You probably came on this thread thinking that this is just some guy who didn’t get what they wanted, and in a way you’d be right. I went to Sears at 9:00am first in line only to get the 50” LED TV. I checked both entrances to see if there was any indication of where to go and there was absolutely nothing. I started waiting at the front of the store and a line soon formed. Around 5:00pm another line started to form at the rear entrance which eventually grew to be almost the same as the front (100+ people). Everyone kept giving us different stories about what was going to happen for the televisions even though the ad says tickets would be handed out. The security told us at around 1:00pm we were in the right spot but around 6:00pm they changed their mind and told us that both doors would be open at the same time with no tickets. This was a problem because the electronic section is in the rear of the store by the other entrance. About two hours before sears was supposed to open someone changing the sign on the front door said that there would be no tickets so a mob formed around the doors. A little after 7:00pm an employee (I now know is the manager) came out to give tickets… only the only tickets handed out were for the 32” which is apparently a 720p TV. The manager said not to worry about the 50” TV’s because they had plenty of them his exact words were “don’t worry about the 50” everybody here is fine.” He told us he would be back with more information… that never happened. The store opened and they made 100+ people from each entrance RUN to the electronic section (they opened the front doors a little late too). To make things worse some dumb employee thought it would be funny to take some pictures of everyone rushing in. I get to one of the two lines for TV’s that literally does not move until every TV is sold out (not kidding).
-First one at sears
-Conflicting stories about what to do
-No tickets (false advertising)
-Making 100’s of people run into each other
-Sold out of everything (no order)
Bonus: People were paying for the TV’s and there were none left
Looks like it made it to the 10:00 news: chaos at the mall
What do you call a Republican who gets sent to prison? - A Democrat!
What do you call a Democrat that gets mugged? - A Republican!
The point being that most of the (obviously Republican ) folks calling you a whiner and entitled would be singing a different tune if they'd put out all the effort that you did and got screwed.
First, assuming everything you said was true, you do have a legitimate beef with the store.
Second, get on your soap box. Start Tweeting and Facebooking and Blogging. Go on and on and on at LENGTH about what happened. If you can identify any official Sears customer service reps on Twitter or Facebook, make sure to include them in your ongoing rants.
Third, gather what proof you can that you were indeed there, first in line, did try to check, etc.
Fourth, decide just how upset you are. It's not about the value of the discount on the TV, it's about wasting 11 hours of your time and Sears not keeping their promise. It's about the unfairness.
Fifth, take them to small claims court. Filing costs are reasonably low (but high enough to discourage the most frivolous suits) Your argument is very simple, Sears made an offer with conditions (being one of the first X people, etc.) and after you met the conditions to accept the offer, Sears, due to their negligence and mismanagement, did not follow through on it. Sears accurately advertised the conditions of sale in the paper, then reneged on the offer, and that's something you can hold them responsible for.
Now, whether you get a small claims judge who even has a clue about the law, much less enforcing it, is pure luck. But if you take it that far, pretty likely Sears will just agree to sell you the TV at the promised price, or otherwise compensate you for the wasted time. They simply won't want the bad publicity from being sued, and defending themselves would cost more than making good with you.
Contrary to what most of the folks here have said, Sears (and every one else for that matter) has a legal responsibility to act in a safe manner. Holding them accountable for not doing so is the only way to get them TO do so in the future.
As for the accusations of entitlement... you WERE entitled. You were first in line, you met the stipulations of the offer, Sears had an obligation to deliver.
There's nothing wrong with being JUSTIFIABLY entitled to something. For example, we are entitled to all sorts of things according to the US Constitution. Ya know, the right to bear arms, freedom of speech, little things, like that.
Anyway, decide how much time and effort it's worth to you. Push long and hard enough and you'll get the TV, or the equivalent, but it's going to take a while.
Oh, and suggestion from the Black Friday trenches... bring a composition book, and ask the first 100 people or so in line to sign it. Take pictures of any truly lengthy "gaps" in someone's attendence. (There's a bathroom break, and then there's going home for the evening.) I was glad I did so a couple years back at Circuit City (my last BF doing the waiting thing) when there was almost a riot due to people cutting in line or "camping" all night with empty tents and chairs. The manager went with the signature list. (Seriously, it was getting pretty scary before they finally got it under control.)
Other than doorbusters, best time to go for the "decent" sales is around 10am. Most stores are almost empty, and decent chance still have at least some stuff left. Even some of the less popular door busters.
I don't know if they'll do you any good but here's some email addresses I found .. neither of these have ever returned as undeliverable:
Louis J. D'Ambrosio, CEO - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald D. Boire, Exec VP - email@example.com
I sent emails to the CEO and Exec VP over the Sunday SYRW sale. I guess a lot of other people had something to say about the way it was run too because those of use that got our orders cancelled got 100K points (equal to $100) added to our SYWR account.
It never hurts to send them an email to tell your story. Might help them get those stores better prepared for the next big sale. And it might just make you feel better whether they ever answer you or not. I wouldn't get obnoxious in your email but state the facts just as you did here. Throw in something about getting bad press on TV too. How it was dangerous and someone could have gotten hurt or even killed meaning Sears would get sued. Remember that happened at Walmart a couple year ago. Anything that effects their bottom line might catch their attention and may prompt them to do something about it.
Telling your story here will not get anything changed .. got to complain to high-ups at Sears. Might help .. might not but you'll never know until you try.
EDIT: Forgot to mention it helps to throw in some positives especially in the first sentence before you start in on the bad. Might entice them to read it. And offer suggestions on how you think it should be changed .. constructive criticism.
apparently there a lot more assholes on slickdeals now days. anyhow good luck with this, i'm glad the news picked it up. you are completely in the right to complain about this and i'm sorry you had such a bad experience. i just stick to online shopping because of this.
Sorry, but all this posting corporate addresses, small claims court, it's a big crock. You didn't get a TV and that sucks, but legal recourse? Please.
Any lawyer or paralegal will tell you that not being able to get a product that you didn't pay for and simply waited in line for will not get you a penny through the system. You can complain to the store and maybe get a coupon, but small claims will do nothing for you as you have no legal binding agreement that you paid for products you didn't receive or that you were somehow screwed out of something by simply waiting in line for it.
If you hate the store, don't shop there. That's usually the best way of getting back at them.
Sears has been going downhill for the past several years. The CEO is a hedge fund manager, not a retail guy and I don't think his choices for VP's and senior management have been wise. Sears eliminated their commission program several years ago (driving away long-time employees and removing incentives for actually knowing their products) and paid everyone else below-industry wages.
They have taken a company where my parents and everyone else used to shop and run it into the ground. Everything possible is outsourced, whether it is making Craftsman tools in China or sending all their accounting to India (including my job but I got a trip to India, severance and a 70% pay raise at my next job so it turned out awesome).
I bought a washer/dryer set at a Black Friday a few years ago. The washer didn't even last 2 years and the control board to fix it was almost as much as I paid for it. I no longer trust Kenmore. My mother had a set that lasted 20+ years.
I recently read how they stole the Atomic Wrench after strongarming the company into a practically exclusive distribution deal and didn't let him know until just before the Xmas orders. Words can't express how sleazy I find that for a major retailer. And I've found myself actually having to USE the Craftsman warranty on garden tools. Since they were outsourced to China, the quality has tanked.
What's left? Clothes? They can't seem to bridge that wide gaping area between whore and old lady. I don't really want to look like a Kardashian or my grandma. The largest Sears by me, which is supposed to be a full-line store carrying everything possible, doesn't even carry dresses over size 16 anymore. Over half of American women are over size 14. Really?
I have a credit card with them and almost never use it. My expectations drop every year and Sears just keeps dropping to meet them. LOL
It's not the fact that he didn't get the TV .. the first problem is the store made a very dangerous situation with the good chance of someone getting hurt and or costly inventory damaged. Second, the manager was clueless about how to handle the whole situation .. needs more guidance, training or even be fired. 3rd .. bad PR equals lost revenue .. something they can not afford right now. And yes there's something to be said about the unfairness of it all but that doesn't effect their bottom line and probably not something they'd be concerned with. Anything that effects their bottom line will.
I agree tweet it .. FB it .. get it out there. But I still think you need to get it to the right people. The general counsel might have something to say about the way it was run. If I was a lawyer that would catch my eye thinking "good god hope someone wasn't hurt should I prepare for a lawsuit or how much is this going to cost us?"
If you check out Facebook, there are uncountable stories similar to mine with Sears replying with generic responses. I sent a few tweets and posts and in the end that's all I can really do, just educate others not to make the same mistakes as I did. I hope Sears gets it together they used to be respectable (or at least I think they were).
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