I ordered a treadmill on February 27, 2010. I paid:
499.88T on a Proform treadmill
154.99S on a setup (we were told this was actually part of the warranty)
065.00 on a non-refundable home delivery fee
at my local Sears store on a visa debit card. We were told delivery would take place on March 3, 2010. We received the merchandise on March 3, 2010. The home-delivery team set it up. They had the treadmill on and it seemed to be working, I wanted to test it by getting on top of it, they wanted to leave immediately. I signed, they left. I got on and the treadmill belt stopped when I got on it. It made this terrible noise.
I am definitely under the weight limit for the treadmill (250 lbs) so I had to wonder why this was. I had a child try it out (90 lbs) same result.
I immediately called customer service. I was told that the people who delivered it just set it up and cannot fix it if it's broken. It would take a week to get a repair person out there. I have not had this item for more than 2 hours at this point and am very aggravated.
I called customer service and they gave me no information. I asked to speak to a manager concerning a refund. First time I was told there was no manager around. Hung up, called again. Second time they told me that their computers were down. Hung up, called again. Third time I waited and was told that all managers were busy. Hung up, called again. Finally talked to a manager. Do not recall the name, but she told me she would sort it out and sent me to talk to a technician to see if I could just fix it myself. I asked for a line to reach in case I was disconnected- she stated she had none, to call back with her name, and talk to her again.
Was transferred to a tech. "Hello?" "Hi, my name is" -click-. They got disconnected from me. I did not have the phone number as the manager I had talked to said this wouldn't happen and wouldn't give me the line number.
Called up original customer service, asked to speak to the manager, gave the name. Same phone number I had used previously. "Sorry, there is no manager here by that name." "I had just spoken with her." "I don't know who you talked to, but there is no manager on this floor at the moment and none with that name." What? I hung up, called again. Asked to speak to a manager, the rep stated she was not allowed to authorize it. I said that I had just spoken to one and she said that she guaranteed I had not. Hung up, called again. Stated the same thing by another representative. Got the idea they might have put a note on my phone number (which you give every time). Called from a different phone (cell phone) and asked to speak to a manager. Waited while I was transferred, but then told there were non-available.
At this point I'm on the brink of tears, I just want to return the item I purchased and for some reason I can't even do that.
I went on google and found the corporate office number. I called and talked to Melanie. She offered me a refund or an exchange on a similar item that was $100 more expensive to be delivered at no extra charge. I chose the refund not willing to relive this experience. I was told she could not refund the $154.99 along with the 499.88 (the 65 was non-refundable on the receipt so didn't bother to ask). I said that was unacceptable, we negotiated for a $150 Sears gift card and $499.88 for the item purchased. A vehicle was scheduled to pick up the item the following day. After the item was sent to the warehouse, I would get my money in 5-10 business days.
Next day, March 4, 2010, item was picked up and taken to the warehouse. They gave me no receipt, just made me sign a slip they refused to let me have a copy of that said I had given the item to them.
March 8; received a confirmation call from the warehouse they got the package
March 15; received $150 gift certificate but no refund
Called, was told Melanie was out to lunch. Several times for several hours of the day (a 4 hour lunch, really??)
March 20; A rep of Melanie's called to confirm I got the certificate, we explained that we did, but still have not gotten our refund. He said that was odd and he would look into it and get back to us.
March 22; Called up Melanie at Corporate Office. Was told she was at lunch.
Called customer relations, was told only Melanie can mess with this transaction. Called billing, was told same thing. Left a message with the legal office, was told I would hear from them in the hour. Have not received a call and each time I get the answering message. Talked to someone in Customer Relations again who transferred me to the corporate office were I was told Melanie is not in on Mondays. I asked if there was someone I could speak to right now to settle this, was given repeat answer each time (We have sent an email to Melanie, she will get back to you when she receives the message) "And if Melanie doesn't get back to me, who do I talk to?" (Melanie will give you a call when she gets back and receives the emails sent) "But who is above Melanie" (Melanie is the only one here and she will get back to you when she receives the message. We sent it urgent so she'll give you a call back tomorrow) "And if I don't hear from her?" (She has a limited amount of time to make outward calls, I can't give you her time frame or schedule. Melanie will call you when she gets back and receives the emails sent). Which is funny, because I was told that corporate doesn't handle finances and can only investigate into it, but returning the money is not what they do. And Melanie doesn't have anyone above her. Not true.
After that, I sent in a complaint with the better business bureau and I got the idea right after to call my Sears store.
They said they would look into it and would call me back later. Expecting no return call at all, like usual, I called my bank to see what I can do.
Four hours later, I get a call from the Manassas Sears store from the manager there whom I had spoken to earlier. She said that I should have received my credit but that it states I have not for some reason. She said the best she could do was file a help ticket for today and then give me an answer tomorrow to see if it can be resolved. If it could not, she told me I was welcome to come to the store and they would credit me back on my debit card for the amount owed.
I am waiting for tomorrow before I send anything to the bank and I want to talk to Melanie (who I doubt I will hear from unless they get notice from the BBB that quickly)and the store manager.
What I have learned:
Don't buy online, buy from a local Sears store. Do not get the home installation and do not have them pick it up. Make them sign a statement saying they have picked up the item. Do not settle for an exchange, they will credit you back, all you have to do is be as pleasant as possible (tears help) and they will help you. Have more than one phone by because they do make notes on the phone number you use (even if you don't provide a name or case number) and they do have your phone number right in front of them when you call.
All that aside, never ever buy from Sears. This was the most screwed up experience I've ever been a part of. I have never had trouble like this from any other company before. I partly blame myself for not doing research on the company before making a purchase and I regret using a debit and not credit (always use a credit so your cc can handle things faster). Had I known the horrors (first time shopping at Sears actually!) I would have gone elsewhere. I'm using that $150 to buy some pillows, blankets, and a hammer. Nothing else is worth it in their store and I'm not wasting my money by not spending it. But that $499.88 is mine and will not be kept by them.
Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Repair.