Ally is a tireless disgruntled former Sears customer. We don’t mean that she’s tireless in that she’s working without ceasing to take down Sears. We mean that she really needs some new tires, which she ordered from Sears last week. She called them up to make sure that they had her tires in stock, and they did. When the time came for her service appointment, though, she found out that Sears didn’t have the tires in stock for her, and they couldn’t explain why in a clear way. What they could provide her with was a hold on her bank account because she had originally ordered the tires with her debit card. So that was awesome.
Sarah says the Toys R Us website’s inability to determine whether or not items were in stock stopped her from taking advantage of a sale. She thought she got a “buy two, get one free” deal on baby nursery supplies, but discovered by email that it wasn’t the case.
On Black Friday, Sears offered free installation on select Kenmore dishwashers in the form of a rebate coupon. The coupon is pretty simple to understand as far as these things go–buy one of the listed models, and Sears will pay for the installation. According to William, however, the listed model that he wanted remained out of stock only for the duration of the coupon. When he asked Sears to honor it the next day, they agreed to–but then after he bought the dishwasher they told him he had broken a nonexistent rule and therefore had voided the coupon.
The Fry’s store in Renton, Washington, just played a mean trick on at least half a dozen customers. This morning, Jeff successfully navigated through the crowd outside, the crowds inside, and no less than five different lines in order to purchase a 52″ TV. Everything went remarkably smoothly. Well, until the very end.
Pay no attention to those ridiculously cheap TV sets and game systems—also called doorbusters—that retailers use to lure in hordes of holiday shoppers, notes CNN. They’re the equivalent of that little dangly thing anglerfish use to catch food.
Many of Panasonic’s cameras will only work with official Panasonic batteries—the newest models require “an embedded security ID chip,” while older models have been issued a firmware upgrade that locks out third-party vendors. This is already pretty obnoxious, but what makes it even worse is Panasonic can’t keep up with demand, so the batteries they insist you buy for your camera aren’t available.
Jake couldn’t place an order for an Xbox 360 deal on Black Friday—yes, we’re talking about a failed transaction from two and half months ago—but he got surprisingly helpful customer service from Office Depot. Margaret at the Office of the Chairman even gave him her personal number and promised him a raincheck of sorts in the form of a gift card for a future purchase. Her offer sounded almost too good to be true, and maybe it was, because as of February he still hasn’t seen a gift card. And Margaret won’t return his voicemail messages, not even to say the deal is off. Update: Office Depot saw this post, and they contacted Jake.
Mike sent us two stories of back-to-back merchandise fiascos with orders he placed on Sears.com for in-store pickup. What’s worse, the problems can’t just be blamed on a lone rotten employee, or attributed to bad luck—several Sears stores were involved. Our verdict: there’s something seriously messed up with the Sears fulfillment chain, and it’s not worth your time or energy to bother with it. But you knew that already, right?
Karen writes, “I am planning a trip to Chicago next month and was looking for a travel cooler, and found exactly what I needed…” Then she noticed something odd. Yes, this leprechaun of a cooler will reward you with awesome in-car chilling, if you can just solve the riddle of how to buy it.
Tom just sent us a follow-up to yesterday’s post, and it’s good news:Score another one for The Consumerist! This morning I contacted Sears’ Executive Customer Service Department. They attempted to contact the store manager on my behalf. I stress “attempted” because they were hung up on too.
Update: one day after being posted here, the issue has been resolved. Sears strikes again! They sold Tom a TV for $1,070 on Black Friday last November. “Of course, it wasn’t in stock but they assured me that they could order it,” he writes.
Matt bought a camera from TigerDirect. He monitored the status of the order online, and saw that it was marked “shipped” a few days after he placed the order, so he returned the other, more expensive, camera he’d bought at Best Buy. Unfortunately, the TigerDirect camera never arrived.