Hello, Rightful Plaice!
Please bear with me, as I post this as a follow up. My mother's fight has ended, and her order fulfilled, but I would like to impart the following information that may be of great help to you and others undergoing the same situation/circumstance.
My mother underwent a very similar issue. My mother made a purchase order for a billiards table through Sears.com recently. I completely relate and understand to what you have said regarding scheduling a delivery date and time. If you had a delivery date and time scheduled at the time of your purchase, it may be that a third party merchant/vendor who had fulfillment of the order.
In such an instance, the shipping of the item is 'bulk shipping artifice'. In that instance, a number of ordered items through a merchant are on hold at the point of receiving, should they already be in stock. If the item is not in stock, the contracted merchant through Sears has the responsibility to fulfill the order in that pre-determined time frame of actual delivery. Once a sufficient number of items ordered and received in reaches certain variable in quantity/weight/size, the item(s) are grouped and are shipped bulk flat rate, (“economy”class). The item you ordered will then truncate to attempt to meet the scheduling of shipping fulfillment at the time set when your order was placed.
In such an observation, this may be where the scheduled fulfillment failed. Either the item you ordered had not been received as of yet, or when it is received, it may await another queue to be shipped out. From there, the order fulfillment is dissected and apportioned to the area of delivery. Upon your own investigation, you encountered the gap between when it was ordered, when it was to be shipped to fulfill the scheduled order, and it may be the shipper has or had not received it yet to be completed.
In essence, it is a type of 'limbo' where it actually exists, and in many cases, it has not reached the system in place to expedite. One of the methods I employed was to contact Sears customer care via cell phone and politely request at that very moment WHERE EXACTLY IT IS. The agent I spoke with finally had to give in and inform me where it was. From there, I contacted each point of the delivery process to insure that it was indeed actually there.
As far as placement into your basement, given the bulk and weight of the item, the delivery staff will know where it should be placed (as many home owners have their main plumbing and utility central hubs in the lowest level of your dwelling). Upon notification communicated on your end and on the shippers end, logically, that is where assumption and responsibility collide, and the shipper has to make the accommodation to set it up and inspect visually its contents, condition, etc. That is where you come in as well. Once you sign off on it, therein may lie other potential problems.
What you can do (if you haven't canceled the order) is direct your efforts toward Sears CC and have them inform you of where it is. You have that right to investigate the chain of purchase, and in turn, hold them responsible to complete the order as originally deigned. If the item is rescheduled, then keep following up and politely request their assurance guarantee that it WILL BE FULFILLED as contractually promised.
I hope this helps you and others. Please let Pissed Consumer and all of us know how your steps worked out and how to help others who have made purchases like this.
Winyan Waste Hopa