I am not one to generally “slam” businesses, but this particular one is worth taking note of. Why? Because after many many years of being a loyal customer, I have been hit with the realization that their business practices have taken a drastic change – for the worst.
For several years I have been recommending Sears to *everyone*, primarily because of their unique “KidVantage” program. The KidVantage program supposedly offers free replacement on children’s clothing items if they wear out before they are outgrown. This obviously has great appeal to a large families, especially those with four rough-and tumble-boys. Ironically, I have never actually had to return anything, and I guess that’s a good thing!
Sears used to be all about “Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed”. My husband actually worked for Sears for several years as a college student, and can attest to the fact that customer satisfaction was indeed the top priority. This is why I have put my trust in this company; feeling confident that they would do right by us, the consumers. Apparently I was putting faith in a company that no longer exists – the “Old Sears”.
Here is how this revelation came about.
Every year I purchase new pajamas for each of the children as a Christmas Eve gift. It is one of our traditions. And this year was no exception. Two weeks ago last Saturday we did just that — at our local Sears store. The pajamas were half off and boys’ jeans were on sale for $15 a pair, so we made a fairly substantial purchase, putting the jeans in layaway and buying the pajamas outright.
In the time that followed, I found a pair of pajamas for little Rey that I thought he’d like much better, so we decided to return his pair of pajamas. The pajamas were still in their original bag with tags still attached. The receipt was missing (I don’t think we ever GOT the receipt to begin with, honestly, because where would it be, if not in the bag?) But it’s Sears, after all, so no problem, right? WRONG!
We walked into the Sears store on Saturday, exactly two weeks after making the purchase. We told the clerk that the pajamas were bought two weeks ago for half price and we’d like to return them. We were told we couldn’t, without a receipt. We told the clerk to look them up via KidVantage, for proof that we did indeed purchase them. She said they had “no way of doing that”. (Well then, what is the whole PURPOSE of the KidVantage program to begin with?! They “can’t” look up your purchases?!) Rob then asked to speak to a manager.
The manager scanned the UPC on the pajamas, which still rang up the sale price of $12.50, exactly what we had paid. He then proceeded to tell us that without a receipt he could only offer us $2.50 for them. WHAT?!!! For something that was still in the original bag with the original tags that was just bought and was still ringing up for what we paid for them??!!! No thank you!
Target, which is notorious for it’s shameful return policy, will at least give you the price that the item is ringing up!
When Rob expressed his disgust and asked what happened to “Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed”, he was told by the manager (no kidding), “That was the Old Sears.”
The “New Sears” then, has just lost the hundreds of dollars of annual business of a growing family of twelve — over $10.
Be cautious, folks. If you are spending your hard-earned money at this company, depending on the KidVantage program and good customer service, don’t. Turn to Kohl’s instead.