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I think this story is best told through my email correspondence with Sears Customer Service:

September 17, 2013:Hi,

I called and spoke with Jayson last evening when I saw that my order (which was planned to arrive at my home between Sept 12 - 17) was still "processing" online. Jayson was helpful, and he checked the status of my order. He told me that Sears was actually out of stock of what I ordered.

I asked Jayson how that could be possible since the website allowed me to proceed with my order. He said there may be a few seconds where the website will not register the correct stock, and I fell through a hole in the system. That's unfortunate. I've very upset that not only was I able to order the product when it was not available, but my credit card was charged (as if I was actually paying for something that Sears had available) and I was left in website 'limbo' since the system failed to register that I had an open order for a product that was not available.

So, this is how I see the situation: - I fell through a hole in your system, and I will not be ordering from Sears again until the hole is fixed. Why would I order something if I don't actually know that you have it in stock? - My credit card was charged (now being refunded), and I paid Sears for a product which did not exist. So, Sears essentially held my money in escrow (and made some small percentage off of the balance?) while I waited for a product that didn't exist. - I ordered this product for a birthday present (which is on Sept 22). I ordered with enough margin to your estimated arrival dates online, so Sears wasted 10 days of my time, and now I need to find another place to purchase this birthday present. - The refund takes 3 -5 days to post to my credit card, so Sears is wasting 3 - 5 more days of my time while I wait for a refund to post for a purchase I made on a product that does not exist.

I'm glad Sears can refund me for my purchase, but I am very disappointed that there is nothing more you can do. Unfortunately, I see no reason to continue shopping at Sears - especially since I can locate the product elsewhere.

My order number, for your reference, is 5568.

I hope you have a better day than I am,

Joe Singer

---On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 1:55 PM, Sears Holdings Solutions wrote:

Dear Joseph,

Thank you for contacting sears.com regarding your order number 556811593. We apologize for the inconvenience that you are experiencing with regard to the cancellation and refund. We certainly understand your concern considering the fact that this is a birthday gift. Let me check this information for you.

The item was canceled due to the item being out of stock. While our inventory is updated, our website serves customers throughout the entire country, it is typical that several customers will have the same item in their cart. Inventory is again verified after the order is submitted. It can happen that more orders are submitted than we can complete.

I have forwarded request to our fulfillment center to process the refund. Please allow 3-5 business days to get back to you with an update via email.

Indeed, this experience has been less than perfect and we would like to make it right by offering you a 10% discount on your next purchase for any item sold by Sears or Kmart. Please reply to this email once you place a new order and we will take care of the credit.

Need additional assistance? Click here to Chat or Talk with us now!

Sincerely,

Moses P. (mpasha2) Sears Customer Care webcenter@customerservice.sears.com 1-800-366-3028

---Another follow-on response about my refund:

Good Evening Bob,

Hi my name is Emily with Sears’s Online Customer Service Team, I appreciate your business, and we want you to know that you are important to us.

I appreciate your business and we hope to provide you with a more satisfactory experience in the future.

In regard to order number 5568#####, a credit in the amount of $###.51 was issued to your account today. This credit was issued because Your order was cancelled.

This credit should be viewable by your financial institution within 72 hours. 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.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail us at order@customerservice.sears.com or call us at 1-800-283-6940. We hope you visit us again soon at www.sears.com.

Have a Nice Night, Emily B.

Sears Online Customer Care

---My response immediately after:

I'm disappointed my time is only worth 10% off of a product, and I am also disappointed that your team cannot get my name correct. Here is the information email I received last night about my refund. My name is Joe, not Bob:

---On Sep 20, 2013 5:27 PM, "Sears Holdings Solutions" wrote:

Dear Joe,

Thank you for contacting sears.com regarding your order # 5568#####. I am sorry to hear that your name was spelt incorrectly on your order.

Indeed, this experience has been less than perfect and we would like to make it right by offering you a 15% discount on your next purchase for any item sold by Sears or Kmart. Please reply to this email once you place a new order and we will take care of the credit.

Need additional assistance? Click here to Chat or Talk with us now!

Sincerely,

Fabian S. (sreddy) Sears Customer Care webcenter@customerservice.sears.com 1-800-366-3028

---After a while I decided to give Sears another shot. They had a patio furniture set that was priced lower than everywhere else. So, I purchased it knowing I would be able to submit my payment and receive 15% off:

Hi, I would like to claim this 15% discount. I made a purchase on 4/26/14 for $###.99. The receipt sales check # is 01##########. It was charged to my AMEX ending in ####. The store # is 01###. Do you need a copy of my receipt, or are you able to access it? Joe Singer

---The other shoe:

Dear Joe ,

Thank you for contacting sears.com. I appreciate you for choosing for your purchase. I understand that you would like to claim the 15% discount offered on the previous order. Let me check the details and assist.

Firstly, I would apologies for providing you the incomplete information about the offer. I would like to inform you that this offer is valid only for online purchase. Do not worry, this offer is still valid. Please place a new order for any item from Sears/Kmart website and reply to this email with your new order confirmation number and we will take of the refund. Please note that this offer is not valid for the items sold by Marketplace merchants, In-store purchase and for the layaway orders.

Need additional assistance? Click here to Chat or Talk with us now!

Thank you,

Hopkins M. (rmoney1) Sears Member Service 1-800-366-3028

So, hopefully, everyone else sees the obvious lies in this little tale. I'd appreciate any advice for how to receive a little justice in this debacle.

If nothing else - getting others to not shop at Sears would be a good start! Don't do it! Bob Vila is a villain!

Review about: Sears Claim.

Monetary Loss: $56.

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