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How Sears tried to Ruin Christmas

12 10 December 31, 2017 at 03:10 AM in Review (3)
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Nothing on This Earth can Ruin Christmas:
But, Sears Sure Tried

This is my story of a month long nightmare dealing with Sears.com and Sears "Customer Service".

Day 1: 4 December 2017
My story starts with a Slickdeals alert about a deal on a Table Tennis Table at Amazon. Every time we visit my parents house, our boys love to play ping pong, so my wife and I thought it would make a great Christmas present. This table looked like a really good deal, so I placed my order, without doing much research. After doing a little more research, and reading some of the original slickdeals forum posts, I decided to cancel my Amazon order, and place an order with Sears.com.

I ordered a JOOLA Signature 2 Pc. Table Tennis Table, from Sears.com. I also made the mistake of trying to save a few bucks by purchasing a Sears gift card ($250) at a discount, (more on the gift card mistake later), and using it on the order. I could have paid $69 and had the table delivered to my home—Estimated delivery of 13 December—but decided to save the money and have it delivered for free to a Sears store 20 miles from our home—estimated delivery of 15 December. I placed the order and signed up for text messaging alerts on the shipping/delivery status of the order, naively expecting to be able to pick up the table on the 15th, in plenty of time for Christmas.

Day 12: Friday 15 December
I received a text on the evening of the 15th, stating that my order was ready for pick up. I made plans to drive to Sears in the morning. Something in the back of my mind told me to call the store before I left to double-check, but I ignored it.

Day 13:Saturday, 16 December, Delivery Day?
I drove the 20 miles to the store. When I entered the store I told them I had an online order to pick up. I gave the gentleman my email order confirmation, and he addressed his co-worker, who I believe is the store manager, "Oh no, another Ping Pong Table". The manager then explained to me that my table had never been put on the truck from the warehouse. She also told me that another customer had ordered a ping pong table, and had received an email that it was available for pick up. Their table also had not been put on the truck. She said, that because it was Saturday there was no one she could talk to at the warehouse, and showed me the email she had sent inquiring about our tables. She also took my information and said she would call me, when she knew when the table would be delivered.

After driving the 20 miles back home, I made my first call to Sears customer Service—this is where it gets fun! First, over a 15 day period (15 December-29 December), I made 21 phone calls to customer service. EVERYTIME I called, I would get an agent whose first language was NOT English. Most of the time, I could barely understand the person. Many of my calls lasted the better part of an hour or longer, trying to find someone who could solve my issue. Most of the time they seemed polite and wanted to help, but also mostly they just told me they were either sending the issue to another department, or that they were investigating and would get back to me within "72 hours". I NEVER heard back from Sears. The only person that did get back to me was the store manager.
I told the customer service agent that I had received a text that my order was ready for pick up, but it was not. He told me that it "showed in their system" that it was available for pickup. I told him again that it was not. I told him I had driven 40 miles to find out that it wasn't. I was told I would here back from them on the location of my item within 72 hours. I never heard back from Sears.

Day 15: Monday, 18 December
The store manager called me to let me know that she had received an email from the warehouse apologizing for not having the table delivered on time, and that it would be delivered to the store on the 22nd, "still in time for Christmas—just barely", I think to myself. She also told me that she had called Sears.com, and was told the same as I was, "it shows in our system that it has been delivered to the store". Obviously, sears.com believes "the system" more than the store manager.
I again called Sears, and tried to find out from their end what they knew. Again, I was told, "the system shows...". I told them AGAIN, the table is not at the store, the store manager told me it was not at the store, and that warehouse would be sending it on the next truck on 22 December. I also informed them that no one had gotten back to me, as promised on the status of my order. After getting more than a little angry, and telling them I wanted to talk to someone that could take care of this NOW. I was finally put in touch with someone in "Customer Solutions", I think. I told my whole story over again, and after much apologizing, I was told someone would contact me in 24-48 hours. I never heard back from Sears.

Day 19: 22 December, New Delivery Day?
I get the call I was hoping for, but it wasn't. The store manager—I really need to get her name—informs me that AGAIN the table was not put on the truck at the warehouse. Now, I'm really not happy! She apologizes, but unfortunately, for her and me alike, there is nothing she can do to speed up the process. I tell her that I know it's not her fault (she can't put it on the truck, after all), and thank her for her help.
I make yet another call to Sears.com customer service. I go through my entire saga again on the phone with soemone who I can barely understand. I get the same story, "It shows in our system...", and "the only thing I can do is send an email to our management to investigate." I tell him that I want to talk to a Supervisor. He says, "The Supervisor will tell you the same thing, and there isn't one available." I tell him, "I want to talk to someone that can take care of this right now." No response. I say, "If Sears cannot deliver the table to my house today, I want to cancel my order and credit my credit card."
(Remember that gift card mistake). Lay (this time I got a name) says, "hold please", after waiting a number of minutes on hold he says, "The system shows that the item is in transit to the store, so we cannot cancel the order."
I am no longer trying to be calm.
I tell him the system is wrong. "I already told you that I spoke to the store manager, who spoke to the warehouse, and the table was not put on the truck!!! I want my order cancelled and my credit card credited, NOW!" Lay says, "So, you want to cancel the order"? Inner voice, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!" "Yes, I want to cancel my order, and (remember the gift card?) I want the full amount credited to my credit card."
"Well, we have to credit the original payment method, so you will get a new gift card issued for the original $250, and the balance will go back on your credit card."
"I purchased the gift card with that same credit card expressly for the purpose of buying this table. I do not want a Sears gift card, because I will not be purchasing anything in the future from Sears. I want the entire amount refunded to my credit card."
"I will have to send an email..."
"Just cancel my order, and credit my card!"
"Okay, I will cancel your order, and you will get an email confirmation, and your credit card will be credited within 3-5 business days"
"Okay, thank you, good bye."
I never did get an email confirmation, but I did get an email survey…..grrrrrrrr.
I never heard back from Sears.
STILL day 19….
I go online and find a similar table at Dick's Sporting Goods, but for $100 more, and they have it in stock, sort of locally, 25 miles away. So I hook up the trailer and drive to Dick's to save Christmas.
I wish that was the end of my story.

Side note on Gift Card
At this point I am thinking Sears probably won't credit my credit card for the full amount of the order, they are probably going to issue me a refund by gift card. BUT, I have no interest in buying anything from Sears ever again. I hope this isn't a $250 mistake. If I had just put the entire amount on my credit card, I would have the bank deal with Sears, and I'd be done. But, NOOOOO…

Day 25: 28 December
I check on my order status. Guess what? It still shows that the order is "Processing for Store Pickup". ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I call Sears for the umpteenth time to try to sort it out. After another agonizing amount of time on the phone, getting the same old story, "we have to send an email to our management team", "we'll get back to you", "our system shows". I hang up.
I never heard back from Sears.

Day 27: 30 December
I decide to try one more time with Sears. After several minutes explaining my entire story AGAIN, I tell "Greg" that I need to speak to someone that can take care of my order cancellation immediately.
"I'm sorry for the inconvenience"
"This is no longer an 'inconvenience'!!! I need to speak to someone now!"
"I can send an email, and have someone call you."
"If they can call me, they have a phone number. Give me that number, and I will call them."
"I don't have that information, all I can do is send an email"
"This is unacceptable, all I want to do is cancel my order, why is that so hard?"
"I'm sorry, I'm just trying to help"
At this point, I am beyond DONE!
"I want to talk to a Supervisor right NOW!"
"Hold please."
After holding for 15 minutes I hang up and call back. After going through my whole saga AGAIN, I finally get to talk to someone in "Cutomer Relations". Stacy tells me she is going to get this resolved before we get off the phone.
She asks me if this was a Sears.com order, and I tell her that it is.
She says, "I'll have to send you to that departm…."
"NO, I just got off the phone with them, and no one can cancel my order, I am not talking to them again." Or something to that effect, at this point I am so angry and frustrated, I don't remember exactly what or when I said.
Stacy was very polite and at least seemed to be trying to help, but again, I had no resolution. She did give me another case number (at least my third case number). And said she would send me an email detailing what we talked about.
Here is that email:

"Dear Mr. Wright,

Thank you for shopping at Sears.com!

In regards with your order number XXXXXXXXXXX. We hear that your requesting for the order to be cancelled. Here is the request that we sent out to our processing team.
Member wanted to cancel the order because it supposed to be a Christmas gift but still he did not yet received the item. please cancel the order.

If you have any comments or questions, please chat with us now for assistance.

Thank you,
Leon

Sears Member Services"

So much for detail.

Then, later that day, I received this email:

""Dear Member,
Thank you for shopping at Sears.com!
We have received your inquiry regarding Order # XXXXXXXX. We wanted to let you know that we need to complete additional research in order to resolve your inquiry. Specifically, we have engaged additional business partners to cancel your order and update you as soon as possible.
We sincerely apologize for the delay, and appreciate your continued patience. Please allow an additional 72 hours for us to complete our research. We will follow up with you once our research is completed.

Thank you,
Patricia D
Sears Member Services"

WHAT 'ADDITIONALRESEARCH' IS NECESSARY?!?! I have given multiple customer service representatives all of the pertinent information over the last 15 days, and I am still no closer to a resolution. This has been a complete and total agonizing, frustrating waste of my time and energy. As a result, I am posting this letter as a reply to this email, sending a copy to Sears corporate headquarters, and posting on every public forum I can find.

I will never buy from Sears again, period!

Signed,

Chad Wright

5 Comments

1

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This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2011
L6: Expert
1,506 Posts
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#2
Does anyone wonder why Sears is on the verge of bankruptcy and has been in decline for many years?

The LAST time we bought anything from Sears was a water heater with the extended warranty. After a few months it leaked and water was EVERYWHERE inside our house. The water heater was in a closet under the stairs. We called and they said it would be 3-4 days before anyone could come to replace it. It was winter and who wants to go 3-4 days without a shower. We went to Lowes, bought a waterheater and a plumber installed it the same day,

Sears...you are DEAD to me and have been for YEARS.

Suggestion-
Find the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for the main Sears location and your local Sears and file a complaint. Hopefully the BBB will help things get sorted out.
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This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2015
New User
2,085 Posts
355 Reputation
#3
This is pretty standard for sears. You will get a new gift card by email. If for some reason they don't do that than you can tell them you threw out the old one because it was empty. You can now sell your gc back on whatever site you bought it from or jist plain make sure whatever your buying is shipped to you and not the store for less inconvenience. I say less because they still never shipped some of my orders and to had to go through what you did (long wait time) before i could get a refund of my payment and giftcard. At least i did not have to keep running to the store. I can see where $69 difference seems worth it and i would probably have done the same but like you i know better and would call first(if i ever bought from sears/kmart again).
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This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Feb 2005
Providing u lots of I/O's
915 Posts
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#4
Quote from ccdeviney
:
Suggestion-
Find the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for the main Sears location and your local Sears and file a complaint. Hopefully the BBB will help things get sorted out.
Roll Eyes (Sarcastic) BBB is in bed with orgs like Sears. You will get no help from them.

OP, get the corporate contact info and go straight to the executive offices.
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Joined Feb 2006
L5: Journeyman
699 Posts
#5
I could write complaints about Home Depot and Lowe's. Screw-ups happen everywhere.
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Joined Dec 2010
Live Long And Suck It!
7,242 Posts
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Pro
#6
Quote from ccdeviney
:
Does anyone wonder why Sears is on the verge of bankruptcy and has been in decline for many years?
Funniest thing is it was Kmart that bought Sears to form Sears Holdings back in 2005, just after Kmart themselves came out of bankruptcy and a round of store closings.laugh out loud

Only thing the corporation is for now is to give it's CEO(Eddie Lampert) as many tax write-offs as possible as he shrinks the store number in waves claiming losses all along the way.Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)

Shame. Because at one point the deals in both chains were phenomenal if you knew what to look at.
Quote :
Suggestion-
Find the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for the main Sears location and your local Sears and file a complaint. Hopefully the BBB will help things get sorted out.
The BBB is largely useless. They threaten to drop a retailers rating(s) or other superficial stuff that most of these chains(especially one in SHC's condition) don't give a shit about. If anything, the OP should find the name/number for the district manager and relay their story to them. It would at least help to assure future customers won't go through the same nonsense.
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Last edited by CheapestGamer February 8, 2018 at 08:43 AM.
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