Sears incredible Web-store policy

Published May 5, 2007 in Writing

I was absolutely shocked to find out about a Sears policy relating to Web sales. When you buy through Sears.com, as you probably know, you can opt to pick items up at the local store. The Web site will even tell you if it’s in stock there. The Sears.com system checks the store’s inventory, but to […]

I was absolutely shocked to find out about a Sears policy relating to Web sales.

When you buy through Sears.com, as you probably know, you can opt to pick items up at the local store. The Web site will even tell you if it’s in stock there.

The Sears.com system checks the store’s inventory, but to make sure the information is correct (i.e., that it is in stock) the local Sears store sends you its own e-mail telling you it’s ready for pickup.

Here’s the rub: The policy for local stores is “accept every order.” In other words, whether or not it’s actually in stock, say that it is. The idea, I guess, is to at least get people to come to the store.

I was told this by the guys working in the customer pick-up area of my local Sears. I went to pick up a car seat that I was told was in stock and ready. (“Thank you for shopping with sears.com. Your order #015977560 containing the item(s) listed below is now ready to be picked-up.”)

But it wasn’t ready because the store was out of stock. But the Sears policy of “accept every order” meant the e-mail gets sent out regardless, according to not one but three guys in the warehouse.

They were apologetic (and it wasn’t their fault), and one even told me — and this is a quote, “Eighty percent of the Internet orders have problems.”

I can imagine, considering Sears’s policy of ‘bring ‘em in regardless.’

Update: I wrote to the Sears customer service department, sending them essentially the blog entry above (edited to read more like a letter). I received the following incredible reply:

Dear Mr. Kantor,

Thank you for contacting Sears regarding order number 015977560.

We appreciate your recent purchase from Sears. A request has been submitted to cancel the order referenced above. Once the request has been processed, an e-mail confirmation of the cancellation and credit to your account will be sent to you. Please allow up to five business days for the processing of the request. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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

Shop sears.com now to pick up great products for the season.

Kyle G.
Sears Customer Care
webcenter@customerservice.sears.com
1-800-349-4358

Sears is in a fight for its corporate life — “With Sales Down, New Marketing Campaigns For Sears And Kmart,” read a recent headline. And this is the kind of customer service they offer. Not even an acknowledgement that there was a problem on their end. Not even an apology for screwing up.

What’s even more incredible is how pathetic Sears’ computer system is. I got a refund while I was at the store. Maybe they’ll give me a second refund. I’ll take a $100 gift.

Holy moly. I tell you, I’m glad I don’t own Sears stock.



  1. Leland says:

    Did you really expect anything more?

  2. crella says:

    Sears is going to hell in a handbasket. My mother ordered a dishwasher to be delivered. When the man came to install it, they found the pan was too deep for it to fit in the space from the old dishwasher, he took it right back, never even opened the box. Sears started to hound for payment on the dishwasher the next week, and continued to do so for months, despite repeated calls by my mother to tell them she did NOT have the dishwasher. She called a lawyer after they threatened to turn her over to a collection agency. It took Sears 4 months to find the paperwork stating the dishwasher had been returned.

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