What happened to Sears ? Part 2 Legal issues (useful for everyone)
Sears Outlet Return Policy
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- If someone hasn’t had a chance to read my previous complaint regarding my purchase of a defective refrigerator from Sears Outlet, it’s not a big deal. Here is the bigger issue: I wanted to return it immediately, but I was told that appliances bought from Sears Outlet are subject to repair only, unless a Sears Product Repair Technician determines that the appliance is not repairable!
Oops! I wish I knew it before I bought it. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some legal issues. It might be very useful for everyone:
“California law requires that retailers who have a policy of not providing a cash refund, credit or exchange when an item is returned with proof of purchase within 7 days of purchase must inform consumers about their refund policies by conspicuously placing a written notice about their policies, in language that consumers can understand, so that it can be easily seen and read. The policy must be displayed either at each entrance to the store, at each cash register and sales counter, on tags attached to each item, or on the company's order forms, if any. A return policy printed only on a receipt, for example, is not sufficient. If a store violates this law (California Civil Code section 1723), the purchaser can return an item for a full refund within 30 days of purchase”. (Copied from California Attorney General’s Return Polices web page http://oag. ca.gov/consumers/general/refund_policies)
Unfortunately at Sears Outlet I did not see any sign regarding their Return Policy - neither on the item, nor at the cash register or entrance. None of the employees ever mentioned the terms of the Return Policy to me.
I believe that Sears Outlet Return Policy sign must be written something like: “Sears Outlet has a policy of not providing any refunds or exchanges unless a Sears Product Repair Technician determines that the appliance is not repairable " or "The sales are final". Is it understandable? Yes, it is, but it was not there.
The part of my receipt which called the Customer Solution Commitment states: Return Policy-Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back. We will be happy to accept your "In Warranty" returned product after a product Repair Technician has determined the product is not repairable…...Our goal is that you are completely satisfied with your purchase. If for any reason you are not satisfied, simply return your purchase in its original packaging....
First of all, it is not clear what is going to happen if product is repairable. What if I don’t want it to be repaired? I am assuming that as soon as their goal for me to be completely satisfied I have a right to simply return the product according to their own Policy, even if “Sears will not be happy” to accept my returned product after a product Repair Technician has determined the product is repairable.
Sears Outlet sells the previously returned items. Of course, it’s in their best interest to get rid of this items under any circumstances. That’s the point of the Return Policy they have. Besides the fact that I've never seen Sears Outlet Return Policy anywhere but on my receipt, I was not even able to understand the “language” they used. Sears Outlet Return Policy written on my receipt is vague in order to keep their customers in the dark. If I would have known the real terms of Sears Outlet’s Return Policy, I would never even entered the store!
In cases like mine most people will give up and keep the item they bought. That’s what Sears is counting on. I am not going to. I believe that my rights as a consumer have been violated as well as California Civil Code.