Kmart Fail (where I bitch about something unrelated to SF/F to get it off my chest)


(Warning:  some explicit language can be found below)

I won’t shop at Kmart again.  One little mistake doesn’t bother me.  Everyone makes mistakes, after all, and I can’t fault a company for the occasional problem.  That is unless you do what Kmart just did to me (i.e. fucked me).

I had my birthday way back in October and my family decided they’d send me money to Kmart/Sears so I could buy a new TV (which I really needed).  I spent four days researching the TVs within my price range on the Kmart/Sears site, picked a TV I thought would be worth the money based on reviews and specs, and then placed my order (I also purchased a Crockpot, but since that’s not part of the problem, we’ll ignore that).  (The order was paid by credit and gift card, with the credit card portion meeting the amount mentioned at the bottom of this post.)

Initially, I was told my TV would arrive by the 11th of November, which was part of the reason
why I ordered it online, since it would appear on my doorstep sooner than I could arrange for a friend to run me to the store to pick it up in person (I don’t own a car, so Fedex sometimes makes things easier).  Then Kmart decided to change the delivery date to the 17th.  I thought that was lame, but stuff like that happens, so it didn’t bother me too much.

Yup.  This says it all.

But then the 19th rolled around, and I decided to give them a call to figure out what was going on.  As it turned out, Kmart had canceled my order and neglected to tell me that they had done so.  They also charged me for the TV prior to cancellation, which was only worsened by the reason for cancellation:  they didn’t have the TV in stock or in any of their warehouses.  That’s right:  they didn’t have the bloody TV in stock but still charged me for it.

“Alright,” I said to myself.  “That sucks, but maybe it was an honest mistake, and shit happens.  No biggy.  I’ll just get a refund and do more research and find something else.”  I was a little upset by it.  After all, they didn’t even contact me to tell me that the TV had been canceled, but I could deal with that.  Plus, the lady on the phone was nice, so I had a hard time being angry with her when it certainly wasn’t her fault.  As such, I asked her what was the next step, and she gave me the option to use the money charged as credit towards the purchase of another TV or product, or I could have it “credited to [my] account” (her words).  Since it took me four days to figure out which TV was worth purchasing in the first place, I told her just to credit it to my account, thinking I could get a TV during the Black Friday deals and use the refund to pay my rent on the first.  “No problem,” she said.  “It’ll be there in 7-10 days.”  (Why it takes that long to give me back my money, I have no idea, but, again, I couldn’t get pissed at her, since she was fairly nice to me about the whole thing.)

So I waited.  And waited.  And waited, until yesterday, when I realized that the 7-10 day period had ended and no money had appeared in my account (none of it, not even the cost that went over the gift card amount, which was pretty sizable).  During that time, I actually purchased another TV that was a much better deal and, I am happy to say, a better TV than previous one (bigger, more powerful, and sleek); it also actually arrived when the store said it would (in good condition and bright and early in the morning).  Realizing my money hadn’t reappeared, putting my ability to pay rent in jeopardy, I decided to contact Kmart this morning to inquire.  And this is what I found out: my money had been put onto a new gift card, since the total for the refund was over $20 and a gift card was originally used.  Such is Kmart policy.

Here’s the fun part.  I never received an email telling me that a new gift card was available, nor did I receive the cancellation email they told me I would receive when I first started this process.  No, the emails didn’t get lost in my spam box (I checked), and my email hasn’t been blocking them, because I received my confirmation emails for the order they charged me for.  (Isn’t it a little odd that I have no problem receiving emails that remind me that they’ve taken my money, but not when they’ve screwed something up or given me the money back?)

So I told the customer service person my situation:  I purchased a TV under the impression that the money would go back in my account and everything would even out, but that the absence of that money meant I could no longer pay rent.  I also pointed out that I was never told that I would receive a new gift card with the full total on it (even the amount that was charged to my credit card), because had I known, I wouldn’t have spent money on the TV I now own.  The person responded that he was sorry, but I would just have to use the gift card that was sent to me.  When I told him I never received it, he said it was emailed to me.  He never said “I will resend it” or “I am sorry to hear that, let me try to resend or get you the information about it.”  He just shrugged it off as if somehow their failure to email me what bloody well belongs to me is somehow my fault.

That’s the point at which I got a little flippant, because even after all that had happened with Kmart, I thought that maybe they’d redeem themselves and I could shop there again.  In response to his final comment about all this being “policy” and how I just had to suck it up and take what they’d give me, I told them the following:  why exactly would I want to use a gift card to purchase something from a company that likely will cancel my order again, never email me about it, then take 7-10 days to give me my money back, and so on?  I already had my TV, after all, and all I wanted to do was pay the rent.  His response?  The same thing as before.  Again, he didn’t offer to help me get the gift card in question.  He didn’t offer a compromise of some sort, or anything.

Maybe I was expecting too much, but from a company that is suffering as much as it is to keep customers, it might help for them to realize that treating customers like shit is not a good way to go about things.  I don’t even get this kind of treatment from Walmart when I have problems with orders from them, and that company is supposed to be the right hand corporation of the Devil.  But here I am, about $90 short for rent and hoping that my apartment complex will cut me a little slack considering that some of the people that work in the office are aware of my situation.  At least I get paid on Friday, so I can bring that to the table.

At the end of the day, all I have to say is this:  fuck Kmart.


Update:  Apparently Kmart never processed my refund.  That’s right.  I ordered this TV that doesn’t exist on Nov. 7th.  It’s now the 29th and I’m still trying to get my fucking money back.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida studying science fiction, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and fantasy.

4 thoughts on “Kmart Fail (where I bitch about something unrelated to SF/F to get it off my chest)

  1. Call your credit card company and dispute the charge. When I noticed my card was being used for purchases I didn't make, I disputed them and everything was wrapped up within 2 weeks (dispute, verification with credit card company, and receipt of my new card). Two months of a Netflix subscription, about $250 from some sporting store, and another $5 somewhere else were wiped out. Basically, all i said was that when I noticed something was wrong, i stopped using the card. Everything after that date was cleared.

    Your card wasn't stolen, but if you explain the situation, your credit card company can verify your story with Kmart.


  2. I'm giving them until Friday and if I don't see anything I'm reporting them to the BBB, calling my bank, and calling customer support to basically throw a fit.

    Thanks for the advice :).

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