Unsavory Business Practices
ARKANSAS -- I have been a faithful Sears credit card holder for 28 years without ever having a problem; always paying my bill in a timely fashion. I have purchased Sears products from major appliances, furniture, home services to auto repair without ever having a problem with Sears. That is why when I learned Sears had started a vacation plan service, I went on the Searsvacations.com website and saw they offered a vacation layaway program. I had to call in for further information. In doing so, the representative reiterated that they were Sears and I could use my Sears card to pay for the $999 layway package in an installment plan but could begin using the plan once receiving my "kit" (vacation certificates).It consisted of both a resort vacation and a cruise. Because I was told I was dealing with Sears I felt assured I would be in good hands. BIG MISTAKE! I signed up for membership with the representative and also referred my daughter who also signed up that day. This was on 03/04. It has been a nightmare ever since. We were planning a family vacation to Hawaii set for Aug to visit my sister and her son's family who we hadn't seen for 15 years. It was going to be a once in a lifetime vacation as their layaway plan would allow all of us, including my grandchildren to go without having to pay all at once. I was told by the agent from the outset, pending availability, there would no problem doing this and that they book vacations anywhere like any other travel agency. Soon after I received my package in the mail, I started making my Hawaii vacation plans for August with Registry Vacations on 3/23. Below are the events of this as they occurred:
3/23 - started the reservation request process for 2 units at a resort based on being told those units were available. Only at that time was I told that it would take 3-5 business days for final confirmation. All at the same time, I was told there was a computer shutdown and they were unable to complete my request
3/25 - computer issue resolved but were still unable to complete my request because they could not find my daughter's vacation pkg info. Another 2-3 day delay
3/27 - Finally my request was placed, I made the required additional payment using my AMEX and thought everything was set, (particularly since I was told there were still 3 or 4 of the particular units I wanted still available
4/5- Request denied- units not available for the August dates requested - However, this was not what was originally told to me after having waited 10 days to get this denial when their policy was that it takes between 3-5 days
4/6 - Placed a 2nd request again based on what the agent told me was available in Aug. I even went so far as to change the dates and lower my room accommodations. Waited another 5 business days, charged on my CC the additional fee only to learn again the request was again denied. The agent's final words to me now was that there was in nothing available in Aug. that met my specifications and I would have to travel elsewhere using them or make Hawaii reservations through other means. UNACCEPTABLE!
At this point, and after all this time had elapsed due to no fault of mine, I'm totally frustrated. The grandkids are very upset and disappointed. So After hearing this, on 4/14 I went ahead and made plans using another source. It took all if 45 minutes to make my Hawaiin reservations on my own. It's both interesting and curious that I was able to get exactly what I was looking for and they couldn't. It has become clear that this agency is not Sears as they represented themselves to me to be. And this agency can't or is not willing to honor the service they committed themselves to being able to provide in advertisement and verbal communication under the guise of Sears. As a result, I have requested to cancel the membership via their Membership Dept. which I was told I had to do. In speaking with someone there, she was very sympathetic to my issue. And after reading all my notes verified all the facts I have expressed to you here. Her response was that somone else would call me shortly and be better able to solve the problem. That person did call but did nit say he would cancel my membership, to the contrary, he mentions my membership could not be cancelled after 10 days. This was the first ever hearing this from anyone; never told when I first signed up. But even so, why am I being penalized for how they run their operations. I had no control over computer shutdowns, lost information and having to wait an entire 10 days for a request confirmation. It makes you wonder if these delays were purposely created!! But again, he too passed the buck by saying someone else would call me today. Haven't received that call! I still haven't been able to speak to anyone who will definitively cancel my membership whereby I will not be financially obligated for a service that they, obviously, cannot provide or offer some fair alternative to this unfortunate situation. So far, I've just been getting what I have been getting, more of the same, THE RUNAROUND! I appreciate your time and anything Sears can do to resolve this matter quickly and without consequence to me.
Thank you, Jerri Adams.