Misleading Sears advertisement - am I overreacting?

Discussion in 'Bargains and Deals' started by Christopher_S, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. Christopher_S

    Christopher_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Yesterday I noticed in a Sears ad that they were having an early-bird sale today. One of the listings for 8 to 11 am was 2 for $15 on selected DVD's. No big deal, except the examples they showed in the ad were "Finding Neverland" and "Spanglish" (then it said, cryptically, "other titles available in store"). Two for $15 new releases? I had to check that out.

    I got there this morning at 8, went to the electronics department and found... nothing. None of the new releases (including "Spanglish"), had any kind of sale notice at all. There were no copies of "Finding Neverland". I asked the clerk where the 2 for $15 DVD's were. He took me to a rack of bargain-bin catalog MGM movies. I told him that those were not the movies advertised. He excused himself to "look for more in the back", then disappeared for several minutes, sduring which i can only assume I was supposed to wander off. I had nothing better to do, though, so I waited. He eventually came out, shrugged "No more back there", and went to stare at the new release rack in silence.

    During all of this, another couple were looking for the advertised movies also. A different clerk told them that they could choose other 19.99 movies in place of "Finding Neverland". They had been primarily interested in that title, and milled around looking at the meager selection. I would have taken their deal, I suppose, but it was not offered to me. In any event, when I was leaving (empty-handed), they had gotten hooked up with my original clerk, and it was not clear they were going to get that substitution deal without a fight anyway.

    Now then, am I wrong to believe that Sears pulled a tremendous bait-and-switch here? I'm interested to know if anyone else noticed this sale, and was able to take better advantage of it than I was.
     
  2. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    That deal sounds almost too good to be true, but still, it's wrong of Sears to advertise those titles and not carry them. Very misleading. Did you try to get a raincheck out of them?


    Certainly not in my book.
     
  3. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    I saw this ad too and thought it was a tremendous deal. I was near a Sears this morning around 10am, but did not stop in. It is clearly bait and switch if you ask me. I would can the store manager first and explain what happened. If you're not satisfied with his/her response, ask for a phone number at the district/regional/corporate offices. Having worked in retail for almost all of the past 25 years, you should pursue this...
     
  4. Christopher_S

    Christopher_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought about asking for a raincheck, but by that time I was sort of done with the idea of speding my money with them, good deal or not.

    The extent of my protest was to send an email detailing my experience to their customer service department via their website. (I tried calling local store management this morning when I got home, but no one was picking up the phone in their main office, and I wasn't terribly interested in continued conversation with the folks in the electronics department).

    I guess now I understand the deal, and I suppose that Sears lived up to the letter of what they advertised (short of having the titles shown in the ad on hand), but I dislike the tactic and will respond the best way I know how... by not shopping at Sears.
     
  5. Bryan Beckman

    Bryan Beckman Second Unit

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    The same thing happened to me this morning. I showed up at Sears around 9:00am, and after circling their meager DVD selection for nearly 10 minutes, I saw where copies of Finding Neverland and Spanglish were typically placed. Both titles were completely out, also with no notice of any sale whatsoever.

    After wandering over to the store entrances (I thought that perhaps a large display might have been placed near the entrances to entice people to come in) and finding nothing, I finally asked a sales associate in their *ahem* home theater department what was going on. He simply replied that they were out, and that was it. Could I raincheck? Nope, he said. "Once they're gone, that's it." [​IMG]

    So I left the store having felt like I completely wasted my time. Perhaps there were a ton of people who came in at 8:00am to grab the few copies they had in stock?

    Anyway, my wife is far more of a diehard bargain hunter than I am, so she asked if maybe Wal-Mart would match the price. I told her that I highly doubted it, but she called them anyway and explained the specifics of the sale price. They said they would match the price, and now we're the proud owners of a $7.50 copy of Finding Neverland.

    Anyway, it is interesting to see that this was not an isolated incident.
     
  6. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    same thing at wilm del store

    no neverland no spanglish.

    the 2 for 15 titles were the typical same thing you would finf in thewalmart 7.50 bin.
    dont remember the titles.
     
  7. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I didn't see the ad but agree that, if it's as you fellows described, it's misleading. It is my belief that unless the ad specifically said that the sale was limited to stock on hand, you had to be given a raincheck. Also, Sears was at fault for not having enough stock in the first place.
     
  8. Christopher_S

    Christopher_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Just for the sake of completeness, here's Sears' response to my email.



    They went on to suggest that I make my life better by purchasing some Craftsman tools.

    After reading the other experiences here, it looks like maybe the titles really didn't vary that much by store.[​IMG]
     
  9. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    You should state that the advertisement showed new titles that averaged $20 and all the store had to offer were old, marked down titles that were normally $7.50 all the time. That would be a better indication of a misleading ad.
     
  10. MarkDude

    MarkDude Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, Chris, consider yourself lucky that you actually got a response. I had a terrible experience at Sears once (suffice it to say that we made them refund a $3,000+ purchase on new kitchen applicances), contacted customer service via their website, and didn't hear anything back. Tried calling by phone and they hung up on me.

    I have never seen more unprofessional customer service in my whole life than when I had to deal with Sears. Unacceptable!

    -Mark-
     
  11. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    I had better luck. I showed up at Sears at 8:00 and asked which DVDs were on sale. The clerk said he wasn't sure but would scan the DVDs I was interested in. Then another customer showed up with a copy of the ad. Since neither FINDING NEVERLAND nor SPANGLISH were showing up at $7.50 in the computer, and there were about 5 customers all wanting to know what was going on, the department manager declared that all $19.95 DVDs were $7.50. I got FINDING NEVERLAND, BE COOL, SEED OF CHUCKY UNRATED, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, and the 10th Anniversary edition of CASINO, which happened to be out early. Needless to say I was happy.
     
  12. Justin Hargis

    Justin Hargis Stunt Coordinator

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    They're required to do a substitution or give a raincheck since it's advertised, not a closeout item and not in stock.

    Our local Sears had about five of Finding Neverland and five of Spanglish. They weren't necessarily flying off the shelves.





    Well holy shit. You got the best deal Bob. [​IMG]
     
  13. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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    Maybe they should have said,

    "Now that we've been bought up by KMart we know we're going out of business anyways, so we don't care what we do".
     

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