I had a recent issue with Sears that I thought others should be warned of. For those not wanting to read the full issue, Sears took 2 weeks to refund my money on an order that was cancelled by them at no request of my own. This is completely inappropriate IMO.
I purchased some fitness equipment on 1/1/12 during the Midnight Madness sale (technically it was 1/2/12 since it was after midnight, but that is semantics). I was ordering for store pickup to save the shipping, and both items I was getting showed in stock from the location I selected. They did not take off the proper discount in the cart, but I was able to get that cleared up with customer service the next morning.
Now to the part that was bad. Shortly after getting my discount refunded and it clearing, I got another email from Customer Service saying that the main part of my order was not in stock at the store I selected and my order was cancelled. I call customer service who explains that they had sold out completely both in stores and online for the dumbbells I wanted, so my order was cancelled. I asked if there was any way to keep my order active and told no. They say I can purchase again when they come back in stock. I explain I want to be sure to get a sale price. I am told by a manager if I call once they are back in stock and reference my original order number they will honor the price since it was cancelled due to their fault. This is annoying but not a major issue.
Now for the nightmare... getting the actual refund on the order they cancelled. Order put in basically at midnight of 1/1/12 (really 1/2/12). Order is cancelled by Sears a few hours later (1/2/12). On 1/3/12 I email customer service asking why I have not been refunded. At first I get an automatic reply saying what I already knew, the order had been cancelled. After responding that they did not tell me anything, I get a response saying it can take 3-5 business days.
I will not get into the long, drawn out history from here. Needless to say it took numerous emails, calls, several different case managers, and finally a dispute with PayPal in order to get them to refund my money this morning. That is 14 calendar days, 10 business days, to get a refund on an order for an item they said was in stock and then they cancelled when it was not in stock. This was on an order of over $300, so while not huge money enough to be concerned over.
For good and for bad the order was with PayPal. I only used them since it meant I didn't have to enter my credit card info again. The good of that was once I filed my dispute with PayPal on Thursday, it was resolved today. They were as helpful as they could be considering it was Sears who had not properly closed out the cancelled order which was preventing the refund from processing. I considered just backing the charges off my credit card, but then that puts PayPal in the position of being hurt, plus I didn't want them to suspend my account or anything.
If I had done this with my checking account instead of credit card I could have been really in a pinch it would have tied up $300 of my money for two weeks that I could have used to spend elsewhere getting the item(s) I wanted. God only knows how many people Sears does this to, holding onto their money (likely making interest off it) while saying there is a problem. So if you buy from Sears, be aware they stand a good chance of taking your money, cancelling your order, and then keeping your money with no one being able to say why until they are good and ready to give it back. I guess this is a rant as much as anything... but I will also say I want to give warning to others. Needless to say I am not shopping at Sears again. Buyer Beware.
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