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Sears Complaint - Sears
Sears Complaint

Sears Complaint



Mr. Aylwin B. Lewis Sears Holdings Corporation
3333 Beverly Rd.

Hoffman Estates, IL 60179 March 11, 2008

Dear Mr. Lewis

I would like to share my recent experience as a Sears customer with you.

On December 31, 2007, I visited a Sears store to return a gift. Sears policy is that a refund is only in the form of a gift card when there is a gift slip rather than an original receipt. It was my preference to have a cash refund, instead, since Sears did not have the item I wanted at that time – binoculars - and I wanted to purchase them elsewhere. Though Sears knew the exact value of my return, because I returned it with a gift slip, I was told my only option was the card.

I spoke with a manger named Bob at the Sears store in Hunt Valley, Maryland. I told him that I wanted to make a purchase, that day, since it also was a gift. I was willing to spend my money at Sears, but since the binoculars were not in stock, I wanted to go next door to Dick's Sporting goods and get them, there. I told Bob I wanted the cash so I could do that. He said that was impossible. He suggested I place the order online. I had already looked online at the suggestion of the employee at a service desk, but the item appeared out of stock. I told him this. I repeated that I wanted a cash refund so I could make the purchase elsewhere. He asked if I wanted to go on talking all day or get the issue resolved. This remark made me very uncomfortable. Bob and I, together, looked at sears.com. I placed an order online from the kiosk in the Sears store. The order was made on December 31, 2007 and the receipt indicated that the item would arrive in 5 days. I was mystified because the item was listed as out of stock, but Bob said it would likely arrive sooner than 5 days. This was acceptable to me, but my preference remained a cash refund.

After 9 or 10 days had passed, the item had not arrived. I called the customer service number on your website and was told the item was on the way and should be there any day. I was told that the 5 days doesn't really mean anything. After some more time, I called again and was again told the item was on the way. On February 10, I returned to the Sears store to get help resolving this from a manager, in the hope that he would be able to speak to someone who could provide more accurate information. At this point, it had been 41 days since I placed my order and had been told several times that it was on the way. The on-duty manager in the store, a gentleman who reports to Bob, assisted me. He made two telephone calls and learned that the item had been canceled on February 4. I had not been notified of the cancellation. I had not received a refund. I told him I wanted a refund, immediately. He said that was impossible, but that a refund had been sent in the form of a gift card at the time of cancellation - February 4, 2008, six days before my visit to the store, and would arrive in 7 - 10 days. The refund still had not arrived by February 14, February 15, 16 or 17th.

On February 18, I called again. I called 1-800-549-4505. I spoke with Courtney. She was very helpful and said the situation needed to be escalated to a different sort of manager and connected me with Neil. Neil said he would refund the difference, electronically, and the balance should be available in 24 - 48 hours. This balance would be the original value of the gift card of $209.99. I expressed my appreciation.

On February 24, I attempted to use my gift card online at Land's End, which accepts Sears gift cards. I placed an order for a comforter and some socks. There was a difference of a small amount of money over $209.99 and the live chat assistant at Land's End told me I could pay the balance with my Visa. I was happy and, from prior experience, I had faith in Land’s End that my items would arrive promptly. I proceeded with my order and when the final page of the order appeared on the screen, I could see that nearly the entire purchase was charged to the Visa and $58.81 had been charged to the gift card. This told me that the electronic refund had not taken place and Sears was still in possession of $151.18 of my money. I did not complete the order. I placed another call to Sears and spoke to Dorothy. She said she would escalate the matter to a supervisor. After being on hold for over 20 minutes (easy to know since telephones now indicate the length of calls) I was disconnected. I called back and I spoke with Maya then Jen and finally Karen. One of these ladies told me that there was a mistake, because gift cards cannot be electronically refunded; only Sears credit cards can be electronically refunded. Karen was very sympathetic and told me that she would escalate the matter to Noe who is the person in charge of these things. I asked that Noe get in touch with me the next day, February 25, to let me know that the matter had been resolved. Karen said she would, personally, check with Noe the next day.

I heard nothing on February 25.

On March 1, I called again. I spoke to someone who gave me a different number to call: 1-800-326-1167. He gave me this number because he knew I had been routed through numerous people and he wanted me to be able to speak with a department that would be able to handle this more efficiently. I was appreciative. I called the number and, again, spoke with Neil. Neil's first inquiry was how I got this phone number. I told him that the previous gentleman had given it to me. Neil said he would need to coach that person. This is not appropriate information to share with a customer. I asked Neil for that person's name so I could send a commendation because I appreciated that he was trying to help. I reviewed everything, again, with Neil. He told me that the record indicated that the card had been sent and should be arriving, any day.

As of March 8, the card still has not arrived. I called 1-800-326-1167. I spoke with Gail. I told Gail the whole story. She told me that the manager at the Sears store is not supposed to get information for customers about Sears.com. Gail told me there was no record of a card having been sent. I told her that the matter had been escalated to Noe on February 24. She also told me she did not see any record of my calls on February 24. I told her that Neil had told me, on March 1, that the refund card had been sent. I asked if Neil was there. She said, yes, but that he was with a customer. I asked that he call when he was finished with his customer. She said she would give him the message, but that all he would do was pass it along to Noe. I asked for Noe's supervisor. I was told it is Don Bennett, but, likewise, he would just refer the matter to Noe. Don Bennett was not available. I asked how to contact him and was transferred to his voice mail. I left a detailed message. I did not receive a return call either from Neil or from Don Bennett.

As of this writing, I have not received a refund. I have spent numerous hours on the phone waiting on hold, repeating my situation and receiving inaccurate and inconsistent information. Since December 31, 2008, Sears has had possession of $151.18 of my money. If circumstances were reversed, and I owed this debt to Sears, I would be charged an interest rate of 23.15% and a late fee of $50 for each month I was behind. In addition to returning the money Sears owes me, I feel, at the least, I am entitled to equal compensation for the period Sears has been in possession of my money, both in interest and late fees, as well as compensation for my time trying to correct a problem that was not of my making. Moments ago, I received this email:

Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 12:25:12 -0500 (CDT)
From: Support Representative

To: judith@bcpl.net
Subject: [Order#: 19432775] Sears.com Order # (XXXXXX)


Thank you for shopping at Sears.com!

We have restored a balance of $151.18 to your gift card. We apologize for
the inconvenience.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail us at
order@customerservice.sears.com or call us at 1-800-349-4358.

Look for Great Ideas throughout the store and find Sears exclusive
innovations from great brands like Sony, Kenmore, NordicTrack, Craftsman and

When I checked the balance online, it indicated:

Gift Card #: 604967075158****
Remaining Card Value: $0.0

When I called the Sears gift card hotline, I was told the balance was $58.81, so, in fact, the balance was not restored.

If you are tired of reading this, I’m sure you can imagine how tired I am of dealing with it.

I suppose, what is most disappointing (surprising? I don’t know) is that there was no true indication of value for me as a Sears customer - past, present or future.

I hope that you will be able to correct all of the above. I look forward to hearing from you.


Mr. Aylwin B. Lewis

Mr. Edward S Lampert
Mr. Alan Lacy
Ms. Janine Bousquette
Ms. Mindy Meads

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brenae says: (9 years ago)
I wanted to buy this HD TV for 2099.99 with a free blu ray player and It was not in stock. So I still wanted it and was willing to wait on it. But the salesman said they had to be bought in a bundle. I still wanted it, and was willing to wait but still I was not allowed to buy it. I buy all my household things from sears and never had this problem. Call me at 810-407-8188 or810 964-8647

Camardo says: (10 years ago)
I just want to say I read your reviews on lawnmowers and mine was exactly like this person. They fixed it once and it broke three weks later and they saod it was a bent crankcase which is whatthey said the first. Then they wanted another $150. Sears does this to everybodt I guess.

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