by Carol H. - Posted Fri November 19, 2010 @ 10:40 AM
On Thursday, November 18, I received a Sears advertisement in my daily newspaper. It was for a "Black Friday" sale on November 19. A prominent item featured on the front page was a refrigerator for an amazing price of $699 for a model that usually costs $1499. Since I have been looking for a new refrigerator, I was very interested in this advertisement. I went on-line and found the model and discovered it was the right size and that it had every feature I was looking for. Since the ad contained some small print saying that they would only sell as many as they had in stock (approx. 4 per store) I decided to call Sears and check on the availability of this model. The phone was answered by the call center. They said that there were 2 in stock in the Sears near me and only 1 more on the East side of Portland. I think that means that there were only 3 of these refrigerators spread across 4 stores in the whole metro area.
On Thursday night, I went to the nearest Sears store to see this refrigerator. The sales person had no knowledge of the refrigerator, even when I showed her the ad. Then, after I mentioned that the call center said they were supposed to have 2 of them in stock, she huffed off to ask someone else. She came back and told me that they did have one, but it was under wraps in the back room to protect it from being sold before Friday morning, and that I could not see it. That was very annoying.
I asked her what my chances were of getting that one refrigerator, even if I camped out all night outside the door. She just shrugged.
Even with the small print warning that they would only sell as many as they had in stock, having only 3 of those refrigerators in a metro area with over a million people and four Sears stores, seems to be a case of false advertising. You are as likely to be able to purchase one of those refrigerators as you are to win the lottery.
The more I thought about this, the more annoyed I have become and the more determined I am to NEVER go back to Sears for anything -- tools, clothing, appliances, etc.
The only thing Sears can do for me now is to offer to sell me that refrigerator for the advertised sale price.