December 17, 2012
To Whom It May Concern:
I am in urgent need of your assistance. The following chain of events involves an order that I placed on Kmart.com on November 23rd 2012 (black Friday). After reviewing the facts, I’m sure that you will understand my frustration and concern:
November 23, 2012• Attempted to order over 40 items which was reduced to 27 items due to out of stock sale items. My "shopping cart" spontaneously emptied throughout the day causing me to lose out on several "early bird" specials.
• Unable to access checkout function due to widespread system problems. I was informed of the problems by a company agent and told to "keep trying". At this point I was concerned about the ability to shop at the sales prices that were not valid the next day. The agent spoke to her supervisor and said that there would not be a problem honoring the sale prices because they were very aware of the system issues preventing customers from ordering
• Succeeded in placing the order about 3 hours later, after another 16 attempts. Several hours later I received an email stating that my credit card had been rejected, which made no sense to me because of my familiarity of the available credit. Followed the directions and used another card to pay, which was approved.
Saturday, November 24, 2012• Received an order confirmation however, the price of the order had gone up by $70. Upon further investigation, I found the increase was because my 10% off coupon and my free shipping had not been applied. Called the customer service line and spoke to an agent. I was placed on hold for over 10 minutes because the agent said that he had to adjust each item individually. The agent then informed me that he was not able to process the adjustment because the order was already at a different stage in the process. He told me that it would take between 36 and 72 hours to adjust because the department that handled it was back logged. He confirmed that I would receive an email confirmation along with the adjusted order total.
• A couple of hours later, I received an email stating that the order was cancelled. I placed another call to an agent who told me that several of the items that I ordered were out of stock, including several "black Friday only" specials. While searching for replacement items I found the items that I originally ordered were still visible online along with the black Friday prices. When I inquired about this, I was told that the company allocates a certain quantity of items to be sold at the lower price. She also said that I could purchase the items at full price, but if I tried to order them at the discounted price they would be cancelled from the order. When I questioned this policy I was told that the computer is slow and has not caught up yet with the pricing.
• The agent then confirmed that she saw a note about the price adjustments and she recorded my order for the 5 replacement items. When processing my credit card, it was rejected. We then tried 5 other cards that were rejected. On our last attempt my debit card was rejected. Knowing that this was impossible I asked the agent to hold while I connected with my online banking service.
• My online banking record showed eleven separate charges made by Sears/Kmart. Each of these charges were for a different amount, triggering a fraud alert. Simultaneously, my husband was embarrassed as our card was rejected at the supermarket, and then again in front of my son’s friends parents at a Karate studio.
• At this point, the agent was aghast at what went on, and I explained that I wanted to end the call and contact my bank. The bank lifted the fraud alert, which took several hours to clear, restricting my use to make planned purchases and pay bills online for the rest of the day.
• I called Kmart back and requested that they cancel my entire order. The order had been placed about 16 hours prior. The agent said that they noted the order and once again, the department was backed up and I would not hear from them for 24 to 36 hours.
Sunday, November 25, 2012• I was skeptical because of the agents tone when I requested the cancellation, and I called Saturday night and twice on Sunday, as well as "chatting" online with an agent. Each time I was assured that the note was in the system.
• I emailed the Senior Vice President of Customer Service and to the CEO. The CEO never responded. Three days later the SVP responded and told me thatthere was nothing she could do. I could return all 17 boxes separately to Sears and Kmart stores (even though the purchase was made with Kmart.com. This would involve a tremendous amount of time on my part as their dotcom returns take a while to process. It would also involve travel in opposite directions from my home. She also gave me the option of returning the items via UPS, however, I would be responsible to pay for shipping, which would run about $70. Neither option was acceptable to me.
Monday, November 26, 2012• I began receiving email notifications that parts of my order had shipped! vI called UPS and asked for options. They said that Kmart could "void" the shipment and when the packages were scanned at pickup they would be rejected. I called Kmart and explained the entire situation to the agent said that there was nothing she could do. She was not authorized to void the shipment and that no one at customer service had the authority to do so. I asked her for options and she said a supervisor would have to call me back. The call never came.
• Once again, I contacted UPS and inquired about my options. They said that I could place a note on my door to refuse shipments, but that because of their seasonal help, it would probably result in other packages being refused as well and could likely leave me without any packages from other merchants. They also said that it wasn’t a good option as mass merchants generally take a long time to rectify and credit the buyer on refusals.
• I contacted by bank and requested that they dispute the charges for me. They explained that a Visa dispute takes 30 days to rectify and that they would begin the process.
• I attempted to call the CEO’s office and was not allowed through. I was transferred to their executive customer service team and was assigned a case number. Agent Gabby Rodriguez told me that she would call me back. She left a message on Tuesday stating that the Kmart team didn’t respond and she would send them another message.
• Over the next 9 days I called and left messages for Gabby to return my call. Three of the agents at the executive offices disconnected the call after I explained the entire story to them. Several other agents told me my onlyoption was to return the packages at my expense or bring them back to the stores and wait on line. Gabby hasnever returned my calls. .
As a working mother of a six year old boy my time is very limited, which is why I opted to shop online and complete my Christmas shopping in one transaction. I suffer from severe back problems and do not have the time, space or mobility to put 17 boxes into my car, wait on line and suffer through their inefficient return process. I have just begun a temporary job and after 3 years of unemployment I do not have the money to return the packages at my expense.
This situation has put a serious damper on my ability to enjoy the holiday. Sears/Kmart’s disgraceful lack of accommodating their customers in any capacity is truly remarkable. I simply want them to issue a call tag to have UPS come to my home and pickup the items at their expense. Your agency is the last recourse that I have to help me. I am truly at the end of my rope and have no idea what else I can do to get them to respond favorably.
Monetary Loss: $500.