Sears Tinkled in Their Own Cornflakes

My mom & dad have utterly perfect credit.  Pristine.  Flawless.  Outstanding.

If there is a better word for top of the line credit scores, it would apply to them.

Until February that is.

They each have a Sears card.  Two separate accounts.  They pay off these (and all their other cards) monthly.  Pitiful, poor ol’ Sears never gets a dime of interest, nor do any other companies.

Anyway, after paying her account in January, she realized the bill for Dad’s account had never come.  It is the one where they’ve got a recurrent charge for some credit fraud thing, so he gets a bill every month for $13.95.  January’s bill didn’t arrive, so she called Sears.  They told her that the bill had been returned as undeliverable.

???

Confirmed the address was correct and all that good stuff and in confirming the balance, she found they’d hit her with a late charge.

She asked the customer service chick to look back over the card history and tell her when, if ever, they’d been late paying.  We’re talking a 40 year history here without the first late payment.

CS chick finds nothing but timely payments, apologizes, wipes the late fees off and asks if Mama wants a new bill.  She replies with yes and CS chick asks “When?”.  >.<  “Um, NOW would be a great time.”.  She assures Mama it will go out immediately & Mama gets it TWO weeks later.

Gotta love NOW in TWO WEEKS.

So…the late fee has been removed, Mama sends the check for $13.95.  All is right with the world, right?

HA!

By the time the resent bill came, it was time for the regular bill.  Now, I’m not accusing my Mama of being forgetful really, but apparently she wasn’t thinking that it was bill time again.

Fast forward to the first part of April.  She realized then she’d not gotten February OR March’s bills on Daddy’s account.  She called again and once again they told her that the bills were being returned as “Undeliverable As Addressed”.  Now, our postman is a family friend.  Not necessarily the smartest family friend, but a friend none-the-less and he wouldn’t be sending that ONE bill back.

Anyway, they told her at Sears that the balance was now $70-some odd dollars.  Two charges of $13.95 each, plus late fees and interest.  AND they’d frozen the account.

I could see her blood boiling from over here, I tell you.

They could wipe the interest charges away IF she’d go to her “local” Sears store and pay the bill THAT day.  The “local” Sears store is 70+ miles away.  After she told them that, they said they could take a check by phone.

Mama is still old-school and doesn’t believe in that, especially after one time I authorized a payment like that for $30 that got run through the bank as $300.

So, they were really sorry and all but the late charges would stick AND they raised the interest rate to 40-something percent.

She mailed them a check last week (after she got a hard copy of the bill in hand- which was “immediately” being sent on April 2nd) along with the cards for both their accounts, chopped in tiny pieces and a nice letter.

Mama doesn’t throw anything away apparently- she went back through her bank ledger 30 years and totaled up every check ever written to Sears and it would have paid 2 or 3 employees salaries.

I knew she was pissed when she told me that she just wanted to say (and yep, this is a direct quote) “Sears, you can go F yourself!”.

I had my own reason to not do business with the shitheads anymore (we bought a push mower from them recently and no matter how many times I say NO, HELL NO, NO WAY IN HELL, THANK YOU & HAVE A DAY, they call 3-4 times a day to offer us an extended warranty that costs nearly as much as the mower cost!) and this is just icing on the cake.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Old Man
    Apr 21, 2010 @ 21:27:01

    That sort of nonsense has lit a fire under my kiester more than once. The only cure is to pay off immediately any card you can. Sears was our first credit card back in the early 70’s. Haven’t used it in 15 years, I bet. The house and travel card are linked to our credit union accounts, have no annual fee and can be paid by direct deposit over the ‘net. I b’lieve I’ve paid $5.20 in interest over the last 5-6 years. (But they pay “cash back” on what you charge, so they’ve paid us to use the card.)
    This has helped promote the domestic tranquility at our house AND keep my blood pressure down…

  2. Old NFO
    Apr 21, 2010 @ 22:04:57

    I cut mine up and sent it back 11 years ago… similar circumstances… And I haven’t darkened their doorstep since.

  3. snigsspot
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 00:16:47

    I don’t know of my parents having a running balance on any credit cards since I’ve been around. The only reason they use credit cards is for the convenience, not because they don’t have the money. She’ll call & order something or have me order stuff online for her, then she pays as soon as she gets the bills.

    Funny thing, the Obamasiah was supposed to of cured all this crap (like getting bills in the mail the day before a payment was due, etc…), but it would seem all he’s done is promote underhandedness. Jacking interest over 20% for 1 late payment is a bit extreme & this whole mess stinks out the wazoo.

    Next year, I’ve got to replace the stove, dryer & dish washer. Before all this, I’d made up my mind to get Kenmore appliances. Not anymore. The lack of $1000 of my business may not bankrupt them, but maybe they’ll miss it a little bit. Maybe I will take pictures of my new stuff & send them a copy with a note saying, “See? YOU could have sold me this, but *I* don’t deal with asshats!”.

    😉

  4. Bob
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 01:47:51

    Sears was one of the first people I quit doing credit business with. Same issues……….. Why oh why do they try so hard to make everybody mad with them??

    I’m in a fortunate spot now . . . no cards at all and no balances due either. I recently had to buy a new car and my bank refused me a loan because I had “no credit utilization”. Well, I paid the sucker off in three months and let’s see what they say now…………

  5. Glenn Mark Cassel
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 02:03:15

    And when you are out of work for a considerable period of time, they will not work with you when you go back to work. I started on 9 November 2009 and have now gone to Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Kern and Tulare Counties to get things taken care of. I need to. A security clearance is at stake for my job.
    They are all pretty much assholes!

  6. Crucis
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 12:14:18

    This is a prime example why you DON’T want to use credit cards. The whole “credit rating” game is a scam. You can’t get a credit rating—unless you go into debt. Corporate cards like Discover and others is money from your pocket to theirs. You might as well give them a license to steal. The absolute worst is the recurring charge.

    My wife and I dumped all our CC and switched to debit cards. With the exception of our home mortgage, everything is paid using our debit card. Especially in times like these, you don’t want debt.

  7. Old NFO
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 20:56:15

    Snigs, I’d recommend Maytag applicances… I’ve been happy with mine for 15 years and only minor repairs required!

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