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November 9, 2015

This is How Sears Treats “Family and Friends” ?

Filed under: Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:22 am

One of the best sales (historically) at Sears is their “Family & Friends” promotion, which began yesterday and runs until Tuesday night online.

Sears Family and Friends

Seems pretty simple. You get an extra 5-20% off even sale prices, plus an extra 10% back in points. But note that there is a little “see details” link at the bottom. Clicking it displays the following disclaimer:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Family and Friends details

For anyone counting, that disclaimer is over 1500 words and almost six feet long! No shopper has the patience to read that, and as a result may well wind up without all the savings or bonuses expected depending on what they buy and how they pay.

To make matters worse, the extra 10% back in points offer is potentially misleading. The big print is perfectly clear that Shop Your Way members get a bonus of an extra 10% back in points. On a large purchase, like a $1500 television, that is $150 in points, good for $150 in other merchandise. Nothing to sneeze at. And most of the small print reiterates the unqualified bonus points back offer. But, near the end, there is a mention that 10% back in points requires the use of a Sears credit card and is limited to only the first $500 of purchases.

A Shop Your Way representative said that the 10% back offer is for credit cardholders only. But, a Sears.com representative said that the 10% back in points promotion is a separate offer from the 10% back credit card offer, but warned that those bonus points do NOT show up when you checkout. Well, which is it? We wrote to a Sears PR person about this whole situation, and he responded just before midnight on Sunday:

“It appears there was an inadvertent error with a Sears friends and family online ad. The ad has been updated. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

And lo and behold, apparently sometime before midnight after the first day of the sale was over, Sears changed its website. All references to an extra 10% back in points in that ad were removed.

revised F&F ad

And they shortened their disclaimer to just under three feet!

A hat-tip to Sears for making the correction. But now the bigger question… for everyone who made purchases relying on that advertisement, will Sears make good and give them an extra 10% back in points as promised?

Stay tuned.

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10 Comments

  1. Who actually thinks up all this stuff!?

    Comment by Aeneas — November 9, 2015 @ 10:47 am
  2. Great work. Yes, Sears should have initially advertised the correct information, but at least they were quick to change the information to what they intended.

    I would like to hear that people who were mislead by the initial ad received the extra points even if that wasn’t intended.

    Comment by Wayne R — November 9, 2015 @ 11:27 am
  3. A very timely story for me as I have been watching a Kenmore stainless steel dishwasher at Sears for a couple of months. In that time the price (purported retail, $879), has bounced around from $499 to $699, to $629, back to $499 and presently, $475. There is also an online coupon around for $50 off a Kenmore appliance over $399 which one might think would bring the price down $50. But, no. Using the coupon produces a discount of $475 to $440 for a coupon value of just $35. I won’t even mention the earlier “free” installation offer which somehow cost the buyer money. Or that the Sears points expire after a few weeks so you have to rush back to Sears to buy something.

    It is all too confusing for me. Think I’ll look at another brand at another store.

    Edgar replies: Howard, most of my major appliances have come from Sears. What you are doing is absolutely right… tracking their prices and offers for the same item. Striking at exactly the right time is always the challenge. Most of the Sears coupons for $50 off are for a purchase of $499 or higher, not $399 or higher, incidentally.

    Comment by Howard — November 9, 2015 @ 12:27 pm
  4. Tracking the price I called sears on a 55inch TV and asked “what is the out the door price” and “how much in promotion points”. I received different answers. Mostly the “sale” price during friends and family was more than the normal price. I do not rely on their “on sale” gimmick. If they want my business, just lower the price by giving instant on the spot redeemable promotion points.

    Comment by tom gauvin — November 9, 2015 @ 12:49 pm
  5. It is stuff like this that will only kill the company off.

    Comment by Richard — November 9, 2015 @ 4:14 pm
  6. I stopped shopping at Sears more tan 20 years ago because of this kind os stuff. This company was one the be all and end all of family retailers; however, today watch out they are no friend of families now!! Shame.

    Comment by Mr Lou J Apa — November 10, 2015 @ 11:08 am
  7. We gave up shopping at both Sears and Kmart several years ago because of issues like this. First was at Sears with a chainsaw and the new chains they sold (next to it) did not fit the saw! They were one link too long and the correct ones had to be “ordered” for a higher price.
    Then at Kmart during the summer clearance. Twice there were people in front of me with a cart full of children’s clothing from the $1 clearance rack. Magically several items would not come up as $1 and a manager would be called. They would check and yep those items were on the “wrong” rack and would negotiate a price between what came up on the tag and $1. All the while the lines were getting longer! When the same setup happened the 2nd time we decided to never return, because to us it was clearly Not a mistake.

    Comment by Nancy — November 10, 2015 @ 11:22 am
  8. re Nancy

    About the clearance table items that weren’t $1. I wouldn’t necessarily blame the retailer. Custtomers may have selected items from the regular priced racks, walked by the clearance table, found something they liked better and put the regularly priced item on the clearance table. Surely you have walked through a store (any store) and found many times that were nowhere near their respective rack. Sometimes kids will pick up a toy and carry it around until a parent sees it, takes it sway, and puts it on a nearby shelf.

    I am not saying that the retailer is never to blame in this matter, but, give some slack. There are only so many store employees to go around and put misplaced items back in their place. A lot of times, it is done toward the end of the day. Look at the “go-backs” from the cashiers. Same thing. A lot of items are set aside while waiting in the checkout line, too.

    If the individual items were labeled “clearance” and didn’t ring up the correct price, then that’s the store. I’d like to think it was an error in the pricing cash register system, but stores (any store) have been known to purposely mislabel items.

    Comment by bobl — November 10, 2015 @ 1:23 pm
  9. I bought a large appliance recently and got a $50 points-“discount” from the sale price that had been jacked up $50. However, I had to spend the “discount” points ONLY in the large appliance department on another large appliance, and I had to do it within two weeks. What a ripoff! I will never shop there again and told the sales clerk that, and also told the person who called a week afterward checking to see how I liked the appliance. No wonder Sears is having to close stores!

    Comment by Judyann — November 11, 2015 @ 11:43 pm
  10. bobl

    I tried to be clear. The manager would go check the $1 racks and find that the items were indeed on that rack. As in there were more of them and in different sizes.

    I do understand that mistakes happen and people plop things down in the wrong place. In neither of these instances did that appear to be what happened.

    Comment by Nancy — November 16, 2015 @ 12:58 pm

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