Here is an almost-exact copy of the email I sent Sears. It tells my story, and will hopefully help some of you make informed decisions about purchasing from Sears in the future.
To Whom it May Concern,
I Purchased an Electric Range from the Stroudsburg Sears Store on 11/15 for 476.99. After accessories, taxes, and delivery the total was 595.69. My experience in the store was wonderful; the associate Bill was able to help me quickly and efficiently. However, this is where the good ends.
Unfortunately, it would take 10 days for this range to be in stock and delivered to my house. Annoying, but acceptable. This would make the anticipated delivery date 11/25, the day before Thanksgiving. As I was purchasing this range as a surprise for my mother (our current stove is an old Kenmore that has begun to break down, how ironic) I knew that I would need this range no later than 11/25. I was assured by Bill that it would be there, and while he could not guarantee a time, he assumed that it would be in the morning due to our close (45 min) proximity to they distribution center.
9 days later, 11/24- I get the call confirming my delivery time. 3-5 pm. I'm less than thrilled, as we need to begin cooking midday on the 25th. I ask to speak with an associate who tells me that they cannot change delivery times (Really, way to inconvenience your customers), but offers to leave a msg for the delivery team and assures me that it will be there.
Morning, 11/25- I begin calling Sears home delivery to see if my delivery time has been switched. No luck. I am told that I am stop 15 of 18. Wonderful. The drivers are on stop 4. I have a long day ahead of me.
3pm, 11/25- My third or 4th call that day to Home delivery. Every time I have been told that they drivers are on stop 4. How long can one stop take? I finally find out that the truck has broken down. I call back 5 minutes later to see if I get the same story from someone else. I don't. 5 Minutes later I call again, same truck breaking down story, but now they've added a spin where my my items are getting on another truck and will be delivered to me by the reported time. 5pm. I'm holding my breath.
5pm, 11/25- I call again. At this point I've memorized the number so it really is no bother. (Side-note- Why am I calling about an Item I purchased in Pennsylvania, being delivered in Pennsylvania, and I am outsourced to Asia somewhere? Idiocy) Anywho, I am now informed that due to traffic my items will be arriving at 9pm. Yay. At this point I have had my 2nd of several mini meltdowns and have made the associates aware that the situation is completely unacceptable. They are apologetic, but ineffective. I want my range.
9pm, 11/25- Was the truck kidnapped by aliens? Have the workers staged a coup and made off with all of the appliances? Exciting though those possibilities may be, my range is still not here. I call again, to no avail. My new estimated delivery time is 11pm. Sounds odd. I did not know Sears delivered so late. (PS. The associates have REFUSED to give me Sears' delivery center's direct line, so that I can get this information myself. They insist on calling for me. You guys must get a great rate on Asia-US international calls). Another meltdown. I need a drink. Trying to go out to the bar, but oh wait, I have to wait around for this supposed delivery at 11 pm. I pace for 2 hours.
11:02 pm, 11/25- I call Home Delivery and demand to speak to a supervisor. He kindly agrees to the ridiculousness of the situation. He also informs me that Sears does NOT deliver past 9pm. Oh, lovely. I was just lied to for the past two hours. I could have been out having that drink. Darn. Despite apologizing for my now slightly ruined Thanksgiving (You ever try cooking a meal for 10 in a finicky stove and 3 working burners? fun.) the supervisor cannot help me. Perhaps I would like my delivery on Sunday? Sure, why not. Doesn't defeat the purpose at all. At this point I am on my way to the bar anyway. I acquiesce. He informs me that my range will be delivered on Sunday. Great. At least something worked out-I finally got that drink.
Sunday, 11/29- Comes and goes. No call, no stove. No nothing. Lies. At this point I am questioning the integrity of people as a whole. What is truth?
10 AM, Monday, 11/30- I call my local Sears store to cancel my order and get my money back. They inform me that- wait for it- I have to call Home Delivery to do that. YAY my favorite people EVER. I call Home Delivery. I cancel my order (which is not without drama of it's own let me tell you- Newsflash-school your employees on how return procedures work. It ain't rocket science). I find that I will (maybe, hopefully) be getting my money back in the form of check and credit to the card(because I paid with 2 forms of payment). I am in peace now that this situation is over.
Now you know my story, here are my complaints. 1- I purchase something in a STORE, I expected to be assisted by employees in that store, not Bangladesh. 2- "I don't know" is better than lying. 3- "I don't know" should never even be said! If employees are properly trained, they should know, or they should know enough to find someone who does. There is NO reason I should have been lied to and given the run around the number of times that I was. 4- I spent $600 dollars in your store. When purchasing a large ticket item, I expect to be treated as a valued customer. I am, in fact, doing you a favor. As a highly respected and influential member of my community, I am in a position to inform many people of the terrible ordeal that I went through. I doubt that Sears would want to be cast in that negative light, especially in such a slow economy and with the Christmas season right around the corner.
This situation is highly unfortunate and unacceptable. I have been turned off to Sears and do not intend on purchasing anything there in the future- ESPECIALLY large ticket items, and I fully intend to advise my friends, family, partners, colleagues, babysitter, neighbor, bus driver, grocery checkout girl, former track coach, etc. to follow suit.
Sadly, I still need a range. I went to Sears not because the price was the lowest (although that did help) but because of the superior reputation of customer service. Ironic, right? After this experience I will take my money elsewhere. I am more than willing to spend hundreds more to actually receive the items that I was promised, and to be treated with respect as a customer. And I can guarantee you that I will recommend to all of those around me to run (not walk), screaming, from Sears.
Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Delivery Service.