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November 14, 2008


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Good for you for sending the letter. If I were you, I'd forgo shopping at Sears ever again since you have such bad luck with them. There's plenty of places to get appliances like you said and Sears rarely has the best price.

Sounds to me as if you're in the right here and they should give you the 20% off. If their ad didn't exclude microwaves from the sale then that is their error.


You should have went to the store looking for a "new" purchase and ask them what the microwave cost (with the Ad). If it rang up 20% less, then you buy it. Then just return your previous purchased microwave. Or easier yet, just hand them the old receipt and they will figure out it is just easier to price protect you on the spot than to purchase/return the same item.

I would definitely be for using up that credit as quickly as possible and NEVER SHOPPING AT SEARS AGAIN!!!!!!

I haven't shopped there in years. I even buy my tools elsewhere because the quality of some of the other brands are equal to or greater than Craftsman now. And because their "lifetime" warranty does not apply to power tools, why should I bother shopping there?

Good luck. I think you are in the right as customer service in ALL industries has been going down the toilet for years now.

Question for FMF: Did you go over to small appliances and see if the microwaves were included in the sale?

Whenever I think I'm going to face an argument like this, I always come in with my "ignorant" hat on and find out if something is on sale. Then, armed with this information, (and perhaps the unfortunate salesperson who said so in tow) I start grinding my way up through the management ranks till I get satisfaction.

At one point in our lives, we had a furnace with a Sears warrantee on it. The furnace failed during the winter and a service rep came out to look at it. He said that it needed a new part but he didn't have any and they wouldn't be able to get any for several weeks. My wife asked if they couldn't get the part off of a new furnace. He said they wouldn't do that. She then called the Sears store and got the same answer from them. So she called the Sears executive office. They were very helpful and, lo and behold, a service rep with correct part showed up the next day. Sometimes, you just have to keep climbing up the ladder to get satisfaction.

Great letter - I think you need to stay away from that store from now on? Don't you have more than one Sears in your area that you could spend the credit since your local one doesn't like you!

At the bottom of the letter you should include your blog in your signature, letting them know you'll be keeping all your readers up to date on how they react to the issue.

I've had the exact same phone experience as you! Tried to get through multiple times, got transfered from dept to dept and in the end no one could answer my question. It was regarding a small chest freezer and whether it was in stock, not rocket science. I've always had good luck with their products and I really like kenmores, but their customer service sucks. I really hope you get a satisfactory response.

Can't you request your $500 credit to your bank account or to cut you a check and turn it into cash ? Then you wouldn't have to spend it at the place you are not happy with.

I think they should give you the sale price as well. I agree their customer service sounds lousy. However, it's my opinion if you take your business to one of the other big box retailers you will eventually have the same problems with runarounds and lousy service. And I'm certain the "managers" you spoke with either don't have the authority to make the decision you want them to make or they are scared to death they will lose their jobs if try to help you out.

If your Sears is anything like the one closest to my house, there are plenty of salespeople standing around doing nothing - they should have answered the phone.

If I were you I'd spend that credit and never return.

You could donate your credit to someone less fortunate and be done with it.


Try giving that number a call.

Seems promising if you can get an Executive Assistant on the phone.

My wife and I purchased a washer and dryer from Sears this spring. It came with free (after a $75 refundable charge) installation. The rebate was by mail, and I was already wary of such rebates, but the salesman assured me that it would be refunded, even though we were getting it delivered on a Saturday. Lo and behold, when I tried to redeem it, it was a non-standard delivery (i.e. on a weekend) so it was ineligible for the rebate. Before purchasing, I all but got it in writing from the salesman that we would be getting the rebate. Due to other circumstances, I wasn't able to actually go to the store within any reasonable period of time to seek out the salesman that we worked with. Needless to say, I had to classify this as a $75 lesson.

I preface this by saying Sears sucks, and no one should be forced to shop there. However, if you were in the store and the model of microwave you purchased was not ticketed as being 20% off, I don't see how you can justify a refund.

The ad was obviously ambiguous towards microwaves, but they should only owe you the money if your exact item was actually on sale. If it wasn't, then they're right.

Was it marked as being on sale?

@Justin - Sears doesn't really do cash back. I've had someone buy me a gift from there and give me the receipt (not the gift receipt, the actual receipt), and they told me they could only give me gift cards for it - not cash. I was returning extra items I received when I got married, and they also told me that one of the things wasn't theirs. A week or so later I went to another store and they took it back - after I realized it was from their store. I spent most my gift cards at K-Mart.

I'm not sure if they let you buy other gift cards with that gift card, but the K-mart by me sells restaurant, gas, and other gift cards which may help with Christmas presents.

Justin --

Was I in the store? Eventually I was -- after we called several times (see the post.) It was not ticketed -- but as I said, it was too late for an explanation at that point.

Amy --

Good idea (buying other gift cards)!

Wow, you're much more persistent than I am. I've been boycotting Sears for years. You really did receive some very short-sighted customer service from them. We bought a washer and dryer from them a number of years ago. I noticed about 1 year and 1 week after the purchase that the lid on the washer was rusting. Of course they refused to replace the lid because I was outside of the warranty period, so I asked if I could just buy the lid and replace it myself. The rep told me that I had to have one of their servicemen come to my home and install it, with a minimum charge of $75, if I recall. They wouldn't even let me buy a new lid! Consequently, I launched them (including Kmart, Lands End, NTB, et al).

I recently canceled a Sears Credit card and am avoiding Sears for a much more serious reason. The card is in my wallet only and is rarely used. It had a $0 balance and was used only when something i intended to buy and had the money for already was offered as a special deal with credit card purchase only. Seems somebody in the UK tried to charge $2200 online using my Sears card number and my name. The card is issued by Citibank. Sears denied the charge only because the exp date was wrong. Upon notification by Sears security (which was good) I cancelled the card immediately. My contention is the only possible way for that to happen was a data leak through either Sears or Citibank or both - neither of which will get my business at this point.

(Sears doesn't really do cash back)

This is something that really burns my ass, If you pay them with cash you should be refunded the same way. Alot of stores are pulling that with refunds. I haven't shopped Sears in years because they simply suck and their prices aren't all that great either. You would do better to look up the CEO of Sears and send Him/Her the letter and make sure you let them know that you have access to the web as you do and you will be sure to sway as many folks from doing business with them due to their lousy attitudes.

My husband had a similar experience when we tried to buy a treadmill at the beginning of the year. We picked one that was last year's model but they didn't have any left except the floor model. Well, it had a crack on one side, like someone had stepped on it too hard or dropped something really heavy on it. We wanted a small discount because of the imperfection but the manager wouldn't allow it. So, we left and didn't buy it. We decided to never go there again.

So much Sears bashing. No one had a good word to say. Maybe they've been taken over by the do nothing K-mart mentality. So here's my thoughts. I buy almost all my appliances at Sears. Craftsman and Kenmore are usually the best.

So for the good service of Sears, here is my last example from last year. I had bought a Kenmore vacuum. A little after a year it wouldn't turn off, I had to unplug it. That surprised me for Kenmore. They have a service number to help people with equipment problems. I called, answered the lady's questions, and she immediately said what part must have failed. Since it was over a year, I could take it to a service center, but I'd have to pay. If I wanted to replace the part myself, she could send me the electronic board free of charge. She then explained how to get to the part and replace it. In a couple of days I had the part, replaced it, and it worked fine.

The only bad experience I had was when I was looking for kitchen appliances. A salesman was a little pushy and told me some lies about an oven and a dishwasher. He even tried to sell me an appliance that they had in the store that was no longer for sale. I came back another time to see a different salesman. From him I got the truth on the same questions and I bought from him. Of course, no one knew why the appliance was still on the floor when they could not sell it anymore.

sears customer service sucks.i have a 50 inch plasma that has had speaker problems 4 times in less then a year. The last time they replaced the spreakers,they should have replaced the television.It took 2 months to get the speakers and now the warranty is up.I called sears home office and all you get is a big run around from them.The repair man said you will have problems with these small speakers as you should hook up thru a surround system.

I do maybe 90% of my shopping online now, even grocery shopping. When it comes to Sears I generally purchase online and pickup in store. Amazingly the last two times I went to pick up my merchandise they messed it up, recently I had to wait over 35 minutes for my stuff. You can really tell these people just don't care, from middle managers down to the lowest employees, they would prefer if you just leave the store and not bother them. Amazing!

Interesting. It's the first time I've heard Sears won't do cash-back returns. I returned a dreadful Kenmore vacuum cleaner, much ballyhooed by Consumer Reports, and they gave me my money back with no hassle. That was some years ago; if they've changed their policy, they've seen the last of the dust from my heels. I don't shop in stores that won't return my money if I'm dissatisfied with a product.

I've generally had good luck with their appliances--dishwashers, washers, dryers. By and large the customer service has been fine. But then...I don't buy anything else there, and so haven't been in the store for quite a while.

While the manager's whiny excuse-making was pretty unprofessional, if you engage an employee in friendly talk you'll learn that their pay is excruciatingly bad and sales staff are paid by commission. Sears's business is chronically weak, and so if you sell stuff there, chances are good that you're not making much of a living. The only Sears sales person who ever told me he was (marginally) happy working there had been a teacher in his previous life, where he earned even less than he made selling appliances in the basement of a rundown Sears. So you can imagine the effect that would have on one's enthusiasm for delivering customer service....


November 26, 2008

In my Canadian city of Toronto, Sears is currently running a holiday promotional event at what can only be described as a psuedo-town-square in the megacity.

At this time of year and with the ecomomy as bad as it is, I can only hope some suit from head office reads this post. Believe me, no company desires bad press but sometimes they need to hear it straight-up, especially when they piss off customers.

Here's the situation: THE STUPID SEARS LABYRINTH..

The event takes place mostly all day at the city square on yonge street. Event 'volunteers' decked out as, i can only surmise, worker elves in head to toe holiday red draw random passers-by to partake in an on-site maze thingy, where you are first given a ticket with a graphic representation of the maze and instructions to follow. You are told not to peak at the ticket for clues, and a surprise awaits you at exit. I'm not sure what sears is up to these days but obviously this has more to do with behavioural research than holiday marketing. Anyhoo, I voluntarily participated and went through it -- albeit a few days before today. Today, as before, these same red-suited elves accosted me and others on the street, and again begged participation to which we all willingly agreed.

Sears elves do not pre-qualify any participants beforehand by asking pointed questions such as "Have you ever participated in this event in the recent past, are ok with mazes, scream much, do you hate clowns, do you even like sears, etc, etc.", they simply pull anyone off the street, shove a ticket in their face, convince them to play along, and say "Go forward fool!". No questions asked, no rules.

Next, while in the lineup waiting to enter the maze, and in front of everyone, a female worker elf came up me and demanded I remove my sunglasses. I would not comply. Who the hell was she anyway and she did not explain why I should remove them, she just continued to make rude remarks. What the hell? I turned away and tried to ignore her as the line was moving along. She stopped me..intercepted me really..before I entered the maze and even more rudely said, "I recognize you, you've been in before, and you cannot go in again". Like, what the hell do I think I'm doing? Well, why the hell didn't they explain that in the beginning, before I entered the line up? Duh!

The stupid sears idiots. Embarassing people in public. Especially with a couple of mean looking security dorks now interested in the 'disturbance' standing nearby and just waiting to harass you for allegedly having the gall to play more than once and try to collect on your participation, to which you are entitled. Damnit! Heck, I was promptly removed from the line-up and given a verbal warning. Really! Can you believe their nerve? As if I really cared about the surprise prizes anyway, which by the way are no-cash value low rate gift card and certificates for sears services which no one in their right mind would bother to use. Garbage, really. It was just the brief fun of doing the maze again that enticed me. But after this experience, and what I call the last straw for sears, since my past negative experiences had simply been forgiven, I say "Bu-bye a$$hole". Who needs the headache? Obviously sears is doing so glowingly well in this poor economy that they care not about upsetting customers by playing stupid mind games. So long sears.

I have to disagree ... I am a Sears employee. Our ads, if read correctly can be understood. Microwaves are located in the same area as washers/dryers/ranges and refrigerators. Small appliances are located in home fashions .. examples are coffee makers, toasters,mixers,electric frying pans.Small appliances are on a different page of the ad than the microwaves..Since the ad did not have any microwaves listed on the page stating 20% off on small appliances... what would make you think they need to exclude them?Or give you the 20% off? Yes the employee should have known that microwaves aren't small appliances and they should have explained that to you and apologized for the inconvenience of you having to make the trip to the store instead of reaching someone on the phone. ... As for the no refund in cash issue that these other people are talking about... NO we do not refund gift cards at all! It is stated on the back of the gift card no cash refunds given.
But on all other sales within 90 days we do give refunds in the form of how it was purchased.

Chris --

Then why does the phone message say “small appliances like microwaves”? And why don't they even answer the phone? And in my Sears, the microwaves are in the same area as the vacuums. In fact, kids clothes are closer to the washers/dryers/ranges and refrigerators than microwaves are.

The bottom line is that you can try to explain poor customer service all you want -- I'm not buying it. Instead, I'm off to Lowe's , Home Depot, etc. There are lots of other choices out there.

I work at sears...fuck your moms, thats our motto

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