We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
As an affiliate marketer, I get to know hundreds of online merchants. I see their prices, their coupons, their shipping policies, and what my members say about them on a daily basis. It’s not very often that a merchant makes me so angry as a customer that I am willing to completely out them on one of my websites. But today is that day for Kmart.
I was never a Kmart shopper. I didn’t go to my local Kmart before it closed. I’m mainly a Target girl. However, they were giving us some good promotions at Christmas and so I wanted to send them some of my business. I ordered a sleeping bag for my daughter as one of her main presents. She only likes pink and purple, and it couldn’t be too big. I was picky, but Kmart had what I needed. I was excited and placed the order, only to find out a few days later that it was canceled. I ended up at my local Target a couple of days before Christmas buying a replacement. Strike one for Kmart.
Fast forward a month. My daughter is a huge fan of Wizards of Waverly Place and Kmart has a good deal of WOWP merchandise. I launched a new website and prominently featured their products. Valentine’s Day was coming and I wanted something WOWP for my other daughter. I visited Kmart and placed a number of things in my cart. When I went to check out, one was out of stock. So I added something else to even out the gifts for my two girls. When I went to check out, something else was out of stock. So I had to keep shopping. I finally placed the order and at the same time that I got the order confirmation, I got a notice that one of the items that I ordered was already out of stock! Strike two for Kmart.
Again I went to Target locally to buy a gift to even up my two daughters. As I was wrapping gifts today, I realized that one from Kmart was still missing–the WOWP bracelet that was the main gift. I checked my order online and Kmart was still showing that it was part of the order. No cancellation. I checked my credit card and the full order amount was billed. So I called Kmart to find out if they could give me the tracking number. Turns out they canceled that item but their system is not set up to always kick out a cancellation message. Further, they charge the card first and then check the inventory for Sears products. Now I have to wait for a credit (and the last time that I had to wait for a Sears credit, it took multiple calls and weeks to get my money back). Strike three for Kmart.
The worst part of all of this is that Customer Service told me that they have known since November that they have website and inventory issues. They only update their inventory every 24 hours. As a consumer, I’ve placed orders for 3 items in 2 months that were not in inventory. Think about how many products I have sold through my websites that I ended up not getting paid for due to the same issue, not to mention the frustration of my visitors.
Customer service told me to feel free to email them with my complaints so that they can have them “on file.” The best that they could do was tell me that they were sorry and I would get a credit back within a couple of weeks. I told them I would send them a link to my story once I put it online instead.
I haven’t been in a K-Mart since 1984? I bought 2 new lamps for my Family room and they look too small when I placed them. I returned them the next day and even though they’d cost some $21.87, (approx.) the sales girl gave me $15 back. She said they’d gone on sale. I dug through the bag-but of course-no reciept. The people there were so brain dead I couldn’t reason with them. So I made the only ge -even move I could.I shopped there for the next few months for socks,underwear,etc. and 2 out of 3 times they made an error in calculations with the total. If it was my loss,I complained till it was corrected no matter how small the amount. If,however,it was in my favor and they undercharged me,I kept quiet. I kept a tally and when I had re-couped the amount I was cheated out of,I never went back again.
Man, I was hoping this post would be about crushing the Sears/Kmart affiliate program (GAN team as much as the merchant) so I could contribute a few horror stories.
Feel free to post. I’m as interested as the affiliate program issues as the issues with the store itself because I send traffic through the GAN program.
There are still two K Marts within 15 miles of my home. I do NOT shop in them. I am favoring Target. I still visit a Wal Mart now and then, but only because it is open 24 hours. (but not the electronics section, which is the first department I visit)
If you were a K Mart affiliate, let me ask if you forwarded your complaints to the AM?
.-= PandaMarketer´s last blog ..Affiliate Summit Podcast — Likes and dislikes =-.
I can’t believe you had so much trouble with them. It’s especially annoying (to me) that they did it to you. I made my only Kmart purchase during Sunshine Rewards holiday contest, and I doubt I was alone.
@Tricia “As a sad ending to this whole Kmart story, I got the “nightie” that I added to my order three days after it was supposed to be delivered…and too late for Valentine’s Day. The funniest part about is was that it didn’t even come in a Kmart box. It came in a Beef Jerky box!! Can you say “unromantic”??”
Um, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t take that a real insult.
@John The actual employee that I talked to was incredibly nice. Unfortunately, it is the corporate policies that got in the way of her being able to help me in any way.
@Gail I’ve always had major issues with Walmart as well. I just checked out your site and found some fabulous information! We need to keep in touch. 🙂
As a sad ending to this whole Kmart story, I got the “nightie” that I added to my order three days after it was supposed to be delivered…and too late for Valentine’s Day. The funniest part about is was that it didn’t even come in a Kmart box. It came in a Beef Jerky box!! Can you say “unromantic”??
.-= Tricia´s last blog ..Three Strikes for Kmart =-.
Gail from GrowMap says
First I want to mention that I’ve been hearing great things about you and Sunshine Rewards from our OPM Adam Riemer and reading about you in the new book Internet Marketing from the Real Experts.
Thank you for sharing your experience with K-Mart. I am a huge proponent of supporting small online and local retailers and regularly recommend shopping almost anywhere but Wal-Mart. Although they would not be my first choice anyway, now I know not to suggest K-Mart as an alternative.
If we will all write reviews for our favorite small businesses and ecommerce retailers on the major sites and recommend them in our blogs and Social Network activities we make the world a better place and assist them in surviving the current economic crisis.
I hope you and your readers will read my BizLuv post (in CommentLuv) for more on what we can all do and where to write those reviews.
.-= Gail from GrowMap´s last blog ..MEME: BizLuv in Support of Small Businesses =-.
I am sad to hear you had a bad experience. I have worked for Kmart for 9 years, in the stores and in MI, and IL Corporate. I have given great customer care to everyone I worked with. And to Shannon, if your paycheck is coming from a company and you have issues with how that company is doing things and you are at corporate, you need to talk to people so that things can be made right. Shopping somewhere else does not fix problems, but it sure does hurt your opportunity to stay employed. If the company that you work for is loosing customers to the competition and cutting jobs because of that, eventually, jobs at corporate would be cut for the same reasons.
@Shannon Wow! That certainly does say something. It’s really sad because they are such an established brand and have history and name recognition behind them. But clearly customer service is not something worth investing in for them.
I worked at Kmart Headquarters and I still shopped at Target. That should tell you something 😉
.-= Shannon´s last blog ..Andy Jenkin’s Video Boss Freebies =-.