• Report: #531522

Complaint Review: Sears, Roebuck And Co.

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  • Submitted: Tue, December 01, 2009
  • Updated: Tue, December 01, 2009

  • Reported By: Christina — Olathe Kansas United States of America
Sears, Roebuck And Co.
Metcalf Ave Overland Park, Kansas United States of America

Sears, Roebuck And Co. Sears, Roebuck, and Company, Kenmore Elite #13189 Dishwasher, Deceptive Advertising Practices Overland Park , Kansas

*Consumer Comment: Hmmm

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Our dishwasher stopped functioning correctly on 11/23/09, and starting on 11/25/09 we began to shop for a new one knowing that Sears was running a sale on Kenmore's on Black Friday. We decided between two Kemore models on 11/25, one in particular being item # 13189. I spoke to the sales person, I think his name was Dwayne, who told us this model would be marked down from approximately $1100 to $820, and that the Elite models had a full rebate on installation. We weighed our options and decided that the Kenmore Elite would be the best investment of the two products, and I asked the sales associate how many were currently available in stock as to make sure we would be able to purchase one on Black Friday. The sales associate advised us that Sears does not have appliances located on premise and he could not tell us how many were in stock. With that being said, I thought, and said to the sales associate, that Sears would adequately stock this item as to project the type of response you would have to the advertising of this product. Dwayne stated (our sales rep), that he would be in at 10 p.m. on Friday and we decided to come back on Black Friday in order to purchase the product.


We arrived at Sears, on Black Friday, at approximately 11 p.m. in order to complete the transaction. Upon walking into the store we found that the dishwasher was not marked down to $820, but approximately $649 (at first the additional discount made us happy). When Dwayne began to submit our order we found that the item was no completely out of stock. I was more than disappointed for several reasons: 1) We were told the wrong sales price, and if we had been told the correct one we would have shown up at the store earlier because a 40% discount would make me believe the appliance would sell out faster 2) This is not the first time I have had this happen with Sears, and have been told by previous Sears employees that Sears notoriously does this to customers, or runs big ad's on items that they do not have a good quantity in stock, then the employees switch the customer to another item (as far as a am concerned this is bait and switch).


I've taken law coursework in college,  and I am well aware that when an ad is run that the business needs to anticipate response and keep enough in stock, or I would think relay to the public how many they have available (typically via advertising) and most will at least let the customer know how many are available through the warehouse. I would also think if they had limited numbers in stock this amount would be advertised, and with this deep of a discount they would limit the amount of purchases per customer in order to keep builders and investment property owners from coming in and buying huge quantities for their properties. This was not the case, and as I said I had this happen before when doing business with Sears several years prior to this and at that time I did not know of this regulation when it comes to advertising a product (although the sales rep at the time that sold me my Kenmore washer and dryer several years prior alluded to this advertising regulation, and said Sears notoriously advertises a product heavily and keeps about 12 in stock so the sales rep upgraded me another model for the same price as the initial one I wanted). I would imagine she did this in order to avert an AA and BBB complaint.


I asked to speak to a store manager on Black Friday, and waited for about 10 minutes for one to show up. While waiting, I decided to write down the details of the model as to have all the pertinent information for the attorney general and BBB report I planned to file. As I was attempting to write down the information a female sales person came over to the item, and proceeded to attempt to walk away with the information I was writing down. I stopped her and told her I needed the information on the paper she was taking away, and she curtly replied "this item is sold out" as if taking away that information was going to make a difference considering previous paperwork about prices, as well as the model number were still there (example, item #13189 listed at $749, another behind it at $849, etc). I personally think she was taking it away because the store did not want me to write down the needed information, and I say this because the other papers with previous prices were not taken away, and a "sold out" tag was not placed in the area of the dishwasher.


We finally had the opportunity to speak to a department manager, I think his name was Toby, and voiced our concerns with Sears. His attitude was flippant and he tried to make it sound like I did not know what I was talking about, probably because there were other customers present (many of which nodded their heads at me as though they had had previous experiences similar to ours). The department manager and the sales person never attempted to sell us another unit, and we promptly left the store to go to Nebraska Furniture Mart. Not what I wanted to do.


When we arrived at Nebraska Furniture Mart we were pleasantly surprised. We found a Kitchen Aid that was discounted severely, and was in stock. Our sales person was extremely knowledgeable and their Kitchen Aid's were priced better than Sears. The experience was wonderful. The sales rep at Nebraska Furniture Mart told us she used to work for Sears and became tired of the way things were handled (see prior complaint) and left the organization. She advised me they Nebraska Furniture Mart averts attorney general complaints by keeping more in stock than they advertise, something which Sears does not do or even allows their customers to know how many are in stock. Im fairly sure this sales rep knows of Sears sleazy business practices.


I am so very disappointed with my experience and do not plan on shopping with Sears again. With that being said, I really wanted to purchase from Sears because they are not a superstore like organization like Nebraska Furniture Mart. I typically do not mind spending a little more for an item in order to avoid environments like that because I feel they hurt other businesses by selling at low prices, high volume, and not compensating their employees like they should which leads to marginal customer service. I was more than surprised that our customer service experience was far better with Nebraska Furniture Mart. Here is something for Searss management to think about. When you have a product that is similar, or the same, as the competition and your sales and labor price is typically higher all you have to lean on is your sales staff's ability to be more knowledgeable and to deliver top notch customer service. It's pitiful that Nebraska Furniture Mart out did Sears in both, and pricing as an added bonus.


Since then I have tried to contact Sears store manager, I think his name is Dewayne as well, numerous times, and his extension just rings and rings. Ive sent an electronic e-mail to Sears customer service voicing my opinion, and have filed an Attorney General report, a BBB report, as well as a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. If anyone else out there has had the same problems with Sears as we have, I suggest you do the same. If this is indeed what they are doing it is unlawful, unethical, and their business practices need to be looked into by the U.S. Government.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/01/2009 01:12 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sears-Roebuck-And-Co/Overland-Park-Kansas-66210/Sears-Roebuck-And-Co-Sears-Roebuck-and-Company-Kenmore-Elite-13189-Dishwasher-Dece-531522. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Susan - (USA)

So Sears Black Friday started at 4am and you didn't show up until "approximately 11 p.m." then wonder why the item was sold out. 

Did you think you were the only person shopping for a dishwasher?  Sorry to bash your "law coursework in college" but it obviously didn't teach you about supply and demand. 

Sears might have had 50,000 of those dishwashers and if 50,000 people bought them before you showed at 11pm, how is that the stores fault? 

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