Sears fail, week two

After last week’s Sears delivery fiasco, I expected UPS to send my garage door opener back to Sears following three failed delivery attempts, and that’s exactly what they did.  Given that my package was en-route to somewhere in Illinois, I worked up the ambition to call Sears again to try to figure out my next steps.

Sears Tower in Chicago Illinois

Sears Tower in Chicago Illinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I called them up, and wound up speaking to a chap named Mark.  I’m sure that’s his real name.

As you might imagine, one of the more singularly frustrating parts of this entire endeavor is that I get to explain the entire story to each Sears customer service agent I speak with, each and every time I call them.  “Customer Service”, evidently, doesn’t include taking any damned notes to keep track of what customers are calling about.  After walking “Mark” through the entire UPS-fail story, I concluded by asking him, “So, where do you suppose my garage door opener is right now, Mark?”

Mark actually surprised me at this point, because he got it right — “It’s on its way back to Sears,” he said.  “Excellent, Mark,” I said.  “How might we attempt to fix things at this point?”

“Well, I can have UPS send it back out again.”

Mark’s clearly a glass-half-full guy, because he was pretty sure that some divine power was going to intervene in order to make that delivery successful where the prior three attempts failed.  “I don’t think so, Mark.  How about you send it to a store, and I’ll pick it up there?”

And here’s where it got kind of weird.  “I’m sorry — once the package has been shipped UPS, the only thing we can do with it is ship it UPS again.  I can’t send it to a store.”

“Really, Mark?”


“Ok, Mark,” I said.  “Can you go find me a supervisor?”

While I was waiting on the line for Mark to find me a supervisor, it occurred to me that if I could find a store with this damned thing in stock and know that I could get it for the same price, I’d probably be better off just going there and picking it up in person — *if* I knew that my first order was properly terminated and refunded.

“Hi,” said Mark.  “I’ve got a supervisor on the line.  I’m going to go ahead and transfer you.”

(hold music)


Yup — really.  Mark hung up on me.

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Sears / UPS megafail update


Sears (Photo credit: justj0000lie)

It’s day three of my Sears & UPS delivery debacle, and the hits just keep coming.  Yesterday, I posted a transcript of my chat with a Sears customer service bot, where I tried to get them to change the delivery instructions on my package from Sears.  Sears marked my delivery as “signature required”, you see, and I’m at work and unavailable to sign for the package.  I’d like to have UPS hold the package, and I’ll go sign for it at their facility.

Not too difficult to accomplish, one might think, but this goal is so far eluding both Sears and UPS.

I tweeted link to the post yesterday, copying both @Sears and @UPS.  Encouragingly, representatives from both teams contacted me quickly to offer their assistance, but sadly, neither one of them has been able to make a lick of difference.  I’ll start with Sears.  They followed me instantly and asked me to DM them my contact info.  Good enough, so far — at least they followed me so I could DM them.  I sent in my contact info, though, and received a public reply on twitter indicating that I was “next in line”:

Sears Cares Sears Cares
@dlambert Thanks for the information. The next available case manager will email you to assist. Thanks again, Dianne cc:@Sears

That was at 4:30pm yesterday.  I haven’t heard a peep from them since.  So that sort of wraps up my experience with Sears — er, sorry — “Sears Cares”.

My experience with UPS is a little more interesting, but no less ineffective.  In their case, they also asked for my info (to be sent by email) and then looked up my tracking number and confirmed (just like Wednesday night) that they couldn’t make any changes to my shipment because “Sears has restricted the package”.  I took that opportunity to craft an email to UPS in the hopes that the person I was dealing

with *might* have access to an actual decision-maker:

Thanks – that’s exactly what I heard from UPS customer service last night. I understand that this problem originates with Sears, but inasmuch as it makes you guys look bad by association, it might be nice if you had the ability to override a boneheaded move by one of your customers.

English: A United Parcel Service Van (package ...

Somewhere, my package is riding around on a brown truck.  Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hopefully, the social media team at UPS has a little better access to decision-makers there, because someone should review what’s gone on here. At this point, my package has been cruising around Columbus on a brown truck for the better part of the last two days, and despite my best efforts, plus the those of at least one customer service rep and yourself, we’ve been unable to get the package to stop in one place long enough for me to catch up with it and sign for acceptance.

Although I can see how this problem *began* with Sears, UPS sure appears to be part of the problem now. Prior to this episode, I’ve always had great experiences with UPS. You were the first shipper that let me receive email updates on delivery status (years ago), and I’ve used your online systems on many occasions to hold packages for pickup in exactly this sort of situation.

I cannot believe that this is a freak use case — for either you or Sears. Maybe this is an opportunity for someone at UPS to have a strategic conversation with someone at Sears so you can coach them up a bit on how to do logistics well (that’s what you *do*, isn’t it?). I truly believe you guys are capable of helping Sears with this, and I also believe that with your help, they can be a better customer for UPS.

Sadly, it appears that wasn’t the case.  Here’s the response I got from UPS:



I can appreciate the perspective you have as the receiver of the package and how difficult this situation is. Unfortunately the restrictions placed on the package are a contractual decision made by Sears for this account. I apologize that we have no way to hold the package for you.


Thank you,

(name withheld)

So, there you have it.  It’s now delivery day three, and UPS’s tracking info shows that my package is once again, somewhere on the streets of Columbus on a brown truck, and I’m powerless to intercept it.

I’ll try reaching out to @Sears and @UPS once more, and update my results here.

In the meantime, remember — “Sears Cares”.

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Customer Disservice

Normally, I’m a pretty big fan of UPS.  Over the years, they’ve delivered a lot of stuff to me, and they’re usually pretty reliable.  I wasn’t too surprised or dismayed to see that a package I’d ordered from Sears had failed its first delivery because Sears marked the package “signature required”.  Now, if Sears had indicated that they were going to require a signature, I’d have sent the package to a Sears store to begin with and avoided this whole problem, but I was pretty sure this wouldn’t be a big deal — I’d just tell UPS to hold my package at their distribution center and go pick it up.

So, I logged on to UPS and found I had the following options for my package:

(1) Send the package back to the sender.

Yup.  That’s it.  No #2.  So, I called UPS, and it turns out that they couldn’t hold my package because Sears “won’t let them make delivery changes”.  No, I didn’t understand that, either.  They recommended I contact Sears, and the first contact info I found for Sears was a “chat” option, so I fired that bad boy up, and here’s what transpired.

I’m not making this up:


Please wait for a Sears Customer Service Representative to respond. This chat may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes. Thank you for holding.

Hi, my name is Ramon, and it is my pleasure to assist you today. May I have your name?

Ramon: I see you have placed an order with us.  While I am pulling it up, please tell me how can I help?

you: I had this order shipped to my home via UPS. It’s marked as “requires signature”, but I’m not at home during the day.

Ramon: Good Evening.

you: I just called UPS with the info notice number so I could have the package held at a UPS location, and they said they couldn’t make changes because of something Sears has done w/ the order.

you: The only option they’re giving me is to return it to sender.

Ramon: Thank you.

Ramon: I will be happy to check the order for you.

you: They’re going to make another attempt to deliver the package tomorrow, but alas, I’m going to be at work again tomorrow.

you: What I need to do is to have it held at the UPS counter so I can pick it up there.

you: I’ve never had any problems at all making that happen via UPS with a tracking number, so I’m really not sure what’s gone wrong here.

Ramon: I would suggest you to contact our UPS team at 1-800-742-5877 and you can pick up the item from the UPS hub.

you: I just spoke to UPS at that number.

you: They said they couldn’t make changes to delivery because of something Sears had done on this shipment.

you: I can’t change any delivery options, so I can’t have it held.

Ramon: Someone above 18 years of age will be able to pick up the item

Ramon: I am sorry.

you: Yeah, great. I’m over 18.

you: The problem is that I can’t have UPS hold the package at their location so I can pick it up.

Ramon: Someone above 18 years of ages is necessary to received the item.

you: HEY!!

you: I’m over 18!!

you: Are you reading this?

you: It’s not going to do anyone any good to put the package on a truck again tomorrow morning, ok?

you: I need it held at the UPS location.

you: I cannot accomplish this with UPS because Sears has told UPS they can’t change delivery options.

Ramon: I mean, if you are not able to receive the item as you will go to office, anyone above 18 years can received the item.

you: If I go to the office w/o the package being marked “hold for pickup”, it will not be there — it will be on a truck.

you: Therefore, I need to have UPS hold the package for me to pick up.

you: UPS has already said they will make three attempts to deliver the package. One has occurred.

you: The next two will fail, because I work.

you: You know — to pay for the stuff I just ordered from you?

Ramon: I will forward this issue to our UPS team and will contact you back with the address for picking up the item.

you: So, I’d like to have UPS *not* put the package on their truck tomorrow, and I will go to where the package is.

you: Ok, that’ll be fine.

you: Will you be able to email that to me?

you: Please send updates to [my email address]

you: Thanks.

Ramon: Ups team will send you an email.

Ramon: I am sorry, just to check , are you still their online with me?

Ramon: I’m sorry, I didn’t receive a response. You may call 1-800-349-4358 or try again later, whichever is more convenient. Thank you for visiting us at

Thank you for chatting with us. Please click the “Close” button on the top right of the chat window to tell us how we did today.


[Update – Jan 17]  I called Sears back when I had a chance and spoke to a human being.  This guy claimed to have made a change to have the package held at UPS for me, but I just got another tracking update from UPS saying that they’d made another delivery attempt today, and that the third and final delivery attempt is scheduled for tomorrow.  Of course, my plans for tomorrow still include working, so I don’t expect that endeavor to go any more successfully than the prior two have.  Sigh.