Sears Informative - How In-store Pick Up Works for Sears.com
COLORADO -- I work at Sears in the receiving department. I know firsthand how frustrating, misleading, and stressful buying products at Sears.com for in-store pickup can be. I have read numerous complaints on this website and on others about the "Bait and Switch" tactics of Sears.com.
This is how the process works...
When a customer purchases an item from Sears.com, a request is sent to a receiving associate via a palm-pilot like device. The receiving associate then goes to the floor and looks for the item. If the item is located, then the associate clicks "Yes" on the palm-pilot, puts the item in an area to be picked up later, a message is sent to Sears.com to tell the customer that the item is ready to be picked up, and the customer is charged.
Now, that's how it works when the item is located. The mess starts when the item is out of stock or isn't even carried by that store. The receiving associate then has to contact a store manager. The store manager double-checks to make sure the item is not available. If the item is still not found then the manager contacts the customer to inform them that the item they purchased is unavailable but that certain substitutions are available or the item can be ordered in. Once the manager has called the customer, the receiving associate is obligated to answer "Yes, the item was located and stored for the customer." EVEN IF IT WASN'T!
We have to say "Yes." When we say yes, the customer is charged and our store receives the sales amount. So, we're basically stealing from the customer until we cancel the order. We're breaching the sales contract. The customer is charged and holds their end of the agreement, but Sears does not and will not have an item available for them to pick up (breaching our end of the agreement).
It is also a "Bait and Switch" scheme. If we don't have the item the manager has to find a substitution, which is almost always more expensive, and no discount is offered.
My hands are tied, and it's frustrating. We have to say "yes" to all sears.com orders. Every store is graded on it, and it's corporate management that mandates that we have to say "yes."
I am as customer oriented as they come. I will go out of my way and then some to please a customer. I try to find ways around the devious system Sears has set up, but most of the time I'm forced to conform to their misleading tactics.
It's very frustrating this time of year because customers are buying gifts online, they receive an email telling them their item is ready to be picked up, they think they're done shopping for Christmas gifts, they go to the store to pick up the item and we don't have it. I have witnessed several customers panic about the situation this puts them in, and like I said, there's nothing I can do about it.
I would like to see a change in corporate policy for Sears.com orders. My complaints don't go very far up the corporate ladder, but they have to listen to the thousands of consumers that feel cheated, defrauded, and mislead with "Bait and switch" sales tactics that focus on making the sale at the expense of customer satisfaction and service. PLEASE!! Contact your local Sears stores, write an email to sears.com, or write a letter directly to the CEO about this. It needs to get fixed and only the consumers can do it!