I’ve shopped in enough pet stores to know that people will pay good money for snakes. One Sears customer in California got all upset yesterday when Sears came by her house to deliver a new Kenmore dishwasher from SearsOutlet.com. It was missing a few parts, which annoyed her. Oh, and there was a live snake taped to it.
People come in different sizes. This is particularly true for children, whose bodies are constantly growing and changing. Standard sizes meant for all kids don’t fit all kids, especially with an increasing percentage of overweight children. Boys’ clothing cut larger with the designation of “Husky” have been around for a while, and some kids and parents find them embarrassing. But what about girls? Some retailers of children’s clothing have introduced larger cuts of clothing for girls as young as 3, but have designated these clothes “plus size,” just like clothes for larger adult women.
UPDATE: A rep for Kmart and Sears tells us that the report we cited has it kinda wrong — right now the free layaway is only on for Kmart, and not Sears. Bummer!
Michael was wandering a midwestern Sears when he saw it: a small, bright forest in the seasonal section. A shimmering flame-retardant mirage beyond the flimsy plastic appliances. Yes, his local Sears has already put up their Christmas tree display.
Patrick didn’t say where in the country he lives, but in most of the United States, people don’t need string trimmers year-round. Their grass and weeds grow from maybe late spring to maybe early fall. He bought a new Craftsman string trimmer from Sears back in April, just in time for the plants to start growing. He had a problem with it about a month ago, so he brought it in to the store so Sears could make good on that two-year warranty it came with. That’s when he learned that thanks to the glacial speed of repairs, he’ll be lucky if he sees his string trimmer again before the end of the summer.
Spin-offs can work out well in some cases (right, Frasier fans?) and not so well in others (yep, we mean you, Joey) and in dealing with its Hometown, Outlet and some hardware stores, Sears is hoping everything goes swimmingly with the formation of a completely separate and publicly traded company.
Yes, it’s a story about a Sears appliance, but not about its misdelivery or problems with getting it repaired. Well, sort of. If you bought a Kenmore-branded dehumidifier from Sears or from Kmart between 2003 or 2009, unplug it right away and get in touch with the company. More than a hundred overheating units have been reported to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, and some have caught fire or melted.
J. found our tipline and wrote in, but clearly has not been a regular reader of Consumerist. We make this assumption because he bought a refrigerator from Sears, and assumed for some reason that things would go well. They did not. After the delivery team took off without calling because they were irrationally afraid of his driveway, they returned and dropped off the wrong color refrigerator with a massive crack in the door. Now they won’t answer his pleas for an exchange.
Kristina’s Sears misadventure began with an icemaker. She lives with her aunt, and the icemaker/water spout on the refrigerator started leaking. The aunt decided to replace the appliance, so they headed to Sears. There they found a lovely Samsung fridge marked down on clearance. Why was it on clearance? Oh, you see, another customer had ordered it, then changed their mind. But it was still a new appliance purchase from Sears’ point of view, and would be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. It was when the fridge was DOA that everything began to go horribly wrong.
There is a common trap that big businesses — especially retailers — fall into when it comes time to cut costs. Sales decline and fewer people come into the store, so the company starts chipping away at expenses that were high when the store was in favor. In the case of once-great retailer Sears, its decision to neglect the upkeep of its retail locations may be what’s keeping it from catching up to the younger big box stores.
Like many Americans, William thought that Sears was a solid, reputable retailer. After all, they’ve been in business for a century and it seems like everyone had Kenmore appliances in the vaguely defined past. Then a customer like William, who has vaguely positive feelings toward the brand, goes and actually makes a purchase from Sears. That’s when everything all goes to hell. In William’s case, Sears wants him to eat the installation fee on a dishwasher they delivered to him that never worked.
Sometimes, you buy a defective appliance and your only problem is that that the appliance doesn’t work. It’s sad, but you replace the item, either using a warranty or by purchasing a new one. Sometimes the company will stand in your way, and you have to fight them for a replacement. And then sometimes your defective appliance warps your hardwood floor, leaks through to your basement ceiling, and causes more than $4,000 worth of damage. That’s what happened to Nachos Grande and his wife (not his real name) when they bought a defective Whirlpool dishwasher from Sears.
Vacations can be quite the costly endeavor — especially if you’ve got a lot of family members coming along, which might cause you to write off certain trips as too expensive. That’s exactly why Sears wants to lure in customers with its new service, SearsVacations.com, which will allow customers to put vacations on hold or pay off the total cost, in its familiar layaway style.
When Sears sent a delivery service to Stephen’s house with a new dishwasher and fridge, he didn’t have ridiculously high expectations. He did expect installers to show up, not damage the new appliances or his home, not remove items necessary to install the new appliances, and bring all of the items that he paid for. They managed none of these things. And they were late. Now it’s three weeks after the delivery, and he still doesn’t have a working dishwasher.
Based on previous Consumerist stories about Sears, it might surprise you to learn that the refrigerator that Ginger and her husband purchased was brought to their home in one piece, on the correct day, and actually existed. Only they had discovered after placing the order that it was too wide for their kitchen, and they had ordered a new one instead. They were instructed to refuse the delivery, and then they would receive a correctly-sized fridge on a different day, and a refund. Yay! Only instead, they’ve received a barrage of robocalls from Sears, despite four separate attempts to cancel the order for the larger refrigerator.
Rona, ladylike, didn’t tell us her age, but she is a senior citizen. As for many Americans, Sears has always just been where she went when there was an appliance to buy. She and her husband ordered up two air conditioners from Sears.com last month, and Sears contracted some local installers in New Jersey to put them in the windows. After the second installation appointment, she discovered that the window was cracked. One of two things had happened: either the installers noticed that the window was cracked and put an air conditioner in anyway, or they’re the ones who did it, then hoped that no one would notice.
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.