.” Who do what? You know, stuff. Stuff that you need computers for. Computer-needing stuff. Brad’s experience with purchasing a laptop from the company has led him to the conclusion that no one there doesmuch of anything. Which makes sense. The marketing material says that their computers are for those who do. Not from them.
Lenovo’s ordering system is set up to combat fraud. It’s a little too good at its job, though, and is currently combating John’s perfectly legit order of a new Thinkpad. What’s wrong with his address? Nothing, according to his bank. But Lenovo insists that his information is wrong and they can’t sell him a computer.
Reader Devotee would like to purchase a computer from Lenovo. A laptop, specifically, for his son. But Lenovo doesn’t want to sell him a computer. After confirming the purchase and authorizing the purchase with his credit card company twice, the order just got canceled. Did they run out of stock of this particular computer? Was his purchase flagged for fraud? Did he just catch them on a bad day? They won’t say, and he can’t get in touch with anyone who can tell him. Update: Lenovo has successfully sold Devotee a computer.
Sears doesn’t want Nat’s business. They don’t want my business. They don’t want anyone’s business. They may continue to exist as a commercial entity, but that’s because they’re one of two things: an advanced anti-capitalist prank, or a massive real estate holding company that continues running stores out of a sense of nostalgia while they wait for the market to pick back up. But they don’t want to actually sell anyone anything, as Nat learned when he tried to order a camera that only appeared to be in stock. Anywhere.
In hindsight, Marla would have been better off ordering a toaster and a toaster oven from anywhere except Sears. But she didn’t know that the company has entered the next phase of its existence as a massive anti-capitalist prank, and has now added an absurdist theater aspect to the project. At least, that’s the only explanation for some of the conversations Marla had when her toaster didn’t show up. First, they refused to understand that the toaster wasn’t in the box at all. Then, she received a call to come pick up her floor-model toaster at a store in Maine. Marla lives in Alaska.
This holiday season, Sears continues its mission as an elaborate anti-capitalist prank, mocking the feeble attempts that shoppers make to obtain useful information from customer service representatives, and preventing consumers from exchanging money for merchandise. LouAnn, a longtime Sears customer, was left so frustrated after a recent encounter with the retailer that the vented to Consumerist, “I am tired of giving MY money to companies who CLEARLY don’t understand that I have a choice of where and how to spend my money.” That could be a mission statement for this site.
The bad news: Sears has started channeling the Geek Squad, pre-optimizing all merchandise in stock before customers have a choice in the matter. The worse news: they’re failing at it terribly. Ron tried to purchase a gas grill on sale at Sears. He placed his order online for instore pickup, only to discover that all of the grills in stock were already assembled. Fine, except an already-assembled grill won’t fit in his car. The only bright spot for consumers: unlike Geek Squad, Sears doesn’t even have the foresight to charge for the optimization service.
When you order an item from Lenovo, your item could be out of stock, backordered, shipping sometime in six months, or have falled into another dimension never to be heard from again. At least, that’s what Eamonn discovered when ordering a USB thumb drive along with a Thinkpad. Lenovo first showed an absurdly far-off shipping date, and then finally–days later–admitted that they had sold something that was never actually in stock.