Sears couldn’t deliver my appliances. Now it won’t refund my $3,606

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Christopher Elliott

After Jamie Reynolds cancels her appliance orders from Sears, a representative promises her a prompt refund. But three months later, she’s still waiting. What can she do to get her money back?


I recently placed online orders for a refrigerator, washer and dryer with Sears. After weeks of stringing me along with delivery dates, Sears said they didn’t have the products I ordered, so I canceled by phone.

A representative told me I would receive a refund to my credit card within 7 to 10 business days. Since then, I’ve received a small refund (about $37) but nothing else. Sears can’t tell me why only one refund was processed but not the other.

It’s been more than three months. I’ve contacted the Better Business Bureau and have called Sears frequently. A supervisor recently promised to expedite my refund, but I still haven’t received the money. Can you help me get my $3,606 back from Sears? — Jamie Reynolds, Olustee, Okla.


Sears should have delivered your appliances promptly. And if it couldn’t, it should have refunded you promptly — with apologies.

That’s not what happened here. You had to pursue the company for delivery updates, and then when you finally canceled, it strung you along for your refund. The $37 it sent you (I’m not even sure what that was for) added insult to injury.

Appliances can take up to six weeks to ship, but you had waited more than three months before your patience ran thin. I reviewed the correspondence between you and Sears — and I should say, nice job on keeping all those emails and text messages — and it looks like the company just couldn’t figure out why your refund was delayed. In a text message, Sears claims it refunded the money to your credit card company which hasn’t posted the credit to your account.

I have a better idea: Why not wait to charge the customer until after you deliver the appliance? If Sears did that, you wouldn’t need to worry about a refund because there’d be nothing to refund.

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You could have reached out to one of the Sears executive contacts I publish on my consumer advocacy site, I think they would have been as concerned as I was about this delayed refund. But I think you had done enough already. I contacted Sears on your behalf. 

It turns out your order was a transfer sale to a HomeTown store, which is independently owner-operated. According to Sears, the HomeTown store first had to cancel and refund the sale. 

“They are a business operated separately from, so the agents with cannot cancel or refund the sale,” a Sears representative told me.

So why the delay? Sears was waiting on an update from a HomeTown case manager, who was out of the office.

Sears (via HomeTown) finally processed and sent you the rest of your refund.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

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