Thursday, October 19, 2017

Suckered by Sears: The case of the nonexistent mattresses and the $500 theft

Update: The call never came, so I called again and got the same response, a promise that someone would call back in 24 to 48 hours. Once again, that didn't happen. So I took the advice of a friend and post a link to this blog on the Sears Facebook page. Then I sent a Facebook message. After some back and forth over Facebook, I finally received my refund.

Our ten-year-old twin boys are giants – five-foot-five already.  It was time to get rid of the youth beds we’d bought them eight years earlier and buy a couple of extra-long twins to accommodate their future selves.
After more than a month of online research and phone calls, I found an awesome deal on Serta mattresses at Sears.  About $400 for both. I paid $69 delivery and set-up, and then another $14.95 for delivery within a two-hour window.
$487.72 total on our credit card.
Not bad, huh?
I placed the order September 19 and Sears promised delivery between 9 and 11 a.m. on September 26. Our twins were thrilled. The morning of delivery, my husband took apart their old beds and stored the mattresses.
We vacuumed their rooms.
Then we waited.
And waited.
And waited.
I’d received an email that morning and a voice mail the night before, saying the delivery was on schedule and that I should soon get a call from the driver just before his arrival. But the phone never rang and the mattresses never came. Shortly after 11 a.m., I called Sears to find out what was going on. 
Oh, the mattresses. We’re checking with the manufacturer to see whether they have any. We’ll get back to you soon. Maybe in a few days? Sorry about that. 
I’d been waiting for mattresses that didn’t exist.
I was livid, but what could I do? I cancelled the order and asked for a refund. Then I ordered mattresses from another company. The refund never came.  A week or so later, I called customer service again. This time, I left a message on their “corporate” line. A man called me back a few days later and asked whether the refund came through. I didn’t have access to my computer at that moment, so he told me to call back and gave me a number.
The refund should have gone through, he said.
It didn’t.
I called back on October 4 to inform Sears of the missing refund and find out what was going on. The phone number didn’t take me to corporate. It took me right back to their overseas call center. 
Oh. Your refund? We can’t process your refund. We need your credit card information again. We can’t put a refund through without a credit card number, silly! By the way, it will take seven to ten business days to process. 
Again: What?!
So here I am on October. 19, eleven business days later, chatting once again with an overseas customer service representative. What is my issue? Your company took nearly $500 from us for nonexistent mattresses, kept me waiting two hours for a delivery that wasn’t going to happen and now refuses to give our money back. 
“I understand how you feel,” she said. 
Really? Do you?
After verifying my mailing address, email address and phone number yet again, the representative said processing on the refund began October 4 and that I should have received it by now.
(You think?)
She asked me to hold while she determined what is going on.
(Did I have a choice?)
About a minute later, she was back, claiming to have contacted three other departments. 
“Unfortunately, I am unable to confirm the time frame of the refund or why you haven’t received it,” she said. “I have contacted our processing team. You will receive a phone call in 24 to 48 hours regarding your issue.” 
Can I have a number for this processing team, in case we don’t connect? 
“I am afraid I don’t have that,”she said. "Someone from the processing team will contact you." 
So that’s that. I have called several other numbers for Sears and I must say that I am impressed. Every attempt takes me back to their overseas customer service representatives. They are clever, if nothing else. I have since done a little research and found that I am not alone in my frustration. Check out this thread on Sears’ very own website.
The bottom line is that we are victims of thieves.
I was suckered.
Never again, Sears.
Never again.