Posted by Steve in How to Kill a Day, Steven's Blog on November 27, 2017
My family has been shopping at Sears for as long as I can remember. So naturally, when Sears started offering products online, my wife and I jumped right on the bandwagon. Our experience with Sears Online has been nothing short of awful, and we strongly recommend that you do not buy from Sears Online if you can avoid it.
The theory we have is that older, larger organizations have not been able to figure out how to become dynamic, nimble and fully integrated between online and offline. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Sears goes under completely by the end of this decade, since so many consumers are moving online.
Here is a recap of our experience so you know what to expect if and when you decide to order from Sears Online:
November 14th, 2017
Our dryer dies November 13th. My wife Melissa decides to order the matching dryer to the new washer we purchased recently (coincidentally from Sears Online, which makes us wonder “what changed?”), and innocently orders the electric version instead of the gas version. Our order number was 859094560.
While trying to place our order, the website kept having errors during the checkout process, where fields were saying incomplete that were complete. About 30 minutes in, Melissa was ready to give up. Fortunately, they had online chat. But unfortunately, online chat was a joke and the ordering process from chat took nearly an hour. The rep was obviously based in the Philippines, based on the dialect and ans writing style.
If you’re following along, we spent 90 minutes so far on this initial order. The dryer was scheduled to arrive on Thursday, November 16th.
November 15th, 2017
Melissa finds out from her father (our family handyman) that she should have ordered the gas dryer, and immediately goes back online to switch the order before it gets shipped. Her hope is to just to pay the difference and have the correct appliance delivered. Unfortunately, that’s not how Sears (and old school businesses) works.
Jumping back on chat early morning 11/15/17, the Philippines rep she spoke with this time let her know that they could not change the order. Instead, they could cancel the first order and pay again for a new order, with an up to two week refund period (these are thousand dollar dryers by the way). OR, she could wait until the electric dryer gets delivered (wasting everyone’s time), and then wait for a phone call from a manager named “Nancy” who would have us pay the difference and then would try to schedule a replacement for the dryer, with an unknown second delivery/swap date.
Melissa spoke with several people being routed around in circles for nearly 3 hours, all based in the Philippines, all refusing to allow her to speak with a manager. It was extremely difficult to understand the support people and even more difficult to communicate with them.
Regardless of who she spoke with, there was no around the two options: loan Sears another $1,000 (who has that sitting around these days?) until they feel like refunding us, or play some magic exchange game with having the wrong appliance shipped and hoping for a magical call to have it picked up and swapped out.
We eventually gave in and purchased the new gas dryer (order 859151175), and were told by the final person we spoke with that they would expedite the refund so we’d have it in 3-5 business days. The rep also guaranteed us that we’d receive an email confirmation of the cancellation, which we never received and ended up calling back later in the day. When attempting to get the cancellation information, Melissa learned that the rep actually cancelled the wrong order!. That’s right, the rep who sold us the gas dryer and was supposed to cancel the electric, actually cancelled the gas dryer. Can you believe it?!
The new rep we spoke with helped us cancel the electric dryer (for real this time). She asked us if we’d like to place a new order and Melissa laughed (as if). With both orders cancelled now, we just want our refunds so we can go purchase elsewhere.
November 27th, 2017
We called Sears Online daily about our refund since November 17th. The last person we spoke with was Elaina at the Sears Executive Office (888) 572-8119 extension 14. We’ve spoken with her at least four different times and each time she assured us that the refund process takes 3-5 business days.
Today (11/27/17), we tried calling ten different times and finally reached a lady named Sheryl who tried to help us. SHeryl told Melissa that it’s actually 7-10 business days, not the 3-5 business days that every other rep told us. Sheryl said “I’m submitting it again for a refund, but you’ll probably not receive it until sometime next week.”
Melissa promptly asked for a manager and was told there wasn’t one available. Sheryl was the top escalation point.
Sheryl also told us that she was submitting our issue to the online team who is based overseas and would need to wait 24-48 hours for a response. We explained how frustrated we are and that we’re ready to do a charge-back with our bank. Sheryl told us that we would need to speak with Customer Solutions at (800) 479-6351 Option 6, but that we can’t call them until we’ve been refunded.
So Here We Are
Refunds requested 11/15/17, it’s now 11/27/17, 8 business days not including Thanksgiving and no refund. I hope they’ve enjoyed all the interest they’ve made from our two dryer purchases.
Point: never purchase from Sears Online, but if you do and end up needing a replacement or refund, keep lots of Tylenol nearby and be prepared for a horrible experience.
— UPDATE: 11/27/17 14:20 —
The following email JUST came in, apparently they only processed our refund TODAY. Ugh. 🙁From: [no -firstname.lastname@example.org]
Date: Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 1:45 PM
Subject: Sears.com Order 859151175
Thank you for your order with sears.com!
In regard to Order 859151175, a credit in the amount of $933.97 was issued to your account on 11/27/17. This credit was issued because this order was canceled.
The refund is processed in 2 parts – A refund of $20.00 was processed to your shop your way account and it will reflect on the shop your way account in 24 business hours and the remaining refund of $913.97 was processed to the credit card and it will reflect on your credit card account in 3-5 business days.
If you have any questions, please contact your financial institution after that period to verify receipt of the credit to your account. Please note, your financial institution may have processing guidelines for posting credits that may impact the time it takes for the credit to be reflected in your balance.
Sears Member Services
And just now another one came in:From: [email@example.com]
Date: Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 2:23 PM
Subject: Sears.com Order 859094560
Thank you for your order with sears.com!
In regard to Order 859094560, a credit in the amount of $803.72 was issued to your account on 11/27/17. This credit was issued because (pending cancellation refund).
This credit should be viewable by your financial institution within in 3 to 5 business days into credit card. If you have any questions, please contact your financial institution after that period to verify receipt of the credit to your account. Please note, your financial institution may have processing guidelines for posting credits that may impact the time it takes for the credit to be reflected in your balance.
Note : $20 surprise points are non refundable.
Sears Member Services