Tuesday, August 18, 2009

R.E.S.P.E.C.T....um, please?

Our refrigerator was doubling as an air conditioning unit for quite a while. The door seals were miserable, and the refrigerator consistently froze its contents despite being on the lowest setting. Finally, I grudgingly admitted that perhaps we really should look into a new refrigerator.

We went to Sears and found a model we liked. After some consideration, though, we decided to buy a cheaper refrigerator and a low end stove. Both models were still much better than our existing appliances. When we got to the checkout, the trouble began. First, the extended warranty.

The salesman decided to inform us "This refrigerator comes with a 1 year warranty on the compressor. For $140 you can get two years added on top of the factory warranty." Some quick math had me foaming at the mouth. This joker wanted me to pay 25% of the purchase price for the extended warranty. I declined the warranty. Our previous refrigerator lasted 20 years. If our new refrigerator lasts fewer than five years, it will be the absolute last appliance that I purchase from Sears. Ever.

Next, the Sears card. If I would be so kind as to apply for a Sears card, I could have free home delivery plus 5% off the purchase price. Now this sounded pretty good. I really didn't want to have to dispose of my old appliances. I started in on the paperwork. Now, any reasonable person would have put their pen down when they saw the word "Citi" in the contract. Apparently, I am no such person. They accepted my application and put the charge on it.

The bill arrived yesterday, and I paid the balance before they could earn any interest. Why so eager to pay the balance? Sears shouldn't be commended for their unfriendly practices. What's so unfriendly, you might wonder. I'll tell you what...I've got a 740 credit rating and these sheisters tried foisting off a card with a 20% interest rate. I can't put cash into a safe investment which returns more than 1% right now, and these idiots think they are going to get away with this kind of robbery? Seriously?

What is Sears really thinking? Do they really believe that trying to take advantage of their customers is a good long term strategy? Obviously, that's exactly what they think. Unfortunately, they are hardly alone.

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