Sears Sucks

Insert disclaimer here, YMMV.

We recently needed to find a replacement refrigerator. So we checked with Consumer Reports and chose a model from a company that had a good repair record.

Once chosen, we began our search for a local business that sold this model. Note, those of you living on land locked locations can get heavy items like major appliances shipped to you via various carriers. We are not so lucky. So, we have to find a local dealer and buy from them, pay them to deliver it, pay them to install it, and pay them to take the old one away.

Anyway, we went first to Best Buy, but they didn’t have the model we wanted in stock (although it was available on their website, see shipping above). They did have an alternative that looked good, but it was out of stock and would not be in stock for awhile.

The next stop was, hawk spit, Sears. I should note we used to be loyal customers of Sears. All our major appliances were from them and all were covered by very expensive service plans. But the level of service has deteriorated, at all levels. Whether it was the sales person in the store or the service person that came to do repairs, each didn’t seem to realize or care that we were customers who paid thousands of dollars a year to Sears.

Still, we went to Sears and found the model we were looking for. And, it was on sale. But when I compared the sale price to the manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP), I realized the sale price was about $150 more than list price. Let me repeat myself. The Sears sale price was $150 over the MSRP! I asked the salesperson why this was so, but he said he didn’t know.

We very quickly left and went back to a place where we bought our air conditioners from – The Discount Store at 951 N. King Street in Honolulu. They didn’t have the model we wanted but did have something we could live with. And, delivery and nstallation was included in the price (which was not above MSRP). And they took the old one away (the refrigerator, that is (I’m looking at you Sjon)).

It is ironic that the two big stores either didn’t have what we wanted or wanted to charge us $150 more than MSRP while the little store in Kalihi gave us the best deal. I guess, sometimes, bigger isn’t better and that there are business opportunities for companies that give their customers what they want at a reasonable price.



2 responses to “Sears Sucks

  1. *looks around all innocent*
    What? Me?

    … *evil grin*

    Here in Flanders shops are required to take back the old ones (appliances that is). To counter that there is a ‘recycling tax’ added to the sales price. That tax has fixed ratings, ex for small separate computer parts (mouse keyboard, hardisk,…) it’s set at 0.40€.

    Usualy delivery if free but exceptions apply. For example if they cannot deliver because you are not home, or the street is blocked and they can’t reach your place with they lorry, or …, then you pay a ‘delivery charge’ (which should be a non-delivery charge but …ok.) but people usualy don’t argue about that.
    It’s not uncommon to sell above the MSRP but the difference usually is rather small. Thing is they usualy put a higher sticker on in the shop and then ‘gererously’ mark down the price while dong their sales talk.

  2. Don Armstrong

    Actually, there’s a sense of déjà vu about this post. Didn’t you post, a while ago, about being unable to get satisfactory service at major retailers for some major electrical or electronic purchase, then finding what you needed for better price and/or conditions at a smaller local business?