Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sears Customer Service; The Bedding Story From HELL!!

In one word, Sears Customer Service SUCKS

October 21st Nick and I bought a new mattress from Sears.  Since it's a bigger bed than what we have now, we needed to buy new bedding to fit it.  The bed wasn't scheduled to be delivered until November 1st, so we used the gift card we were given from Sears to purchase bedding online on October 24th.  It was set to be delivered on the same day as the mattress, so where it was going to be close, we knew we'd be good to go for when the bed arrived.

We received our bedding early, on October 27th.  That was the ONLY positive thing about this experience! The moment I opened the HUGE box, I knew something was wrong. To put a spin on a well-known Star Wars quote, "This isn't the bedding we were looking for"! This is a picture of what we ordered:

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And this is what we received:

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In all my years of online comfort shopping I've never received the wrong package.  I understand that mistakes happen, so I was ready to make an easy call to Sears, return my package to the local store, and have them fix the problem.  Little did I know this was just the beginning of the most RIDICULOUS "customer service" experience of my life.

I started by going to the Sears website to find a phone number for customer service.  I wanted to make sure I did the return the correct way.  Their website doesn't give you access to a phone number, because that would be too easy!  They have this service option where they bring someone on to "chat" with you about your problem, and then they try to help you fix it. It's really just a text conversation. So, even though I believe it's a much better idea to speak to an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING, I began a chat.  

I calmly explained my situation. I believe that you catch more flies with honey, so I always try to be polite to the people I'm talking to.  It's not their fault that something wrong happened.  Anyway...

I was told that I couldn't take the bedding back to the store and just have the new bedding ordered.  I have NEVER purchased something online from a store where I couldn't just take it back to the local store if there was something wrong and just reorder it right then and there. I was told that since it came from the Sears warehouse, they won't accept it inside the store.  SAY WHAT?!?  The only way to return it is to send it back through UPS to the warehouse in OHIO even though the bedding originally came from CALIFORNIA!  

This was not going to work for me.  Our mattress was scheduled to arrive in less than a week. It would take 5 days for the wrong bedding to get back to Ohio, another 3-5 business days for them to add the money back to the gift card, to RETURN THE EXTRA MONEY WE HAD TO PAY TO BEGIN WITH since the bedding cost more than $100, and then another 5 business days to get the correct bedding back to me!!  The last thing I was going to do was get a brand new mattress dirty by sleeping on it without bedding!  No thank you.  

I expressed to the person I was "chatting" with that I need that bedding.  They messed up, they should do everything they can to make this right.  The employee added notes to our "conversation" that due to their error, I would receive a 10% discount off the next order I placed. Then I was told that the only way to reorder the bedding that day was if I paid for it out of my pocket or wait until they receive the incorrect bedding back from me!  I understand that they want to make sure I'm not stealing their property by having me return it first, but that's what I wanted to do:  TAKE IT BACK TO THE STORE AND REORDER THE CORRECT BEDDING WITH THE GIFT CARD MONEY!!  I don't have any more was just spent on a mattress! That's why we were using the gift card to purchase the bedding!  10% off was a nice attempt to make this better, but it wasn't going to help me get my bedding before the mattress arrived!

After more than an hour "talking" with this person, I'd had enough.  I was ready to punch my computer screen and was tired of "chatting" with this person and was feeling like this:

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I decided to take the bedding to the local Sears store and see what an in-person customer service representative could do to help me.  

Still calm, remembering that the people inside the store aren't those who have made me crazy, I proceeded inside the store.  It took quite a while to find someone who could help me.  You'd think that in a store of that size they'd have more workers.  Maybe this is one of the many reasons this store is caving!  Eventually, a very nice boy helped me.  I call him a boy because I am easily twice his age...and now feeling old!  For over an hour he did all he could to help me.  He was stunned that this huge box was delivered WITHOUT A RECEIPT...don't even start me on that!  He called their corporate office, explained my situation and the mistake they'd made.  He completely agreed with me that this was ridiculous and even after spending ALL THAT TIME on the phone with the powers that be, I was still told the same stupid story about this bedding!  He did give me the number of the corporate office because there was NO WAY they weren't going to hear from me! 

The next morning, I called Sears' Corporate Office.  By this point, I was seriously ready to poke someone's eyes out with a fork, but I was as calm as I possibly could be and explained my situation to the nice lady on the phone. During the beginning of our conversation, the call dropped and she was gone. Great...just great. Fortunately about a minute later, she called me back and apologized...she hit the wrong button when she went to place me on hold.  After once again being told the same crap from the night before, I began to let my frustration show in my voice.  I mentioned that if I did order it again, I needed the bedding expedited to me so that I'd have it before, or on the day that the mattress arrived.  She told me that they could do that, but it would cost $80 to expedite it to me!  ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY KIDDING ME?!?  First they screw up my order, then they have this BEYOND RIDICULOUS return policy. If I wanted the bedding before the mattress arrives I have to pay for it again, or wait 3 weeks for this mess to be sorted out, and now they're telling me that if I do order it again, out of my pocket I HAVE TO PAY $80 FOR THEIR MISTAKE?  That was it. Stick a fork in me, because I WAS DONE!!  I told the lady that I would be returning the bedding and would purchase my bedding somewhere else; that this was the most ridiculous customer service experience I've ever had.  Apparently that declaration led her to put me on hold and see what else she could do.  A few minutes later she tells me that if I purchase the bedding again, they could take half off of the expedited fee...still charging me $40 to get it to me on time. Well, that just changed everything and made me want to order my bedding again! What a fabulous compensation for their mistake!!  She told me that was all they could do.  I laughed, told her that they need to rethink their return policies and hung up.

Having done all I could to express to them my frustration and pointing out that their customer service is awful, I focused on finding a bedding set for our mattress arriving the next Tuesday.  I called Target, Walmart, and a few other stores and we learned that stores around here don't sell California King bed sets in the actual store.  Great...just great.  I priced out bed sheets and discovered that simply buying another bedding set would cost the same amount as the sheets on their own, so I started looking around.  I found a bedding set online from Target.  Since we still had the problem of getting the sheets to us on or before the mattress, we had to pay to ship the bedding faster...thanks again, Sears.

Our bedding was to come via UPS on Tuesday;, the day the mattress was arriving.  When we received the Sears bedding the week before, the UPS man who delivered it left it in the complex main office since we weren't home and I picked it up there later.  I checked the tracking on the new Target bedding and it said that they attempted to deliver it, we weren't home, and they would make another attempt THE NEXT DAY!  What the...????  WHY DIDN'T THEY LEAVE IT IN THE OFFICE?!?  

By this time, I felt like this:

I called UPS on my lunch break and asked why it wasn't left in the office.  Apparently it's up to each individual driver to decide if they think where they're leaving the package will be a safe place.  Wait...the COMPLEX OFFICE isn't considered a safe place?!?  Once again trying to stay calm, but pretty much done with all this crap, I let the person know that we paid extra money to have this expedited to us and we need it TODAY!  I was told that they would deliver it again later that day, and leave it in the main office.  I was hoping that this mess would FINALLY be over.  Man, was I wrong.

I picked up the bedding when I got home and was thrilled that it arrived.  The mattress was set to be delivered by 7pm that night...we did it.  I began opening up the bedding and immediately noticed that something was wrong.  There was a comforter, bed skirt, pillow cases, and bed pillows, BUT NO FLAT AND FITTED SHEET, which is what I needed more than anything else!

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That was it.  I was done.  I had to actually start laughing or I would've ended up in a mental institution!  I looked at the bag the bedding came in and wanted to just throw up.  The package said it came with all the items I received, but never mentioned that there was a flat and fitted sheet inside.  WHEN DID BED SETS STOP INCLUDING FLAT AND FITTED SHEETS?!?  This one was my fault, plain and simply, but I will blame it on Sears just because they started this mess!!

By now the mattress was being put together and we still had no bedding.  Finally it occurred to me that we have a Bed, Bath, and Beyond nearby.  I don't shop there because it's very expensive, but by this point I was beyond desperate.  So I called them, and they have California King sheets!  I got there and wanted to die when I saw how much a flat and fitted California King sheet would cost me.  SERIOUSLY?!? Wow...just wow. The only good thing to come from that is that I received a 20% discount due to an app on my phone! 

FINALLY, after 9 days of stupidity, we had at least the two things we needed to keep our beautiful, new mattress, well...beautiful and clean!

The bedding from Sears made it back to Ohio the next day.  I called to verify it's arrival and to ask when we would be receiving the $100 gift card, and our extra money back.  It would take about 3 days for them to simply email a new gift card code to us, and another 3-5 days for the rest of our rebate.  Whatever.  As of yesterday morning we still hadn't received the email, so I "chatted" again with customer service.  They hadn't even started fixing the problem.  Let's just say they put it on the fast track and I received it later that day.  I was excited for this to FINALLY be over, for us to purchase the bedding that should've been here to begin with, and then return to bedding we bought from Target because it didn't have the sheets we needed...and because we could TAKE IT INTO THE STORE TO DO THAT!!!

Last night, I had my final "chat" with Sears customer service.  Our gift card email said that our balance was only $88, instead of the $100 we began with.  I was told that we don't get refunded shipping and handling, and taxes.  Once again, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?  I informed this person that there is a 10% discount that was gifted to me, and I wanted it applied to this order.  I also managed to get this person to not charge us shipping and handling since the card didn't really refund the entire $100, and they have screwed me over so many times during the past 9 days.  I stopped fighting it because with these two discounts, the bedding now cost less than the gift card, so we wouldn't have to pay anything out of pocket.

I gave the man all the correct information about the order, and the gift card number.  He began to place the order.  5 minutes later he comes back and tells me that the order won't go through on his side.  I have to order it from my end, give him the order number, and then he can apply the discount and take out the shipping fee.  So basically, I had to completely order the bedding using the $88 on the gift card, then pay for the shipping and handling, and the 10% I'm supposed to have discounted to me.  In another 3-5 BUSINESS DAYS that money will be refunded to me, along with the out of pocket money we spent on the FIRST PURCHASE!  

Luckily, I've now learned the hard way about the exclusion of a flat and fitted sheet, so I made sure to purchase a set that will match the bedding that had better be correct when it arrives!!!

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER again will I EVER purchase something from Sears. Their customer service is the biggest joke I've ever heard of, and I am just crossing my fingers that the bedding will be CORRECT this time, and that our money will be refunded WITHOUT me having to converse with this company again!!

Sears should really pay attention to this last meme.  There is so much truth to it.  Not only will I never shop there again, but I'm sharing this experience with as many people as I can to warn them of the stupidity of this company.  Apparently I'm not the only person this has happened to.  I've read many, many comments from people who have also had issues with Sears.

Have a great day, and here's to hoping that I'm done with this place!!  If I was a drinker, I'd be drunk as a skunk by now.  Since I'm not, I'll go eat some chocolate!!!