Sears Did The Right Thing

So there I was this Monday having breakfast with my folks at a local restaurant when my Mom told me that the new stove she had bought from Sears was not the one she thought it was when it was delivered and installed. What she was expecting was a stove with a convection oven and what she received was a standard stove. It turns out that she told the salesperson that she was looking to buy a convection oven and when they looked at different options somehow she chose a model that was cheaper (turns out cheaper because it was without the convection oven). Somehow my Mom lead the salesperson to believe that price was the bigger issue and he wasn’t clear that what she was getting didn’t have what she was looking for in the first place.

When the new stove was installed my Mom couldn’t find the convection controls and so she called the store and found out she now owned something she didn’t want and that to get the stove she wanted would cost more for the difference in price and a restocking fee of $140. That just didn’t seem right to me but I knew that Sears would be within their rights to insist that it work that way. After all, it is the customers ultimate responsibility to know what they are buying isn’t it? To me though it seems, if you own a business that it is your job is to make sure your customers are completely satisfied and not to penalize them when they aren’t.

So I visited the store and explained that my parents didn’t want to rock the boat and would live with the stove they now had if need be. I asked her though:  “considering they really thought what they were buying was a convection oven, couldn’t they just return the oven and pay the difference in price, and not the restocking fee?” To make a long story short Sears said, “Yes!”

My Mom will get the stove she wanted for the extra money and not be charged a $140 restocking fee. What does Sears get? They get my parents return business, my business and my willingness to tell people about a great customer experience with their company. This is one of those situations where the company didn’t really do anything wrong so it wasn’t obligated, morally or otherwise, to keep the customer happy. Sears saw the bigger picture though and invested in their customer. That investment will pay dividends down the road and companies of all sizes can learn a lesson from this experience. I’m pretty sure my Mother will be certain of what she is buying the next time she shops at Sears, but the point is there will certainly be a next time.

Thanks for doing the right thing Sears!

14 replies
  1. Scott says:

    I had a bad experience with Sears. Will make this as brief as possible in point form 🙂

    1.) Ordered an item from their catalog on my MasterCard
    2.) Went to pick item up. Mastercard no longer existed. I had cut it up, but the card was still active
    3.) They wouldnt release product without actual credit card
    4.) I offered to pay with a different card OR Cash OR Debit.
    5.) They refused. Would not give me the product. I returned with my credit card statement showing the purchase.
    6.) They still refused to let me PURCHASE the product. Instead I went to Canadian Tire and bought (what turned out to be a better/cheaper version)
    7.) Sears shipped the product back to their warehouse and lost the sale
    8.) Sears lost a customer.

  2. Dave T says:

    !8 months after buying an $800 front loading washing machine from Sears, I spent another $500 getting it repaired. Much pleading with Sears to ‘do the right thing’ resulted in no action, no apology, and no satisfaction. The upshot of this experience is that we will never deal with Sears again. Their loss…

  3. Janet Blair says:

    I’m most impressed that you handled the circumstance with respect, a positive attitude, and a possible solution that Sears was willing to concur with.

    Always great to hear that there are people that “just do the right thing.”

    Thanks for your post, Dave.


  4. Kitty Darst says:

    Yahoo for Sears! For years, I have shopped there for assorted items and not once has there been a problem – ever.

  5. Tom & Monica says:

    So do you think that just possibly the Sears folk know the power of the “Maxwell” pen !!!!!!

  6. Alex M. says:

    I wish my experience with Sears had been this congenial. Bought a dishwasher and it kacked out two months from the end of warranty. It took almost 4 months of letters, phone calls and threat of legal action to get some sort of action. That was 3 years ago. When the washing machine went on the fritz, we started again. Gotta say, I’m hearing nothing…
    Maybe if I borrowed your Taylor Guitar?

  7. Chris London says:

    In this new WalMart world of racing to the bottom on price and customer service, Sears has continued to wage war using service instead of price. They may cost a bit more, but they have customer service, and that is still worth something to me!

  8. Johanna says:

    I had a similar such experience with Sears but more with a stove that didn’t work.

    We had just had the most horrific experience building our dream home (totally different story) that took 14 months to build but now that we were finally in our home with our new appliances that we purchased all from Sears, I was anxious to try out my new convection oven. The only problem was it took 45 min to cook a pizza that should have taken 20 min.

    Long story short after numerous attempts to find the problem with the oven, even replacing it with another exactly the same, I said I don’t want it! They took back the 2nd one.

    I then went into the saleswoman with documentation in hand and my story of wow over the last 6 months of oven problems saying I would really like an oven that works. The only other model that fit our description was $350 more. I gave her a blank stare, saying nothing for about 2 min., she then proceeded to say “but in light of all that you have been thorough with two defective ovens we can call it even”.

    Now that too was customer service and is why I will continue to purchase from Sears as well.

  9. Deanna says:

    Glad to hear. I’ve ordered various appliances through Sears, for my home, and workplace. I’ve never had anything but wonderful service from them, and even lovely delivery people! I’ve only ever had great salespeople too, come to think of it. I know most of my family and friends shop at Sears for major appliances, and not once have I heard a complaint (which is not true of other stores, let me tell you). I’m glad to hear Sears is doing a wonderful job across the country, and they definitely seem to know the meaning of good customer service!

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