Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Shortsighted Sears Sucks

I have been a loyal Sears customer for many, many years. We have purchased 3 dishwashers, 3 refrigerators, 2 sets of washer/dryers, sewing machine, 2 freezers, 3 or more vacuum cleaners, all sorts of large tool things, sanders, table saws, tools of all kinds, and an amazing amount of 'service agreements' to go with all of these appliances and tools. Last week, I received my bill in the mail, my bill having a balance of $1.00. That I forgot to pay last month. And they had charged me a $15.00 late fee. On one dollar. I called to ask if this could be removed and I guess I had been late one other time during the year, because she refused. Which made me immmediately pull out my scissors, cut up my card, tape it to the bill, enclosed a $16.00 check, mailed it back to them with the explanation that I hope their $15.00 late fee was worth all of the business that I was now taking elsewhere. I will NEVER shop there again. Where has the common sense gone in this country? Where has the customer service gone? Sorry, Sears, you suck and have failed a loyal customer.

24 comments:

Knit Chick said...

I would have done the same thing! You go girl!

Balwearie said...

Honestly.... I had a friend who (thru the card company's mistake)owed about the same on an Amex card which she had tried to cancel. Amex then spent gobs and gobs of money mailing and calling her to get that money back.

My personal pet peeve is card companies who cleverly set their billing cycle so that your payment is due on the 14th of the month. I think they all know I don't get paid until the 15th!

mesclun said...

Kim, here is something that may make you feel a little better - the Verde Group of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania did a study on the effect of negative word-of-mouth from dissatisfied customers. Here's what they found:
""This study is unlike anything we've seen before because it shows that
for every 100 American shoppers, 64 people will be told about a store's poor
products or services and no matter what that store does to entice shoppers -
sales, promotions, advertising, marketing - those people will not set foot in
their store," says Paula Courtney, President, The Verde Group." http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2006/10/c0764.html
Take that, Sears!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim- I'm with you on this. Years ago when I was a single parent and lived in a dumpy apartment I wanted to buy a set of bunk beds. The only bill I had was a $12/mo. on my sewing machine. I went to Sears to buy a set of bunk beds and they turned me away. I went to a small, local furniture store and they extended me credit which I paid off $15/mo faithfully. We have spent a lot on Sears items since, but not one cent has been mine. Himself carries their card, but I do not and will not. Old hurts die hard. Their reasoning was put in writing "we feel that to extend you credit on top of that which you already have would overextend your ability to repay."

wendy said...

Well that's good to know. I am planning on buying a new washer and dryer in the very near future and I was going to Sears..but now I will go elsewhere. And I will make sure Sears doesn't own that company!! Too bad Pier 1 doesn't sell power tools and the like. During a personal time of financial hardship, they were the only creditor who actually seemed to care and offered a plan that was manageable.

Trish said...

Isn't that annoying?!? We had a Sears card for a few months several years ago (to purchase a large ticket item with interest free financing). The moment it was paid off, we canceled it because we had been inundated with stupid phone calls from their network - insurance of all shapes and sizes, home improvement offers, discounted tax preparation... I was severely peeved at their abuse of our information, and no longer shop there.

Karan said...

We should all print a copy of this entry and the comments and send it to Sears.

This possibly represents the loss of sale on at least seven refrigerators which totals about $2.15 per person of that late fee. Considering that Sears spends a tad bit more on trying to get us in there, they made a big mistake.

tararossstudios said...

yes, good idea. I won't shop there. Send them our posts.

la vie en rose said...

that totally sucks!

ian russell said...

you did the right thing, imo. i suspect these things rely on customers forgetting or being unable to settle but not, like yourself, cancelling the account.

Nan said...

How incredibly ridiculous. Don't you wonder at times like that if you are really talking to a human being? Great that you not only cut up the card, but spread the word, as well. There are plenty of other places to shop.

mati rose said...

good for you for taking control of that infuriratingness!

Amy said...

We've done the same type of thing recently. It's amazing how much better you feel after going through the exercise. Good for you!

phlegmfatale said...

My first credit card was Sears, and you remember how silly I was back then(haven't improved much, still!), and I was late on my payment. A sweet little old lady called me up from Sears and said "just come and make a minimum payment of x amount and all will be well." I said "you mean my card will still be good, etc.?" She said "yes." She seemed like a sweet little granny, so I went to a store that very day and I paid the amount she said, and henceforth paid my bill faithfully. A few months later, I had company from Europe, and we decided to go camping, so I popped into Sears with them to pick up a tent, and what do you know? I could no longer charge anything - my card had been canceled by Sears. Add to that the humiliation of being denied this purchase in front of my sophisticated friends. They are total total bastards, and always have been, in my opinion. This was 19 years ago. Husband and I did take advantage of buying a Neptune washer/dryer on one-year interest free, which we paid off before the interest period, but otherwise, they don't have my business.

Your story just reminded me of my own, and I'm vowing not to honor them with my business again in future. Jerks!

liz elayne said...

Oh this has happened to me before. It is insane! Credit card companies make me crazy. I could go on and on and on and on...but this is your blog so I won't. But sure would love to talk about it over margaritas some time (hee, hee).
I love what you did about it - fantastic girl!

Joanne S said...

When we were young and poor--Sears told me to take my business else where- I wasn't a good credit risk. I never, willingly, set foot in a Sears. It's been 37 years.

Imagine if they had welcomed me, extended limited credit? I would be so loyal. Unless of course they screwed with me via my monthly statement.

stef said...

your story reminds me of how inflexible we have become. that's why we need to emphasize customer service so much these days - we are so lacking of it.

sears doesn't deserve your business any more and i'm glad you are sharing this so that word of mouth will hurt them even more. corporate america underestimates the power of the masses.

Elaine said...

Seen on Oprah: You sometimes have to go through as many as five people to have a credit card company do good by you. (Can I talk to your superior?) Who wants to go through that? I'm curious to see if they contact you about it later. Please let us know.

chronicler said...

I have my very own horrible Sears story. I haven't shopped there for over ten years now. They are the epitome of poor customer service. Once I got over the incredible anger, I adopted a new slogan: Never beg anyone to take your hard earned money. There are enough other retailers willing and able to help you.

Once, just for fun when we were young and silly decided to pay 25 cents too much when we paid off a credit card. They spent the next two years sending us a monthly statement letting us know we had a 25 cent credit. I have the satisfaction that some of my interest money was spent on those letters.

Rachel said...

I just had my own terrible experience with them after purchasing a stove at the Great Indoors(which is evidently owned by Sears,too). The customer service was awful. We were told we were responsible for turning off the gas. They delivered the stove and refused to hook it up because the shut off valve was in the basement. They left my new stove sitting in my living room. On the day after my grandmother died and had company coming in from various parts of the country. Explaining the situation was humiliating. Calling the Sears customer service was infuriating. I don't believe in carrying credit, so I don't have a Sears card. But I do have a huge problem with their customer service. Seeing you do, too has me all charged up. I'm going to send them a letter telling them they suck.

Want My Washer? said...

I have been living a customer service nightmare with Sears regarding my Calypso washer. When we bought it, it was supposed to be a revolutionary breakthrough in washing technology but it has turned out to be a piece of junk. It breaks consistently (2 times per year), but not enough to get it declared a lemon and have it replaced (requires four breakdowns per year). On top of that, getting it fixed has been a nightmare. Everytime I call for service, it takes them a week to get here. They have cancelled on me three times now and it takes another week to get rescheduled. When they did finally show up, the technician forgot to seal the lid on the washer and it has now been another month trying to get them here for that. This is customer service???!!!??? Sears sucks and they deserve their fate in the dustbin of American has-been retailing.

Jaydubya said...

Rather than re-explain my SEARS experience here is the letter I sent to Sears. If I can save one peI just wanted to share my recent experience with purchasing over $3500.00 of Merchandise from Sears at the Westfield Shopping Center in Vancouver Washington. On November 2nd my wife and I purchased a refridgerator, a drop in stove and a dishwasher for a grand total of over $3500.00 On November 5th your delivery team delivered the dishwasher and refridgerator to my home as promised. In the process of the delivery my newly painted front door was badly scratched. The refridgerator was badly damaged and the dishwasher was missing installation parts and smelled of mildew. After being on hold and talking to employees who did nothing for me for literally hours I finally got someone who promised to have a new dishwasher sent out with the guy who was installing my stove which was to come 3 days later and that they could deliver a new refridgerator on the 15th of November. I mentioned the door damage but no compinsation was offered and I was told tings like that happen from time to time during delivery of large appliances. Installation of the stove and new dishwsher went off without a problem and the installation was very nicely done. on the 14th I was suppose to get a call about the delivery of my new refridgerator I was promised the following day noveber 15th, but never did so i called Sears Delivery. I was patched through to the phillipines, and they told me my delivery was cancelled on the 6th. This was after operations manager Julie promised delivery of a replacement refridgerator the following day November 15th. Of course Julie was off on the 15th and I ended up getting an employee who said she would call me back but never did so I contacted the store the next day the day I had taken the afternoon off to recive my replacement refridgerator and spoke to Kimberly for over an hour and she was finally able to get another refridgerator to me the following Saturday the 18th. On Saturday delivery brought another badly damaged refridgerator. After I refused that one I called and spent yet another hour or so on the phone with various employees who passed me around I was finally promissed another refridgerator the following day Sunday the 19th. Yet another damaged refridgerator was delivered on the 19th. Because this one was the best of the three delivered I had them remove the one I had and took the best of the three but still I was not at all satisfied with the condition of the refridgerator I am left with. I was told by your delivery man on the second delivery that most of the refridgerators have some kind of damage because of how they are handled by the Heisters at the loading dock, which the salesman did not warn me of. I asked Julie to see that I was offered some kind of Money back for settling with the damaged refridgerator because I was broke down by the hassle all of this caused my family and I, but I have received no answer from her. Not only do I feel that Sears is Obligated to give some kind of compensation not only for the damage on my door from the first delivery but for having to settle for damaged merchandise after spending over $3500.00 at Sears. This was by far the worst experience I have had in my adult life with a large purchase. The lack of product quality and lack of customer service is not the reputation Sears used to have. The more people I share my story with the more I am finding people with similar experiences. I feel I made a poor decision to purchase from Sears especially since one of the only reason I did was because they had product available sooner than one of the competetors in my area, DeWills. This transaction took over 17 days, 4 deliveries, countless hours on the phone, a scratched freshly painted door, lost wages from work from botched deliveries, and more frustration than I could even explain. Truely a nightmare of an experience without the 100% satisfaction gauruntee Sears promises. My only hope is that this does not fall on deaf ears or responded to with a generic or canned response to further frustrate me. rson from making the same mistake choosing Sears as I did thatwill be good enough for me.

here it is:

Anonymous said...

There are so many problem companies. I read all of the info Re. Sears. Can anyone tell me of any good experiences with any company who sell appliances. I surely need some advice. I am afraid to shop without input. Tina

Bonnie said...

I have had a sears card for a long time and bought a lot ofour high dollar appliances from sears, I am done. The card is almost paid off and I was looking at the bill and noticed account care in the amount of ten dollars and eleven cents. I have never been asked to add this to our card and never would have allowed it. When I called they said that I had agreed 8 months ago. Never happened. So I asked them to remove it from the card and make it retroactive since we never agreed to this. They notonly said no they said that I still am responsible for this month as well. I hope that everyone looks at their bill and that you cancel your card because they are some crooked fraudsters who ripped me off!!!