Friday, May 14, 2010

Sears Has LOST My Business

#Sears @searsdeals #SamsClub . 

I will never go to any Sears store for anything ever.  Ever.

The latest episode (there have been others, this is merely the last straw) wherein Sears has screwed me over involves tires for the mini van.  I don't half-ass the mini van.  This is what my wife drives.  The Michelins that have been on the van for the last several years were wearing out with one approaching bald status.  Back on 30 April 2010 while I was having a flat repaired I asked for new tire estimates.  Of the tires they carry I chose the BF Goodrich TAs since I've had them before and was more satisfied with them than the Michelins being replaced now.

It seems they were not in stock and would have to be ordered from Michigan.  And, I was getting a reduced price since BF Goodrich was phasing out this tire.  This was fine with me.  The Sears Auto guy said they would be here in a few days and that I would receive a call when they arrived.

Two weeks later...  No one had called.  So, today (14 May 2010) I walk in the store and ask about the tires.  Turns out they had been here since Tuesday or Wednesday of last week - a week and a half ago - but no one had called because their phones are down.  Now that is very plausible and understandable.  The phones in Nashville were out for almost a week following the Nashville Flood on 1-2 May 2010.  However, land line service was restored last Saturday (8 May 2010) and cell service was restored several days before that.

I asked if anyone had thought to use a cell phone to contact me on my cell (which is the contact number they had).  That received blank stares from both the counter clerk and the manager.  The manager stammered something about not using personal cell phones...

I was told that the tires could be installed upon payment of the balance due (~$200.00) on top of the $349.44 deposit I had payed back on 30 April.  That is, of course, assuming they could find the stored tires without computer assistance and could take payment without the computers...

I asked for my deposit back.  "Oh, no problem!  Except, our computers are down..."  They referred me to the the Customer Care place on there website...  Now, they had the receipt in front of them.  They know the amount.  The guy that took my money two weeks ago is right there saying he took the money.  They have enough money in the store to give me a refund.  But they can't/won't since their computers are down.

So, I get home and call the number (800.549.5405) on Sears' web site.  After explaining the problem to several representatives - each of which instructed me to call the store where there are no working phones - I finally was put on the phone with "Kirsten" who stated her title is Manager On Duty, Customer Retail Care

WooHoo!  Someone that can help!

Not so much, it turns out.  Kirsten said she placed an email order for the store manager to call me.  Remember, this is the store that has no working phones.  And no working computers.  I asked Kirsten how the store manager that has no working computer to retrieve the email was going to receive the email.  The basic information behind this question seemed out of Kirsten's grasp.  It is understandable then how the basic reasoning of my next question failed to penetrate her thought process... 

"How will the store manager contact me if his phones do not work?"  Kirsten replied that she was emailing the manager to contact me by phone.  "He has no email or phone," I explained again.  Kirsten again stated that she had emailed the store manager (on computers that do not work) to contact me by phone (via a phone system that does not work).


So I call Sam's Club.  They quote me a price more than $150.00 LESS than Sears for BF Goodrich TAs which turn out to be the newer model.  And they can have them on the van within the hour.  "Just bring it in and we'll take care of you."  And I did.  And they did. 

I've done business with Sears these last ten or so years because they tell me I can expect superior service for the price they charge.  I happily paid the price to get that service.  Sears has failed to deliver, and in fact, their service quality is below that I receive at places they say are inferior.  Sears will NEVER get another penny of business out of me.  In my line of work I have cause to recommend automotive choices to a lot of people, especially tires.  I have sent a lot of business Sears' way.  No more.  I'll do everything I can to make sure everyone I deal with understands just how bad Sears' service is.


  1. To Steve in TN,
    First allow me to apologize for not finding this post sooner. My name is Brian and I’m part of the Sears Cares Escalations team. I’m very sorry to hear about these issues you’ve had with the local Automotive service center. I’m also concerned about the communications you had with our Retail Customer care team. Was there another reason other than not calling you when the tires arrived that made you decide to cancel the order with us? I’m sure we could have had the tires on your minivan pretty quickly. Also, have you received your refund? If the systems were down, and we can’t verify the tires were not put on the minivan, unfortunately we have to wait until we can get a hold of the store for verification and that’s why I’m sure the Retail Care folks were unable to assist. This is not your fault, of course.
    I am glad that Sam’s had the tires in stock to put on your vehicle. We are concerned about what has happened and would like the opportunity to see if we can make this right for you and to assure you that these concerns are taken seriously. At your convenience, please contact my office via email at so we can address the issue once we have more information from you. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and we will call you directly. Also, please provide the screen name (Steve in TN) you used to post on this site, for reference to this issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.
    Thank you,

    Brian J.
    Senior Case Manager
    Sears Cares

  2. Good luck with this Steve. I have not had any such bad expericences with Sears, but I hope they show their sincerity when addressing this issue with you. As a consumer, we should be treated respectfully. In your case, having been run around with delays and initially useless costumer service, I would estimate that a fair treatment would be 50% of your next tire change. Free shipping if they need to order the tires from outside, or perhaps a $200 dollar gift certificate. In other words, it takes something significant like this to earn back a customer and I hope that is what they offer you. Good luck.


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